With Michael Cuddyer headed to Colorado, Minnesota has stepped up efforts to re-sign outfielderDH Jason Kubel, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Take it away, Darth Vader.
It looked as if the Twins wouldn't be able to bring back either Cuddyer or Kubel after signing Josh Willingham earlier this week, but now that doesn't appear to be the case. This is bad news for the White Sox, seeing as Kubel has absolutely crushed the Sox in his career.
Kubel owns a .896 OPS against the White Sox in 303 plate appearances. He's hit 22 home runs and drove in 76 runs, easily the highest totals against any opponent (for reference, he's hit 12 home runs vs. Cleveland and driven in 52 runs vs. Kansas City, the highest totals in those areas).
He's smashed four home runs in his career off Gavin Floyd, the most he's hit against any opposing pitcher. Kubel's also hit three home runs against three pitchers, two of which are Jon Garland and Javier Vazquez -- both former Sox pitchers. He's driven in 13 runs with John Danks on the mound (the highest total there), with 11 RBIs coming against Garland and 10 against Floyd.
For the sake of the White Sox pitching staff's ERA, here's hoping Kubel doesn't return to Minnesota.
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 — 14-19 with a 4.58 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 13 saves and 7.4 K/9 in 290.2 innings \— 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."
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.