White Sox

MLB offseason about to heat up

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MLB offseason about to heat up

While football -- both NCAA and NFL -- has dominated the attention of the sports world of late, the baseball offseason is quietly heating up.

MLB free agency has been active for a few weeks now, and neither Chicago baseball team has made much of a ripple, with the Cubs inking Scott Baker and Dioner Navarro to deals and the White Sox retaining the services of Jake Peavy and Gavin Floyd.

The main winter event -- the MLB Winter Meetings -- kicks off next week, starting Dec. 3 and extending until Dec. 6. On the final day of the Winter Meetings, the Rule 5 Draft will take place, allowing teams to select players who are not protected on 40-man rosters.

Here's how the rest of the MLB offseason will play out (ht to MLBTR for the breakdown):

--Nov. 30: Deadline for teams to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players (explanation)
--Dec. 3-6: MLB Winter Meetings
--Dec. 6: Rule 5 Draft
--Jan. 18: Teams and players exchange arbitration figures
--Feb. 1-21: Arbitration hearings held in Phoenix
--Mar. 2-11: Teams can renew contracts of unsigned pre-arbitration eligible players

Comcast SportsNet will have you covered all winter with Chicago Baseball Hot Stove, running every Tuesday at 5 p.m. The first episode airs this week.

Meet the Prospects: A.J. Puckett

Meet the Prospects: A.J. Puckett

The White Sox rebuild is in full swing. While it might still be a year or two before the big league team is expected to start competing for championships, the minor leagues are stocked with highly touted talent fans will be eagerly following in 2018. With that in mind, it's time to Meet the Prospects and get to know the future of the South Side.

A.J. Puckett

Puckett, the 22-year-old right-handed hurler, came over in one of Rick Hahn's lower-profile moves last summer. While trades with the Cubs and New York Yankees brought back high-profile prospects like Eloy Jimenez, Dylan Cease and Blake Rutherford, an under-the-radar July move that sent Melky Cabrera to the Kansas City Royals fetched Puckett and left-handed pitcher Andre Davis to bolster the rebuilding effort.

A California native, Puckett was a second-round pick of the Royals in the 2016 draft. He made 11 starts at Class A Lexington in 2016, posting a 3.66 ERA with 37 strikeouts in 51.2 innings of work. Prior to last summer's trade, Puckett made 20 starts for Class A Wilmington, turning in a 3.90 ERA to go with 98 strikeouts in 108.1 innings. After joining the White Sox organization, he made five starts at Class A Winston-Salem, where he had a 4.28 ERA with 21 strikeouts in 27.1 innings.

As of their most recent rankings, MLB Pipeline had Puckett rated as the No. 23 prospect in the White Sox organization.

Get to know Puckett in the video above.

Meet the Prospects: Blake Rutherford

Meet the Prospects: Blake Rutherford

The White Sox rebuild is in full swing. While it might still be a year or two before the big league team is expected to start competing for championships, the minor leagues are stocked with highly touted talent fans will be eagerly following in 2018. With that in mind, it's time to Meet the Prospects and get to know the future of the South Side.

Blake Rutherford

Rutherford, the 20-year-old outfielder, was the highest-rated piece of the return package that came back to the White Sox in the seven-player deal that sent Todd Frazier, David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle to the New York Yankees last summer.

A California native, Rutherford was the 18th overall pick in the 2016 draft. After only playing rookie ball post-draft in 2016, he played 71 games with Class A Charleston last year before the trade, slashing .281/.342/.391 with 20 doubles and 30 RBIs to go along with a pair of home runs. After the trade, Rutherford played in 30 games with Class A Kannapolis, slashing .213/.289/.254 with 26 hits and 13 walks.

As of their most recent rankings, MLB Pipeline had Rutherford rated as the No. 4 prospect in the White Sox organization.

Get to know Rutherford in the video above.