From the weekend:
John Danks walked four in his start Sunday while Chris Sale was roughed up a bit Friday, although Sale's start had some encouraging aspects. Danks, while acknowledging the results weren't there, was similarly encouraged by his outing.
Saturday's game saw Kenny Williams' kid (not the wideout for the 49ers) pick up a walk-off single against Texas. But Paul Konerko picked up a knock, fouling a pitch off his knee and leaving the game.
Friday's Cubs-Sox game was the first to feature neither Ozzie Guillen nor Carlos Zambrano in nine years. CSNChicago.com Cubs Insider was in Glendale for the first crosstown matchup of the Robin VenturaDale Sveum era, noting the stark differences for both Chicago squads. Also, if you're inclined to root against the Cubs this year, there are 500 reasons not to thanks to Fisher Nuts.
A.J. Pierzynski may not rate as a good defensive catcher, but he's excellent at preventing runs. So his ability to call a good game is actually quite valuable.
Will Ohman is working on a changeup and hopes to use it more against right-handers in 2012. Given that he currently is the only lefty in the Sox bullpen who will pitch in setup situations, that hopefully will turn out to be a quality addition to his arsenal.
The video game MLB The Show has a curious-at-best ranking of White Sox players. Hector Gimenez is a little overrated, while guys like Brent Lillibridge and Alejandro De Aza were underrated.
Around the division: John Bonnes of Twins Daily looks at five burning questions for the Twins, scuffling Minnesota infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka will miss time with a sprained pinkie, Chris Perez is drawing closer (see what I did there?) to returning, this is a pretty great concept by Let's Go Tribe, Royals Authority writes on the meta-entertainment value of Yuniesky Betancourt, and Justin Verlander wasn't happy with throwing four scoreless innings.
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.