White Sox

Sox Drawer: Go Get Greinke

799944.png

Sox Drawer: Go Get Greinke

With rumors circulating Saturday that the Red Sox are on the verge of trading third baseman Kevin Youkilis possibly to the White Sox, who are reported to be a serious candidate Kenny Williams might be close to solving his problem at the hot corner.

But the White Sox shouldnt stop there.

For nine innings on Friday night, Zack Greinke dominated Robin Venturas lineup. The ace of the Milwaukee staff appears to be a short-timer with the Brewers. Hes a free agent after this season. Milwaukee is 33-37, and likely does not have the pieces to make a run for the postseason.

Meanwhile, the Brewers' farm system took a major hit when they traded for Greinke (they gave the Royals Lorenzo Cain, Jeremy Jeffress, red-hot prospect Jake Odorizzi, plus Alcides Escobar). They also sent future All-Star Brett Lawrie to Toronto for Shaun Marcum (who might be going on the DL).

So with talk heating up that the Brewers might have to trade Greinke, the talk in the White Sox front office should be this:

If we cant beat him, lets trade for him.

And for two reasons.

1) The White Sox need him.

John Danks and Philip Humber are on the disabled list. They both struggled before landing on the DL. Will they be able to find their Grade-A stuff when they return? Theres no guarantee. Gavin Floyd was great on Wednesday, pitching 6.1 shutout innings against the Cubs, but how many of those starts can the White Sox expect to see the rest of the season? One? Five? 10?? All three are possible. The White Sox hold a 9.5 million team option on Floyd for 2013. He could wind up in a deal for Youkilis. Floyd has pitched like Cy Young against the Red Sox in his career with a perfect 7-0 record.

If the Sox get Grienke, imagine a starting rotation featuring him, Chris Sale and Jake Peavy. If that doesnt get Sox fans rushing to the ballpark, I dont know what will.

2) Who else needs Greinke?

The Tigers. In signing Prince Fielder, owner Mike Ilitch sent the message that hes going for it all. But here we are in late June, and the Tigers have been the most disappointing team in baseball. Theyre 34-36. Justin Verlander has pitched like Justin Verlander, but the rest of the rotation has been either injured (Doug Fister) or inconsistent (Rick Porcello, Max Scherzer, Drew Smyly).

What move could put them over the top and likely clinch the A-L Central title? Trading for Greinke. Beware.

There is one red flag the White Sox need to consider about Greinke: His career history at U.S. Cellular Field. Before Friday, it was atrocious. He was 1-7 with a 6.48 ERA. Even after throwing those nine scoreless innings, Greinke told reporters, This is probably the one park I dont really like pitching in. I never feel real comfortable pitching here. Its kind of a dark stadium, it seems like. But today I pitched good, so Ill take it.

So would the White Sox.

Williams has said that his team is in transition. Theyre trying to both win and rebuild at the same time. Not an easy thing to do. But despite their recent struggles and the dire preseason predictions, the White Sox are only 1.5 games out. The division is winnable. Their farm system might get criticized for a lack of perceived talent. But theres enough there to make a deal for an All-Star pitcher who could potentially leave after this season. The Brewers dont want to end up with nothing.

Williams admitted this week that low attendance has restricted him from making aggressive moves. Adding Greinkes remaining salary for 2012 (roughly 6 or 7 million) would certainly compete with that statement.

But this sport is about winning. The White Sox have a chance to do it. Williams and Jerry Reinsdorf have gambled in the past. Why not do it again?

Adam Dunn, Alex Rios and Jake Peavy are all having comeback seasons. Gordon Beckham is close to doing the same. Chris Sale has been one of the best starters in baseball. They have a leadoff hitter in Alejandro De Aza and a lights-out closer in Addison Reed. Theres good chemistry in the clubhouse. They could have as many as five players make the All-Star team.

Theyve got the talent to make things interesting. But theyre missing one big piece.

Thats Greinke.

My advice? Roll the dice.

Go get him.

And deal with the repercussions later.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Class A manager Justin Jirschele, youngest manager in professional baseball

justin.png

White Sox Talk Podcast: Class A manager Justin Jirschele, youngest manager in professional baseball

27-year-old Justin Jirschele made quite an impression in his first season as manager of the White Sox Class-A affiliate in Kannapolis. He helped lead the Intimidators to the South Atlantic League championship, and was named White Sox Minor League Coach of the Year. Jirschele came on the podcast to speak with Chuck Garfien about how he went from playing minor league baseball with the White Sox to coaching in their system. He talks about how growing up with a dad who was coaching minor league baseball helped mold him as a manager who is wise beyond his years. Jirschele also gives a report on some of the top White Sox prospects he managed last season such as Jake Burger, Alec Hansen, Dane Dunning and Miker Adolfo.

After baseball punishes Braves, one ranker says White Sox have game's best farm system

1121_chicago_white_sox.jpg
USA TODAY

After baseball punishes Braves, one ranker says White Sox have game's best farm system

The White Sox farm system is baseball's best, according to one of the people making those rankings.

In the wake of Major League Baseball's punishment of the Atlanta Braves for breaking rules regarding the signing of international players — which included the removal of 12 illegally signed prospects from the Braves' organization — MLB.com's Jim Callis tweeted out his updated top 10, and the White Sox are back in first place.

Now obviously there are circumstances that weakened the Braves' system, allowing the White Sox to look stronger by comparison. But this is still an impressive thing considering that three of the White Sox highest-rated prospects from the past year are now full-time big leaguers.

Yoan Moncada used to be baseball's No. 1 prospect, and pitchers Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez weren't too far behind. That trio helped bolster the highly ranked White Sox system. Without them, despite plenty of other highly touted prospects, common sense would say that the White Sox would slide down the rankings.

But the White Sox still being capable of having baseball's top-ranked system is a testament to the organizational depth Rick Hahn has built in such a short period of time.

While prospect rankings are sure to be refreshed throughout the offseason, here's how MLB Pipeline's rankings look right now in regards to the White Sox:

4. Eloy Jimenez
9. Michael Kopech
22. Luis Robert
39. Blake Rutherford
57. Dylan Cease
90. Alec Hansen