INDIANAPOLIS _ While I was attending an interesting BBWAA meeting, the White Sox were busy signing third baseman Mark Teahen to a three-year, $14 million deal. That avoids arbitration for Teahen, who would have become a free agent after the 2011 season.
Teahen will get $3.75 million in 2010, $4.75 million in 2011 ansd $5.5 million in 2012. The Sox obtained him from the Royals on Nov. 6 for infielders Josh Fields and Chris Getz. We'll have a chance to talk with Mark over the phone later this afternoon.
This year with the Royals, Teahen had a line of .271/.325/.408 for an OPS of .734. His OPS-plus was 94, and that could stand to be better. He had a BABIP of .334 and a wOBA of .323. Teahen had 12 homers and 50 RBI.
Bill James projects a line of .270/.336/.422, good for an OPS of .758, for Teahen in 2010.
In other Sox news, the team announced that Gordon Beckham, Mark Buehrle, Paul Konerko, Andruw Jones and Ozzie Guillen would be at SoxFest.
At the BBWAA meeting, the group voted to expand the number of pitchers on the Cy Young ballot in each league from three to five. I voted in favor. There also was discussion of creating a new award specifically for relief pitchers. One proposed name was the Jerome Holtzman Award, in honor of the former Chicago "dean" of baseball writers, who invented the save rule.
Bill Madden, a closet White Sox fan at the New York Daily News, won the J.G. Taylor Spink Award, putting him into the writers wing of the Hall of Fame. Congrats to Bill.
So far this morning and early afternoon, things were quiet on the Sox and Cubs trade fronts. The Cubs are among teams looking at reliever J.J. Putz, whose option was not picked up by the Mets after elbow problems ended Putz's season in late August. He made $6 million this year, when he went 1-4 with a 5.22 ERA and 2 saves in 4 chances. Putz had 15 saves for Seattle in 2008.
As always...more later.