White Sox

White Sox could further explore Robertson trade in offseason

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White Sox could further explore Robertson trade in offseason

MINNEAPOLIS -- His placement on revocable waivers didn’t catch White Sox closer David Robertson by surprise.

Almost everyone lands on the waiver wire in August.

But Robertson said Tuesday he didn’t expect his name would be made public as several outlets reported, including CBSSports.com and USA Today. The New York Yankees’ claim of Robertson -- who signed a four-year, $46 million deal with the White Sox in December -- surfaced before the 2 p.m. EST deadline Monday for the teams to complete a trade.

Ultimately, the White Sox pulled Robertson off waivers as the teams didn’t reach a deal in time. Robertson said he didn’t worry much about a potential trade and mostly was amused by everyone else’s reaction. He’s also not surprised the White Sox may have gauged interest and wouldn’t be shocked if he’s made available this offseason, either.

“I don’t think there’s anyone in this clubhouse who’s not on the list,” Robertson said. “Usually that stuff just comes and goes.

“I was like, ‘Yeah, they’re dangling me out there probably hoping to get some kind of huge trade involved and getting rid of a lot of money and getting two of this and that.’ Every team does it. For me, it wasn’t a big worry. My first year I was worried, but every year you’re on it.”

[MORE: Montas one of four White Sox Septemeber call-ups]

Robertson probably didn’t expect to be in this position after he first signed with the White Sox. After all, he hoped he could help them be in the thick of a pennant race in part because of a revamped bullpen.

While everything has worked out in that regard -- Robertson is 6-3 with 27 saves and a 2.60 ERA in 48 games -- the White Sox still have several big questions to address this offseason. It sounds if general manager Rick Hahn is open to using a number of avenues to resolve his club’s issues. One of those routes could involve making Nate Jones the closer and unloading Robertson for salary relief and prospects or major league ready talent.

“There’s no sacred cows,” Hahn said. “Everything is on the table and we are looking at everything.”

Robertson is aware.

He’s set to earn $11 million next season, $12 million in 2017 and $13 million in 2018. Jones, who has 15 strikeouts in 9 2/3 innings, earns $600,000 this season, though he’d be due a raise for 2016. But the difference in salary, the lack of a trade clause and the potential for players in return for a position the White Sox are suddenly comfortable with have Robertson alert about his situation -- even a potentially funky reunion with the Yankees.

[MORE: Erik Johnson ready for second shot with White Sox]

“Anything can happen,” Robertson said. “Those GMs are going to be wheeling and dealing, talking to everybody else, always trying to get better and take the next step. If it ends up being moved for them to do that, then they’re going to do it. There’s nothing I can say about, nothing I can do about it. I’m here to play, show up, do my job. I feel like the rest of that they handle.

“That would have been really weird to go back there. I would have been like ‘Ahhh, I was just here.’ Whatever. It was funny. It was funnier hearing people. Don’t worry about it -- it’s the waiver wire.”

White Sox Talk Podcast: Meet the real Tim Anderson

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Meet the real Tim Anderson

On the latest White Sox Talk Podcast, Tim Anderson opens up about his struggles in 2017 and why he wants White Sox fans "to know the real me."

Anderson dives into his personal tragedy from last season when his best friend was murdered in Alabama. 

He talks with Chuck Garfien about the dark days that happened, how counseling helped him, his new leadership role in 2018, if he'll draw more walks this season, "bringing swag to the South Side" with Yoan Moncada and much more.

Listen to the full White Sox Talk Podcast right here:

After last season's personal tragedy, Tim Anderson ready to unleash real self

After last season's personal tragedy, Tim Anderson ready to unleash real self

GLENDALE, AZ --  There’s a different Tim Anderson at White Sox spring training this year.

You can see it on his face  You can hear it in his voice.

“I’m busting out of the shell. I’m talking more,” he said as he sat down for an interview with NBC Sports Chicago (in the video above).

It’s not the new Tim Anderson. It turns out, it’s the real one that’s been there all along.

“This is me. It’s always been me. I never knew how to express myself. I feel like I’m being a lot more open,” Anderson explained. “That’s what I want to give to fans. Let them know the real me. You’re cheering for me. Why not know me? I’m being open and kind of let fans into my life.”

The White Sox shortstop has learned a lot about life in the past year. It all started in May when the White Sox were in Baltimore to play the Orioles. Anderson received a phone call at 4 a.m. It was news from back home.

It was the worst phone call of his life.

His best friend Branden Moss had been murdered in the parking lot of a Tuscaloosa, Ala., bar after helping the victim of a fight.  

The two were like brothers. Anderson is the godfather to Moss’s young daughter. Moss was the godfather to Anderson’s 2-year-old daughter.

“It was heartbreaking,” Anderson said.

While Anderson grieved, playing baseball seemed like it would be a perfect escape for his pain. Only it wasn’t. Far from it.  Baseball might have made things even worse.

In fast-paced sports like football and hockey, players don’t have much time to think. It’s react, react, react. Whatever might be happening off the field feels like a million miles away.

Not in baseball.

The game moves at a much slower speed. There’s plenty of time for your mind to wander. Thoughts kept going back to Anderson’s lost friend, taken from him in an instant.

At 23, he didn’t have the tools to deal with the emotional pain and excel at baseball at the same time.

“The year was rough. I wasn’t having fun in between the lines. I was making the game harder than it was. I was thinking too much. I was feeling sorry for myself and the list can go on. When my friend died it definitely took a lot out of me. I had a dark moment,” Anderson said. “Some days I didn’t feel comfortable coming to the ballpark because I knew it was going to be a bad day.”

Making matters worse, there were many nights when Anderson didn’t sleep. Not a wink. Still, he dragged himself to the ballpark and somehow tried to play.

The results weren’t pretty. On June 22, Anderson already had 16 errors at shortstop, most in the majors. At the plate, he was hitting .256/.284/.374 with six home runs and 19 RBIs.

He knew he was better than that. He also knew something else: He needed help.

In July, Anderson started meeting with a therapist who was able to unlock the pent up thoughts and emotions that he was burying inside him.

The therapist would write down everything that Anderson was feeling on paper and then read it back to him.

“Just going in and talking and pouring everything out of you. It lets you hear what you’ve been going through,“ Anderson said. “When she did it, it was a lot. I took what she read to me, balled it up and threw it away. I got lighter. It was a brightening. Those counseling sessions definitely helped me.”

Soon, Anderson was back to being himself both on and off the field.

In the month of August, he had 8 doubles, 5 home runs and 16 RBI.

“Woof. I was hot,” he said after hearing those stats. “That’s Tim. That’s more Tim that we need to see.”

In September, he batted .327 with 3 home runs and 9 stolen bases.

“We need a lot of that this year. That’s the way I want to go. That’s the way I want to go about it. Get back to what got me here.”

There was still an issue with his plate discipline. He had 32 strikeouts and only 1 walk in September.

“We play a tough sport as it is. They’re going to come,” Anderson said about the walks. “I mean, when I walk more, what are you going to tell me? ‘Start swinging more?’ It’s one of those things. It’s a give and take. We’ll see what happens.”

In 2017, Anderson received a crash course in adversity. What did he learn from all that pain and misery?

“Tough times happen, but they don’t last forever.”

Now that he’s survived the personal storm from last season, he wants “another shot at it. I feel like last year went left. This is new season.”

So, what does he envision for himself in 2018?

“Having fun, smiling a lot, picking up my teammates, hugging on the coaches and players. A lot of love, more so than stats,” Anderson said. “I’m fired up. I’m excited. I feel like I’m ready to lead this pack. We got a great group of guys. We’ve got a chance to do something special.”