Tony Andracki

The White Sox just traded for a really intriguing arm


The White Sox just traded for a really intriguing arm

The White Sox continued their rebuild Thursday by trading for an intriguing young right-handed pitcher.

The South Siders acquired Thyago Vieira from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for international signing bonus pool money.

The 24-year-old Vieira is a Brazilian native and has only made one appearance in the big leagues, striking out a batter in one perfect inning of work in 2017.

While his career minor-league numbers don't jump off the page โ€” 14-19 with a 4.58 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 13 saves and 7.4 K/9 in 290.2 innings \โ€” Vieira has been reportedly clocked at 104 mph with his fastball and was ranked as the Mariners' No. 8 prospect at the time of the deal. He also held righties to .194 batting average in 2017.

Here's video of Vieira throwing gas:

And this may explain why Vieira was even available:

Control has been an issue throughout his career, as he's walked 4.6 batters per nine innings in the minors. He has improved in that regard over the last few seasons, however, walking only 22 batters in 54 innings across three levels in 2017 and he doled out only one free pass in 5.1 innings in the Arizona Fall League in 2016.

What does this deal mean in the big picture for baseball? How did the Sox pull off a move like this while not having to give up a player in return? 

This may help shed light on the situation from Baseball America's Kyle Glaser:

Either way, the White Sox may have just acquired a guy who could potentially throw his name in the hat for "future closer." Or at the very least, throw his name in the hat for "best name."

Bears center Hroniss Grasu had the lowest-graded game in two years


Bears center Hroniss Grasu had the lowest-graded game in two years

Hroniss Grasu had a game to forget against the Green Bay Packers in Week 10.

After missing the last five games with a hand injury, the Bears' third-year center returned Sunday, where he was slapped with the worst offensive line performance over the past two years from Pro Football Focus:

Here's the full synopsis from PFF on Grasu's showing:

Center Hroniss Grasu really struggled in his first start back from injury. His 27.7 overall grade would be the second-lowest graded game of any center through the first nine weeks of the season. He allowed five hurries on 41 pass blocking snaps with two inaccurate shotgun snaps, earning him the first 0.0 pass blocking grade of any offensive lineman in the past two seasons.


Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky was sacked five times against the Packers, though some of the blame for that was of his own doing.

Grasu, 26, was a third-round draft pick (71st overall) of the Bears in 2015 and a college teammate of Kyle Long at Oregon. Grasu has had trouble staying healthy in his three years with the Bears, having played in only 11 games, making 10 starts.

Henry Blanco latest Cubs coach rumored to be leaving town


Henry Blanco latest Cubs coach rumored to be leaving town

The Cubs coaching cull continues.

As Davey Martinez's contract with the Washington Nationals was announced, the Washington Post revealed that Henry Blanco is expected to be named Martinez's bullpen coach in D.C.

Blanco served as the Cubs' quality control coach the last three years under Joe Maddon (and alongside Martinez). 

Blanco โ€” possibly known more fondly to Cubs fans as "Hank White" โ€” played 16 years in the big leagues from 1997-2013. He donned 11 different uniforms, with his longest stint with one team coming on a four-year run with the Cubs from 2005-08.

This is the latest move on the Cubs coaching staff shakeup this winter that has resulted in at least four new hires, waving goodbye to six coaches (Chris Bosio, John Mallee, Eric Hinske and Gary Jones plus Martinez and Blanco). Brandon Hyde also moved from first-base coach to bench coach under Maddon.

Blanco also served officially as the Cubs' translator on staff as he spoke both English and Spanish.