Chicago White Sox – MLB Trade Rumors 2019-04-24T18:01:04Z WordPress Steve Adams <![CDATA[MLB To Issue Suspensions Stemming From Royals/White Sox Altercation]]> 2019-04-19T18:51:34Z 2019-04-19T18:51:34Z Major League Baseball will announce a series of suspensions following this week’s brawl between the White Sox and the Royals, per reports from ESPN’s Jeff Passan and The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal (Twitter links). Royals right-hander Brad Keller will receive a five-game ban for throwing at White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson, while Anderson himself will be hit with a one-game ban “because of language used during the benches-clearing incident with Kansas City,” per Passan. Rosenthal adds that White Sox skipper Rick Renteria will receive a one-game suspension as well.

The benches-clearing incident in question — “brawl” is a questionable term for the majority of MLB on-field altercations — began with a Tim Anderson bat flip following a fourth-inning home run against Keller. Upon making contact, Anderson turned to his dugout, flipped the bat toward them and, as he tells it, yelled “let’s go” to fire up his teammates. Keller, taking exception to the showmanship, took the “old-school, unwritten rules” route and hit Anderson in with a pitch (on the hip/butt) in his next plate appearance. As is the case in every such instance, Keller transparently claimed after the game (and in an appearance on MLB Network this morning) that he was simply trying to bust Anderson inside, and a pitch “got away” from him.

The Anderson suspension is particularly surprising, as the only previous instances of a player being suspended for language have stemmed from using on-field slurs that transcend pure profanity. Passan, however, further tweets that Anderson was suspended for “racially charged” language heard by the umpiring crew. Keller’s suspension is standard in the case of pitchers throwing at players. While the suspension will cost Keller five times as much in terms of pay and MLB service time, suspensions for starting pitchers are always in five-game increments due to the fact that they ensure a pitcher will miss a start. (A suspension of one to four games wouldn’t necessarily cause a starter to miss any time at all.)

The debate over intentional plunkings has been ongoing for years, as traditionalists advocate for the upholding of “the code” of unwritten rules that has long been woven into the fabric of the game’s history. Detractors point to the fact that throwing at someone on purpose has the potential to seriously injure a player; it’s common to see pitchers badly miss a spot even when trying to throw a pitch for a strike, and it seems almost inevitable that an intentional beaning will eventually lead to a fractured wrist, concussion, etc.

Incidents like this one are now the source of further scrutiny given MLB’s “Let the kids play” marketing slogan, kicked off by an ad in which Ken Griffey Jr. calls for those “unwritten rules” to be thrown out in favor of players showing emotion on the field with celebrations for home runs, key strikeouts and other big moments. Commissioner Rob Manfred has been vocal about wanting to appeal to a younger generation of fans, and that campaign seems a key part of the effort. A second such ad aired leading up to the 2019 season, and MLB’s official Twitter account even tweeted the slogan in support of Anderson this week. If the league simply wanted to continue allowing players to “police themselves,” it wouldn’t be a surprising outcome to see them maintain the status quo. Continuing to administer a punishment that has proven meaningless, however, sends a contradictory message to the one they’re pushing in their marketing.

The debate isn’t confined solely to the game’s fan-base, of course. Players have been weighing in on the matter all week. CC Sabathia plainly stated on Buster Olney’s podcast this week (audio link) that he’s 100 percent in favor of bat flips and any other display of on-field emotion and doesn’t understand why a pitcher would be bothered by it. Reds lefty Amir Garrett tweeted that rather than throw at a batter in his next plate appearance, the pitcher should, “Strike him out, and do whatever you gotta do. Fist pump, moonwalk, cartwheel.” On the other side of the coin, Blue Jays outfielder Randal Grichuk tweeted that players have gotten “excessive” with their celebrations and called for more stoicism.

Steve Adams <![CDATA[White Sox Make Series Of Roster Moves, Place Giolito On IL]]> 2019-04-18T16:53:09Z 2019-04-18T16:53:09Z
  • The White Sox announced Thursday morning that they’ve placed right-hander Lucas Giolito on the 10-day injured list due to a strained left hamstring. To replace Giolito and outfielder Daniel Palka, who was optioned to Triple-A following last night’s game, they’ve recalled righty Carson Fulmer and outfielder Ryan Cordell. Giolito tells reporters that he expects to only miss a pair of starts with the injury (Twitter link via Daryl Van Schouwen of the Sun Times), but it’s still a discouraging setback for the former top prospect. The 24-year-old had an awful first full season in 2018, stumbling to a 6.13 ERA in 173 1/3 innings, but he’s shown some encouraging signs early in 2019. His fastball velocity is up nearly a mile per hour over his 2018 average, while his swinging-strike rate is up from a pedestrian 8.3 percent to a well-above-average 12.4 percent. After averaging just 6.5 K/9 in 2018, Giolito has already punched out 23 hitters in 18 2/3 frames. He still needs to improve his control, but the early improvements in velocity and missed bats are encouraging even if his ERA is still at an elevated 5.30 mark.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[White Sox Sign Brett Nicholas]]> 2019-04-18T13:55:44Z 2019-04-18T13:55:44Z
  • The White Sox signed catcher Brett Nicholas to a minor league contract, per Baseball America’s Kegan Lowe. The 30-year-old is a career .252/.300/.456 hitter in a limited sample of 110 plate appearances, all coming with the Rangers back in 2016-17. Nicholas spent the 2018 season with the Padres’ Triple-A club and, as he’s done in the past, hit well at that level — particularly for a catcher. In 456 PAs last year, Nicholas hit .291/.353/.485 with 16 homers. He’s a lifetime .285/.337/.440 hitter in 2125 PAs at that level. He spent Spring Training with the Rockies but was granted his release late in camp after a rough 1-for-20 showing. Defensively, Nicholas has a marginally below-average 26 percent caught-stealing rate in his pro career, but his framing marks in Triple-A are consistently poor. He’ll give the Sox another depth piece behind Welington Castillo and James McCann.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[White Sox Select Contract Of Ervin Santana]]> 2019-04-09T14:59:16Z 2019-04-09T14:59:16Z The White Sox announced today that they have selected the contract of veteran righty Ervin Santana. He’ll make his first start for the club today after inking a minor-league deal this spring.

    The groundwork for Santana’s ascension to the MLB roster had already been laid by the Chicago front office. There was already a 40-man roster spot to work with and the team optioned righty Carson Fulmer back to Triple-A yesterday.

    It’ll be interesting to see what the 36-year-old Santana has left in the tank. He was sidelined for much of 2018 with a lingering finger injury and wasn’t effective when he was able to pitch. But he was stellar in the prior two seasons, turning in a 3.32 ERA over 392 2/3 total innings. The peripherals didn’t support quite those results, and expectations ought to be tempered, but there’s reason to hope he can return to being a solid MLB starter.

    As for Fulmer, he’ll need to earn his way back into the majors or await an opening. He has now seen action in parts of four MLB seasons but hasn’t come close to fully harnessing the talent that led the South Siders to pick him eighth overall in the 2015 draft. Through 70 1/3 innings at the game’s highest level, Fulmer owns a 6.53 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 5.9 BB/9.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Ervin Santana Reportedly Nearing Activation]]> 2019-04-07T23:44:45Z 2019-04-07T23:44:45Z Right-hander Ervin Santana will make his White Sox debut Tuesday with a start against the Rays, James Fegan of The Athletic and Scott Merkin of suggest. Santana is not on Chicago’s 40-man roster, but the club has an opening, so a corresponding move isn’t a necessity in that regard. The White Sox did free up a 25-man spot Sunday when they optioned outfielder Ryan Cordell to Triple-A Charlotte, though.

    Once promoted, the 36-year-old Santana will immediately become the elder statesman in a White Sox rotation which features Ivan Nova, 32, and three mid-20s hurlers in Carlos Rodon (26), Reynaldo Lopez (25) and Lucas Giolito (24). The former Angel, Royal, Brave and Twin will bring a quality track record to Chicago, having logged a 4.06 ERA/4.26 FIP in 384 appearances (381 starts) and just over 2,400 innings. Santana has also fired upward of 200 frames in six individual seasons, including as recently as 2017, when he turned in a terrific 3.28 ERA in a 211 1/3-inning campaign in Minnesota.

    Had that version of Santana shown up last season, he likely would have landed a guaranteed major league contract in free agency over the winter – or the Twins could have exercised his $14MM option for 2019. Instead, Santana suffered through what may have been a career-worst campaign and then sat on the free-agent market for nearly four months before signing a minor league contract with the White Sox in late February. However, the deal did come with a $4.3MM salary in the majors, which is especially high for a minors pact.

    A right hand injury limited Santana to just five starts and 24 2/3 innings in 2018, when he registered an atrocious 8.03 ERA/7.94 FIP with a personal-worst strikeout rate (5.84, compared to a lifetime 7.18) against 3.28 BB/9 (versus a career 2.8 mark). Nevertheless, after their rotation was among the majors’ worst last season, the White Sox deemed Santana worthy of an affordable, low-risk accord. Now, a rebound from Santana would be a boon for the White Sox, who have received mixed results from their starters this year. Rodon has been effective in both of his performances, while Nova and Giolito have each posted one solid start and one clunker, and Lopez hasn’t been good in either of his appearances.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Jay Not Close To Return; Jones' Velocity Causing Concern]]> 2019-04-01T16:45:11Z 2019-04-01T16:45:11Z
  • Jon Jay began the season on the injured list due to a hip strain and discomfort in his back, and Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that the veteran outfielder “doesn’t appear close to a return” to the White Sox. Manager Rick Renteria indicated over the weekend that Jay will be reevaluated when the team is back in Chicago. There’s also at least some degree of concern surrounding a velocity drop for righty Nate Jones. While Jones maintains that he doesn’t feel any discomfort in his right arm — he missed much of 2018 due to a pronator strain — his early results have been troubling (both in Spring Training and the regular season). Jones averaged 97.2 mph on his heater in each of the past two seasons but has sat at 94.9 mph so far in his first two outings of the 2019 campaign.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Eloy Jimenez Won't Pursue Service-Time Grievance]]> 2019-03-31T23:24:36Z 2019-03-31T23:24:36Z
  • Eloy Jimenez’s career-opening extension with the White Sox included “an understanding” that Jimenez and his camp wouldn’t pursue a service-time grievance with the league and players’ union.  Jimenez’s agents expressed public displeasure last summer when their client wasn’t given a late-season promotion, and the young slugger had been ticketed to begin this season in Triple-A before he inked his extension, which opened the door for Jimenez to join Chicago’s Opening Day roster.  The evidence seems to pretty clearly suggest that the White Sox were aiming to extend their control over Jimenez for an extra year, though the Sox are far from the only team that deploys this strategy with top prospects.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[White Sox Re-Sign Brandon Guyer]]> 2019-03-27T01:53:53Z 2019-03-27T01:53:53Z The White Sox announced today that they have re-signed outfielder Brandon Guyer to a minor-league contract. Terms of the deal are not known.

    Guyer, 33, had been released late in camp after spending the spring with the Chicago organization. He was obviously unable to find a preferable opportunity elsewhere and elected to return to take up a spot on the depth chart.

    While he has had his share of success in the past, particularly against left-handed pitching, Guyer has struggled of late. He managed only a .220/.312/.351 slash in 413 plate appearances over the past two injury-marred seasons.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[White Sox Promote Eloy Jimenez]]> 2019-03-27T01:44:14Z 2019-03-27T01:44:14Z The White Sox have officially announced that outfielder Eloy Jimenez will open the season on the active MLB roster. Outfielder Jon Jay and righty Ian Hamilton have been placed on the injured list, with outfielder Ryan Cordell joining Jimenez in the majors.

    Jimenez, the organization’s top prospect, had previously been optioned down but went on to sign a precedent-setting extension. That no doubt played a significant role in today’s decision, but the ensuing loss of Jay to a hip strain also cleared a path.

    The hope will be that Jimenez emerges as a star from the outset of his MLB career. But with the club now controlling him for eight full seasons, thereby obviating any service-time considerations, it can make its future roster decisions with reference only to team need and Jimenez’s development.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Eloy Jimenez Extension Almost Completed In November]]> 2019-03-24T23:50:59Z 2019-03-24T23:49:02Z The Indians received a scare when Jose Ramirez fouled a ball off his left knee during the third inning of today’s game against the White Sox.  Ramirez had to be carted off the field, though it seems as though the worst was avoided, as x-rays came back negative on the injury.  (’s Jeff Passan was among those to report the news.)  It isn’t clear if the knee contusion could still cause Ramirez to miss regular-season time or even require an IL stint — if the latter, it would another big blow to a Tribe infield that is already without Francisco Lindor and Jason Kipnis for the start of the season.  As per the team’s official Twitter feed, Ramirez will remain at the Tribe’s Spring Training camp for treatment, and his status is undecided for Opening Day.

    • Eloy Jimenez’s record-setting extension with the White Sox was almost completed last November at the GM Meetings, GM Rick Hahn told’s Scott Merkin and other reporters, but the final details weren’t put into place until the two sides held face-to-face meetings over the last few days.  The result was a six-year, $43MM pact, the biggest extension ever given to a player who has yet to play a Major League game.  There has yet to be official word about whether or not Jimenez will be with the Sox on Opening Day, though there wouldn’t seem to be any service-time obstacles now that the White Sox control Jimenez for as many as his first eight big league seasons.
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[White Sox Extend Eloy Jimenez]]> 2019-03-22T22:36:52Z 2019-03-22T22:35:05Z MARCH 22: The deal is now official. The South Siders revealed all the terms. Jimenez gets a $5MM signing bonus and salaries of $1MM (2019), $1.5MM (2020), $3.5MM (2021), $6.5MM (2022), $9.5MM (2023), and $13MM (2024). There’s a $3MM buyout that applies to either of the options, which are priced at $16.5MM and $18.5MM, respectively.

    MARCH 20: The White Sox have reportedly struck a historic extension with top prospect Eloy Jimenez. If he passes a physical, Jimenez stands to receive a record-shattering $43MM guarantee over six seasons, with a pair of option years that cost a cumulative $32MM. There’s also said to be a $2.5MM MVP bonus.

    This contract will easily set a new bar for early-career extensions. To this point, only two players have ever agreed to pre-MLB debut extensions: Jon Singleton, who signed a $10MM deal with the Astros, and Scott Kingery, who inked a $24MM pact with the Phillies. Deals for players with less than a single season of MLB service haven’t gone much past Kingery’s earning level to this point, with Jimenez’s soon-to-be-teammate Tim Anderson promised $25MM and Paul DeJong of the Cardinals guaranteed $26MM.

    Jimenez is widely regarded as one of the game’s five best prospects, but he has yet to take a single MLB plate appearance. The club recently optioned the 22-year-old back to Triple-A. While his showing in Spring Training wasn’t exactly stirring, it’s hard to say that Jimenez has anything to prove in the upper minors after a monster 2018 showing. In 456 total plate appearances at the Double-A and Triple-A levels, Jimenez turned in a .337/.384/.577 slash with 22 home runs and 32 walks to go with 69 strikeouts.

    While it’s tempting to view this deal as buying out two potential future free agent seasons, that’s only true if the South Siders would have placed Jimenez on the Opening Day roster this year. Having already demoted him, that was not (and may still not be) the case. Teams that aren’t afraid to hold down top prospects for a few weeks are able to achieve nearly seven full seasons of output before a player reaches free agency.

    Realistically, then, the Sox will only be adding one season of control. That might be an extremely valuable campaign, to be sure, as Jimenez will still be only 29 in 2026. The team will also pick up cost certainty over a player whose power potential gives him major arbitration earning upside. With a likely fourth arb-eligible season involved, Jimenez might have challenged for rather staggering sums. Of course, there are also plenty of ways in which he’d fall shy of his arb earning upside — an ill-timed injury, in particular — so there’s some degree of risk to the team and protection to Jimenez even if he turns out to be every bit as good as hoped.

    While other aspects of the White Sox’ offseason didn’t turn out as hoped, they’ll now open the 2019 season with another player firmly tabbed as a part of the long-term core. Odds are Jimenez will be joined in the majors this year by top pitching prospect Dylan Cease. Both were acquired in the memorable mid-2017 deal that sent lefty Jose Quintana to the cross-town Cubs. The Quintana contract was one of several extensions that worked out quite well for the White Sox, enabling the team to acquire loads of top prospects when it decided to launch a rebuild. The Pale Hose are still waiting for those youngsters to establish themselves as quality MLB assets, though hope remains that some will reach their long-lauded ceilings — with Jimenez leading the way.

    Dominican reporter Hector Gomez first tweeted the agreement. Dinisio Soldevila of Periodico Hoy had the primary contract terms (Twitter links), with Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (in a tweet) also contributing. Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter) reported that the deal was in place pending physical.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[White Sox Sign Alcides Escobar]]> 2019-03-22T17:23:51Z 2019-03-22T17:23:51Z The White Sox have signed shortstop Alcides Escobar to a minor league contract, the team announced to reporters (Twitter link via The Athletic’s James Fegan). He won’t, however, report to big league camp and is expected to open the season as infield depth in Triple-A.

    Escobar, 32, is no stranger to the AL Central, having spent the past eight seasons with the Royals. He’s provided Kansas City with quality defense and baserunning but significantly below-average offense, as evidenced by his career .258/.293/.343 slash line in 5702 MLB plate appearance. His bat has actually trended down over the past couple of seasons, when he hit .242/.275/.338 in 1160 PAs.

    The White Sox’ infield currently projects to have Yoan Moncada, Tim Anderson and Yolmer Sanchez line up at third base, shortstop and second base, respectively, which are the three main positions Escobar can play. Jose Rondon is the primary utility infield option, though Leury Garcia typically sees a bit of time around the infield in addition to logging significant innings in the outfield.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[White Sox Release Brandon Guyer]]> 2019-03-22T16:02:23Z 2019-03-22T15:57:43Z The White Sox announced Friday that they have released outfielder Brandon Guyer. He’d been in camp on a minor league contract. The 33-year-old went 5-for-23 with a homer and a pair of walks (against eight strikeouts) in his brief time with the club this spring.

    Guyer struggled in 2017-18 with the Indians, hitting at a .220/.312/.351 clip with nine homers in 413 plate appearances. He batted a combined .266/.356/.403 between Tampa Bay and Cleveland from 2014-16, however, and he’s generally been a solid platoon bat over the life of his MLB tenure. In 792 career plate appearances against lefties, Guyer has a .274/.376/.449 batting line. He’s more of an on-base threat than a power threat, in part because of the astonishing rate at which he’s hit by pitches.

    Chicago has one corner-outfield slot earmarked for Eloy Jimenez, while playing time elsewhere in the outfield will be divided up between Jon Jay, Adam Engel, Leury Garcia and Daniel Palka. Guyer will have the opportunity to search for a bench role with another club — the Braves are reportedly considering alternatives to Adam Duvall — though the fact that he has just 356 career innings in center field don’t help his cause.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[AL Notes: Gio, Armstrong, Herrera, Tepera/Axford]]> 2019-03-20T19:58:46Z 2019-03-20T19:58:46Z Newly minted Yankees lefty Gio Gonzalez says it was an easy choice to join the New York organization, as George A. King III of the New York Post and’s Bryan Hoch cover (Twitter links). The offer from the Yanks “was pretty much” the only one he got all winter long, says the veteran southpaw. It has been quite some  time since Gonzalez has had to fight for a roster spot and a big-league paycheck, but he says it’s “a pretty great opportunity” that he “can’t be ungrateful” for. If he cracks the roster, Gonzalez will play for a $3MM base salary and would also take home $300K for each game started.

    Here’s more from the American League …

    • Mariners righty Shawn Armstrong is heading to the injured list with a grade 1 oblique strain,’s Greg Johns reports. He says he’ll be patient in allowing thing to heal, but didn’t hide his anger at hitting the shelf just before the season began. (Anderson flew to Japan believing he would be ready to roll, but the issue was worse upon arrival.) Armstrong, 28, is still hoping that this’ll be the season he fully establishes himself in the majors. He has seen action in four seasons but has yet to be entrusted with more than 21 appearances in a given campaign. Armstrong turned in sub-2.00 ERA performances at both Triple-A (in 56 innings) and the majors (14 2/3 innings) in 2018.
    • The White Sox may not go long without new reliever Kelvin HerreraDaryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times writes. The veteran hurler, who’s working back from a Lisfranc fracture in his left foot, hasn’t yet fully ramped things up but seems on track to get back to being a high-powered relief arm early in the new season. “I will probably be in full shape by April something or May,” he says.
    • It seems there’s some new potential for late-camp movement with the Blue Jays roster. Skipper Charlie Montoyo says that righty relievers Ryan Tepera and John Axford have turned up with elbow pain that is being looked at more closely, as Shi Davidi of reports (Twitter link). Those injuries are among the factors that could leave the Toronto organization with more 40-man roster room to work with — but also more 25-man roster needs to address — than had been anticipated,’s Gregor Chisholm notes on Twitter.
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Dane Dunning Undergoes Tommy John Surgery]]> 2019-03-19T00:13:09Z 2019-03-19T00:13:09Z White Sox pitching prospect Dane Dunning has undergone Tommy John surgery, the club announced to reporters including Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times (via Twitter). He’ll miss the entire 2019 season and, in all likelihood, some of the 2020 campaign as well.

    This news isn’t surprising given the course of recent events. The club had acknowledged that replacement of Dunning’s ulnar collateral ligament was a possibility.

    Dunning was generally considered one of the game’s hundred or so best overall prospects, even after his otherwise excellent 2018 campaign ended with elbow issues. Before that development, which ultimately proved a precursor to today’s procedure, Dunning had spun 86 1/3 innings of 2.71 ERA ball at the High-A and Double-A levels. He recorded 10.4 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in that stretch while drawing grounders on more than half the balls put in play against him.