I want to thank everyone who submitted their great questions concerning the White Sox and wish a very Happy Holidays from Chicago to Las Vegas and everywhere in between or left out. A special thanks goes out to those who emailed me good wishes on Michigan's football resurgence. For those of you sending emails of support concerning Notre Dame, Illinois, etc., you might want to make that change to the Wolverines a New Year's resolution.
Now, on to our final batch of questions for 2011.
Why do I read on a daily basis that the White Sox are looking to trade John Danks, Gavin Floyd and Carlos Quentin? With Alejandro De Aza, Brent Morel and Dayan Viciedo, the White Sox have a youth movement. Keeping the team intact and believing Adam Dunn, Alex Rios and Gordon Beckham will have rebound years would make it possibly better than 2011. Why make any additional subtractions?
-- Wayne, Norwalk, Conn.
Your theory perfectly works if Dunn, Rios and Beckham bounce back, not to mention Jake Peavy coming back from injury issues. But there are no certainties that any or all of these players will return to their previous, respective levels of excellence, and here lies the problem for GM Ken Williams and the White Sox. I agree that Danks, Floyd and Quentin already rate above the young "Major League ready talent" sought out by the White Sox in potential trades, but all three conceivably could be gone after the 2012 season.
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Again, don't think Williams will move players just to move them. However, after looking at the young haul the Padres received for a valuable piece such as Mat Latos, nothing is out of the question in regard to White Sox moves.
With all the talk of trades and those on the block, is there any talk of moving Alexei Ramirez?
-- Nick, Justice, Ill.
There's really nobody off limits in terms of trades the White Sox are entertaining, and teams know what they are getting in terms of Ramirez's ability and his contract. The shortstop's four-year, $32.5 million deal begins in 2012.
Ramirez's 2011 numbers were commensurate with his solid statistics posted over the past three years for the White Sox, but I expect an even greater push from him in 2012 and beyond. Ramirez has the capability to be an elite competitor, which is a level he didn't quite reach last season, and at just 30, he could be an organization cornerstone for years to come.
What can White Sox fans do to show Minnie Minoso our love and appreciation? He has Hall of Fame numbers -- as do some other non-members -- but it doesn't seem to be in the cards to vote him in. How can we take matters into our own hands (short of besieging Cooperstown)? Thanks.
-- Greg, Douglas Island, Alaska
Minoso certainly feels the White Sox fans' appreciation and love for him, but I'm not sure there's much you can do to influence the voters. The White Sox put together an amazing campaign to show off Minoso's career accomplishments, but ultimately it's the committee who makes the final call.
In looking what Minoso achieved and what he meant to baseball, I believe he's a Hall of Famer. I felt the same about Ron Santo before he was elected in this last vote, and Gil Hodges. Sometimes that recognition takes time or doesn't come. Minoso will always be a Hall of Famer on the South Side of Chicago, that's for sure.
I'm kind of having mixed emotions about the Sergio Santos trade. Do you think that Nestor Molina has a fighting chance to make the Opening Day roster?
-- Anthony, Downers Grove, Ill.
Mixed emotions is a good term to use when speaking of this trade, Anthony.
Santos was a great story, one really where movies develop and begin. He went from a highly-touted infielder who couldn't quite get over the Minor League hump to a closer with the White Sox. All the while he handled the pitfalls and success with great class and humor.
It sounds like I'm writing about a pitcher who left the game, rather than one who went to a team looking like a contender in Toronto. And as I wrote in last week's Inbox, the White Sox feel confident enough in Addison Reed's future that they could take a chance moving Santos.
That same strong feeling extends to Molina, whom the White Sox absolutely targeted in this deal. Don't look for Molina to start the season with the big league club, even if he has a great Spring Training, but Molina certainly could join the White Sox at some point in 2012. He has video game-like Minor League numbers, but we'll see if he develops into an ace-type hurler or a middle to back-end of the rotation sort of pitcher. It's the risk taken when relying on young pitchers.
Are the White Sox going to trade A.J. Pierzynski this season?
-- Michelle, Evergreen Park, Ill.
The only way this move happens is if the White Sox fall out of contention, and there's a deal that's a fit for the team, Pierzynski and his family. Pierzynski has full no-trade veto power but plans to be part of a 2012 White Sox team that hopes to surprise people. But I'm guessing if a deal in June or July was good for Pierzynski and good for the team, he probably wouldn't block it.
Adam Dunn for Carlos Zambrano: what do you think? Does the money match up?
-- Ken, Gary, Ind.
Here's a trade that seems to be popular with White Sox fans, or at least was suggested in three Inbox emails. Zambrano has one year left on his deal, with a 2013 vesting option, while Dunn has three years remaining. And the White Sox don't have interest in Zambrano that I've heard.
Give me some positive talking points about the White Sox to shut up the Yankee fans I have to tolerate in New York.
-- Ray, Schenectady, N.Y.
Tell your friends that since 2001, the White Sox and Yankees have the same amount of World Series titles. Aside from that one, you are going to have to wait on the present White Sox because it's too hard to gauge at this point who will be gone and who will stay.
Just a suggestion for the 2012 season slogan, should the trades continue. Instead of "All In," it should be "All Out." That would suggest not only the older guys being moved out, but also the attitude of the newer kids coming in and going "all out." Also it means the opposite of 2011!!
-- John, Lisle, Ill.
John, I like the concept but I have the perfect slogan. The only issue is my slogan takes a little leap of faith that some hitters will return to form.
Taking into consideration the new White Sox manager, how about "Batmen and Robin?" See what I did there? It could be gold, John, gold I tell you.
Send in your suggests and I'll pass along the better ones to Brooks Boyer.