Hello everyone, I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! :-)
According to ESPN (via Chicago-media reports,) the White Sox have signed 31-YO RHP Scott Linebrink to a 4-year deal worth $19 million, pending approval of his physical.
I know the White Sox had a 5.47 ERA last season, but one still has to wonder about this signing because of the length of the deal, especially since Linebrink won't be more than a set-up man to Jenks, plus the fact his 2007 season was solid, but not without some concerns, especially in regards to the HR rate he had with San Diego (4 of those 9 HR coming at spacious Petco Park in 25.2 IP) and the BB rate he had with Milwaukee:
With San Diego:
45.0 IP/41 H/19 R/19 ER/9 HR/14 BB/25 K/4 WP
25.1 IP/27 H/14 R/10 ER/3 HR/11 BB/25 K/2 WP
70.1 IP/68 H/33 R/29 ER/12 HR/25 BB/50 K/6 WP
While Linebrink has a good arm and has the potential to help the White Sox's bullpen, giving a 4-year deal and an average salary of nearly $5 million/year to a guy who will be no more than a set-up man and who has a few concerns could come back to bite the White Sox if Linebrink isn't stellar throughout most of his tenure.
Chances are, the Brewers might be regretting giving up all they did (Will Inman, Steve Garrison, Joe Thatcher) for Linebrink, considering that they didn't reach the playoffs with him in 2007 and don't have him now for 2008 and beyond.
However, one benefit the Brewers will get from losing him are two high draft picks, since Linebrink is a Type A free agent, according to the link above.
Just my 2 cents. :-)