Monday, December 6, 2010
Ozzie Guillen challenges Bobby Jenks
By Doug Padilla
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- In one statement, Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen seemed to open the door for the return of closer Bobby Jenks -- and then he slammed it shut again.
In his only session with reporters at the winter meetings, which started Monday, Guillen sounded open to Jenks re-signing with the club. The right-hander was not offered arbitration by the White Sox earlier this month, a move that likely saved the team from paying Jenks up to $9 million in 2011.
"He has to compete [for the closer's role]," Guillen said. "We played without Bobby for a while, like three months ... the last month of the season at least. He has to compete. He has to compete because we have more options than him.
"And if he wins the spot, I would be more than happy to put him back in the closer situation. We played a lot without him, and he has to think about that."
So not only will Jenks have to take a massive pay cut to return to the White Sox, his role will be ill defined. He wasn't too thrilled during the just-completed season when Guillen didn't give him the benefit of the doubt and removed him temporarily from his role after a few rough outings.
As of now, the White Sox are considering using Matt Thornton or Chris Sale in the closer's role.
Jenks saved 173 games over six seasons with the White Sox and had a 3.40 ERA. He made $7.5 million in 2010.
Doug Padilla covers the White Sox for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.