MLB Trade Rumors » » Chicago White Sox 2018-02-21T14:58:34Z Kyle Downing <![CDATA[AL Central Notes: Abreu, Kipnis, Moustakas, Cuthbert, Sano]]> 2018-02-19T05:45:08Z 2018-02-19T05:45:08Z 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.
Connor Byrne <![CDATA[White Sox Outright Dylan Covey]]> 2018-02-18T19:15:25Z 2018-02-18T19:15:25Z 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.

Jeff Todd <![CDATA[White Sox Sign Hector Santiago]]> 2018-02-17T07:28:50Z 2018-02-14T19:27:51Z 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.

Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Avisail Garcia Wins Arbitration Against White Sox]]> 2018-02-14T19:45:02Z 2018-02-14T19:22:47Z 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.

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[White Sox Hire Dave Duncan As Pitching Consultant]]> 2018-02-11T14:47:30Z 2018-02-11T14:47:30Z
  • 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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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Minor MLB Transactions: 2/9/18]]> 2018-02-09T20:51:11Z 2018-02-09T20:51:11Z 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).
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Matt Davidson Changes Agencies]]> 2018-02-08T05:41:16Z 2018-02-08T05:41:16Z 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:

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Yolmer Sanchez Wins Arbitration Hearing Against White Sox]]> 2018-02-07T22:01:11Z 2018-02-07T21:18:42Z 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.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Eloy Jimenez Could Make ML Debut In 2018]]> 2018-02-04T17:32:17Z 2018-02-04T17:31:22Z
  • 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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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[White Sox To Sign Bruce Rondon]]> 2018-02-02T02:07:44Z 2018-02-02T02:07:44Z 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.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[White Sox Looking For DHs, But Not Matt Kemp]]> 2018-02-01T23:02:56Z 2018-02-01T23:02:56Z
  • 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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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[White Sox, Jeanmar Gomez Agree To Minor League Deal]]> 2018-02-01T00:36:27Z 2018-02-01T00:03:44Z 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.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Latest On Jose Abreu, Avisail Garcia]]> 2018-01-29T17:16:41Z 2018-01-29T17:16:16Z 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.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Hahn On White Sox Spending, Yelich Trade]]> 2018-01-27T15:44:39Z 2018-01-27T15:43:58Z
  • 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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    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[White Sox Sign Xavier Cedeno to Minor-League Deal]]> 2018-01-27T03:17:54Z 2018-01-27T03:17:02Z 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.


    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Dean Anna Signs Minor League Deal With White Sox]]> 2018-01-25T01:15:36Z 2018-01-25T01:15:36Z
  • 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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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Minor MLB Transactions: 1/23/18]]> 2018-01-23T20:27:35Z 2018-01-23T18:59:02Z 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.
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[White Sox Sign Chris Volstad, T.J. House, Matt Skole To Minor League Deals]]> 2018-01-22T17:44:03Z 2018-01-22T17:44:03Z 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.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Brewers Reportedly Close To Making Trade]]> 2018-01-22T02:51:01Z 2018-01-21T22:32:56Z 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.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[White Sox, Gonzalez Germen Agree To Minor League Deal]]> 2018-01-17T02:00:45Z 2018-01-17T02:00:45Z
  • 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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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Arbitration Updates: 1/13/18]]> 2018-01-13T22:22:30Z 2018-01-13T22:22:30Z 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.
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Unresolved 2018 Arbitration Cases]]> 2018-01-13T03:05:53Z 2018-01-13T00:02:01Z 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.)

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Players Avoiding Arbitration: American League]]> 2018-01-13T05:52:28Z 2018-01-12T21:00:23Z 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.
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[White Sox, Jose Abreu Avoid Arbitration]]> 2018-01-12T19:42:06Z 2018-01-12T19:42:06Z 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.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[White Sox Sign Miguel Gonzalez]]> 2018-01-11T19:35:03Z 2018-01-11T16:49:40Z 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.

    Matt Swartz <![CDATA[Arbitration Breakdown: Marcell Ozuna and Jose Abreu]]> 2018-01-11T00:38:07Z 2018-01-11T00:38:07Z 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.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[White Sox Acquire Jose Rondon]]> 2018-01-10T19:51:06Z 2018-01-10T19:36:48Z The White Sox have acquired infielder Jose Rondon from the Padres, per a club announcement. Cash considerations are headed to San Diego in return.

    Rondon was designated recently by the Pads. Now, he’ll head to another rebuilding organization where he could challenge Tyler Saladino for a spot on the team as a utility piece or perhaps head to Triple-A for further development. Of course, it’s also possible the Sox will ultimately seek to sneak him through waivers.

    While the Padres have not been settled at short for some time, the team has quite a few young players filtering up at the position and elected to acquire Freddy Galvis to hold things down for the coming season. That left Rondon — who was originally acquired in the Huston Street trade — without much of an opportunity and ultimately without a roster spot.

    The 23-year-old reached the majors briefly in 2016 but has mostly played of late in the upper minors. Last year, he spent most of his time at Double-A and turned in a solid overall .293/.347/.442 output with seven home runs in 347 total minor-league plate appearances. With a high-average bat and good defensive profile, it’s certainly conceivable that Rondon could turn into a useful MLB asset, though he has yet to develop much in the way of power and hasn’t drawn many walks in the upper minors.

    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[Poll: Which Of These Players Is Most Likely To Be Traded?]]> 2018-01-07T13:34:25Z 2018-01-07T03:44:42Z We’ve reached January, and the free agent market is still lagging in a big way. The top free agents available seemingly haven’t showed a willingness to lower their asking prices, and with spring training less than two months out, teams may feel a need to complete their offseason shopping lists sooner than later. In some cases, this may cause teams to make stronger pushes for some candidates on the trade market.

    There have certainly been some large scale trades so far this offseason. High-end players such as Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, Evan Longoria, Ian Kinsler and Stephen Piscotty have changed hands already, and there are still plenty of practical matches left between MLB teams. We’ve detailed many of these in the 2017-2018 installment of our “Looking For A Match” series; the players featured in those articles are listed below, with our noted potential fits listed in parentheses.

    • Billy Hamilton, Reds CF (Giants, Dodgers, Royals): Hamilton’s talents as a burner on the basepaths and an elite defender in center field are well-known throughout MLB circles, but in truth, that’s about where his usefulness ends. His .299 OBP was the 11th-lowest among qualified hitters in 2017; that number is about consistent with his career mark. The Giants seem to have shown a strong interest in Hamilton, but Reds owner Bob Castellini’s recently-reported hesitancy to part with the speedster could gum up trade negotiations. [LINK: Looking For A Match In A Billy Hamilton Trade]
    • Brad Hand, Padres LHRP (Astros, Dodgers, Cardinals, Twins, Braves): Though our evaluation of Hand’s trade market also included the Rays and Rockies, those teams seem like less likely suitors at this point in the offseason; the former decreased their likelihood of contention by shipping Longoria to San Francisco, while the latter has signed three expensive relief pitchers to pad their bullpen. Hand is one of the elite relief pitchers in all of baseball, and he’s certainly one of the best (if not the undisputed best) bullpen options on the trade market. Of course, the caveat is that it would also require a significant prospect haul to convince San Diego to move him. The lefty has two years of team control remaining, and MLBTR projects him to cost just $3.8MM in 2018. [LINK: Looking For A Match In A Brad Hand Trade]
    • Jose Abreu, White Sox 1B (Astros, Indians, Rangers, Red Sox, Rockies): Though the Cuba native has been a mainstay in the White Sox’ lineup since his MLB debut in 2014, his club is unlikely to contend for a pennant before he reaches free agency after the 2019 season. MLBTR’s arbitration projections have him pegged for a $17.9MM salary in 2018, but his expected offensive output makes him well worth that price tag. [LINK: Looking For A Match In A Jose Abreu Trade]
    • Avisail Garcia, White Sox OF (Blue Jays, Indians, Rockies, Diamondbacks, Giants, Rangers): Like Abreu, Garcia is a South Sider with two years of team control remaining. However, he comes with a lot more risk; Garcia had played below replacement level over the course of his career prior to a breakout this past season. Still, there are many teams who would benefit from adding a lefty-masher to their outfield corps, and his projected 2018 salary is a reasonable $6.7MM. [LINK: Looking For A Match In An Avisail Garcia Trade]
    • Raisel Iglesias, Reds RHRP (Nationals, Dodgers, Cardinals, Brewers, Twins, Astros): With three full seasons of team control remaining, Iglesias could prove a valuable long-term asset to either a rebuilding club or a current contender. He’s managed to strike out 10.43 batters per nine innings over the course of his career as a reliever while posting a sterling 2.29 ERA. The Twins have reportedly shown interest in Iglesias this winter, though that was nearly two months ago; there haven’t been any new developments in that story since then. [LINK: Looking For A Match In A Raisel Iglesias Trade]
    • J.T. Realmuto, Marlins C (Nationals, Rockies, Diamondbacks): Unlike the other players on this list, Realmuto has gone so far as to request a trade from his current team. While that alone certainly isn’t enough to facilitate a trade, some have taken the stance that Miami ought to trade their catcher (along with fellow Marlin Christian Yelich) at his peak value. Realmuto has accrued more than 7 WAR over the past two seasons alone, but the Marlins don’t feel compelled to trade him unless they’re overwhelmed by an offer. [LINK: Looking For A Match In A J.T. Realmuto Trade]
    • Manny Machado, Orioles 3B (Cardinals, Yankees, Angels, Rockies, Nationals): Rumors surrounding Baltimore’s prized infielder have cooled off a bit recently, but the Orioles could still be prompted to move him for the right offer. They’re reportedly seeking two talented starting pitchers who are controllable for the long term, however, which seems like a sky-high asking price for a player with just one year of team control remaining. Of course, the O’s probably wouldn’t restrict a return to just rotation options. Machado is projected to earn a $17.3MM salary in his final season before hitting the free agent market. [LINK: Trading Manny Machado]

    We’ll open this subject up to reader opinions at this point. Which of the trade candidates we’ve profiled do you think is most likely to be traded before the 2018 season begins? (Link for app users)

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[White Sox Acquire Joakim Soria, Luis Avilan]]> 2018-01-05T02:36:13Z 2018-01-05T00:03:02Z Three teams have announced a swap that will send lefty Scott Alexander from the Royals to the Dodgers. Infielder Jake Peter will also end up in Los Angeles, by way of the White Sox.

    Meanwhile, Kansas City will pick up righty Trevor Oaks and infielder Erick Mejia in the deal. The White Sox will end up with veteran relievers Joakim Soria and Luis Avilan, the former from the Royals and the latter from the Dodgers.  Kansas City is sending $1MM to the White Sox, the Kansas City Star’s Rustin Dodd tweets. Chicago will also receive $2MM from the Dodgers, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (via Twitter).

    The involvement of the White Sox is geared mostly toward securing some veteran relief pieces at reasonable prices. Avilan projects to earn $2.3MM in his second-to-last season of arbitration eligibility, but most of that will be covered by the Dodgers. (Of course, that characterization depends upon perspective; L.A. essentially passed through Soria’s contract in the deal, so part of the money could be considered as allocated to his 2018 guarantee.)

    [RELATED: Updated White Sox Depth Chart]

    Having dealt and acquired a whole host of relievers in 2017, the White Sox will now secure two experienced hurlers to bolster an unproven unit and perhaps also provide the organization with some new trade chips. The right-handed Soria rang up 10.3 K/9 and allowed only a single home run in his 56 innings in 2017, ending the year with a 3.70 ERA. He could now be the favorite to step into the White Sox’ closer role. As for Avilan, a 28-year-old southpaw, he managed a 2.93 ERA in his 46 frames while carrying 10.2 K/9, 4.3 BB/9, and a 53.8% groundball rate.

    Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star reported (Twitter links) that Alexander was going to the Dodgers and Soria to the White Sox. Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link) and’s Jerry Crasnick (in a tweet) had other components of the deal.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[White Sox Reportedly Nearing Trade With Dodgers]]> 2018-01-05T01:42:26Z 2018-01-04T23:43:01Z While there’s nothing in the way of details, Jerry Crasnick of dangles an intriguing nugget of information on Twitter: the Dodgers and White Sox, he says, are “working on a trade.” Beyond observing the obvious — the former is a clear contender and the latter still in a rebuilding stance — it’s hard to say just what might be afoot. While most of Chicago’s most obvious trade assets have already been moved over the past year or so, the team still possesses a few veteran hitters and some interesting young arms that might theoretically be of interest to Los Angeles. And it’s anyone’s guess just what player(s) might have capture the attention of the always-creative Dodgers front office. Anyhow, for now, we’ll take Crasnick’s advice and “stay tuned” for more details to emerge.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[White Sox Have Reportedly Made Offer To Ji-Man Choi]]> 2018-01-01T15:37:16Z 2018-01-01T15:31:02Z
  • First baseman Ji-Man Choi’s agency in Korea recently spoke to the media about their client’s current foray into free agency and revealed that he’s received offers (presumably of the minor league variety) from the Yankees, Angels, Rays, A’s, Brewers, Marlins, Cubs, Reds, Orioles, Twins, Braves, Blue Jays and White Sox (English link via Jee-ho Yoo of South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency). The 26-year-old Choi slugged a pair of homers in 18 plate appearances with the Yankees last year and posted a strong year with their Triple-A affiliate, slashing .288/.373/.538 in 87 games. In parts of five Triple-A campaigns, Choi has posted a robust .298/.390/.479 batting line.
  • ]]>
    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[Taking Inventory: Chicago White Sox]]> 2017-12-31T14:56:38Z 2017-12-27T20:50:05Z The White Sox haven’t been shy about blowing up their major league team lately. Within the past 13 months, GM Rick Hahn has shipped out nearly half the players who were on the club’s 25-man roster at the end of the 2016 season. Most notably, Chicaco was able to land killer hauls for Chris Sale, Adam Eaton and Jose Quintana.

    The teardown has resulted in a tidal wave of incredible young talent. Yoan Moncada, Carson Fulmer, Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez are already playing at the MLB level, and the club has three top 25 overall prospects still waiting in the wings. However, as one might imagine, the club is still not ready to contend. Player development isn’t always linear, and it will take at least a couple of years for the newfound cavalry to arrive from the farm system, let alone find success in the majors. As such, the White Sox are likely to continue trading away major league pieces with limited team control in order to add talent they can count on during their next window of contention.

    Here’s a list of remaining assets that the South Siders might consider moving in the coming months…

    Two Years of Control

    Jose Abreu, 1B ($17.9MM projected arb salary): Since coming to Chicago from Cuba, Abreu has been an offensive force for the White Sox, evidenced by his .301/.359/.524 batting line and 139 wRC+ with the organization. He’s averaged 31 homers and 665 plate appearances across his four major league seasons, making him one of the most reliable offensive players in the game. MLBTR’s Mark Polishuk recently profiled his trade market, listing the Red Sox, Rangers and Rockies among his potential suitors. Abreu’s expensive salary (which will likely get another hefty boost in 2019) limits his trade value, but there’s still a clear surplus here. A crowded first base market complicates things a bit, but he could still draw plenty of interest from other clubs.

    Avisail Garcia, OF ($6.7MM projected arb salary): Garcia enjoyed the best season of his career in 2017 after shedding some weight during the 2016-2017 offseason. The right-handed-hitting outfielder was in contention for the AL batting title for most of the year (thanks in part to a .392 BABIP), and was worth 4.2 fWAR overall. A while back, I broke down his hypothetical trade market, listing the Indians, Rockies and Diamondbacks as potential landing spots.

    Sep 10, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox designated hitter Avisail Garcia (26) hits a single during the fourth inning against the Kansas City Royals at U.S. Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

    Rival organizations will obviously be skeptical about Garcia’s ability to repeat this performance considering his career 90 wRC+ prior to last season. Oddly, his hard hit rate and average exit velocity were basically in line with his 2016 figures. Still, it would be irresponsible for teams to write his 2017 season as entirely a fluke; Garcia did trade a few ground balls for fly balls and improve his contact rate, after all.

    Longer-Term Assets

    Nate Jones, RHP ($3.95MM salary for 2018, $545K club option for 2019, $3.75MM club option for 2020, $4.25MM club option for 2021. $1.25MM buyout on 2020-2021 options): A quick look at Jones’ numbers since his return from Tommy John surgery makes his contract look like a steal, particularly considering the lucrative deals given out to relievers so far this offseason. However, the righty reliever is highly unlikely to be traded this offseason after missing most of 2017 due to nerve repositioning surgery. He’ll likely need to reestablish his value before the White Sox can move him. A return to his 2016 form, however, would put Jones in the upper echelon of MLB relievers, and send his trade value through the roof.

    Yolmer Sanchez, 2B ($2.1 projected arb salary for 2018): Formerly known as Carlos Sanchez, the switch-hitting second baseman rebranded himself in 2017. While it may have created moments of confusion for more casual White Sox fans, they’re just fine it that considering his improvements on the field. This past season, Sanchez hit .267/.319/.413 while playing excellent defense at the keystone. The 25-year-old Venezuela native was worth 8 defensive runs saved in 620 innings and ranked second in UZR/150 among MLB second baseman (minimum 500 innings). With four years of team control remaining, it’s certainly possible that Sanchez could be around for the next competitive White Sox team. However, he could yield plenty of value in a trade.

    Carlos Rodon, LHP ($2MM projected arb salary for 2018): In all seriousness, Rodon probably won’t be traded any time soon. After an injury-plagued 2017 season that ended with shoulder surgery, no team will likely be willing to give up the prospects it would take to pry him out of Chicago’s hands. However, he’s on this list simply for the possibility that he could reestablish value prior to the coming season’s trade deadline. While the former number three overall pick might miss a portion of 2018, he comes with enormous upside. With the market for pitching being what it is, trading Rodon could provide an enormous boost to an already-strong farm system. Of course, the White Sox would need to be overwhelmed by an offer in order to consider moving him, as they can still retain him through 2021. Still, the club was content to move Jose Quintana at last year’s deadline, so Rodon is at least worth a mention on this list.

    Salary Dump Candidates

    James Shields, RHP ($21MM salary for 2018, $16MM club option for 2019 with a $2MM buyout): Any trade involving Shields would probably involve the White Sox sending some money along with him. The right-hander has an ERA well over 5.00 since coming to Chicago, and has walked over four batters per nine innings pitched during that time. His numbers in five September starts this past season were more palatable, however, and it’s worth noting that the White Sox are only on the hook for about half of Shields’ 2018 salary. Perhaps some team will be willing to take a chance on him as a back-of-the-rotation innings eater. Either way, he’s a one-year piece; his 2019 club option is highly unlikely to be exercised.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Yelich Talks Between White Sox, Marlins Did Not Advance]]> 2017-12-22T19:23:30Z 2017-12-22T19:23:30Z The White Sox are among the clubs that have spoken to the Marlins about Christian Yelich, reports ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick (via Twitter), though he adds that those talks never gained much traction. Per Crasnick, talks never advanced beyond “routine dialogue.” Certainly, though, if the Marlins elected to shop Yelich to other clubs, there’d be a fit between the two sides. Chicago has one of the game’s top farm systems, and the 26-year-old Yelich would align nicely with the rebuilding White Sox’s projected timeline for contending. Yelich is owed $44.5MM over the next four seasons — a sum that includes the buyout on a $15MM option for a fifth season. All told, Yelich can be controlled for five years and $58.25MM — a relative bargain for a player that has batted .293/.371/.447 with outstanding left field defense over the past three seasons. Yelich showed in 2017, too, that he can handle center field if needed, though defensive metrics are much more bullish on his corner work. For now, however, Crasnick notes that execs with other clubs believe the Marlins will hang onto Yelich.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[White Sox Claim Jose Ruiz From Padres]]> 2017-12-22T19:10:59Z 2017-12-22T19:10:59Z The Padres announced today that right-hander Jose Ruiz has been claimed off waivers by the White Sox. San Diego had designated the hard-throwing Ruiz for assignment last week to clear a roster spot for trade acquisition Freddy Galvis.

    Ruiz, 23, made the jump from Class-A Advanced to the Majors this season, though he only threw a single inning at the big league level. Ruiz worked as a catcher for the bulk of his pro career with the Padres but began transitioning to the mound in 2016 after batting just .203/.239/.249 in his career as a hitter. He tossed a career-high 49 2/3 innings in 2017 with the Padres’ Class-A Advanced affiliate, struggling to a 5.98 ERA in that time.

    Ruiz, however, sat at 95.3 mph with his heater in his lone MLB appearance this past season and averaged 8.2 K/9 in his first full season as a pitcher in the minors. He also averaged 4.5 BB/9, though, and posted a low 32.5 percent ground-ball rate, which contributed to some trouble in keeping the ball in the park (1.27 HR/9). He’s tossed 16 innings in the Venezuelan Winter League this offseason, posting a 3.94 ERA with a 12-to-6 K/BB ratio, a hit batter and a wild pitch.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[ChiSox Reportedly Still Involved In Talks For Machado]]> 2017-12-20T14:46:05Z 2017-12-20T14:43:23Z
  • Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago tweets that both the Cubs and the White Sox are still involved in conversations with the Orioles regarding Machado. The Cubs are stacked with infield options, though none of their shortstop options come with a track record as impressive as that of Machado. The White Sox, meanwhile, reportedly declined to include their top-ranked prospects in their initial offer to the Orioles. It doesn’t seem prudent for the rebuilding South Siders to mortgage much of their future to acquire one year of Machado when they’re not expected to contend for the division in 2018.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Latest On Manny Machado]]> 2017-12-17T15:10:42Z 2017-12-17T15:10:02Z SUNDAY: The White Sox and Diamondbacks had shown the most interest in Machado as of Saturday morning, Olney heard from AL sources.

    THURSDAY: Trade winds continue to swirl around Manny Machado, as the Orioles’ apparent willingness to consider dealing its star third baseman was one of the major storylines of the Winter Meetings.  The Orioles have received ten “legitimate offers” for Machado, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports, though the quality of those offers and the number of teams involved may be hampered by Baltimore’s refusal to allow a 72-hour window for a new team to talk to Machado’s agents about a possible extension.

    The Cardinals didn’t make “a formal offer” due to that lack of negotiating period, and the White Sox (previously thought to have made the strongest of all the offers) apparently didn’t include any of their top prospects in their proposal, Nightengale reports.  Two executives said that Chicago made its offer with the belief that the Sox would only have Machado for the 2018 season.

    One major factor influencing talks is Baltimore owner Peter Angelos’ insistence that Machado not end up with the Yankees in 2018.  This naturally rules out a direct trade with New York, though Angelos also doesn’t want a scenario where Machado is dealt to a team that would flip him to the Yankees for prospects, be it before the July trade deadline or even later this offseason.  These parameters would seem to limit the Orioles’ list of potential trade partners to only contending teams, and maybe even to contenders that would seemingly have no chance of a midseason collapse and subsequent deadline fire sale (though obviously one can’t know for sure what would-be contenders could be in for a nightmare season, a la the 2017 Giants.)

    The White Sox aren’t expected to contend for even a couple of seasons yet, and thus would seem like potential candidates to deal Machado in order to further hasten their rebuild.  The Sox are apparently willing to address Angelos’ concerns, as Nightengale writes that “if the Orioles even wanted it in writing that they’d keep him around until at least mid-summer,” Chicago would be fine with that assurance.  This would be quite an unusual type of trade provisio, of course, and one that Angelos may still not be fine with if he wants to eliminate any chance of Machado wearing Yankee pinstripes in 2018.

    Beyond the teams already reported as having interest in Machado, the Diamondbacks are also in the mix,’s Buster Olney tweets.  Arizona “checked in” on the Machado talks, though it isn’t clear if the D’Backs were just performing due diligence or if they were one of the clubs who made Baltimore an offer.  Machado would seem to be something of an unlikely fit for a D’Backs team that doesn’t have the payroll space to afford Machado’s $17.3 projected salary for 2018, though they could clear some of their own pricier arb-eligible players off the books by sending them back to the O’s.  Patrick Corbin, for instance, would be an upgrade for the Orioles’ rotation, while Jake Lamb would replace Machado at third base and give some much-needed left-handed balance to Baltimore’s lineup.

    MLBTR’s Steve Adams recently took a broad look at the Machado situation, gauging all 29 other teams by how plausible they seem as contenders to actually land the star infielder.  Needless to say, Angelos’ specifications would seem to narrow an already thin market, since there aren’t many teams willing to meet the Orioles’ big asking price (reportedly two controllable starting pitchers) for just a year of Machado’s services.  Adams listed both the White Sox and Diamondbacks as “out of the picture” candidates, so their chances of working out a deal could be even more remote given Angelos’ wariness of any “creative” follow-up trades a Machado suitor could make.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[White Sox Didn't Offer Moncada, Kopech For Machado]]> 2017-12-17T01:21:29Z 2017-12-17T01:18:02Z
  • The offer the White Sox made to the Orioles for third baseman/shortstop Manny Machado did not include second baseman Yoan Moncada or rightyMichael Kopech, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes. It would’ve been a surprise to see the rebuilding White Sox consider parting with either player for only a year of control over Machado. The 22-year-old Moncada and Kopech, 21, were the crown jewels in the package they received last winter for Chris Sale, after all. Moncada, whom the White Sox promoted last July, will be their second baseman from the get-go next year. The flamethrowing Kopech reached Triple-A in 2017 and now ranks as’s 10th-best prospect.
  • ]]>
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Dustin Fowler Sues White Sox Over Injury]]> 2017-12-16T06:34:02Z 2017-12-16T06:11:12Z Athletics outfielder Dustin Fowler has brought a lawsuit against the White Sox and the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority relating to the serious knee injury he suffered in June, as Tom Schuba of the Chicago Sun Times reports.

    Fowler was injured when he collided with an electrical box along the right field wall at Chicago’s Guaranteed Rate Field while chasing a foul pop-up. At the time, he was playing for the Yankees in his first major league baseball game. He suffered a ruptured patella tendon that required surgery and cost him the entire remainder of the season.

    Now a member of the Athletics after being included in the Sonny Gray swap at the 2017 trade deadline, Fowler is working his way back in preparation for Spring Training. The hope is that he will regain his health and former trajectory as a player, though certainly it is not yet clear whether he’ll face ongoing physical limitations.

    Fowler, who’ll soon turn 23, had increasingly been seen as an intriguing young player during the course of the 2017 season. He hit 13 home runs and posted a .293/.329/.542 batting line in 313 plate appearances at Triple-A, earning his first call-up.

    According to the suit, the White Sox and/or Authority failed to adequately protect players from the unpadded electrical box, leaving players exposed to the sort of harm that Fowler ultimately suffered. He is seeking damages for “severe and permanent” injuries, pain and suffering, and certain medical costs.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Blue Jays Interested In Avisail Garcia]]> 2017-12-15T01:48:37Z 2017-12-15T01:46:38Z
  • The Blue Jays are one of the teams who have spoken to the White Sox about outfielder Avisail Garcia, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports (Twitter link).  Chicago doesn’t seem to be close to a deal, however.  Garcia would be a solid answer for the Jays’ hole in right field, as the 26-year-old is coming off an All-Star season that saw him hit .330/.380/.506 with 18 homers over 561 PA.  This success has led the Sox to put a high asking price on his services, though the Jays and other clubs will have to weigh that against Garcia’s .392 BABIP and lack of production prior to 2017.
  • ]]>
    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Giants Intersted In Avisail Garcia]]> 2017-12-14T22:42:23Z 2017-12-14T22:42:23Z
  • The Giants “checked in” on Avisail Garcia as part of their search for outfield help,’s Alex Pavlovic reports.  The White Sox outfielder is coming off a breakout season, and he’d fit the Giants’ needs as a right-handed hitter who comes at a relatively inexpensive price (arbitration-controlled through 2019).  Garcia and Jose Abreu stand out as Chicago’s two biggest remaining veteran trade chips.
  • ]]>
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Position Player Rumblings: Red Sox, Machado, White Sox, Cards/Donaldson, Jays/Cain, Mets]]> 2017-12-14T17:45:32Z 2017-12-14T17:43:19Z The Red Sox have designs on adding the two top position players on the free agent market, according to the Boston Herald’s Michael Silverman, with ongoing pursuit of both J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer. Interestingly, Silverman notes that Boston would likely look to shed some of its obligations to Hanley Ramirez by dealing him away in the event it can acquire both players.

    That scenario seems to be one of several possibilities still remaining for the Red Sox, who are one of the many teams with plenty of work yet to do in settling their regular lineups. Here’s a look in at the latest notes on bats from around the game:

    • Orioles VP of baseball ops Dan Duquette made clear today that he does not foresee striking a deal involving third baseman Manny Machado that is contingent upon extension negotiations, as Joel Sherman of the New York Post was among those to report on Twitter. In other words, it seems any acquiring team would be gaining just one year of control over over Machado. Sherman also hears that the odds are in favor of a deal at this point, tweeting that the White Sox and Cardinals are the “most aggressive” teams in pursuit of the young superstar.
    • For the White Sox, the interest in Machado does not include an intention to flip him in a later swap, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter). While Chicago has made an “impressive” bid for Machado, per Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune, Nightengale also says that the belief on the South Side is that others have offered more. Meanwhile, GM Rick Hahn said that the team’s “focus remains on the long term” and says he won’t “make any sort of move that’s aimed at jumping up” into immediate contention. Despite that cold water, he did say the organization is willing to “take some calculated risks along the way.” Just what the team has in mind with this reported pursuit remains a bit of a mystery, but we’ll have to wait and see how things shake out.
    • While evidently maintaining interest in Machado and pursuing other fronts, the Cardinals are also still “pushing” the Blue Jays to offer up their own star third baseman, Josh Donaldson, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (via Twitter). At this point, though, there’s no reason to believe that Toronto will budge from its stance on Donaldson — namely, that it’s not interested in moving him for anything approaching a reasonable return.
    • Far from dangling Donaldson, it seems the Blue Jays are at least weighing a major addition. The club has interest in free agent center fielder Lorenzo Cain, per Jon Heyman of Fan Rag (via Twitter). In theory, Cain could coexist with current center fielder Kevin Pillar, though Cain is also most valuable up the middle. The Jays are interested in committing up to four years, says Heyman, but it seems there are indications Cain will have an opportunity to secure a better deal elsewhere. MLBTR predicted that Cain would land four years in free agency; to this point, we haven’t heard much public discussion of his market, but he’s rather clearly the top available center fielder.
    • While the Mets were able to come away from the Winter Meetings with a relief arm, they have yet to fill their opening at second base. Per Marc Carig of Newsday, Ian Kinsler was not willing to waive his no-trade rights to go to New York. (All links to Twitter.) The club has a variety of other options still in play, Carig explains, adding that the organization was discussing righty Rafael Montero in talks regarding Kinsler.
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Rangers Acquire Carlos Tocci]]> 2017-12-14T15:04:09Z 2017-12-14T14:45:44Z The Rangers have acquired outfielder Carlos Tocci from the White Sox in exchange for cash, tweets Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. Chicago had selected him with the No. 4 pick in the Rule 5 draft (out of the Phillies’ system).

    Tocci was a fairly high-profile sign out of Venezuela for the Phils back in 2011, taking home a reported bonus of $759K at the time. Though he’s never exactly dominated in the minors, he’s coming off a solid .294/.346/.381 slash line in 528 plate appearances between the Phillies’ Double-A and Triple-A affiliates — his first stop at each of those levels on his rise through the Majors. Tocci doesn’t come with any power and isn’t a base-stealing threat, but he’s an excellent defensive center fielder with a strong hit tool, per Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo of, who had rated him 23rd among Phillies prospects.

    Tocci will retain his Rule 5 status with the Rangers, meaning he cannot be optioned to the minors without first being exposed to waivers and then offered back to the Phillies for $50,000. If he lasts the entire season on the Rangers’ big league roster (with at least 90 days on the active roster and not on the DL), he’ll become their property without any restrictions in 2019.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Several Teams Have Reportedly Made Offers For Manny Machado]]> 2017-12-14T17:58:54Z 2017-12-14T08:53:43Z THURSDAY, 2:53am: Nightengale reports in another tweet that the Orioles are “moving aggressively” on trade talks involving Machado, noting that Baltimore believes they can move him by the end of the week.

    THURSDAY, 12:47am: Contrary to Rosenthal’s earlier report, Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports reports via Twitter that the Cardinals have a “strong offer” in place for Machado, though it’s reportedly not as strong as White Sox’ proposal.

    THURSDAY, 12:20am:  Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (insider subscription required and recommended) reports that the White Sox have been the “most aggressive” suitor for Machado. Their goal seems to be to acquire him and attempt to extend him for the long term. Bob Nightengale adds in a tweet that the offer from Chicago was “the best offer of the dozen offers the Orioles have received.”

    Rosenthal also notes that the Giants offered the Orioles a package that included Christian Arroyo. The Cardinals also asked about Machado, but the price was apparently too steep for them.

    WEDNESDAY, 7:53pm: It doesn’t appear that a Machado trade will come together during the Winter Meetings, Encina writes.

    6:30pm: Several teams have made formal trade offers for Machado, Jon Heyman of FanRag tweets. The Yankees’ chances of landing him are near zero, a source told Joel Sherman of the New York Post. It seems the Yankees would want to include Jacoby Ellsbury in a a Machado deal to help them stay under the competitive-balance tax threshold, but Sherman doubts he’d waive his no-trade clause to go to Baltimore (Twitter link).

    4:33pm: The Orioles are “making good progress” toward a Machado trade, Duquette told Brittany Ghiroli of and other reporters, though Dan Connolly of writes that a deal doesn’t appear imminent. There are more than five teams in the running for Machado, Ghiroli adds. The Orioles met with a “couple” of those teams Wednesday, per Encina. Notably, Duquette hasn’t dismissed trading Machado to another AL East team, Roch Kubatko of relays (all Twitter links here).

    TUESDAY, 6:27pm: The Yankees and White Sox are also interested in Machado, ESPN’s Buster Olney reports (Twitter link).  As mentioned below, Peter Angelos doesn’t want to deal Machado to New York, while the Sox are an interesting suitor that could be looking at Machado as the centerpiece of a return to contention.  Cardinals GM Michael Girsch told Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that giving up significant assets for a star player with just one year of control remaining is “not a path we are likely to go down.”  Interestingly, this description applies to both Machado and to another oft-mentioned Cards trade target in Josh Donaldson.

    4:29pm: “Several clubs” asked the Orioles about Machado today, Dan Duquette told’s Brittany Ghiroli (Twitter links), Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter links) and other media.  There’s at least a possibility a trade happens, and the Orioles have apparently not discussed an extension with Machado in years, though new negotiations are “under consideration.”  The O’s haven’t talked about giving any potential Machado trade partner a 72-hour window to try and negotiate their own extension with the infielder.

    1:43pm: The Cardinals have interest in Machado, Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets. The Phillies are said to be enamored of Machado, too, and there are no doubt a wide variety of other teams lining up to check on in the asking price. Baltimore is receiving a “ton” of interest in Machado, Rob Bradford of tweets.

    10:57am: While it’s been reported that the Orioles are at least willing to listen to offers on Manny Machado, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic takes things a step further, reporting that the O’s have asked interested parties to make them offers for the star infielder (subscription required and highly recommended). The term “infielder” is of particular note, as Rosenthal also writes that Machado’s desire is to return to shortstop in 2018 whether he’s in Baltimore or with a new club.

    Machado, 25, has long stood out as an on-paper trade candidate given his proximity to free agency and the Orioles’ lack of starting pitching. The O’s, who have been looking to add as many as three starters to their rotation this winter, will be hard-pressed to contend for an AL East title in 2018 (even more so in the wake of the Bronx Bombers’ acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton). With Machado set to hit the open market next winter in position to land a record-setting contract — assuming a healthy year, anything south of Stanton’s $325MM guarantee would seem to be a nonstarter — it’s difficult to envision him remaining in Baltimore. For the time being, MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projects a $17.3MM salary for Machado next year after his final trip through the arbitration process.

    The Orioles, per Rosenthal, are aiming to acquire two controllable young starters in any trade for Machado. That’s a lofty ask for a lot of teams, but a win-now club with an ample supply of touted but unproven pitching could look at that as an acceptable price to pay for a player that has been worth better than five wins per season, on average, over the past half decade (despite missing 80 games due to injury in 2014). Notably, Rosenthal adds that owner Peter Angelos does not want to trade with the division-rival Yankees.

    Machado didn’t have his best season in 2017, as he got off to a shockingly pedestrian start to the year. Through the season’s first three months, Machado was batting just .216/.289/.423 with an elevated (by his standards) 20.6 percent strikeout rate. Over the final three months, though, the Machado of old resurfaced, as he mashed at a .295/.329/.513 pace with a vastly improved 13.1 percent punchout rate.

    Machado has two Gold Gloves and a Platinum Glove to his name at third base and has long graded out as an elite defender there, but there’s little doubt that he could still handle shortstop at an above-average level as well. He logged nearly 400 innings there in 2016, for instance, and drew generally positive marks from Ultimate Zone Rating (+1.9) and Defensive Runs Saved (+3).

    From a broader perspective, Machado is one of several players entering his final year of team control in Baltimore. Zach Britton, Adam Jones and Brad Brach are all free agents following the 2018 season, while Jonathan Schoop is controlled for just one year beyond that. Depending on how aggressively the O’s are willing to sell off parts, they could quickly restock their farm with an ample supply of talent by marketing more than one of their soon-to-be free agents, though doing so would also mean largely punting on the 2018 campaign at the very least.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Cafardo: Red Sox, Cardinals "Very Interested" In Jose Abreu]]> 2017-12-10T16:35:24Z 2017-12-10T16:35:24Z The Red Sox are “very interested” in White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, which runs contrary to previous reports. The Cardinals are also after Abreu, Cafardo adds, which isn’t surprising for a team that just lost out on Giancarlo Stanton and continues to seek a power bat. Abreu, who will turn 31 in January, slashed .304/.354/.552 with 33 home runs in 675 plate appearances last season. He comes with two years of arbitration eligibility and will earn a lofty sum – a projected $17.9MM – in 2018. The White Sox want “top prospects” for Abreu, per Cafardo.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Abreu Talks With Boston Reportedly "Overstated"]]> 2017-12-08T17:48:53Z 2017-12-08T17:48:53Z Despite recent reports connecting the Red Sox to Jose Abreu, Rob Bradford of tweets that talks between Boston and Chicago are “significantly overstated,” adding that there’s never been much traction between the two sides in that regard. That meshes with what The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal wrote yesterday (subscription required and recommended) when reporting that it’s unlikely the White Sox move Abreu to Boston or to any other club, “barring an unexpected change.”