Chicago White Sox Rumors

Chicago White Sox trade and free agent rumors from MLBTradeRumors.com.

White Sox Claim Rob Brantly From Marlins

The White Sox have claimed catcher Rob Brantly off waivers from the Marlins, Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com reports on Twitter.

Brantly, 25, joins a crowded group of backstop options in Chicago and could have a chance to compete for a backup job with his new club. He had a strong debut in limited action in 2013, but struggled last year to a .211/.263/.265 slash over 243 plate appearances. The Marlins originally acquired Brantly in the Anibal Sanchez trade.


AL West Links: Cashner, Samardzija, Kazmir

Here’s the latest from around the AL West…

  • Padres righty Andrew Cashner “remains the top target” for the Rangers in trade talks, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports.  Cashner comes with two years of control and with a modest price tag (MLBTR’s Matt Swartz projects him for a $4.3MM salary in 2015 through arbitration) that would provide the payroll space for the Rangers to make further moves.  Cashner, a Texas native, has reportedly told friends that he would like to pitch in his home state.
  • The White Sox look like the favorites to acquire Jeff Samardzija from the Athletics, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports (Twitter link).  The two sides were known to have recently discussed a deal involving the right-hander.
  • One AL executive predicts to Joel Sherman of the New York Post that “Billy [Beane] is going to move at least one, maybe both” of Samardzija and Scott Kazmir since both pitchers will be free agents after the 2015 season.
  • The Mariners have had modest payrolls in recent years but that has changed thanks to an influx of local and national TV revenues, Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times writes.  The club has been aiming for 2015 as its “Holy Grail” season when all the new TV money would be in place and the team can freely spend.  Robinson Cano‘s mega-deal last winter was the first step, of course, and this offseason has seen the M’s make two more expensive moves in extending Kyle Seager and signing Nelson Cruz.
  • MLBTR’s Charlie Wilmoth shared some more AL West Notes yesterday evening.

White Sox Interested In David Robertson

The White Sox are the latest team to express interest in closer David Robertson, George A. King III of the New York Post reports.  “They like him a lot and he is definitely on their radar,’’ a source tells King. “They have several things they want to do and he is one of them.”

Robertson is looking for a contract in the four-year, $50MM range and the Sox are reportedly “aren’t blanching” over the idea of giving the closer that big a guarantee, King writes.  Chicago’s first round pick (eighth overall) is protected, so they’d only have to give up their second-rounder as compensation to sign Robertson, who rejected the Yankees’ qualifying offer.  Robertson would provide a major boost to a White Sox bullpen that posted a cumulative 4.38 ERA in 2014, the third-highest mark in baseball.

The Astros, Blue Jays and Yankees are three of at least a half-dozen clubs who have shown interest in Robertson, though King cites reasons why all three could bow out of the race.  The Jays may not be willing to meet Robertson’s asking price, the Astros “don’t believe Robertson wants to pitch for them” and the Yankees would prefer to give their former stopper a deal closer to the $40MM threshold.  New York had also been hesitant to give Robertson more than three guaranteed years, though the team “may be softening” in that respect.



Blue Jays Eyeing Duquette, Williams, Ryan

MONDAY, 12:10am: Beeston will continue to serve as the Jays’ president through the 2015 season, sources tell Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun.  Elliott also gets comments (a couple of them tongue-in-cheek) from a number of GMs and executives about the rumors, with some expressing skepticism and others speculating why Beeston could be leaving the job.

SUNDAY, 4:33pm: Twins GM Terry Ryan is high on the list of possible replacements for Beeston, reports Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Berardino’s source calls Ryan “a great name,” but is unsure if the Blue Jays have requested permission from the Twins to speak with Ryan about the position, which would be a promotion. A Blue Jay official tells Berardino he “would prefer Terry anytime” to the candidates that have surfaced to date.

4:10pm: Duquette appeared on MLB Network Radio (Twitter links/audio link) and told hosts Jim Bowden and Jim Duquette, “I’m with the Orioles. I’m here to represent the Orioles at the meetings. Other than that, I have nothing to add. I do have a contract and I’ve always honored my contract.

3:35pm: Addressing the Duquette reports, Orioles owner Peter Angelos told reporters, including the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly, “We are very pleased with his performance, and we expect him to satisfy his contract. We not only want him to, but we expect him to. We don’t want him to go away, and we don’t expect him to go away. And he’s given no indication he wants to go away. Suffice to say there is a contract that binds both parties to a four-year contract and binds Dan as the GM of the Orioles.

2:13pm: Duquette has declined comment saying he will wait until tomorrow to speak at his previous scheduled news conference from the Winter Meetings, tweets Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com.

1:11pm: Rosenthal tweets Duquette wants to become the Blue Jays’ president/CEO, with the blessing of some within the Baltimore organization, but owner Peter Angelos is standing in the way. Rosenthal adds (on Twitter) the Orioles could demand compensation for Duquette much the same way the Red Sox did when Theo Epstein left for the Cubs. Rosenthal also raises the question of how can Duquette give the Orioles his full and undivided attention when he wants to run the Blue Jays (Twitter link).

11:42am: When asked about his next step, Williams told Rosenthal (Twitter link) that he’s “focused on helping the White Sox win another championship.”  However, when asked if he could resign from the White Sox, he said, “I’ve considered all options as anyone would given the set of circumstances” (link). Williams told Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune he was denied an opportunity to interview with the Blue Jays and the issue was “not new” and “that ship has sailed.

11:00am: The White Sox are balking at giving permission to Williams to speak with the Blue Jays, according to Rosenthal (via Twitter).  Williams, in turn, is considering resigning (link).

10:48am: Duquette is very highly valued by the O’s and is under contract for three more years, so it’s very unlikely they would let him go, according to Olney (via Twitter).  The Blue Jays have also discussed White Sox executive vice president Kenny Williams for the role (link).

9:32am: Orioles GM Dan Duquette is a top candidate to become the next president of the Blue Jays, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter).  He adds that the move would be a promotion and it would be difficult for the O’s to stand in his way.

Duquette, 56, took over as the Orioles’ Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations in November of 2011 after an extended hiatus from baseball.  Duquette served as the GM of the Red Sox for many years but had not been a part of a MLB front office since 2002 when he was let go by Boston.  Since then, Duquette has helped turn the Orioles around as Baltimore has enjoyed three winning seasons, including playoff appearances in 2012 and 2014.

Toronto ownership is actively seeking a replacement for president and CEO Paul Beeston and sources tell Buster Olney of ESPN.com that their search has progressed to the point where it is identifying possible replacements and reaching out to other teams in cases where they need permission to talk.  Olney says that Duquette has been discussed internally, which would indicate that the Blue Jays have yet to reach out to their AL East rivals for a greenlight.

Duquette’s contract with Baltimore is set to run through the 2018 season.


AL East Notes: Yankees, Scherzer, Red Sox

David Ortiz plans to give some guidance to Hanley Ramirez as he begins his next chapter with the Red Sox, writes Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe.  “He looks at me as one of his older brothers,” Ortiz said. “I’m going to try to encourage him to do the right thing as long we keep on playing [together] and probably beyond that because I don’t have the time that he has left. I’m going to, like we normally say, take him under my wing and show him whatever I can help him with and make sure he’s really successful in Boston.”  More from the AL East..


AL Central Notes: Plouffe, Donaldson, Hahn

Veteran reporter Dick Kaegel is retiring after over 50 years covering Major League Baseball.  Mike Bauman penned a nice tribute to his MLB.com colleague, chronicling Kaegel’s long career with such outlets as MLB.com (as the Royals beat writer since 2004), the Kansas City Star, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Sporting News, to name a few.  Kaegel’s work is very familiar to long-time MLB Trade Rumors readers, and we at MLBTR wish Kaegel all the best in his retirement.

Here’s some news from around the AL Central…

  • The Twins had yet to discuss a multiyear contract with Trevor Plouffe up to Tuesday’s tender deadline, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets.  Plouffe is arbitration-eligible for the second time this winter and is projected to receive a $4.3MM salary in 2015 by MLBTR’s Matt Swartz.  Since Plouffe is a Super Two player with two more arb years left beyond this one, it makes sense that the Twins will eventually explore obtaining some cost certainty, though it might not be this winter given that Plouffe fractured his forearm in September.
  • The Indians were one of several teams who asked the Athletics about Josh Donaldson, Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.  The A’s said Donaldson wasn’t available, though that obviously ended up not being the case as the third baseman was dealt to the Blue Jays.  Pluto wonders if the Tribe could’ve topped Toronto’s trade package had Donaldson been more openly shopped, or if A’s GM Billy Beane specifically liked what the Jays had to offer.
  • Primarily, we are addressing things for the long term,White Sox GM Rick Hahn told reporters (including MLB.com’s Scott Merkin) in advance of the Winter Meetings.  That said, the Sox made a very notable short-term move in signing veteran Adam LaRoche to a two-year deal, and “if the right situation arises on a short-term basis…we would make that move,” Hahn said.  “We are certainly open to short-term fits that make us better in 2015. We have to take it on a case-by-case basis in terms of players who aren’t necessarily going to be under control for the same three-, four- or five-year window we’ve been focused on for the last year and a half.”

Free Agent Notes: Melky, Gomes, White Sox

As we wait for word on several fast-moving free agent situations, here’s the latest out of the market:

  • Outfielder Melky Cabrera is looking for a five-year deal, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports on Twitter. That is not surprising as an asking price, given that Cabrera is just 30 years of age, though it remains to be seen whether he can get that fifth year guaranteed.
  • More surprising, perhaps, is that the Giants have expressed in Cabrera, per another Rosenthal tweet. While the match makes sense on paper, Cabrera left San Francisco on somewhat strained terms a few years back. But with options quickly disappearing to fill San Francisco’s void in left field, Cabrera could hold renewed appeal. Of course, San Francisco has been said to be casing a wide net in its search for upgrades, and it is not yet clear how seriously it intends to pursue Cabrera.
  • The Rangers and Mariners join the previously-reported Cubs as teams to have checked in on outfielder Jonny Gomes, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com tweets. The veteran lefty-masher should have his choice of several landing spots, and will no doubt look to maximize his expected role.
  • As the White Sox look to add a right-handed starter, the team is not ruling out pursuit of high-end free agents, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. That includes quality arms up to and including Max Scherzer, says Heyman, who notes that Chicago remains unlikely to make the massive outlay that will be required to add the consensus best arm available. The South Siders are also exploring the trade market, of course, and are looking not only at controllable options but also a variety of veterans with just one year remaining on their deals.

2014-15 American League Non-Tenders

Major League clubs have until 11pm CT tonight to tender contracts to players for the 2015 season. We’ll run down the list of American League non-tenders here, and update it as reports come in. Remember that you can track all of the action using MLBTR’s Non-Tender tracker, and we offer a full list of non-tender candidates (in the estimation of MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes). Also important for reference is the set of arbitration salary projections from MLBTR and contributor Matt Swartz. Click here for an explanation of the process, and be sure to check out this piece featuring some interesting observations from Tim regarding non-tender considerations.

  • Slade Heathcott, Jose Campos, and David Huff have all been non-tendered by the Yankees, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports on Twitter.
  • The Twins have tendered contracts to all arb-eligible players, per MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger (Twitter link).
  • Third baseman Carlos Rivero is the only non-tender for the Mariners, the club announced. Rivero was not yet arbitration eligible.
  • The Astros have tendered contracts to all arb-eligible players, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports on Twitter.
  • The Royals have non-tendered lefty Francisley Bueno, Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star reports on Twitter. He was not yet eligible for arbitration.
  • As expected, the Tigers have offered arbitration to all eligible players, Anthony Fench of the Detroit Free Press tweets.
  • The Athletics have declined to offer arbitration to Kyle Blanks and Andrew Brown, the team announced. Both had previously been designated for assignment. Oakland will retain control over the remainder of its eligible players, tweets Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
  • As with several other clubs, the Rays will proceed without any non-tenders, the club announced (per a tweet from Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times).
  • Likewise, the Orioles have tendered contracts to each of their eleven arb-eligible players, the team announced.
  • The Indians have tendered contracts to all five eligible players, per MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian (via Twitter). Cleveland had a fairly straightforward group. Indeed, Dierkes did not list any players as reasonable NT candidates.
  • Scott Snodgress and Scott Carroll have been non-tendered by the White Sox, Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com tweets. Both players were pre-arbitration eligible, meaning that Chicago could have renewed them at the MLB minimum.
  • The Red Sox have non-tendered third baseman Juan Francisco but will otherwise tender contracts to all eligible players, the club announced (h/t to Jason Mastrodonato of MassLive.com, via Twitter). Francisco had already been designated for assignment, making this one of the day’s least surprising moves.

AL Central Rumors: Hunter, Royals, Samardzija

The latest from the AL Central..


AL Notes: Samardzija, Donaldson

Here’s the latest from the AL as we continue to digest turkey and the Josh Donaldson blockbuster.

  • Earlier today, we learned the White Sox and A’s were discussing a trade for Jeff Samardzija. Shortstop Alexei Ramirez may be the A’s prime target, but they also like infield prospect Tim Anderson and utility fielder Marcus Semien, reports Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Some view Anderson, 22 next season, as the second best prospect in Chicago’s system after pitcher Carlos Rodon. Semien, 24, has looked overmatched in 326 major league plate appearances, but he’s featured reliable power, speed, and position flexibility at the Triple-A level. It’s worth wondering if the Sox would deal a top prospect like Anderson for just one season of Samardzija – especially with an apparent buyers market for pitchers.
  • Donaldson credits part of his 2012 offensive breakout to studying the swing of new teammate Jose Bautista, writes Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca. According to Donaldson, he’s watched “thousands of hours” worth of Bautista swings (that’s at least 83 days of swing analysis if you want to take the hyperbole at face value).
  • The Blue Jays may feel good about their recent moves, but they won’t boast, reports Peter Gammons of GammonsDaily.com. The club hasn’t reached the postseason since winning the World Series in 1993 – the longest such drought in baseball. While they have to feel good about the core of the lineup, there are plenty of holes on the roster. Second base, left field, and late innings relief are the most pressing areas, although the rotation and center field are notably thin too.