Chicago White Sox – MLB Trade Rumors 2019-10-23T04:01:14Z WordPress Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Pitchers Recently Electing Free Agency]]> 2019-10-22T15:43:42Z 2019-10-22T14:56:58Z Since the conclusion of the regular season, a number of players have elected free agency. That right accrues to certain players who are outrighted off of a 40-man roster during or after the season — namely, those that have at least three years of MLB service and/or have previously been outrighted. Such players that accepted outright assignments during the season have the right to elect free agency instead at season’s end, provided they aren’t added back to the 40-man in the meantime.

We already rounded up the position players. Now, here are the pitchers that have recently taken to the open market, along with their now-former teams (via the International League and PCL transactions pages):

Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Position Players Recently Electing Free Agency]]> 2019-10-22T14:43:24Z 2019-10-22T12:06:20Z Since the conclusion of the regular season, a number of players have elected free agency. That right accrues to certain players who are outrighted off of a 40-man roster during or after the season — namely, those that have at least three years of MLB service and/or have previously been outrighted. Such players that accepted outright assignments during the season have the right to elect free agency instead at season’s end, provided they aren’t added back to the 40-man in the meantime.

Here are the position players that have recently taken to the open market, along with their now-former teams (via the International League and PCL transactions pages):

Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Latest On Alex Colome ]]> 2019-10-10T21:22:49Z 2019-10-10T21:22:49Z
  • Though Alex Colome is projected to earn $10.3MM in salary next year, the Athletic’s James Fegan (subscription required) doesn’t think the high arbitration price tag will prevent the White Sox from bringing the closer back in 2020.  GM Rick Hahn indicated after the season that the performances of Colome and Aaron Bummer as Chicago’s late-game duo “makes you feel real good about their spot going forward,” and Fegan notes that the Sox likely wouldn’t have acquired Colome from the Mariners last winter if they were worried about paying him in 2020, given how save totals predictably lead to big raises for closers in the arbitration process.  Both advanced metrics (.215 BABIP, and a 2.64 wOBA that was far below his .324 xwOBA) and ERA predictors (4.08 FIP, 4.61 xFIP, 4.38 SIERA) indicated that Colome was rather fortunate to post his 2.80 ERA over 61 innings last season, so a non-tender or a trade is perhaps feasible if the White Sox felt a bigger course correction was on the way next year.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[White Sox Name Frank Menechino Hitting Coach]]> 2019-10-10T17:01:23Z 2019-10-10T17:01:23Z The White Sox announced Thursday that they’ve named Frank Menechino as their new hitting coach, replacing the previously dismissed Todd Steverson.

    Menechino, 48, played parts of seven seasons as an infielder with the Athletics and the Blue Jays from 1999 through 2005. He spent the 2019 season as the hitting coach for the White Sox’ Triple-A affiliate in Charlotte but has quite a bit of prior coaching experience. Menechino served as the Marlins’ assistant hitting coach from 2014-16 before being promoted to their lead hitting coach in 2017-18. He also spent five years as a hitting coach in the Yankees’ farm system before being added to the Marlins’ big league staff.

    The White Sox opted not to bring back Steverson or assistant hitting coach Greg Sparks earlier this month, so they’ll likely be on the lookout for an assistant to Menechino as well. Chicago hitters posted the game’s third-highest strikeout rate (25.6 percent) and ranked dead last in terms of team walk rate (6.3 percent) in 2019.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[White Sox Outright Charlie Tilson]]> 2019-10-04T17:25:22Z 2019-10-04T17:24:46Z 12:24pm: Tilson has elected free agency, James Fegan of The Athletic tweets.

    8:11am: White Sox outfielder Charlie Tilson was outrighted off the team’s 40-man roster yesterday, per the transactions log at Tilson has previously been outrighted, so he’ll have the option to declare free agency and see what the market holds for him this winter.

    The writing was likely on the wall for Tilson when he didn’t receive a September call-up despite a healthy finish to the season in Triple-A. Tilson appeared in 54 games with the ChiSox in 2019, hitting .229/.293/.285 with a homer and five doubles in 157 plate appearances, but he spent most of the year with Triple-A Charlotte, where he batted .288/.345/.398 in 257 trips to the plate.

    At the time of his acquisition from the Cardinals — Chicago traded Zach Duke to St. Louis for him back in 2016 — Tilson was viewed as an elite runner and a potential top-of-the-order. But Tilson tore his hamstring in his MLB debut just days after being acquired by the White Sox and missed the rest of the season after undergoing surgery. He then missed the entire 2017 campaign with a stress reaction in his foot that kept him in a walking boot for a notable portion of the season.

    Since that pair of leg injuries, Tilson, who swiped 46 bases as a 22-year-old in Double-A in 2015, has tallied just 20 steals (in 28 attempts) across 223 games between Triple-A and the Majors. And in 278 Major League plate appearances since returning, he’s mustered a tepid .244/.309/.288 slash line. He still drew above-average defensive marks in a tiny sample of work in center field this season, though those same metrics panned his work in right field (again, in a minuscule sample). If and when Tilson does become a free agent, he’ll likely land a minor league deal and compete for a roster spot in Spring Training with a club next season.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[White Sox Will Not Retain Hitting Coaches]]> 2019-10-02T21:42:10Z 2019-10-02T21:42:10Z The White Sox have announced that they will not retain hitting coach Todd Steverson, as James Fegan of The Athletic was among those to cover on Twitter. Assistant hitting coach Greg Sparks will also not be brought back.

    Steverson has been in his position since 2014, representing a rather lengthy run for a hitting coach. He has previously coached with the Athletics. Sparks had a three-year run as Steverson’s assistant.

    Otherwise, the staff under manager Rick Renteria will remain unchanged. The White Sox had to be thrilled with the strides made by some hitters — Tim Anderson, Yoan Moncada, James McCann — but the overall offensive output fell below league average. That’s certainly not the sole fault of Steverson and Sparks, but the organization obviously decided those weren’t the right people to drive future improvements at the plate.

    Dylan A. Chase <![CDATA[Teammates In Wide Support Of Abreu Return]]> 2019-10-03T15:08:44Z 2019-09-30T05:52:12Z
  • Much has been said about Jose Abreu’s ongoing flirtation with White Sox management about his potential return to the Chicago dugout in 2020–we understand by now that both team and player are interested in a reunion, although Abreu’s contract is up this offseason. For what it’s worth, the player’s teammates were unequivocal on Sunday in their advocation for an Abreu return, as detailed in a piece from James Fegan of The Athletic. “It doesn’t make sense for him to not be a White Sox,” pitcher Lucas Giolito said. “He’s an example for us and I think he’s the guy,” outfielder Eloy Jimenez opined. “I don’t see his skill set right now diminishing in any way, shape or form,” manager Rick Renteria offered. Opinions will vary on what kind of deal Abreu–who posted a 115 wRC+ in 690 plate appearances this year–should elicit, but those around the South Side clubhouse clearly believe he’s an integral part of the team’s next step toward contention.
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    George Miller <![CDATA[Dylan Cease Has Grade 1 Hamstring Strain]]> 2019-09-28T22:21:38Z 2019-09-28T22:14:34Z
  • White Sox pitcher Dylan Cease has been diagnosed with a Grade 1 hamstring strain, according to James Fegan of The Athletic. He was scratched from his schedule start on Thursday, and of course won’t pitch again this season. While the two-to-four week timeline that comes with the injury is of little significance at this time of year, it’s nonetheless good to hear that the promising rookie will be at full health before too long. He’s had some growing pains as a rookie but has shown some encouraging signs, striking out 81 batters in his first 73 innings as a big-leaguer. With 141 1/3 innings between several levels, he’s also amassed his biggest workload as a pro.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[White Sox GM Rick Hahn On Potential Offseason Priorities]]> 2019-09-28T05:14:21Z 2019-09-28T05:14:21Z Starting pitching, designated hitter and right field are among the areas that have been problematic for the White Sox this year, their 11th season in a row without a playoff berth. General manager Rick Hahn could address those spots during the winter, he told James Fegan of The Athletic and other reporters Friday (subscription link).

    The White Sox’s rotation has been one of the game’s worst this year, but it’s clearly not a unit devoid of talent. The success of Lucas Giolito, who has given the team long-awaited front-line production, has arguably been the most encouraging development of the season for Chicago. Meantime, although their numbers are below average, there’s vast potential with Reynaldo Lopez and Dylan Cease. The club also has stellar pitching prospect Michael Kopech, who missed all of this year because of Tommy John surgery but could earn a spot in its rotation from the outset in 2020. Carlos Rodon’s another recovering TJ patient, but he didn’t go under the knife until this past May. Consequently, Rodon won’t be an early season option for the White Sox next year. As such, Hahn suggested the team could bring in more than one starter during the winter.

    On the offensive side, it seems any moves the White Sox make will be geared toward bettering their paltry on-base percentage. “That’s something we need to improve upon,” admitted Hahn, whose team ranks 22nd in the majors in OBP (.314) and dead last in walk percentage (6.3).

    The DHs and the outfielders the White Sox have utilized this year have been some of the main contributors toward their deficient OBP. The club released Opening Day DH Yonder Alonso back in the first week of July after he got off to a terrible start, even though it still owed the offseason acquisition almost $5MM at the time. The White Sox have since turned to a revolving door of players there, including first baseman Jose Abreu, a pending free agent. The 32-year-old Abreu and the White Sox have made their affinity for each other known on many occasions, so it wouldn’t be any kind of a surprise to see a new deal come together between the two.

    Meanwhile, in the outfield, it seems left and center are spoken for heading into next season. Prized left fielder Eloy Jimenez will return for the second year of his career, while Hahn “confirmed” standout prospect Luis Robert will be in the majors early enough in 2020 that center won’t be an offseason priority, per Fagan. The White Sox have relied on Adam Engel and Leury Garcia there to mediocre results this year. They’ve been worse off in right, where Garcia, Ryan Cordell, Jon Jay, Charlie Tilson and Daniel Palka have combined for woeful production. Free agents-to-be Marcell Ozuna, Nicholas Castellanos, Yasiel Puig, Corey Dickerson and Brett Gardner would provide easy corner outfield upgrades on paper, though Hahn and the Sox could take the trade route instead.

    Second base has been yet another offensive weak spot for Chicago, which has seen Yolmer Sanchez post a .254/.321/.322 line with almost zero power (two home runs, .068 ISO) in 543 trips to the plate. Nevertheless, it doesn’t appear the keystone will be on the White Sox’s offseason to-do list. Just as Hahn looks for Robert to come up in the early going next year, he expects fellow top 100 prospect Nick Madrigal to do the same and help solidify second base.

    Thanks in part to the White Sox’s collection of young talent, they’re “very, very pleased with the progress” they’ve made, according to Hahn, who did admit they haven’t won enough games in 2019. Chicago’s sitting on 70 victories with a couple days left in the season, and it’s clear Hahn will have a lot to address in the next several months in order to get the team closer to playoff contention next year.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[White Sox Affirm Plans To Retain Rick Renteria]]> 2019-09-28T02:00:05Z 2019-09-28T02:00:05Z Despite a third-straight lackluster campaign, the White Sox will retain skipper Rick Renteria. GM Rick Hahn reaffirmed his support for Renteria in comments today to reporters including Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times.

    It isn’t particularly surprising to hear of this decision, as all indications had been that the South Siders would keep Renteria in the dugout. But it’s notable nevertheless since plans could’ve changed after a second-half slide.

    The White Sox have cracked seventy wins for the first time in Renteria’s tenure, but it would be tough to call this season a resounding success. But there have certainly been some bright spots — especially, the emergence of Lucas Giolito, Tim Anderson, and Yoan Moncada — and the team feels it is still on the upswing.

    When asked whether the team might be tempted to make a change once it sees the available slate of managerial candidates, Hahn stated plainly: “Ricky will be our manager.” The veteran executive went on to explain that the club continues to believe Renteria is capable not only of nurturing a developing team, but also of bringing it into contention. “[E]ven at the time we hired him,” says Hahn, “we felt he had the ability to not only set the right winning culture but to put guys in the best position to win.”

    Renteria certainly will have a role to play if the White Sox are to finally make a significant move up the standings in 2020. But the front office will have the lion’s share of the work to do over the winter. With some shrewd acquisitions, and continued positive strides from a burgeoning young core, it’s possible — but by no means assured — that the club will be competitive as soon as next year.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[White Sox Notes: Cease, Kopech]]> 2019-09-27T06:37:25Z 2019-09-27T06:37:05Z
  • White Sox right-hander Dylan Cease’s season came to an early end when the club made him a late scratch from his scheduled start Thursday. Cease is dealing with a hamstring issue, one that will require an MRI on Friday, Scott Merkin of tweets. The touted 23-year-old wrapped up his debut campaign with a 5.79 ERA/5.19 FIP, 9.99 K/9 and 4.32 BB/9 in 73 innings.
  • Righty Michael Kopech, another of the White Sox’s coveted young arms, didn’t pitch at all this year after undergoing Tommy John surgery last September. Now, though, the flamethrowing Kopech is anticipating what he hopes will be a normal spring training. “I am as ready I can be right now,” Kopech said (via Bruce Levine of 670 The Score). “I have done everything I can to prepare. It has been a long time coming. I am ready to go for next spring.” Kopech should have a shot to join the returning trio of Cease, breakout star Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez in the White Sox’s season-opening rotation in 2020. 
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    George Miller <![CDATA[James McCann On White Sox Future]]> 2019-09-21T22:43:54Z 2019-09-21T22:39:15Z White Sox catcher James McCann could represent an integral part of his team’s jump to contention, which might opt for a sort of veteran infusion to supplement a blossoming young core led by Yoan Moncada, Lucas Giolito, Tim Anderson, and Eloy Jimenez. As The Athletic’s James Fegan writes, McCann sees himself as one of the first veterans to steer the young club towards that next step. He compares his team to recent versions of the Indians and Royals, who rode young cores to World Series berths from 2014-2016 as McCann watched from Detroit. He’s enjoyed his best offensive season, riding a strong first half to an All-Star selection, though he prides himself in his game-calling and management of a pitching staff. His collaboration with breakout star Lucas Giolito, along with a strong showing at the plate, has earned him a spot in the Sox clubhouse for 2020 and beyond.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[White Sox Could Move On From Yolmer Sanchez]]> 2019-09-20T06:10:28Z 2019-09-20T06:09:07Z
  • As noted on Thursday, the White Sox would be wise to seek an upgrade at second base during the offseason. Current starter Yolmer Sanchez hasn’t been the answer at the position, having batted .250/.320/.317 with almost no power (two home runs, .067 ISO) in 519 plate appearances. Consequently, Sanchez’s days with the team could indeed be numbered, Steve Greenberg of the Chicago Sun-Times observes. The 27-year-old’s slated to reach arbitration for the second-last time during the offseason, when he’ll seek a raise over his 2019 salary of $4.625MM, though the club may elect to move on from him instead. Sanchez doesn’t want that to happen, however, as the White Sox are the only organization he has known since he signed out of Venezuela in 2009. ‘‘When I was a little kid, I wanted to play baseball because I loved it,’’ Sanchez told Greenberg. ‘‘I still love it. I played for fun then, and I play for fun now. But I play for the Chicago White Sox. I’ve tried to enjoy every day I’ve spent here. I hope there are a lot more days.’’
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Three Needs: Chicago White Sox]]> 2019-09-20T22:05:11Z 2019-09-20T00:52:48Z We’re bringing back our “Three Needs” series, in which we take a look at the chief issues to be addressed for clubs that have fallen out of contention. We’ve already focused on the Mariners and the Tigers, and now we’ll turn our attention to a White Sox team that’s about to conclude its 11th straight season without a playoff berth. Led by general manager Rick Hahn, the Pale Hose figure to spend the offseason working toward putting a playoff team on the field in 2020. Here are a few things they need to address in order to make that a possibility…

    [White Sox Depth Chart]

    1. Upgrade The Outfield

    If we’re to believe fWAR, no team has been worse off in the grass than the White Sox, whose outfielders have combined for a league-low minus-0.3 in that category. Much-ballyhooed rookie left fielder Eloy Jimenez has been the lone bright spot, though he hasn’t been a defensive stalwart. Everyone else has been downright terrible at the plate. The good news is that the White Sox have yet another super prospect, 22-year-old Luis Robert, nearing the majors.

    Even if Robert comes up from Triple-A Charlotte early next season and makes an immediate impact, the White Sox will still need at least one more solution in the outfield. The club knew the OF was an issue last offseason, when it made at least a perfunctory effort to sign Bryce Harper, and now that Chicago’s a year closer to ending its rebuild, it should again place significant emphasis on the area during the upcoming winter. While the White Sox went after Harper last offseason, they also reportedly pursued a trade for Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson, who wound up staying put. He could again be a trade target in a couple months, though, with Marcell Ozuna, Corey Dickerson, Brett Gardner, Yasiel Puig and the defensively questionable Nicholas Castellanos serving as surefire upgrades who could be among the game’s free agents.

    2. Improve The Starting Staff

    Right-hander Lucas Giolito has turned into a bona fide front-line starter, which is arguably the best news the White Sox have received this season. Too bad they can’t clone him. Giolito aside, Chicago’s staff clearly needs more sure things heading into 2020. Reynaldo Lopez, although promising, has struggled for a large portion of this season. So has Ivan Nova, who paces the team in starts and innings, and is slated to become a free agent over the winter. Rookie Dylan Cease has a ton of potential, but he has endured a difficult start to his major league career. And both Carlos Rodon and Michael Kopech are recovering from recent Tommy John procedures. Rodon had surgery back in May, meaning he certainly won’t be back for the early portion of 2020. Kopech went under the knife a year ago, so the hyped prospect could be a factor toward the beginning of next season. However, Kopech’s resume includes a meager 14 1/3 major league innings.

    Chicago’s not known for winning free-agent bidding wars, evidenced by the fact that Jose Abreu’s six-year, $68MM contract from October 2013 still stands as the richest deal in franchise history. Maybe it’s time for the big-market club to buck that trend, though. There’s no reason the White Sox shouldn’t aggressively pursue the sport’s No. 1 soon-to-be free agent, Astros ace and potential AL Cy Young winner Gerrit Cole, who could command more than $200MM on the open market. They should also be in on lesser (but still capable) free-agent arms such as Zack Wheeler and Jake Odorizzi, to name a couple.

    3. Shore Up The Right Side Of The Infield

    The left side of the White Sox’s infield looks to be in excellent shape. Third baseman Yoan Moncada has turned into the stud the team originally thought it was getting in its 2016 Chris Sale blockbuster with the Red Sox. Adjacent to Moncada, shortstop Tim Anderson may be on his way to a batting title.

    Unfortunately for Chicago, the right side of its infield isn’t as well off. Primary second baseman Yolmer Sanchez hasn’t been the answer at his position, while Abreu is slated to hit free agency. In the case of the latter, it seems there’s a solid chance of a new deal coming together. The White Sox and Abreu have made their affinity for one another known on several occasions, and the 32-year-old’s late-season hot streak could further galvanize the team to re-sign him. If not, though, first (and probably designated hitter) will need to be on the White Sox’s to-do list via the free-agent and-or trade markets.

    Even more concerns are in the offing at second, though the White Sox will struggle to find a long-term solution there in free agency. Thirty-somethings Howie Kendrick (who has been fantastic this year), Brian Dozier, Starlin Castro, Ben Zobrist, Brock Holt and Jason Kipnis could be short-term targets there. Maybe even Mike Moustakas, a longtime third baseman who has gotten his first MLB experience at the keystone this year. The fact that any of those players would just be a Band-Aid for the White Sox might not be the worst thing in the world, as 22-year-old Nick Madrigal (another of their enviable prospects) progressed to the Triple-A level this season and shouldn’t be far from a big league promotion.

    Of course, if the White Sox really want to think outside the box, they could go after a third baseman – be it Anthony Rendon, the premier position player nearing free agency, Josh Donaldson or Moustakas – and move Moncada back to second. Moncada spent the first couple years of his career at the keystone before shifting to third this season.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Lucas Giolito Done For Season]]> 2019-09-17T02:47:51Z 2019-09-17T02:47:51Z White Sox ace Lucas Giolito was diagnosed with a mild lat strain after going for an MRI on Monday, James Fegan of The Athletic tweets. That type of injury normally takes three to four weeks to recover from, Fegan notes, so the right-handed Giolito’s year is over.

    Season-ending injury aside, 2019 will go down as an enormous step forward for Giolito, who finally began to live up to the immense hype he garnered as a prospect. Giolito, whom the White Sox acquired from the Nationals in December 2016 as part of the teams’ Adam Eaton blockbuster, found himself among the majors’ worst starters as recently as a year ago. The 25-year-old turned the tables this season, though, as he fired 176 2/3 innings of 3.41 ERA/3.44 FIP ball with 11.62 K/9, 2.9 BB/9 and 5.1 fWAR to reestablish himself as one of the league’s most coveted arms.

    While Chicago’s way out of contention yet again as the playoffs near, its hope is Giolito will help lead it back to relevance a year from now. Giolito’s among a few highly talented starters who could help the White Sox accomplish that goal. Michael Kopech should be back from Tommy John surgery by then, and Carlos Rodon figures to return from his own TJ procedure. Meanwhile, the promising tandem of Dylan Cease and Reynaldo Lopez will be a year older and maybe a year wiser when it comes to retiring opposing hitters.