White Sox

Sox Drawer: Tireless Williams makes another splash

829607.png

Sox Drawer: Tireless Williams makes another splash

First it was Kevin Youkilis. Then Brett Myers. Now Francisco Liriano is coming to the White Sox. If Kenny Williams' cell phone could talk, it would probably say, Stop. Leave me alone. I quit.

But it cant. Neither can Williams. The White Sox have been one of the biggest surprises in baseball with a 2 12 game lead in the AL Central, and this deal could best be described as a shocker. The main reason? The White Sox and Twins, longtime division rivals, actually made a trade with each other.

The last time it happened was 26 years ago.

It wasnt that memorable either. On Sept. 3, 1986, the White Sox sent Kurt Walker to Minnesota for Pete Filson. Walker never played in the majors. Filson pitched in three games for the White Sox. Liriano was three years old, living in the Dominican Republic.

But now, hes coming to the White Sox.

When I spoke with Williams earlier this week about possible trade targets, he hinted that not only was a trade possibly coming, but it might be something unexpected.

Youd be surprised at some of the phone calls weve made, Williams said.

Zack Greinke was his first choice. Williams apparently hounded Brewers GM Doug Melvin, trying to pry the pitcher away, but the two sides couldnt come up with a match. Greinke ended up going to the Angels. Williams changed courses and landed Liriano.

We learned about the trade while on the air during White Sox Postgame Live. When I shared the news with Frank Thomas, his mouth nearly dropped to the floor. It was completely unexpected, just like the twists and turns of Lirianos career.

As a rookie in 2006, he went 12-3, was named to the All-Star team, and looked like the next Johan Santana. Later that season he underwent Tommy John surgery. Some thought his career might be over. He mainly pitched in the minor leagues in 2008. He went 5-13 in the majors in 2009. He threw a no-hitter in 2011 (against the White Sox). This season hes 3-10 and lost his last start to the White Sox giving up seven runs in 2 23 innings on Monday night.

So what can we expect of him? Nobody knows.

But we do know this, the White Sox now have a surplus of starting pitchers. Very few teams can say that. They have six healthy starters. If John Danks can come back (which is starting to seem unlikely), he would be No. 7. With Liriano, it allows Chris Sale and Jake Peavy to get extra rest between starts. Plus, if Mr. Fix It (pitching coach Don Cooper) can get Liriano back to his old form, or something close to it, the White Sox could have a steal on their hands.

Prospects highlight White Sox spring training invitees

kopech-317.jpg
USA TODAY

Prospects highlight White Sox spring training invitees

Pitchers and catchers report in just over three weeks and the White Sox announced the list of spring training invitees on Monday.

The White Sox signed six players to minor-league contracts to get them to camp, but, as has been the case for the past year-plus with the White Sox, all eyes will be on the prospects.

Pitchers Michael Kopech, Alec Hansen, Dane Dunning and Dylan Cease and position players Luis Robert, Zack Collins and 2017 first-round pick Jake Burger are among the top prospects the White Sox invited to spring training. The team’s top prospect, Eloy Jimenez, is already on the 40-man roster so he was already set to be included. Jimenez, Kopech, Hansen, Robert and Dunning were just included on Baseball America's top 100 prospects.

Kopech and Collins were in spring training last year and Jimenez was in spring training with the Cubs in 2017 so it’s not an entirely new experience for them, but White Sox fans will be able to get a more extended and accessible look at Jimenez for the first time. Robert will likely have extra attention on him due to this being his first professional baseball in the U.S. Robert played in the Dominican Summer League after signing with the White Sox last summer.

The other non-roster invitees are pitchers Chris Beck, Tyler Danish, Jordan Stephens, Connor Walsh, Brian Clark and Jordan Guerrero and position players Alfredo Gonzalez, Seby Zavala and Jacob May.

The players signed on minor-league contracts are Rob Scahill, Chris Volstad, Michael Ynoa, T.J. House, Patrick Leonard and Matt Skole. Volstad and Ynoa both pitched with the White Sox in 2017, but have since been removed from the 40-man roster. Scahill is a Chicagoland product who graduated from Willowbrook High School and pitched at Bradley in college.

Meet the Prospects: Jameson Fisher

Meet the Prospects: Jameson Fisher

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.

Jameson Fisher

Fisher, the 24-year-old outfielder, was a fourth-round pick of the White Sox in the 2016 draft.

A Louisiana native, Fisher slashed .342/.436/.487 in 50 rookie-ball games after being drafted in 2016.

Last year, Fisher split time between Class A Kannapolis and Class A Winston-Salem, playing 124 combined games. On the season, he slashed .245/.342/.402 with 30 doubles, 10 home runs, six triples and 68 RBIs to go along with 58 walks and 114 strikeouts.

As of their most recent rankings, MLB Pipeline had Fisher rated as the No. 25 prospect in the White Sox organization.

Get to know Fisher in the video above.