Which is more surprising, that Paul Konerko was offered arbitration by the White Sox, or that long-time pitching coach Larry Rothschild walked out on the Cubs?
Though Rothschild's departure to become the pitching coach of the Yankees--ironically under a manager the Cubs may have once hoped to hire--appears to have come out of nowhere, But, Rothschild leaving may not be so surprising in that he has always been with Cubs teams that were either contending or close to contending, and that certainly will not be the case going into 2011.
Personally,I always thought Rothschild was a bit over-rated for most of his tenure as Cubs pitching coach, but he may have been at his best in 2010, getting a great half-season out of Carlos Silva, helping Carlos Zambrano get back on track after his rant and keeping Carlos Marmol focused and consistent, But, Rothschild had a great reputation when the Cubs got him, and his new job shows how highly valued he still is throughout the leagie.
Meanwhile, the Konerko arbitration offer shocked me. I was convinced the Sox would let him walk, even if t meant forfeiting any draft picks that maight come if another team signs him out of arbitration. Despite his great 2010 season, I figured the Sox would say thanks for the memories, but we need a younger left-handed hitting first baseman.
You could argue Victor Martinez signing with Detroit forced the hand of the Sox here, but there are still so many first baseman available on the free agent market. Of course, even with the arbitration offer, there is still no guarantee Konerko will actually re-sign with the Sox, and I think they will still pursue Adam Dunn as a DH and possible first base back-up plan if Konerko does walk.