Chicago White Sox – MLB Trade Rumors Tue, 20 Mar 2018 00:28:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 White Sox Release Michael Ynoa Mon, 19 Mar 2018 14:30:58 +0000
  • The White Sox have released righty Michael Ynoa. The 26-year-old cracked the majors with the ChiSox in each of the previous two seasons, tossing 59 innings and posting a 4.42 ERA with 8.08 K/9, 5.95 BB/9 and a 36.8 percent grounder rate. Chicago outrighted Ynoa last summer, but he went on to re-sign with the organization in the fall.
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    AL Notes: Morrison, White Sox, Yankees Sat, 17 Mar 2018 18:30:15 +0000 First baseman Logan Morrison ended up with the Twins, but many expected the Red Sox to pursue him more aggressively than they did. Alex Speier of the Boston Globe has some interesting quotes from LoMo, who smacked 38 homers for the Rays last season but ultimately settled for a meager $6.5MM guarantee with performance escalators and a vesting option. Morrison says he himself didn’t have any conversations with Boston. His agent spoke with the club during the winter meetings, but apparently “that was it,” and clearly that discussion didn’t culminate in any serious offers. “Am I surprised? I guess. I don’t know,” he said. “I don’t know if it was the most shocking thing I saw [in the market].” The Sox ended up re-signing Mitch Moreland to play first base for them on a two-year, $13MM contract.

    Some other American League-related items…

    • James Fegan of The Athletic has an insightful rundown of some young White Sox arms. Reynaldo Lopez, Lucas Giolito, Michael Kopech and Dane Dunning have all had their ups and downs this spring, and Fegan was able to get quotes from all of them on some recent performances in camp. For instance, Giolito spoke about his latest outing during which he allowed two runs in the first inning. “It’s one of those days where like, if one pitching isn’t working you can go to the other ones and I was able to do that for the most part after the first inning,” he said. Kopech offered some confidence in his performance. Threw a lot of changeups, changeups were good,” Kopech said. “My main two focuses were fastball command and changeup command. Both were really good. Got a lot of swings and misses on the changeup.” Anyone looking for more quotes from these young pitchers should give the article a full read.
    • The Yankees have officially tabbed right-hander Luis Severino to be the club’s Opening Day starter. Bryan Hoch of has some notable quotes from manager Aaron Boone on the subject. “”We feel like it’s his time for it,” Boone said. “With what he was able to do last year, we feel like he’s in a really good place now. We just felt like now is the time for him to take on that role and we think he’s ready for it.” While it’s hardly surprising to hear that the third-place finisher in 2017’s Cy Young voting will throw his club’s first game of the season, the announcement also comes with the news that lefty Jordan Montgomery will officially be given the club’s fifth rotation spot and start the Yankees’ home opener.
    White Sox Option Eloy Jimenez Thu, 15 Mar 2018 03:34:30 +0000 The White Sox announced on Wednesday that they’ve optioned top outfield prospect Eloy Jimenez to Double-A Birmingham. The 21-year-old homered twice and hit a triple in nine spring plate appearances with the Sox, but he was never viewed as a candidate to break camp with the team. Jimenez has just 18 games of Double-A ball to his credit and has yet to play Triple-A, so he’ll head to the minors for additional development. The centerpiece of last summer’s Jose Quintana blockbuster with the crosstown Cubs, Jimenez figures to be a critical long-term piece on the South Side of Chicago, though ChiSox fans will likely have to wait at least a few months before getting a look at him in the Majors. That’s just fine with Jimenez, as Bruce Levine of writes, though the youngster also made clear he thinks he is ready to play at the game’s highest level.

    Ryan Cordell Making A Case For Roster Spot Mon, 12 Mar 2018 03:00:17 +0000
  • Ryan Cordell is having a strong Spring Training and could be working his way into a spot on the White Sox roster, NBC Sports Chicago’s Vinnie Duber writes.  Cordell, an 11th-round pick for the Rangers in the 2013 draft, has a .276/.339/.468 slash line, 65 homers and 81 steals (in 103 chances) over 1940 career PA in the minor leagues.  He was acquired from the Brewers for Anthony Swarzak last July, and White Sox GM Rick Hahn said in January that he’d received trade inquiries about Cordell from three different teams.  Chicago is having an open competition for center field and left field playing time could also be available if Nicky Delmonico’s partially-dislocated shoulder sidelines him for a significant amount of time.
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    Delmonico, Saladino Injured In Outfield Collision Mon, 12 Mar 2018 01:07:48 +0000
  • Nicky Delmonico and Tyler Saladino were both injured after the two White Sox outfielders collided while chasing a fly ball during today’s Spring Training game.  As per announcements from the team, Saladino was diagnosed with a mild concussion and will enter the seven-day concussion protocol, while Delmonico suffered a partial dislocation of his left shoulder and will be re-examined tomorrow.  It’s a tough setback for the duo, as both players were looking to establish themselves on a young Sox roster that is wide-open for young talent to win jobs.  Saladino was in the running for a utility role, while Delmonico was looking to win regular at-bats as either a left fielder or DH after an impressive (.262/.373/.482 with nine homers in 166 PA) rookie debut in 2017.  While the severity of the injury isn’t yet known, Delmonico seems likely to begin the season on the disabled list.
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    AL Central Notes: Escobar, Morrison, Robert, Merryweather, Mize Sat, 10 Mar 2018 17:00:21 +0000 Alcides Escobar returns to the Royals with a not-so-lofty goal in sight, Rustin Dodd writes in a piece for The Athletic. Kansas City’s long-time shortstop wants to finish the season with an on-base percentage above .300 for the first time since the 2014 season. He says that he’s working on “taking a lot of pitches each at-bat” and trying to avoid swinging at bad pitches, both of which seem like obvious things to work on. Escobar owns a career OBP of just .294, and his .272 figure last year was the second-lowest among qualified MLB hitters (Rougned Odor’s .252 was the lowest, for those keeping track). That .272 mark for “Esky” was the result of drawing just 15 walks, his lowest full-season total ever.

    A roundup of some other news items out of the AL Central…

    • Recent Twins signee Logan Morrison reportedly suffered a right glute strain while running the bases on Wednesday, according to Rhett Bollinger of He was held out of Friday’s game, and is expected to miss today’s matchup as well. However, the injury isn’t considered serious. Minnesota brought the former Tampa Bay first baseman into the fold with a $6.5MM guarantee that includes a vesting option. He hit .246/.353/.516 last season with the Rays while smacking a career-high 38 home runs.
    • The White Sox are dealing with a more significant injury. Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribute tweets that farmhand Luis Robert has a moderate thumb sprain. Daryl Van Schouwen provides further details on the situation with his own tweet, adding that GM Rick Hahn expects the young outfielder to be immobilized in a cast for six weeks, and to be held out of game action for ten. Robert hit a phenomenal .310/.491/.536 in Rookie ball last season; Baseball Prospectus ranks him as the South Siders’ fifth best prospect, and number 55 overall.
    • Continuing with injury news, Indians prospect Julian Merryweather will officially undergo Tommy John surgery after recently being diagnosed with a UCL sprain in his throwing elbow, according to Jordan Bastian of The right-hander was a fifth-round pick by the Tribe during a 2014 draft in which the club also landed Bradley Zimmer, Triston McKenzie and Bobby Bradley. Merryweather had been solid at all levels of the minors before struggling to a 6.58 ERA across 16 starts at Triple-A Columbus last season, though his 3.89 xFIP suggests he dealt with some unfortunate homer/fly ball luck.
    • Auburn right-hander Casey Mize is “the name to watch” for the Tigers as we approach the 2018 June amateur draft, says Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. After skidding to a 68-94 record last season, Detroit owns the number one overall pick in the draft, and as Passan notes, the club loves big college arms. Mize threw a no-hitter last night and was throwing 96 MPH up through the ninth inning. Scouts in attendance say he was throwing a “filthy split” as well.
    White Sox Release Willy Garcia Fri, 09 Mar 2018 17:32:39 +0000 The White Sox announced their second series of roster cuts this spring today, which included the release of outfielder Willy Garcia. The move opens up a second 40-man roster spot for the ChiSox, who previously had 39 players on the 40-man.

    Chicago acquired Garcia, 25, off waivers from the Pirates last January, and he went on to make his MLB debut with the team in 2017 (at times appearing in an all-Garcia outfield which also consisted of Avisail Garcia and Leury Garcia). In 119 plate appearances with the Sox, Garcia hit .238/.305/.400 with three homers. His work in Triple-A was strong, as evidenced by a .286/.396/.473 slash — a notable step forward from a fairly dismal Triple-A campaign with the Buccos in 2016.

    Garcia’s 2017 season was cut short by a broken jaw suffered in a collision with Yoan Moncada in late July, though he returned to appear in four games in late September. With Adam Engel, Nicky Delmonico, Ryan Cordell, Charlie Tilson and Daniel Palka all on the big league roster or in the upper minors (plus Avisail and Leury both still locks for the 25-man roster), Garcia faced a difficult path to resurfacing in the Majors this season.

    Garcia had yet to take an at-bat this spring, as he’d been limited by a wrist injury, according to Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times.

    White Sox Reportedly Not Showing Interest In Moustakas, Gonzalez Mon, 05 Mar 2018 00:08:39 +0000
  • The White Sox have recently been linked to a pair of high-profile free agents in third baseman Mike Moustakas and outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, but there’s “very little, if anything” to suggest they’re truly interested in either player, Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times tweets. As things stand, the Pale Hose are projected to enter the season with Yolmer Sanchez at third and Avisail Garcia, Leury Garcia and Nicky Delmonico at corner outfield/designated hitter – either of which could be spots for Gonzalez if the team does pursue him. However, general manager Rick Hahn suggested a couple weeks back that he’s content with the rebuilding club’s in-house DH choices.
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    White Sox Sign Robbie Ross To Minors Deal Sun, 04 Mar 2018 15:39:43 +0000 The White Sox have signed left-hander Robbie Ross to a minor league contract, as announced by the team on Twitter.  The deal contains an invitation to Chicago’s big league Spring Training camp.

    Ross has been a durable and effective reliever in four of his six MLB seasons, apart from a disastrous 2014 campaign (that included 12 starts) and an injury-shortened 2017 season.  Ross was limited to just 15 total innings last year (nine with the Red Sox and six in Triple-A) due to elbow inflammation and then a season-ending back surgery in August.  Boston outrighted Ross off its roster following the season and the 28-year-0ld chose to become a free agent.

    Over 330 2/3 innings with the Rangers and Red Sox, Ross has a 3.92 ERA, 7.5 K/9, 2.28 K/BB rate, and an impressive 52.2% grounder rate.  He has been just about equally effective against hitters on both sides of the plate, holding left-handed batters to a .712 OPS and right-handed batters to a .723 OPS over the course of his career.

    If Ross is healthy, he could be a very nice low-cost addition to a White Sox team that has aggressively shopped for relief help this offseason.  Ross is one of many notable bullpen names (Xavier Cedeno, Jeanmar Gomez, Bruce Rondon, T.J. House, Rob Scahill, Chris Volstad, Michael Ynoa) in Chicago’s camp as a non-roster invite, plus closer Joakim Soria and Luis Avilan are also new additions to the White Sox roster.  Avilan looks to be the top left-handed option, and thus Ross and Cedeno could be competing to be the second southpaw in the Sox pen, though Ross’ success against both batters doesn’t necessarily limit him to a LOOGY-type of role.

    Central Notes: Moustakas, Bryant, Miley, Freese Sat, 03 Mar 2018 01:41:16 +0000 It has long been suggested that the White Sox would make for an interesting match with free agent third baseman Mike Moustakas, but we’ve seen little in the way of a clear connection. But now there’s evidence at least that the sides are “staying in touch,” in the words of Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter). Whether that means the South Siders have real interest that would drive a significant offer, of course, is not yet clear. Presumably, the club would be intrigued mostly in a value proposition of some kind, perhaps in a multi-year scenario. While few outside observers believe the Sox roster is primed to compete in 2018, Moustakas would boost the quality in the short term and (more importantly) is young enough that he could be installed as a solid asset for future seasons. With little in the way of clear demand from contenders, this remains one of the more intriguing fits on paper.

    • Cubs star Kris Bryant says this winter’s slow-moving free agent market has spurred him to take labor issues seriously, as Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times writes“I need to study up, have my voice heard, continue to learn, because this is going to affect us for years to come,” says Bryant. His own delayed promotion to start the 2015 season has obviously played a role in spurring his attention to the subject. It’s an interesting read on one of the game’s brightest young players, who says he and other players are readying to take a more proactive role. “I think with this next [CBA] things are definitely going to change, and there’ll definitely be more fight on our side just because we’re going to get the chance to experience the effects of some of the things we agreed to,” says Bryant.
    • The Brewers rotation still has plenty of questions at the back end; indeed, many fans would still like to see an outside addition to provide one answer. As things stand, though, there’s a camp battle underway with quite a few participants. Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel wrote yesterday that, while it’s still plenty early, both Wade Miley and Brent Suter have made favorable initial impressions. In Miley’s case, at least, it might even be that his showing already makes him an odds-on favorite to crack the roster. He has over a thousand MLB innings under his belt, after all, and the Brewers might well lose him through an opt-out (he’s an Article XX(B) free agent) if they don’t ultimately put him on the 40-man. Of course, there’s plenty of time yet for candidates to rise and fall in camp.
    • Pirates third baseman David Freese had some salty words for the organization earlier in the winter, but he tells Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that they weren’t directed at finding his way to another team. Rather, it seems, Freese was making a call for all in the organization to recommit to winning — a possibility he says he believes in, particularly with the recent acquisitions of Corey Dickerson and Kevin Siegrist. Freese also says he understands he’s not likely to command the lion’s share of the time at third base. “I’ve had a good run in the big leagues,” he said, “and I just want to go out there and win some games.”
    Renteria, Hahn On Bullpen Competition Thu, 01 Mar 2018 19:58:20 +0000
  • Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune chats with White Sox skipper Rick Renteria, GM Rick Hahn and several of the team’s non-roster relievers about the battle for bullpen spots on the South Side of Chicago. The Pale Hose are hoping to catch lightning in a bottle as they did in 2017 with Anthony Swarzak (and Gregory Infante), Kuc notes, having brought in a host of veterans on minor league deals, including Jeanmar Gomez, Xavier Cedeno, Rob Scahill, Chris Volstad and Bruce Rondon. It’s obviously too early to anoint any sort of favorite to make the club — though Kuc does note that Gomez has whiffed five of the six hitters he’s faced — and Hahn spoke about various goals for each of those relievers in camp. “You take a guy like Xavier Cedeno, who battled injuries all last year — the first box he has to check is: be healthy,” says Hahn. “A guy like Bruce Rondon (has) to find the strike zone more, (so) his goals this spring might be a little different than for Cedeno.” The Sox should have at least two spots in the ’pen up for grabs. Joakim Soria, Infante, Juan Minaya and Luis Avilan are likely penciled in, and Danny Farquhar figures to have a spot too, given his lack of options.
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    Shields, Jones Gearing Up For Spring Debuts Thu, 01 Mar 2018 00:17:33 +0000
  • James Shields won’t make his Spring Training debut with the White Sox until next week, instead continuing to throw in simulated games while he fine-tunes his new delivery, writes Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times. Shields dropped down to a three-quarters arm slot late last summer and pitched to a 4.33 ERA over his final 10 outings with the new delivery, Van Schouwen notes. The Sox still owe Shields $10MM of his $21MM salary in the 2018 season — the Padres are on the hook for the rest — so any decent production they can get from Shields after a pair of dismal seasons would be a bonus. Meanwhile, right-hander Nate Jones is set to make his first appearance of the spring on Thursday. It’ll be his first in-game action since undergoing surgery to re-position his ulnar nerve last season. He’s slated to earn $3.95MM this season and can be controlled for roughly $12.5MM through the 2021 season via a series of club options, making him a potential valuable trade chip or long-term asset if he can bounce back from injury.
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    Jake Burger Diagnosed With Ruptured Achilles Tue, 27 Feb 2018 16:12:38 +0000 White Sox prospect Jake Burger has been diagnosed with a ruptured Achilles tendon that will require surgery, per a club announcement. He’s expected to miss the entire 2018 campaign.

    That’s obviously a highly disappointing development for both the player and the team. Burger, a third baseman by trade, was selected with the 11th overall pick in last year’s draft.

    A highly productive collegiate power hitter, the 21-year-old Burger did not exactly dominate in his first professional season. He spent most of the year at the Class A level, where he slashed .271/.335/.409 with four home runs over two hundred plate appearances.

    Despite the less-than-exciting debut, hopes remain high that Burger will become a part of a future core group. Unfortunately, his development will now be on hold for a season while he works back from this significant injury.

    Jake Burger Suffers Achilles Injury Mon, 26 Feb 2018 23:30:16 +0000
  • White Sox prospect Jake Burger was carted off the field in today’s game after he collapsed while trying to run out a grounder to first base. The team announced that Burger, the No. 11 overall pick in last year’s draft, has suffered an injury to his left Achilles tendon and is being taken for further evaluation. The Missouri State product hit .263/.336/.412 through 217 plate appearances last season in his pro debut and is considered among the organization’s best prospects, ranking seventh on the rankings of both Baseball America and ESPN’s Keith Law. The team added that they’ll have an update on Burger’s status tomorrow.
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    Twins, Logan Morrison Closing In On Deal Sun, 25 Feb 2018 18:51:06 +0000 12:51pm: If Morrison signs with the Twins, it’ll be a one-year deal with a vesting option for 2019, per Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (Twitter link). The White Sox have also shown interest in Morrison, Wolfson adds.

    12:42pm: The two sides are “in serious talks” and closing in on a deal, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN tweets.

    10:16am: Although first baseman Logan Morrison enjoyed a career year with the Rays in 2017, he hasn’t encountered a robust market in free agency. Legitimate interest in Morrison has been hard to come by since he became available in November, but he may not be out of work for much longer. The Twins are interested in the 30-year-old, Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press reports (Twitter link).

    MLBTR recently made a case for someone to sign Morrison, arguing that Minnesota would make sense as a destination because of the unspectacular production the team received from its designated hitters in 2017. Twins DHs Robbie Grossman and Kennys Vargas combined for league-average numbers, hitting .249/.344/.404 with 20 home runs and a .156 ISO in 720 plate appearances, and the club hasn’t made any notable additions at the position since then.

    Morrison, meanwhile, set career highs in most offensive categories, slashing .246/.353/.516 (130 wRC+) with 38 HRs and a .270 ISO in 601 PAs. While the left-handed hitter entered last season with uninspiring career numbers, the significant gains he made with respect to hitting more fly balls (46.2 percent, up from a career 37.5 percent) and drawing more walks (13.5 percent, compared to a 10.5 percent lifetime mark) add intrigue to the outstanding production he logged in Tampa Bay. Statcast data provides further hope for Morrison, who ranked 26th in barrels per PA and 32nd in balls hit at least 95 mph in 2017. He also concluded the year with a .365 expected weighted on-base average that slightly outdid his real wOBA (.363).

    Despite his quality 2017, Morrison reportedly isn’t sitting on any offers in the early stages of spring training, which could make it difficult for him to secure a deal in line with MLBTR’s pre-offseason projection (three years, $36MM). The Twins may be in position to land him for a cheaper-than-expected cost, then. But in the event Morrison inks a multiyear deal, he could emerge as Minnesota’s starting first baseman in 2019 if the team doesn’t re-sign soon-to-be free agent Joe Mauer.

    AL Central Notes: Santiago, Merritt, Liriano, Aybar Sat, 24 Feb 2018 22:47:58 +0000 Hector Santiago, who came back to the White Sox this offseason on a minor-league deal, has come up with a strategy to combat the  fastball decline that often comes with aging, James Fegan of The Athletic writes. The southpaw plans to bring back the screwball he threw in his days as a rookie. “I have not gone a day this offseason or in spring training where I have not thrown a screwball,” he said. “I’ve thrown a screwball in both my BPs and my only bullpen. It’s almost taken over my changeup. Lot of people say it’s gone, but nah, I just substituted my changeup for my screwball and I throw a lot more screwballs than changeup.” Notably, his arm motion for the screwball is similar to that of his changeup, which could help with deception in his delivery as he uses both to play off his fastball. Fegan notes that Santiago could be at the “top of the heap” of the White Sox’ MiLB free agent arms, if he can return to health and effectiveness.

    A few other small items out of the AL Central…

    • Much has been made of the fact that young Indians lefty (and 2016 postseason hero) Ryan Merritt is out of options and faces an uphill battle to make the club’s rotation out of spring training. But the 26-year-old isn’t focused on that right now, writes’s Jordan Bastian. “I’m really not going to get caught up in what’s going to happen a month from now,” he said. “I can control today. And, when I show up tomorrow, I can control what I do that day.” Merritt has a career 1.74 ERA (albeit in just 20 2/3 major league innings), but is most famous for starting Game 5 of the 2016 ALCS for the Indians, allowing zero runs across his 4 1/3 innings against the Blue Jays. Cleveland would go on to win that game, punching their ticket to the World Series.
    • New Tigers lefty Francisco Liriano will compete for a spot in the club’s rotation during spring training, GM Al Avila says (via Jason Beck of However, if he’s unable to make the club in that capacity, he’s willing to pitch out of the bullpen. It’s possible that the 34-year-old’s best days are behind him, as he’s posted consecutive seasons with an ERA north of 4.60. Even as a reliever with the Astros last season, he posted a 4.40 ERA down the stretch with nearly as many walks as strikeouts. Still, if he can show some flashes of his peak performance with the Pirates from 2013-2015, he’d represent a solid option for a Tigers club that is largely devoid of secure rotation options outside of Michael Fulmer.
    • Erick Aybar recently signed with the Twins, but Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press tweets that the infielder had received interest from the Reds and Rangers as well. He reportedly chose the Twins because he liked their opportunity best. In a later tweet, Berardino reports that Aybar will make his spring training debut on Monday (though Aybar told manager Paul Molitor that he was ready to play in today’s matchup).
    Quick Hits: Defense, Chargois, Adolfo Sat, 24 Feb 2018 18:30:55 +0000 How has the decrease in balls in play over the past few years affected defensive opportunities? Travis Sawchik of Fangraphs seeks to answer this question with an in-depth look at different positions on the diamond. Because of the trend of rising strikeout rates and home run totals among MLB hitters, there are fewer opportunities overall for defenders to make plays in the field. But it turns out the decrease in putout chances hasn’t spread evenly among the positions. While first basemen and third basemen on the whole have seen a similar number of opportunities, outfielders and middle infielders have seen theirs decrease significantly. Perhaps, then, this could lead to more focus on offense at these premium positions. Sawchik notes that the Indians weren’t shy about testing Jason Kipnis in center field at the end of last season, and reminds readers that the Reds are giving third base prospect Nick Senzel a test run at shortstop this spring. He also posits that there could be less of a concern with moving an “offensive-minded but large-framed” shortstop off of the position, citing Corey Seager and Carlos Correa as players of that type. Sawchik’s article provides helpful visuals that make the trends clear.

    Other items from around the major leagues…

    • Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press takes a closer look at the Twins’ decision to place the once-promising J.T. Chargois on outright waivers. As MLBTR’s Jeff Todd noted yesterday, Chargois was not long ago considered to be one of the club’s top relief prospects and perhaps a future closer. Twins GM Thad Levine says he isn’t surprised that Chargois was claimed off waivers by the Dodgers. “He’s got plus-plus stuff and he’s got an option remaining,” said Levine. “He’s got a lot of positive attributes. Probably, if anything, (I’m) maybe a little surprised he got that far in the process.” As the World Series runner-up, the Dodgers had the second to last waiver priority, meaning that 28 teams passed on Chargois before L.A. got its shot to claim him.
    • White Sox prospect Micker Adolfo will miss six weeks with an elbow injury, Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago reports. The 21-year-old outfielder complained of soreness in his elbow recently, and the results of an MRI determined that he had both a UCL sprain and a flexor tendon strain in his right arm. “We do not yet have a plan for him moving forward,” said GM Rick Hahn on the injury. “In the coming days, we will. As we sit here now there is a decent chance that rehab will allow him an ample time to heal. If that does not work, surgery is an option at some point. We are not there yet.” Adolfo was rated as the White Sox’ 14th overall prospect by headed into the season. He spent the 2017 season at Class-A Kannapolis, where he hit .264/.331/.453 across 473 plate appearances, though his .366 BABIP suggests that some luck was involved, while his 31.5% strikeout rate is further cause for concern.
    Heyman’s Latest: LoMo, Braves, Moustakas, White Sox, CarGo, Lynn, Arrieta Fri, 23 Feb 2018 05:34:16 +0000 There’s enough talent left on the free-agent market — including seven of the top twenty players on MLBTR’s list of the top 50 free agents — that the overall assessment of spending could yet be swayed by contracts that have yet to be reached. (As always, you can review the action to this point in our 2017-18 MLB Free Agent Tracker.) As we wait for the final data points to be registered, it’s worth considering this recent piece from The Ringer’s Ben Lindbergh regarding the debate over player spending in comparison to revenue (as well as this earlier AP examination of spending and revenue from the spring of 2016). Calculating the players’ slice of the pie — and the size of the pie itself — is certainly a nuanced undertaking, and one for which complete public data is lacking.

    The markedly sluggish timing of this year’s market, of course, is something that has already been established quite clearly. With an unprecedented number of top players still awaiting new deals as Spring Training opens, let’s take a look at a few of the most notable bits of information from Jon Heyman of Fan Rag (from his latest notes column, unless otherwise noted):

    • At least as of a few days back, says Heyman, first baseman Logan Morrison was not sitting on any open offers. While LoMo’s representatives surely have an idea of what might be available, it’s rather notable that no organizations seem to be making a concerted effort to draw him. MLBTR’s Connor Byrne recently argued in favor of Morrison as a worthy free-agent target, but it certainly isn’t doing him any favors that the market still holds a few other quality slugger types. Still, Morrison’s excellent recent work at the plate would unquestionably hold out the promise of real improvement for a variety of organizations.
    • There’s still no evidence that the Braves are particularly likely to agree to terms with third baseman Mike Moustakas, but Heyman says there has been some amount of engagement — even if “there’s no common ground” to this point. The Atlanta organization, which Heyman says even considered Lorenzo Cain at one point, may have reduced 2018 flexibility after a salary swapping deal with the Dodgers moved some obligations forward. But it seems the team is still at least hunting around for interesting possibilities. As for Moustakas, Heyman notes he has “plenty of one-year opportunities,” but it’s not clear at this point whether a significant multi-year deal will be forthcoming. That’s surely disappointing after he turned in a strong 2017 season, though it is not atypical for some quality players to run into problematic market circumstances.
    • The White Sox have been linked, albeit loosely, to Moustakas, and it still seems as if the Chicago organization could have some tricks up its sleeves. While the focus, no doubt, remains on the future, the club is going to have some solid veterans and high-end young talents on the roster for the coming season. With just over $70MM on the books for 2018, perhaps the organization could yet pursue some one-year or multi-year deals that would hold out the promise of delivering excess value. Outfielder Carlos Gonzalez is a “possibility” for the South Siders, per Heyman. It stands to reason that the Sox might hold added appeal to players such as Gonzalez if they are willing to offer more playing time than might be available elsewhere.
    • With several starters locking in solid rates of pay of late, and the bullpen market heating up earlier in the offseason, pitchers seem generally to have had an easier go of things on this winter’s wacky market. Heyman writes that veteran righty Lance Lynn has not been forced to significantly drop his asking price. Indications are that the Twins, per the report, “seem to prefer” Lynn to other still-available starters. Heyman further reports that Jake Arrieta’s agent, Scott Boras, still seems to believe that Arrieta compares more reasonably with pitchers who have landed mega-deals than he does with the recently inked Yu Darvish, who received a $126MM guarantee. Of course, we’re still waiting to see how those and a few other top open-market pitchers will end up doing when all is said and done.
    Hahn On Possibility Of Further Additions For 2018 Thu, 22 Feb 2018 03:25:09 +0000
  • White Sox GM Rick Hahn spoke with the media at the team’s Spring Training facility today (links via The Athletic’s James Fegan and the Sun-Times’ Daryl Van Schouwen) and downplayed the possibility of adding a player to the 25-man roster. Hahn acknowledged having conversations with all 29 other clubs as teams still try to set their rosters in a slow-moving offseason, but said that the Sox are “preparing right now [to] choose the 25 from the group that’s in camp.” Asked about the potential of bringing in a designated hitter option (e.g. Corey Dickerson), Hahn spoke of the trickle-down effect such a move would make in evaluating longer-term assets. “[W]hat does that do to Matt Davidson or Nicky Delmonico or Daniel Palka or Casey Gillaspie or guys who conceivably might be picking up at-bats if we stay with the current roster?” Hahn asked rhetorically. “We’re at a stage right now when we talk about development over the course of this year, it’s important for us to know what we have in these guys at the end of this season.”
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    AL Central Notes: Abreu, Kipnis, Moustakas, Cuthbert, Sano Mon, 19 Feb 2018 05:45:08 +0000 White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu shed over ten pounds already this offseason, James Fegan of The Athletic writes. The weight loss comes thanks in part to a diet with a lot more fish and white meat. But aside from eating healthier, the Cuban native has another, more surprising goal: to steal more bases. Abreu said he’ll be asking for the green light from manager Rick Renteria more often. “Just because I think I can do it,” he added. “I really believe I can do it and I like the challenge. I like to challenge myself and I think that’s a good challenge for me and I’m ready for it.” Renteria laughed a bit at the idea, but he did say that if Abreu ends up being able to take a base, “that would be awesome.” However, the skipper suggested that he’s more concerned about making sure his first baseman can swing the bat and catch a ball first. A full read of the piece provides some insight not only into the plans of Abreu and Renteria headed into 2018, but into their personalities as well.

    More notes about American League’s midwestern teams…

    • Indians manager Terry Francona held his individual meetings with position players on Sunday morning, Jordan Bastian of reports. One of those meetings was with Jason Kipnis, who’s faced a lot of uncertainty this offseason as to what position he’ll play in 2018 and which team he’ll be playing it for. Kipnis apparently told Francona he’d do whatever he was told to do, but Francona felt it was better for the two to make the decision together. Because of who he is and what he’s accomplished, and what he can accomplish, I think it’s better if we do it together.” Francona said. “Asking somebody to do something they don’t think they can do isn’t going to help us.” It was reported earlier this offseason that the Tribe planned to move Kipnis back to second base, and Francona confirmed those intentions on Sunday by telling reporters that “he’s a second baseman… the idea is for him to play second.”
    • In line with reports from earlier today, it seems as though the Royals are prepared to move on from Mike MoustakasJeffrey Flannagan of shares some eye opening notes from an impromptu news conference with GM Dayton Moore this afternoon, including a quote about third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert. “We like [Cuthbert] a great deal,” Moore said. “We feel it’s his time to become a consistently producing player. We also have Hunter Dozier, who can play third and corner outfield, and first base — he has some versatility.” Moore also expressed a desire to build the club’s farm system back to what it was in 2010-2011, also noting that “That period of time [of high payrolls], that phase of who we are, is over.” All of these points cast extreme doubt on any chance of Moose coming back to Kansas City.
    • Twins slugger Miguel Sano appears healthy, as Rhett Bollinger of reports that he’s working out in the Dominican Republic and “doing all baseball activities.” He’ll reportedly be eased into games, however, and there’s one more unresolved item that could affect Sano’s ability to take the field: he has yet to be interviewed by MLB about his alleged sexual assault of a photographer. Sano has vehemently denied the accusations, and there’s been little in the way of public updates on the situation. Still, there could yet be ramifications depending on the findings from a potential interview or investigation.
    White Sox Outright Dylan Covey Sun, 18 Feb 2018 19:15:25 +0000 The White Sox have outrighted right-hander Dylan Covey to Triple-A Charlotte, thus opening up a spot on their 40-man roster, James Fegan of The Athletic reports on Twitter.

    A fourth-round pick of the A’s in 2013, Covey spent the first few years of his professional career in Oakland’s system before joining the White Sox in the December 2016 Rule 5 draft. The 26-year-old Covey ended up playing a fairly prominent role in Chicago last season, but he struggled mightily in his first taste of major league action.

    Across 70 innings (18 appearances, 12 starts), Covey logged a 7.71 ERA/7.20 FIP with 5.27 K/9 and 4.37 BB/9. While Covey did keep the ball on the ground at a respectable clip (48.5 percent), the fly balls he allowed tended to lead to disaster. In fact, he surrendered 2.57 home runs per nine – the worst mark on the team and the third-worst figure in the majors among those who amassed at least 70 frames.

    White Sox Sign Hector Santiago Wed, 14 Feb 2018 19:27:51 +0000 The White Sox have agreed to a minor-league deal with lefty Hector Santiago, GM Rick Hahn told reporters including Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune (via Twitter). Santiago would earn at a $2MM rate in the majors, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter).

    It’s a homecoming for Santiago, who’s now thirty years of age. He more than made good on the South Siders’ decision to draft him in the thirtieth round of the 2006 draft, ultimately cracking the majors for the first time with Chicago in 2011. Santiago ended up departing in the memorable three-team deal that landed the Sox Adam Eaton.

    The move also lands the rebuilding White Sox another bounceback arm that’ll help deepen the staff. If Santiago throws well in camp, he might conceivably challenge for a rotation spot or — perhaps more likely — earn a long relief role for the coming season.

    Santiago has at times produced solid results. Indeed, through the 2015 seasons, he had compiled a 3.55 ERA over 532 2/3 MLB innings. But the peripherals never quite supported that kind of output; for example, Santiago carried a 4.54 FIP to that point.

    Since, though, things have fallen apart. Santiago produce a messy 2016 effort, struggling after a mid-season swap from the Angels to the Twins but at least managing to compile 182 frames. He collapsed last year, managing only 70 1/3 innings of 5.63 ERA pitching in a season marred by back and shoulder problems. Santiago coughed up 15 long balls in that span and saw his average fastball velocity drop to 90.8 mph.

    Avisail Garcia Wins Arbitration Against White Sox Wed, 14 Feb 2018 19:22:47 +0000 White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia has emerged victorious from his arbitration hearing with the team, according to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag (via Twitter). The Mato Sports Management client will earn $6.7MM in the 2018 season.

    That salary represents an exact match for the arbitration projection of MLBTR and contributor Matt Swartz. As MLBTR’s 2018 MLB Arbitration Tracker shows, the Chicago organization had argued for a $5.85MM salary.

    Garcia, 26, earned a nice raise from his 2017 salary of $3MM by turning in a breakout effort. Over 561 plate appearances, he slashed a healthy .330/.380/.506 with 18 home runs. He’ll be eligible for arbitration one final time after the current season.

    This represents the eighth player victory out of fourteen arbitration cases that have gone to a hearing to this point. In terms of the total dollars at stake, this is the second-largest case to have been decided. (Mookie Betts previously defeated the Red Sox in a case with a hefty $3MM spread.) There are eight arb cases that have yet to be resolved.

    White Sox Hire Dave Duncan As Pitching Consultant Sun, 11 Feb 2018 14:47:30 +0000
  • The White Sox have hired Dave Duncan as a pitching consultant, Scott Merkin of tweets. This will be the second stint with the White Sox for the 72-year-old Duncan, who was previously on the team’s coaching staff from 1983-86. He’ll now join pitching coach Don Cooper as the second highly respected pitching guru under Chicago’s employ. Duncan is perhaps best known for his run at St. Louis’ pitching coach from 1996-2011, a period in which the Cardinals won a pair of World Series titles and regularly boasted one of the league’s best staffs.
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    Minor MLB Transactions: 2/9/18 Fri, 09 Feb 2018 20:51:11 +0000 We’ll keep track of some today’s minor moves around the league here…

    • The White Sox announced yesterday that they’ve inked infielder/outfielder Jake Elmore to a minor league contract and invited him to Spring Training. The versatile 30-year-old didn’t appear in the Majors in 2017, instead spending the year with the Triple-A affiliates for the Blue Jays and Marlins, where he struggled to a .236/.324/.281 in 416 plate appearances. Those unsightly rate stats aside, Elmore is a lifetime .289/.388/.369 hitter in nearly 2000 Triple-A plate appearances and comes with 197 games of MLB experience as well. In parts of five seasons with the D-backs, Astros, Reds, Brewers and Rays, Elmore is a .215/.297/.280 hitter that has appeared at every position on the field (including two innings of relief work).
    Matt Davidson Changes Agencies Thu, 08 Feb 2018 05:41:16 +0000 White Sox third baseman Matt Davidson has changed representation and is now a client of agent Dan Lozano and the MVP Sports Group, reports Yahoo’s Tim Brown (via Twitter).

    A former top-tier prospect, Davidson initially came to the White Sox organization in the 2013 trade that sent Addison Reed to the Diamondbacks. After struggling mightily with Chicago’s Triple-A affiliate in Charlotte in 2014-15, Davidson put together a solid 2016 campaign there and eventually found his way onto the big league roster for the rebuilding South Siders in 2017.

    Davidson, 27 in March, slugged 26 homers for the ChiSox in just 118 games/443 plate appearances this past season, though he did so while hitting .220/.260/.452 on the season as a whole. Davidson punched out an alarming 165 times in what was roughly three quarters of a season (37.2 percent of his PAs), so he’ll clearly need to improve his contact skills if he is to carve out any sort of long-term role with the Sox.

    As things currently stand for the Sox, Davidson should once again be in line for a healthy share of plate appearances. He spent 60 games at DH last season and could share time with Nicky Delmonico there in 2018, and he can also spell both Yolmer Sanchez and Jose Abreu at the infield corners.

    Davidson currently has a year and 145 days of MLB service time, meaning he’d likely qualify as a Super Two player next offseason he accrues a full year of big league service in 2018. The White Sox can control him through the 2022 campaign, should he prove capable of holding down a big league spot in the long term.

    Davidson’s switch in representation has been reflected in the MLBTR Agency Database, which contains representation info on more than 2,500 Major League and minor league players. If you see a notable error or omission, please let us know:

    Yolmer Sanchez Wins Arbitration Hearing Against White Sox Wed, 07 Feb 2018 21:18:42 +0000 Yolmer Sanchez has won his arbitration hearing against the White Sox, as’s Mark Feinsand reports on Twitter and the team has now announced. Sanchez, a client of MVP Sports Group, will play for $2.35MM in 2018.

    The 25-year-old Sanchez qualified for arbitration as a Super Two. MLBTR projected that he’d earn $2.1MM, which is also the number that the South Siders submitted to the arb panel.

    After three straight seasons of middling offensive production, Sanchez emerged with a solid effort in 2017. He saw regular action for the rebuilding White Sox, slashing .267/.319/.413 with a dozen home runs over 534 plate appearances.

    With highly-rated glovework at second and third base mixed in, Sanchez graded out as an average or better regular last year. If he can maintain anything like that overall productivity moving forward, he’ll represent quite a useful asset for the White Sox.

    As always, you can find all the latest arbitration numbers at MLBTR’s 2018 MLB Arbitration Tracker.

    Eloy Jimenez Could Make ML Debut In 2018 Sun, 04 Feb 2018 17:31:22 +0000
  • White Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez, one of the game’s best prospects, has only racked up 73 PAs above the Single-A level. Nevertheless, there’s optimism the 21-year-old will make his major league debut in 2018, per Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago. Jimenez told Levine “he’s close to getting to the big leagues,” while GM Rick Hahn noted that “it is not going to shock me if over the summer Eloy forces our hand a bit.” Levine’s piece is worth checking out in full for more quotes on Jimenez from Hahn and White Sox hitting coach Todd Steverson.
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    White Sox To Sign Bruce Rondon Fri, 02 Feb 2018 02:07:44 +0000 The White Sox have agreed to sign right-hander Bruce Rondon to a minor league deal, SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo reports (Twitter link).

    Rondon just turned 27 last month, and he has averaged an eye-popping 97.8 mph on his fastball over his 111 2/3 career Major League innings.  Despite this promise, however, it was no surprise when the Tigers non-tendered Rondon rather than pay him a projected $1.2MM in arbitration salary.  Rondon has struggled to translate his ability to miss bats into consistent performance, with a career 5.00 ERA including an ugly 10.91 ERA in 15 2/3 frames in 2017.  He also faced off-the-field criticism about his maturity and conditioning, culminating in the Tigers sending him home before the end of the 2015 season due to a perceived lack of effort.

    A fresh start with a new organization certainly appeared to be necessary for Rondon to get his career on track, and he’ll now get another chance within the AL Central.  Rondon will be one of many veterans competing for spots in the Chicago bullpen, joining other offseason minor league signings like Xavier Cedeno, Jeanmar Gomez, Rob Scahill, and T.J. House.

    White Sox Looking For DHs, But Not Matt Kemp Thu, 01 Feb 2018 23:02:56 +0000
  • The White Sox are looking for DH help, but they don’t appear to be looking at the DodgersMatt Kemp as a trade possibility.

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    White Sox, Jeanmar Gomez Agree To Minor League Deal Thu, 01 Feb 2018 00:03:44 +0000 The White Sox are in agreement with right-hander Jeanmar Gomez on a minor league contract, tweets SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo. The Magnus Sports client will vie for a bullpen role with the South Siders in Spring Training.

    Gomez, 30 in February, got off to a strong start with the Phillies in 2016 and emerged as their closer, saving 37 games for the Phils over the course of that season. However, his ERA and save total never matched up with his secondary numbers, and he was tattooed for 17 runs in eight innings that September.

    The Phils held onto Gomez despite pedestrian peripheral marks, but his struggles took a turn for the worse in 2017. Gomez was torched for a 7.25 ERA in 22 1/3 innings with the Phillies this past season and ultimately cut loose in late June. He latched on with the Mariners and Brewers on minor league contracts and threw well with their Triple-A affiliates, though he never resurfaced in the Majors.

    Chicago GM Rick Hahn has been active in bringing in experienced bullpen options this offseason, hoping to create depth and perhaps to catch lightning in a bottle — as he did with minor league signee Anthony Swarzak last offseason. The Sox took on Joakim Soria (and cash) and Luis Avilan in a three-team trade with the Royals and Dodgers, and they’ve added several veterans on minor league deals as well. In addition to Gomez, the Pale Hose will have Xavier Cedeno, Rob Scahill, T.J. House and Chris Volstad in camp this spring, among others. Beyond that, they swung a trade with the Mariners to acquire hard-throwing young righty Thyago Vieira, giving them yet another arm to compete for relief innings in 2018.

    Latest On Jose Abreu, Avisail Garcia Mon, 29 Jan 2018 17:16:16 +0000 While things can always change with one phone call or text, White Sox GM Rick Hahn suggested at SoxFest over the weekend that he expects both Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia to open the year with the ChiSox (link via’s Scott Merkin).

    “…[W]e are now basically done with an offseason during which we were able to understand what their value is out in the market,” said Hahn. “We made the assessment we were much better served as an organization to have both with us to start the 2018 season.”

    Entering the offseason, both Abreu and Garcia stood out as plausible trade candidates, as each was coming off a terrific season with just two years of club control remaining. The Sox haven’t deviated much from their rebuilding direction, though the addition of Welington Castillo on a two-year, $15MM deal was more focused on near-term improvement than any of the moves the Sox made last offseason (or than any that they’ve made since).

    Both Garcia and Abreu had their names bounced about the rumor circuit a bit earlier this winter, with Garcia being prominently connected to the Athletics and also speculatively linked to the Cardinals, among others. Abreu had his name connected to the Red Sox, Rockies and Cardinals himself, though it never seemed that talks between the White Sox and any interested party advanced especially far down the road to a deal.

    Hahn, unsurprisingly, was mostly vague when speaking about the possibility of either player remaining with the team beyond the remaining two years of arbitration each has prior to free agency. The GM cited Miguel Gonzalez, whom the Sox recently re-signed, as evidence that players can return to an organization even after testing the free-agent waters and also indicated that it’s possible the Sox “figure it out sooner,” in reference to a potential long-term deal for Abreu and/or Garcia.

    Abreu and the Sox have already avoided arbitration for the coming season by agreeing to a one-year, $13MM contract. Garcia figures to agree to a one-year deal at some point, though it may require a hearing; he filed for a $6.7MM salary against Chicago’s $5.85MM (as can be seen in MLBTR’s 2018 Arbitration Tracker), and the two sides have yet to reach an agreement. While those hearings can be a contentious process at times, Garcia didn’t sound especially concerned about the matter (link via CBS Chicago’s Bruce Levine).

    “Yes for sure,” Garcia said when asked if he wants to remain with the Sox. “I want to play baseball here in Chicago. As a player, you never know what is going to happen. My job is to continue to work hard and get better.” Garcia voiced praise for manager Rick Renteria as well, Levine notes, though he also indicated that he doesn’t believe there’s been any talk of an extension between his agents and the White Sox’ front office. Such matters are often handled in Spring Training, though, and now that the Sox are more in tune with the market value of both Garcia and Abreu in trade talks, it stands to reason that they’ll also touch base with their camps to gauge the value of brokering a longer-term pact beyond the 2020 season.

    Hahn On White Sox Spending, Yelich Trade Sat, 27 Jan 2018 15:43:58 +0000
  • The White Sox will be ready and willing to spend when they move from rebuilders to contenders, GM Rick Hahn told CBS Chicago’s Bruce Levine and other reporters.  “Ultimately, competing for free agents and targeting big-ticket items and hopefully converting on them will be the next logical step when the time is right,” Hahn said.  “Anyone who doubts that we will break from past perception or past process, I believe the evidence is there over the last year that those old standards are gone.”  Chicago has explored making some high-profile (and pricey) trades for the likes of Manny Machado and Christian Yelich this winter, and in my opinion, it wouldn’t be a total surprise to see the Sox make a play for one of the big-name free agents still on the market.  Speaking of Yelich, Hahn said (via Levine’s Twitter) that the White Sox “we were not comfortable going above what we offered” the Marlins in negotiations.
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    White Sox Sign Xavier Cedeno to Minor-League Deal Sat, 27 Jan 2018 03:17:02 +0000 9:17pm: A tweet from Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports reveals that Cedeno’s contract comes with a spring training invite, as one may have expected. He stands to earn $1.05MM if he breaks camp with the big league club.

    8:21pm: The White Sox have agreed to terms on a minor-league pact with left-hander Xavier Cedeno, Chris Cotillo of SB Nation reports via a tweet.

    The 31-year-old Cedeno has pitched at the major-league level in each of the past seven seasons. After he missed nearly all of 2017 due to a forearm injury suffered in April, the Rays elected to non-tender Cedeno rather than pay him a 2018 arbitration salary (he made $1.3MM in 2017). That’s hardly surprising considering Tampa Bay’s interest in trimming payroll this winter.

    For his career, the southpaw owns a 3.98 ERA out of the bullpens of the Astros, Nationals and Rays. While he’s been a below average major-leaguer in terms of WPA (-0.85), his career 8.85 K/9 and 3.39 BB/9 suggest he could be a viable bullpen piece for his new club. That outlook only gets brighter when considering he’s a respectable lefty specialist; Cedeno has faced a left-handed hitter 320 times over the course of his MLB tenure, and they’ve batted a paltry .220/.286/.299 against him.

    [Related: Updated Chicago White Sox Depth Chart]

    It seems likely that the Puerto Rican native can earn himself a role in the White Sox bullpen. Outside of the recently-acquired Luis Avilan, the Southsiders don’t have much in the way of viable left-handed options for their relief corps.

    Cedeno was originally a 31st-round selection of the Rockies back in 2004. He pitched exclusively as a starter up through the end of the 2008 season, when he reached the Double-A level for the first time. However, following a demotion to the Rockies’ High-A affiliate, Cedeno transitioned to a relief role. Though the Astros tried giving him another chance to start in 2011, his performance at the Double-A level that season wasn’t good enough to warrant a permanent shift back to the rotation. He’s pitched exclusively as a reliever since his MLB debut with Houston later that year.


    Dean Anna Signs Minor League Deal With White Sox Thu, 25 Jan 2018 01:15:36 +0000
  • Infielder Dean Anna announced yesterday that he’s joining the White Sox organization (Twitter link). Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times tweets that Anna’s minor league deal doesn’t contain an invite to MLB camp. The 31-year-old Anna, an Illinois native, will join the club he grew up watching and hope for an eventual opportunity to return to the big leagues. The former 26th-rounder (Padres, 2008) appeared in a dozen games for the 2014 Yankees and one lone game for the 2015 Cardinals, hitting .130/.192/.304 in 26 plate appearances. Anna is a career .283/.373/.386 hitter in parts of five Triple-A seasons and has experience at second base, shortstop, third base and in the outfield corners.
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    Minor MLB Transactions: 1/23/18 Tue, 23 Jan 2018 18:59:02 +0000 We’ll track the day’s minor moves in this post:

    • Outfielder Jacob May was outrighted by the White Sox after clearing waivers, Baseball America’s Matt Eddy reports. Likewise, Angels lefty Nate Smith is headed for Triple-A via outright. Both were designated for assignment recently.
    • Infielder Ty Kelly is returning to the Mets, per SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo (via Twitter). The 29-year-old first reached the bigs in New York and also spent time in the majors last year with the Phillies. He has hit well at times in the upper minors but has yet to translate that to the majors in limited opportunities.
    • The Tigers have purchased the contract of lefty Caleb Thielbar from the St. Paul Saints, per an announcement from the indy ball club. Soon to turn 31, Thielbar hasn’t seen the majors since 2015. In 98 2/3 total innings at the game’s highest level, though, he has pitched to a 2.74 ERA with 7.2 K/9 against 2.7 BB/9. He was released by the Marlins just before the start of the 2017 season after competing for a job in camp.
    • Righty Carlos Frias is re-joining the Indians on a minors pact, the club announced. The 28-year-old, who has not seen substantial MLB time since 2015, stumbled to an 8.05 ERA with an ugly 21:22 K/BB ratio at Triple-A last year with the Cleveland organization.
    • The Angels have re-signed lefty John Lamb, Cotillo tweets. Once a well-regarded prospect, the 27-year-old saw his career derailed by back issues. He did throw 139 innings at Triple-A last year with the Halos organization, though he managed only a 5.44 ERA with 5.2 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9.
    • Reliever Bryan Harper has re-joined the Nationals on a minor-league deal with a spring invite, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports on Twitter. Bryce’s older brother has never been seen as a major asset, but he’s an accomplished minor-league reliever. He missed all of 2017 after undergoing Tommy John surgery, but has allowed less than three earned runs per nine in over a hundred frames in the upper minors.
    • Outfielder Matt Lipka is joining the Giants organization on a minor-league deal, Cotillo also tweets. A first-round pick in the 2010 draft, Lipka has not yet shown that he can hand the bat in the upper minors. He posted a .754 OPS in 370 plate appearances last year at the High-A level, but limped to a .160/.216/.223 slash over his 102 trips to the plate at Double-A.
    White Sox Sign Chris Volstad, T.J. House, Matt Skole To Minor League Deals Mon, 22 Jan 2018 17:44:03 +0000 The White Sox announced a slew of non-roster invitations to Major League Spring Training today, including minor league deals with right-hander Chris Volstad, left-hander T.J. House and corner infielder Matt Skole. (The Sox also confirmed their previously reported minor league agreements with free agents Rob Scahill, Michael Ynoa and Patrick Leonard.)

    Volstad, 31, will return to the South Siders after making a return to the Majors with them in 2017. The former Marlins right-hander had pitched just 10 1/3 innings in the Majors since the conclusion of the 2012 campaign but was called upon for a pair of starts and four relief appearances with the Sox, totaling 19 1/3 innings with a 4.66 ERA and a 10-to-5 K/BB ratio. This will be the third straight season that Volstad has spent in the ChiSox system, as he also pitched for their Triple-A affiliate in 2016.

    House, meanwhile, should be somewhat familiar with the Sox having faced them often as a member of the Indians from 2014-16. Shoulder troubles slowed House’s career in 2015, and he’s scarcely appeared in the Majors since. House, 28, did enjoy a healthy season with the Blue Jays after a Spring Training scare in which he was struck in the head by a line drive. He recovered and went on to make 24 starts for Triple-A Buffalo, where he posted a 4.32 ERA with 7.3 K/9 against 4.3 BB/9 in 133 1/3 innings of work. He also logged a pair of innings for Toronto in the Majors in August before being outrighted back to Buffalo.

    Skole, also 28, has never appeared in the Majors. The former Nationals farmhand was considered one of the organization’s best prospects after a massive 2012 season in A-ball, but his 2013 campaign was cut short in a collision at first base that left him with a broken wrist and a torn UCL in his non-throwing elbow. Skole has played three full seasons in the upper levels of the minor since that time but has never rediscovered the form he showed in that promising 2012 campaign. He’s a career .238/.332/.444 hitter in parts of three Triple-A seasons.

    Brewers Reportedly Close To Making Trade Sun, 21 Jan 2018 22:32:56 +0000 There’s “buzz” that the Brewers are closing in on a trade, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports. Crasnick doesn’t offer any details about an exact trade partner or players involved, though he notes that the Brewers have been discussing outfielders with multiple teams (Twitter link).

    At present, the Brewers have several outfielders who are either established major leaguers or players who are closing in on regular roles. The group includes Ryan Braun, Domingo Santana, Keon Broxton, Brett Phillips and Lewis Brinson. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported earlier this month that the Brewers could move someone from that quintet for much-needed starting pitching and to open up room for free agent center fielder Lorenzo Cain. The 31-year-old Cain was a “frequent topic of conversation” for Milwaukee’s front office, Rosenthal wrote at the time.

    If a deal does happen, it won’t be with San Francisco, according to Crasnick, even though the Giants and Brewers discussed Santana and Broxton earlier this offseason. The White Sox, on the other hand, are a possibility, Crasnick suggests (via Twitter).

    Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel adds (on Twitter) that the Brewers have been shopping Santana since last month’s Winter Meetings, and he notes that they’re also in the market for second base help. Milwaukee received disappointing production at the keystone most of last season from Jonathan Villar, who remains in the fold. Villar’s down season led the Brewers to acquire Neil Walker last August. Although Walker thrived during his month and a half with the Brewers, he’s currently a free agent.

    White Sox, Gonzalez Germen Agree To Minor League Deal Wed, 17 Jan 2018 02:00:45 +0000
  • Cotillo also tweets that righty Gonzalez Germen is signing a minors pact with the White Sox after spending the past year in Japan. Germen, 30, posted a 2.68 ERA with 9.8 K/9 against 4.6 BB/9 in 47 innings of relief in his lone season in Japan, where he pitched for the Orix Buffaloes. In parts of four MLB seasons between the Rockies, Mets and Cubs, he’s worked to a 4.63 ERA with 129 strikeouts against 81 walks over the life of 144 innings.
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    Arbitration Updates: 1/13/18 Sat, 13 Jan 2018 22:22:30 +0000 Here are the arbitration numbers we’ve learned thus far today — all of them coming via the Twitter feed of Jon Heyman of Fan Rag unless otherwise noted:

    • The Giants’ previously known deals with two righty relievers now have dollar values attached. Sam Dyson is slated to earn $4.425MM, while the team will pay righty Cory Gearrin $1.675MM. MLBTR’s Matt Swartz projected a $4.6MM award for Dyson and a $1.6MM salary for Gearrin.
    • Diamondbacks infielder Chris Owings settled out at $3.4MM, just a shade over the $3.3MM the team will pay outfielder David Peralta. Swartz had both Owings and Peralta at $3.8MM.
    • Right-hander Nick Vincent will take down a $2.75MM payday from the Mariners, coming in just north of his $2.7MM projection.
    • Astros righty Lance McCullers Jr. is set to receive $2.45MM (a bit shy of his projected $2.6MM) in his first season of arb eligibility, Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets.
    • Infielder Hernan Perez receives $1.975MM from the Brewers, falling short of a $2.2MM projection.
    • The Athletics agreed yesterday with righty Liam Hendriks at $1.9MM, matching his projection, and catcher Josh Phegley for $905K. Swartz had Phegley at $1.1MM.
    • White Sox third baseman Yolmer Sanchez has filed at $2.35MM while the team countered at $2.1MM – the same as his projection.
    Unresolved 2018 Arbitration Cases Sat, 13 Jan 2018 00:02:01 +0000 We’ve covered a whole lot of arbitration deals today, many of them reached before today’s deadline to exchange filing figures. Some other agreements have come together after team and player submitted their numbers. It’s still possible, of course, that these situations will be resolved before an arbitration hearing becomes necessary. (At this point, we seem to lack full clarity on teams’ approaches to negotiations after the filing deadline. And most organizations make exceptions for multi-year deals even if they have a file-and-trial stance.)

    Some situations could even be dealt with in short order. As things stand, though, these unresolved arbitration cases could turn into significant hearings. (As always, MLBTR’s 2018 arbitration projections can be found here; you will also want to reference MLBTR’s 2018 arbitration tracker.)

    Players Avoiding Arbitration: American League Fri, 12 Jan 2018 21:00:23 +0000 The deadline for MLB teams to exchange salary arbitration figures with their arbitration-eligible players is today at 1pm ET. As such, there will be a veritable flood of arb agreements piling up in the next few hours — especially in light of a more universal approach to the “file and trial” method for teams. (That is to say, those teams will no longer negotiate one-year deals after arb figures are exchanged and will instead head to a hearing with those players, barring an agreemenr on a multi-year deal.)

    Note that you can keep an eye on all of today’s deals using MLBTR’s 2018 Arbitration Tracker, which can be filtered to show only the results of the team you follow and is also sortable by service time and dollar value of the agreement. All projections that are referenced come from MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz’s annual compilation of projected arbitration salarie

    American League West

    • The Astros and Evan Gattis agreed to a $6.7MM deal for 2018, per FanRag’s Robert Murray (Twitter link). A free agent next season, Gattis lands within $100K of his $6.6MM projection. The club also has deals (for values unknown) with starters Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers Jr., and Brad Peacock, Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle tweets.
    • The Rangers agreed to a $1.05MM deal with infielder Jurickson Profar, tweets Murray. Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star Telegram, meanwhile, tweets that lefty Jake Diekman landed a $2.7125MM deal and righty Keone Kela will earn $1.2MM. Profar had been projected at $1.1MM and is controllable another three seasons. Diekman, a free agent next winter, was projected at $2.8MM. And Kela, still controlled for three more years, matched his $1.2MM projection on the dot.
    • The Athletics and closer Blake Treinen agreed to a $2.15MM deal for next year, tweets Murray. The A’s can control Treinen for another three years. He was projected at $2.3MM. Shortstop Marcus Semien has settled for $3.125MM, Heyman tweets; his $3.2MM projection was nearly spot-on. Oakland has announced that it has avoided arbitration with Liam Hendriks and Josh Phegley as well, but their salaries have yet to be reported.
    • The Angels have a one-year, $7.3MM agreement in place with right-hander Garrett Richards, per Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register (Twitter link). Richards, a free agent next offseason, tops his $7MM projection by a margin of $300K. The Halos have also avoided arb with first baseman C.J. Cron ($2.3MM) and left-hander Tyler Skaggs ($1.875MM), tweets USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. Cron’s total falls a ways shy of his $2.8MM projection, while Skaggs comes in just $25K south of his $1.9MM projection. Both are controllable through the 2020 season. Lastly, Murray tweets that Matt Shoemaker agreed to a $4.125MM deal. He’s controlled through 2020 and projected at $4.4MM. Fletcher also tweets that the club has agreed with righty J.C. Ramirez ($1.9MM salary vs. $2.6MM projection) and lefty Jose Alvarez ($1.05MM salary vs. $1.1MM projection). Finally, righty Cam Bedrosian has agreed at $1.1MM, Flecher tweets, which represents a payday close to his projection of $1.2MM.
    • Left-hander James Paxton will earn $4.9MM with the Mariners in 2018, tweets Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. Murray tweets that the Mariners and David Phelps agreed to a $5.55MM deal. Paxton, controlled through 2020, projected to earn $5.6MM, while Phelps was pegged at $5.8MM. He’s a free agent next winter. Righty Erasmo Ramirez took a $4.2MM deal,’s Greg Johns reports. That’s half a million shy of what the model suggested. Fellow right-hander Nick Vincent also has an agreement, but the terms aren’t yet known.

    American League Central

    • New lefty Luis Avilan has agreed to a $2.45MM deal with the White Sox, Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune reports via Twitter. The recent trade acquisition came with a projected $2.3MM price tag. Fellow southpaw Carlos Rodon will receive $2.3MM, a bit of a bump over the $2MM he projected to receive. Also, utilityman Leury Garcia gets $1.175MM, which is just $25K short of his projected value.
    • The Royals and righty Nate Karns agreed to a $1.375MM deal for 2018, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet reports (on Twitter). That lands within $25K of his $1.4MM projection for the coming season. Kansas City controls Karns through 2020. Meanwhile,’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports (via Twitter) that Kelvin Herrera will earn $7.9375MM in 2018, landing a bit shy of his $8.3MM projection. Herrera is a free agent next winter.
    • The Indians have a $5MM agreement with righty Danny Salazar,’s Jordan Bastian tweets. He had projected to earn just $200K more, this falls right in line with expectations. Cleveland also agreed with Lonnie Chisenhall on a $5.5875MM deal, tweets Nightengale. The third baseman-turned-outfielder, who was projected to earn $5.8MM, will be a free agent following the 2018 season.
    • Trevor May has a $650K agreement with the Twins for the 2018 season, according to Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. May, who missed the entire season due to Tommy John surgery (and did some writing for MLBTR during his rehab process), had been projected at $600K. The Twins also agreed to a $1MM deal with infielder Ehire Adrianza, per La Velle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune. Meanwhile, righty Ryan Pressly has agreed to a $1.6MM deal, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN. Both deals are identical matches with their projections. Adrianza has three years of team control remaining, while Pressly has two. Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets that outfielder Robbie Grossman settled at $2MM, leaving him $400K shy of his projection. Grossman is controlled for another three seasons.
    • Tigers third baseman/outfielder Nick Castellanos will earn $6.05MM, per Heyman (via Twitter). He had projected at a much heftier $7.6MM in his second-to-last season of arb eligibility.’s Jason Beck reports (Twitter links) that the Tigers and right-handed reliever Alex Wilson settled at $1.925MM, while fellow righty Shane Greene will earn $1.95MM. Wilson was projected to earn $2.1MM, while Greene was at $1.7MM. Wilson is controlled through 2019, while Greene is under control through 2020.

    American League East

    • The Yankees have knocked out some of their biggest arb cases, per Jon Heyman of Fan Rag (Twitter links). Shortstop Didi Gregorius receives $8.25MM and righty Sonny Gray checks in at $6.5MM. The former had projected to earn $9.0MM while the algorithm was just $100K high on the latter.Backstop Austin Romine will earn $1.1MM, Heyman also tweets, which is also $100K below the projection. Righty Adam Warren and the Yankees have a $3.315MM deal, per Murray (Twitter link). This is Warren’s final season of eligibility before hitting the open market next winter. He’d been projected at $3.1MM. Meanwhile, fellow right-hander Dellin Betances has agreed to a $5.1MM deal, per’s Mark Feinsand (via Twitter). That’s just $100K more than Betances had sought last year, when he took his case to a hearing that he ultimately lost. But it’s quite a bit more than the $4.4MM he projected to receive after a subpar season in which he played at a $3MM salary.
    • The Red Sox have agreed to pay $8.5MM to southpaw Drew Pomeranz, per Alex Speier of the Boston Globe (Twitter link). That’s short of the $9.1MM that had been projected after Pomeranz turned in a productive 2017 season. Boston and Jackie Bradley Jr. settled at $6.1MM, tweets Murray. That’s a bit north of the $5.9MM at which he’d been projected for the upcoming season. Bradley Jr., a Super Two player, has another three seasons of club control remaining. Nightengale tweets that righty Joe Kelly ($3.6MM projection) agreed to a $3.825MM deal. He’ll be a free agent next winter. Lefty Eduardo Rodriguez ($2.375MM salary vs. $2.7MM projection) and righty Brandon Workman ($835K salary vs. $900K projection) are two other Sox hurlers that have agreed to terms, Speier reports (Twitter links). On the position player side, catcher Sandy Leon falls a bit under his projection $1.95MM (via Speier, on Twitter) while utilityman Brock Holt just beats expectations at $2.225MM (per’s Jerry Crasnick, on Twitter). The team also agreed with shortstop Xander Bogaerts for $7.05MM, Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston tweets, which comes in a bit shy of his $7.6MM projection. Boston also announced agreement with backstop Christian Vazquez, who’ll earn $1.425MM, per’s Ian Browne (via Twitter). That’s just under the projection of $1.5MM.
    • The Blue Jays and righty Aaron Sanchez agreed to a $2.7MM deal for 2018, according to Nightengale (Twitter link). That crushes his $1.9MM projection, which was likely suppressed due Sanchez’s lack of innings (just 36) in 2017. He’s under Jays control through 2020. Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith, meanwhile, tweets that second baseman Devon Travis will make $1.45MM next year, falling a bit shy of his $1.7MM forecast. Other Toronto players agreeing to terms include Kevin Pillar ($3.25MM vs. $4.0MM projection) and Dominic Leone ($1.085MM vs. $1.2MM projection),’s Gregor Chisholm tweets.
    • The Rays and closer Alex Colome settled at $5.3M, per USA Today’s Bob Nightengale (on Twitter). He’d been projected at $5.5MM and is controllable for three more years. They also settled at $5.95MM with outfielder/DH Corey Dickerson ($6.4MM projection) and $4.5MM with infielder Brad Miller ($4.4MM projection), per Murray (all Twitter links). Steven Souza, according to Murray will earn $3.55MM, placing him right in line with his $3.6MM projection. Dickerson and Miller are controlled through 2019. Souza is controlled through 2020.
    White Sox, Jose Abreu Avoid Arbitration Fri, 12 Jan 2018 19:42:06 +0000 The White Sox avoided arbitration with slugging first baseman Jose Abreu today, agreeing to a one-year deal worth $13MM (as first tweeted by FanRag’s Robert Murray). Obviously, Abreu’s contract lands well shy of the hefty $17.9MM projection generated by the arbitration projection model of MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz, as well as the $17MM figure that Swartz referenced in a more in-depth breakdown of Abreu’s arbitration case.

    Abreu has been a thorn in the side of MLBTR’s projection model for two years now, as the unique nature of his contract does not appear to be properly contextualized by the algorithm driving our model. Abreu originally agreed to a six-year, $68MM contract with the White Sox four years ago, but that deal allowed him the right to opt into arbitration once he was eligible. Abreu exercised that right last offseason, and we explored some of the intricacies of that decision at the time. Notably, the CBA offered little clarity in terms of how Abreu’s annualized signing bonus should be treated within the confines of the arbitration system.

    Speculatively speaking, that could once again be the case in 2018, as it’s surprising that Abreu would receive a raise just north of $2MM after a season in which he posted a terrific .304/.354/.552 batting line, 33 homers and 102 RBIs over the life of 675 plate appearances. It should be noted that even with a relatively modest raise, Abreu is coming out ahead of the figures he’d have earned had remained on his guaranteed salaries rather than opting for arbitration. Abreu would’ve earned $10.5MM in 2017, $11.5MM in 2018 and $12MM in 2019, so he clearly made the proper decision when opting into arbitration, even if the system treats him as an atypical case.

    Whatever the reason, the $13MM salary represents one of the more substantial misses our projection model has ever forecast. As for the Sox, they’ll once again enjoy the presence of one of the American League’s top hitters in the middle of their order as well as a respected and highly valued presence in their clubhouse. Abreu’s name has been oft-mentioned in trade rumors, though the ChiSox are reportedly loath to move him. He’s controlled for another two seasons.

    White Sox Sign Miguel Gonzalez Thu, 11 Jan 2018 16:49:40 +0000 The White Sox have officially agreed to a one-year deal with free agent righty Miguel Gonzalez, as Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic first reported (via Twitter). He’ll receive a $4.75MM salary, the team announced (and as Chris Cotillo of SB Nation tweeted). Outfielder Jacob May was designated for assignment to open a roster spot.

    Gonzalez, 33, spent the bulk of the past two seasons in Chicago, though he was dealt away to the Rangers in late August. Now, he’ll return to help bolster a rotation that features several young hurlers as well as veteran James Shields.

    For a rebuilding White Sox organization, adding Gonzalez fits with earlier moves. The club struck a contract with catcher Welington Castillo and dealt for veteran relievers Joakim Soria and Luis Avilan.

    In sum, the moves have added about $28MM in commitments, most of it for the coming season, a manageable amount as the South Siders endeavor to supplement — and reduce the burden on — a budding young core. The White Sox roster still includes other veterans such as Shields, Jose Abreu, and Avisail Garcia. While Abreu and Garcia have arisen in trade talks, to this point indications are that they’ll likely stay put.

    [RELATED: Updated White Sox Depth Chart]

    Nobody will mistake the addition of Gonzalez as a signing designed to push for contention, but he has proven still capable of giving innings. In 2017, he threw 156 total frames over 27 starts, working to a 4.62 ERA with 5.8 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9. Gonzalez carried career lows in average fastball velocity (91.2 mph) and swinging-strike rate (6.7%), though those figures aren’t wildly out of line with his established norms.

    Beyond Gonzalez and Shields, the White Sox rotation will likely be made up of far less established pitchers. Youngsters Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Carson Fulmer all have top prospect pedigrees, but have yet to turn in full MLB seasons. Dylan Covey — who was actually once a first-round selection, going unsigned at that time — is also an option, though he struggled badly in his MLB debut in 2017. Carlos Rodon will be expected to hold down a spot once he’s at full health. The White Sox likely hope that top pitching prospect Michael Kopech will force his way into the picture at some point, though that’s no sure thing at present. All told, it’s not difficult to see why the organization felt it needed another reliable rotation piece.

    As for the 25-year-old May, he made his MLB debut last year but struggled badly in a short sample. He has not fared much better at the plate in the upper minors; in 2017, he carried a .248/.307/.325 batting line in 467 Triple-A plate appearances.

    Arbitration Breakdown: Marcell Ozuna and Jose Abreu Thu, 11 Jan 2018 00:38:07 +0000 Recently, I have been discussing some of the higher-profile upcoming arbitration cases as part of MLBTR’s Arbitration Breakdown series. I rely partly on my arbitration model developed exclusively for MLB Trade Rumors, but will also break out some interesting comparables and determine where the model might be wrong. Full arbitration projections for 2018 are also available, for those interested.

    Marcell Ozuna | Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

    Before Marcell Ozuna reports for his first Spring Training as a Cardinal, he will have to start the potentially uncomfortable process of salary arbitration with them. Ozuna has quite a resume to boast, which is part of what made him so attractive to the Cardinals in the first place. He hit .312 with 37 home runs and 124 RBIs last year, giving him few comparables among second-time arbitration-eligible players.

    My model projects a substantial raise for him of $7.4MM — all the way to a $10.9MM salary. This may be high, given the lack of exact historical comparables and the potential for an arbitration process to discount some of the home runs hit in a very high league home run environment (2017 set a record). That said, it still suggests that Ozuna is going to get a large raise anyway.

    Jose Abreu | Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

    Jose Abreu had a comparable season, and his projection is accordingly similar. He hit .304 with 33 homers and 102 RBIs, making the primary difference in their cases the lower RBI total for Abreu. The White Sox slugger is projected for a $7.1MM raise instead of Ozuna’s $7.4MM, but he starts from a higher base salary and is therefore projected to land at $17.9MM.

    No other players in the past five years have entered arbitration with the elusive .300/30/100 slash line. However, several players did so in the prior five years, including Jacoby Ellsbury in 2012 (.321/32/105), Josh Hamilton in 2011 (.359/32/100), Matt Holliday in 2008 (.340/36/137) and Miguel Cabrera in 2008 (.320/34/119). Those players got raises between $5.65MM (Ellsbury) and $3.9MM (Cabrera), although both Hamilton and Holliday got raises above $5MM, thus making Cabrera the exception.

    It seems quite likely that Ellsbury, with 39 stolen bases to Ozuna’s one stolen base, would have a better case. However, the fact that Ellsbury’s case is six years old could put them closer together and could even put Ozuna and Abreu ahead. One thing that is important to note is that only Ellsbury got a one-year deal. The other raises mentioned above are part of multi-year deals, which are usually not very applicable in arbitration cases (although they could be in this scenario with few comparables).

    If we look for a player more recent, we might consider Manny Machado last year at .294/37/96. He got a $6.5MM raise and clearly looks like a relevant player. The home run environment difference in just one year is pretty limited as well.

    The record raise for a second-time eligible hitter belongs to Chris Davis, who got a $7.05MM raise after his .286/53/138 campaign in 2014. That would probably compare favorably to Ozuna’s numbers because of the home run difference, but the four years’ lag could render that number stale and push Ozuna and Abreu above him after all, as the model predicts. However, I think it may serve as a ceiling, leaving Ozuna and Abreu south of theor projections and slightly south of Davis.

    Charlie Blackmon hit .324/29/104 last season, but did so in Coors Field, so he might be seen as less impressive than Ozuna and Abreu. His $3.8MM raise is probably a floor, and perhaps not that close of one.

    I think it may be more likely that Ozuna and Abreu both get raises somewhere around $6MM. The triad of players with .300/30/100 slash lines and raises over $5MM back in 2008-12 are probably floors, whereas Davis’ raise seems like a ceiling. If that proves true, Ozuna might end up around $10MM instead of closer to $11MM, and Abreu might end up closer to $17MM than $18MM.

    Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.