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White Sox sign Colon

January 15, 2009, 1:44 PM

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The signing of Bartolo Colon is a no-lose situation for GM Kenny Williams and the White Sox. Colon will receive $1 million in base salary and can realize another $2 million in incentives for innings pitched. However, the real bonus for the White Sox is that if Colon doesn't make the roster, he can be released in late-March for 1/6 of the base salary ($166,667).

Any time that White Sox trainer extraordinaire, Herm Schneider, signs off on a player, it's usually a good risk. In the pecking order of importance in the White Sox organization, owner Jerry Reinsdorf considers Schneider as important as any of his top officers. (It is assumed in the industry that Schneider is the highest-paid trainer in baseball.)

In a phone interview with reporters on Thursday, Williams did not discount the idea of signing another veteran starting pitcher from the free agent pool. Former White Sox pitchers from the 2005 championship team, Freddy Garcia and Jon Garland, are both still out there, although Garland's agent Craig Landis was asking for a 4-year/$40 million deal as late as December 1st. Garcia, a relative of manager Ozzie Guillen by marriage, was never a favorite of upper management -- many of the Sox's hierarchy thought he was lazy and too deliberate when he was out on the mound. However, those same executives remember that Garcia was a big game pitcher for the Sox, especially in 2005.

With the Cubs Convention starting on Friday, the Cubs are closing in on signing former Cubs catcher Paul Bako. According to league sources Bako's one-year contract would be for between $700,000-$800,000. Bako, along with Koyie Hill, gives manager Lou Piniella the flexibility to insert a left-handed bat into the lineup when resting NL Rookie of the Year, Geovany Soto.

The Cubs also continue to pursue Seattle pitcher Aaron Heilman. The Mariners are looking for middle infield help, possibly switching one of their current guys to first base next year. They are known to have interest in Ronny Cedeno, who is out of options. Heilman, a former Met, would be exactly the swingman that Piniella could use as a fifth starter or a sixth and seventh inning middle reliever. If the Cubs aren't able to revisit the Peavy trade talks, we'll reiterate that left-hander Randy Wolf is on their radar screen. The Cubs tried to sign Wolf in 2006 before he opted to sign a deal with the Dodgers.


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