White Sox

Current White Sox know what made 2005 team so special


Current White Sox know what made 2005 team so special

Ten years ago is a long time in baseball years.

The White Sox are spending the weekend honoring the 2005 team that won a world championship. Only three current White Sox were major leaguers in 2005: Adam LaRoche was in his second season of 100-plus games with the Braves, while Zach Duke made 14 starts for the Pirates and Melky Cabrera had a six-game stint with the Yankees.

But, thanks to a couple long-tenured members of that 2005 team — Paul Konerko the most notable among them — the memories and the lessons of the World Series run aren't completely absent inside the current White Sox club house.

Tyler Flowers played alongside Konerko, Mark Buehrle and a few others. And while the 2005 World Series might not have been a daily conversation topic four, five, six years after the fact, he had no problem addressing how important that championship was to his former teammates.

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"The only the way you win a championship is being solid in certain areas: the team chemistry, the camaraderie," Flowers said. "I think you see with even just the guys who are here (this weekend), they're all still pretty tight buddies. That's something, you develop that chemistry together when you play, those bonds that are pretty strong, the brotherhood kind of thing. You see that still to this day, 10 years later, between a lot of those guys.

"Of course Paul's been an influence on all of us over the years. I guess he's touched on some of that over the course of conversations we've had. ... He talked about some of the good times he had and memories from that run, kind of how dominantly they did it, which was pretty neat. But I know all those guys, the group that's here right now, that bond they share is something pretty special. Not many people get to experience that."

Whether this weekend on the South Side or earlier this year at SoxFest, that relationship between those former White Sox players is quite evident. In a pregame conversation in front of season-ticket holders Saturday, Anderson, Geoff Blum, Aaron Rowand and Ozzie Guillen talked about the family aspect of that year's team and how it's persisted in the decade following. Rowand discussed the goofy, brotherly pranks they played on each other — like jokingly ripping on Dye after a bad play in right field by running over a Dye T-shirt with a car and hanging it in his locker — and Anderson talked about the help and advice he got from Rowand and Guillen while attempting to prolong his big league career.

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Even current manager Robin Ventura, who in 2005 was in his first season following the end of his playing days, knew what made that White Sox team special.

"For them, it was more of a chemistry thing," Ventura said. "They pitched well, that was the biggest thing that they did first. But they also got the hit at the right time. They didn't have any Triple Crown winners, so it was a team effort as far as offensively getting done what you need to get done. And then the playoffs, they pitched. They had guys that came out and not just pitched well but (pitched well) the whole game. They're also a little off in a good way. There's some interesting characters."

Seeing the organization's last championship squad honored on the field prior to Saturday's game might provide a bit of inspiration to the current group, but Flowers said it won't provide any additional motivation. Just like that team was in 2005, the focus of the 2015 team is on what's in front of them, not what's 10 years in the past. It's lessons like that that were passed down from Konerko, Buehrle and the like.

"I don't think we need any extra motivation," Flowers said. "It's cool that we have relationships with those guys, guys that have been there and been successful and got rings. But other than that, we'll applaud them when we're out there, they did a good job, but we've got to stay focused on what we're doing."

Would potential bargains like Mike Moustakas or Carlos Gonzalez make sense for White Sox?


Would potential bargains like Mike Moustakas or Carlos Gonzalez make sense for White Sox?

The 2017-18 baseball offseason continues to be, well, the 2017-18 baseball offseason, even with spring training games being played in Arizona and Florida.

A bunch of names remain on the free-agent market, including All-Star players who thought they would be in for big multi-year contracts. But as teams continue to deny the wishes of guys who expected to get big deals, the suggestion that those players might end up needing to take one-year offers if they want to play during the 2018 season is becoming a more common talking point.

So with potential bargains to be had for some pretty big-name players, do the White Sox jump into the waters and try to lock up a potential future piece on the cheap? Though they aren’t expected to contend this season, the White Sox have been mentioned in a pair of recent reports surrounding a pair of All-Star position players: Mike Moustakas and Carlos Gonzalez.

MLB.com's Jon Morosi wrote last week that the White Sox are a potential fit for Moustakas, who has sat and watched as former Kansas City Royals teammate Eric Hosmer received a huge contract from the San Diego Padres. Moustakas set a new Royals record last season with 38 home runs but has yet to find a team.

The White Sox, connected to Baltimore Orioles star Manny Machado earlier this offseason, seem to have a current big leaguer or highly ranked prospect locked into almost every position on the diamond for the foreseeable future, but third base isn't necessarily one of them. Jake Burger was last year’s top draft pick, though there’s speculation he could slide over to first base. The team still envisions him as a big league third baseman, for what it’s worth.

Moustakas is 29 and already has seven big league seasons under his belt, including a pair of All-Star appearances and a pair of trips to the World Series, including the Crowns’ championship back in 2015. His 38 homers and 85 RBIs in 2017 were both career highs. He slashed .272/.314/.521, the final of those three numbers the best mark of his career.

Moustakas has rarely hit for average or reached base at too high a clip, though those recent power numbers would be intriguing at a hitter-friendly park like Guaranteed Rate Field, where he has 10 career dingers, 26 career RBIs and a .249/.308/.456 career slash line as a visitor.

Certainly Moustakas would be a buzz-worthy addition, and if the White Sox could get him for a good value thanks to this slow-moving market, that adds incentive to bring him aboard. A short contract would have even more incentive for the rebuilding White Sox, who would have the option to either sign him to a long-term deal or deal him away in a deadline deal depending on his immediate production levels.

But for fans hoping the White Sox will spend big on a third baseman in one of the next two offseasons — Machado is a free agent next winter, and Colorado Rockies star Nolan Arenado is set to hit the market the winter after next — slotting in an outside addition at the hot corner now could impact those plans.

Gonzalez is a completely different story, a three-time All Star during his 10-year big league career who is just three seasons removed from a 40-homer campaign in 2015. The 32-year-old Gonzalez also has a trio of Gold Gloves to go along with his 215 career home runs. FanRag’s Jon Heyman listed the White Sox as a possible landing spot for CarGo this weekend.

But his walk year in Colorado was not a very good one by his standards. In 136 games for a Rockies team that ended up in the playoffs, he slashed .262/.339/.423, all those averages way down from his usual level of production. And his power numbers plummeted to 14 homers and 57 RBIs after he combined for 65 homers and 197 RBIs in 2015 and 2016.

The good news for the White Sox is that down year makes Gonzalez far more affordable. Should he command only a one-year contract, the White Sox could take a flier, stick him in the outfield — which still has an unresolved spot with few strong offensive options for center field — and trade him should he bounce back in a big way. Or, at 32, perhaps he’s a guy the White Sox could opt to keep around should he prove valuable and the rebuild continues to move along ahead of schedule.

Gonzalez seems the less risky move at this point, as Moustakas could still be looking for a multi-year contract. But the White Sox have plenty of financial flexibility and flexibility in their decision-making should they add either guy and he proves worthy of a midseason deal or a long-term look.

White Sox prospect Micker Adolfo sidelined with elbow injuries


White Sox prospect Micker Adolfo sidelined with elbow injuries

PHOENIX, Ariz. — One of the White Sox prized prospects will be on the shelf for a little while.

Outfielder Micker Adolfo has a sprained UCL in his right elbow and a strained flexor tendon that could require surgery. He could avoid surgery, though he could be sidelined for at least six weeks.

Though he hasn’t received the same high rankings and media attention as fellow outfield prospects Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert, Adolfo is considered a part of the White Sox promising future. He’s said to have the best outfield arm in the White Sox system.

Adolfo had a breakout season in 2017, slashing .264/.331/.453 with 16 homers and 68 RBIs in 112 games with Class A Kannapolis.

Adolfo, along with Jimenez and Robert, has been generating buzz at White Sox camp in Glendale, with a crowd forming whenever the trio takes batting practice. Earlier this week, the three described their conversation dreaming about playing together in the same outfield for a contending White Sox team in the future.