Garland Re-Signs With Sox
By Chuck Sudo in News on Dec 29, 2005 5:51PM
"To the victor goes the spoils", indeed. Jon Garland avoided arbitration this offseason, signing a three-year, $29 million dollar contract with the White Sox yesterday. This year Garland had the breakout season that everyone expected of him when he was drafted by the Cubs then later traded to the Sox. Even though he had a subpar second half, Garland still finished with a record of 18-10 with a 3.50 ERA and a league-leading three shutouts. Let's also not forget the complete game shutout in Anaheim in the ALCS and his gutsy performance in that fourteen-inning Game 3 of the World Series.
The Garland signing is the latest coup in a breakneck offseason by Sox GM Ken Williams. Since winning the World Series and bringing to life the Bizarro World scenario of Sun-Times shock jock/sports columnist Jay Mariotti rimming Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf in print, Williams has:
- traded Aaron Rowand for Jim Thome and cash
- traded Orlando Hernandez for Javier Vazquez and cash
- re-signed Paul Konerko
- traded for super-utility player Rob Mackowiak
- re-signed Garland
Nagging issues with middle relief aside (Damaso Marte and Luis Vizcaino are also gone) Williams has put together a team more than capable of repeating. That middle relief is a major concern. With the Vazquez trade, Garland's re-signing and experts predicting a breakout year for Brandon McCarthy the Sox now have six starters under contract. Of those six, the one not signed past 2006 is Jose Contreras, who's now the subject of trade talk by prognosticators and analysts. Maybe they'll address the middle relief in spring training. Maybe they'll actually go with an unprecedented six-man rotation. We'll leave that thinking to the fantasy geeks.
For all the talk about Johnny "Captain Caveman" Damon signing with the Yankees last week, the fact remains that their starting pitching is a patchwork mess of aging veterans (Randy Johnson, Mike Mussina) and flash-in-the-pan shite. The White Sox proved that solid pitching and defense can shut down even the most feared lineup. Now that they've shored up their own batting order, if they stay healthy the Sox could catch lightning in a bottle again.