White Sox

Konerko will remain captain under Ventura

662522.png

Konerko will remain captain under Ventura

It's no secret that the White Sox will need Paul Konerko to have another All-Star caliber season -- with at least 30 home runs and 100 RBIs -- if they hope to make a run at the American League Central Division championship.

But they'll need his character and leadership skills even more. With the departure of Mark Buehrle, it leaves Konerko and catcher A.J. Pierzynski as the only players remaining from the 2005 World Series championship team.

"I'm not going to take (the title) away from him, I'll tell you that," manager Robin Ventura told the Chicago Tribune's Dave van Dyck. "He deserves that, not only as a player but within the clubhouse as a guy who goes about it the right way. It's huge to have a guy like that. Most of the stuff is dealt with by guys in the clubhouse anyway."

With a number of young players on the roster including likely starters Brent Morel, Dayan Viciedo and Alejandro De Aza, Konerko's attitude and professionalism might never be more important.

Konerko's continued production at the plate and captain's skills over the remaining two years of his contract could be a huge factor in Ventura's early success.

The White Sox just traded for a really intriguing arm

thyago_vieira_white_sox_trade_slide.jpg
USA TODAY

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 β€” 14-19 with a 4.58 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 13 saves and 7.4 K/9 in 290.2 innings \β€” 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."

Is Avi Time coming to an end on the South Side?

avigarcia.jpg
USA TODAY

Is Avi Time coming to an end on the South Side?

After posting career numbers in 2017, Avisail Garcia is already attracting trade suitors this offseason.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle's John Shea, the Oakland A's have interest in acquiring the outfielder, who would fill the team's need for a right-handed bat. 

The buzz should come as no surprise given Garcia produced a slash line of .330/.380/.506 in his breakout campaign, where he was also named the lone representative for the rebuilding Sox at the All-Star Game. 

Now the question centers on whether GM Rick Hahn, whose phone constantly stays buzzing, sees the 26-year-old as a piece for the future or trade bait. Heading into winter meetings, Hahn reiterated that he would listen to deals involving Garcia and Jose Abreu, especially considering the South Siders are likely still a few years away from seriously competing in the American League. 

With Garcia under club control until 2019 and his value at its peak, now may be the ideal time for Hahn to sell high and stockpile even more prospects for the already talent-rich farm system. The A's currently have four players in MLB Pipeline's Top 100

It may be Avi Time in Oakland.