White Sox

White Sox reportedly interested in two infield options


White Sox reportedly interested in two infield options

NASHVILLE -- The White Sox reportedly have interest in two players who could fill vacancies on the left side of the infield.

The White Sox were linked to Oakland third baseman Brett Lawrie early Monday and another report surfaced suggesting they have interest in free agent Asdrubal Cabrera.

The team has openings at both third base and shortstop and could try to solve them at the Winter Meetings, which began Monday at The Gaylord Opryland Hotel.

With two third baseman on the roster, the A’s have made Lawrie’s availability known and the White Sox are one of three teams who have some interest, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

In his only season in Oakland, Lawrie, who isn’t eligible for free agency until 2018, hit .260/.299/.407 with 16 home runs and 60 RBIs. He walked 28 times and struck out 144. Lawrie was part of the A’s return in a trade that sent American League Most Valuable Player Josh Donaldson to the Toronto Blue Jays.

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Oakland is said to want a starting pitcher in return.

The White Sox are reportedly one of four suitors for Cabrera, according to MLB Daily Dish. The New York Yankees, New York Mets and Los Angeles Angels also are in pursuit of Cabrera, a career .267/.329/.412 hitter.

Cabrera, 30, hit 15 homers and drove in 58 runs in 136 games at shortstop for Tampa Bay last season.

The White Sox have flexibility on the left side of the infield because they believe Tyler Saladino can play either spot. Even though he only played half a season, Saladino was fourth among all third baseman in Defensive Runs Saved, according to fangraphs.com.

The team hasn’t had a long-term answer at third base since Joe Crede played his final game on Sept. 2. 2008. The White Sox have since started 22 different players at third, including Saladino, Mike Olt, Gordon Beckham and Conor Gillaspie last season.

The team also could attempt to resign Alexei Ramirez, who is a free agent.

[MORE: Samardzija's departure nets White Sox top pick in next year's draft]

All season long, Ramirez stated his preference was to remain with the White Sox. But in November they bought out his $10 million club option for $1 million and made him a free agent. Both Rick Hahn and Ramirez’s representatives have said the two sides would maintain lines of communication and wouldn’t rule out a reunion. However, the White Sox figured Ramirez, one of the top options at short in free agency, would find too good of an offer to want to come back to them on a lesser deal.

While the market for catchers has been one of the fastest to develop in free agency, no shortstops have signed, including Ian Desmond, who is the best bat of the bunch.

Though he’d like to upgrade his offense and find solutions for his roster as soon as possible, Hahn said he wouldn’t force any deals.

Last December, the White Sox were the early toast of the Winter Meetings after they traded for Jeff Samardzija and signed David Robertson to a four-year deal.

“We would love to be able to make some moves and address other needs as we hit town next week,” Hahn said Friday. “At the same time, there is no extra credit for getting a guy on your roster in the second week of December versus the third or fourth. A lot of more active clubs last year got a fair amount of their work done after they left the Winter Meetings in fact.”

Would potential bargains like Mike Moustakas or Carlos Gonzalez make sense for White Sox?


Would potential bargains like Mike Moustakas or Carlos Gonzalez make sense for White Sox?

The 2017-18 baseball offseason continues to be, well, the 2017-18 baseball offseason, even with spring training games being played in Arizona and Florida.

A bunch of names remain on the free-agent market, including All-Star players who thought they would be in for big multi-year contracts. But as teams continue to deny the wishes of guys who expected to get big deals, the suggestion that those players might end up needing to take one-year offers if they want to play during the 2018 season is becoming a more common talking point.

So with potential bargains to be had for some pretty big-name players, do the White Sox jump into the waters and try to lock up a potential future piece on the cheap? Though they aren’t expected to contend this season, the White Sox have been mentioned in a pair of recent reports surrounding a pair of All-Star position players: Mike Moustakas and Carlos Gonzalez.

MLB.com's Jon Morosi wrote last week that the White Sox are a potential fit for Moustakas, who has sat and watched as former Kansas City Royals teammate Eric Hosmer received a huge contract from the San Diego Padres. Moustakas set a new Royals record last season with 38 home runs but has yet to find a team.

The White Sox, connected to Baltimore Orioles star Manny Machado earlier this offseason, seem to have a current big leaguer or highly ranked prospect locked into almost every position on the diamond for the foreseeable future, but third base isn't necessarily one of them. Jake Burger was last year’s top draft pick, though there’s speculation he could slide over to first base. The team still envisions him as a big league third baseman, for what it’s worth.

Moustakas is 29 and already has seven big league seasons under his belt, including a pair of All-Star appearances and a pair of trips to the World Series, including the Crowns’ championship back in 2015. His 38 homers and 85 RBIs in 2017 were both career highs. He slashed .272/.314/.521, the final of those three numbers the best mark of his career.

Moustakas has rarely hit for average or reached base at too high a clip, though those recent power numbers would be intriguing at a hitter-friendly park like Guaranteed Rate Field, where he has 10 career dingers, 26 career RBIs and a .249/.308/.456 career slash line as a visitor.

Certainly Moustakas would be a buzz-worthy addition, and if the White Sox could get him for a good value thanks to this slow-moving market, that adds incentive to bring him aboard. A short contract would have even more incentive for the rebuilding White Sox, who would have the option to either sign him to a long-term deal or deal him away in a deadline deal depending on his immediate production levels.

But for fans hoping the White Sox will spend big on a third baseman in one of the next two offseasons — Machado is a free agent next winter, and Colorado Rockies star Nolan Arenado is set to hit the market the winter after next — slotting in an outside addition at the hot corner now could impact those plans.

Gonzalez is a completely different story, a three-time All Star during his 10-year big league career who is just three seasons removed from a 40-homer campaign in 2015. The 32-year-old Gonzalez also has a trio of Gold Gloves to go along with his 215 career home runs. FanRag’s Jon Heyman listed the White Sox as a possible landing spot for CarGo this weekend.

But his walk year in Colorado was not a very good one by his standards. In 136 games for a Rockies team that ended up in the playoffs, he slashed .262/.339/.423, all those averages way down from his usual level of production. And his power numbers plummeted to 14 homers and 57 RBIs after he combined for 65 homers and 197 RBIs in 2015 and 2016.

The good news for the White Sox is that down year makes Gonzalez far more affordable. Should he command only a one-year contract, the White Sox could take a flier, stick him in the outfield — which still has an unresolved spot with few strong offensive options for center field — and trade him should he bounce back in a big way. Or, at 32, perhaps he’s a guy the White Sox could opt to keep around should he prove valuable and the rebuild continues to move along ahead of schedule.

Gonzalez seems the less risky move at this point, as Moustakas could still be looking for a multi-year contract. But the White Sox have plenty of financial flexibility and flexibility in their decision-making should they add either guy and he proves worthy of a midseason deal or a long-term look.

White Sox prospect Micker Adolfo sidelined with elbow injuries


White Sox prospect Micker Adolfo sidelined with elbow injuries

PHOENIX, Ariz. — One of the White Sox prized prospects will be on the shelf for a little while.

Outfielder Micker Adolfo has a sprained UCL in his right elbow and a strained flexor tendon that could require surgery. He could avoid surgery, though he could be sidelined for at least six weeks.

Though he hasn’t received the same high rankings and media attention as fellow outfield prospects Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert, Adolfo is considered a part of the White Sox promising future. He’s said to have the best outfield arm in the White Sox system.

Adolfo had a breakout season in 2017, slashing .264/.331/.453 with 16 homers and 68 RBIs in 112 games with Class A Kannapolis.

Adolfo, along with Jimenez and Robert, has been generating buzz at White Sox camp in Glendale, with a crowd forming whenever the trio takes batting practice. Earlier this week, the three described their conversation dreaming about playing together in the same outfield for a contending White Sox team in the future.