White Sox

Who is @k0na, the guy who broke the Danks deal?

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Who is @k0na, the guy who broke the Danks deal?

Doug Seyller, better known as @k0na on twitter, broke the John Danks contract extension hours before any media outlet was able to confirm it. It's not the first time Seyller has been the first to report a White Sox transaction, either. The following is an e-mail exchange White Sox Talk conducted with Seyller:
White Sox Talk: First up, tell us a little bit about who Doug Seyller is. Are you just "some fan"?
Doug Seyller: Honestly, I am just some fan. I'm an art director who's been working in the creative industry for 15 years. I have no ties to the Sox and I have not tapped Kenny's phone. LOL. I played a little ball in and after college but never professionally.WST: What was the first scoop you ever got, and how did you go about publicizing it?

Seyller: I believe I scooped the Garland trade. At the time I posted it to the Sox message board and got blasted for it. People said I was just posting to try and troll the board. A day later the story broke and I didn't even get a nod from the media for it.
WST: Have your sources ever been wrong about something?
Seyller: Never. They are good sources.

WST: Why do you use twitter, and only twitter, to put your stuff out there?

Seyller: It has a lot to do with the industry I'm in. I've been so close to social media for so long that it all in a way annoys me. I didn't have a Facebook account until this time last year when I was forced into designing a Facebook app. Twitter to me is what it is. 80 percent one way posting from people on their soapboxes, maybe 10 percent corporate tweets. The last 10 percent are the real movers (celebrities) that have the large following. For me its the easiest and quickest way to post news and let other people spread it for me. Maybe two years ago I posted a story about a guy who redesigned the United Airlines homepage and sent it to them. It was retweeted 110x in one day.
WST: Do you consider yourself a journalist? Whywhy not?

Seyller: No not really. I'm just a guy who likes to inform others of cool things, interesting stories, trade rumors and design, without turning myself into a blogger.WST: What's your motivation for doing this? Do you take any pride in beating major media outlets to news?
Seyller: I do. Like I said above, I think I broke two big stories on the Sox site and neither time did any news source give credit. One even used my exact wording. Now I take great pride posting before they do, I think it's fantastic that a "graphic designer" as I'm called who makes elbow macaroni art (that's a joke by the way) can beat them to the punch.
WST: Why "k0na"?
Seyller: I used to ride a Kona mountain bike. When we'd ride in groups they'd call me "Kona." It stuck.

Up close, White Sox see same big potential Cubs forecasted for Dylan Cease

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Up close, White Sox see same big potential Cubs forecasted for Dylan Cease

The Cubs made the Jose Quintana deal knowing it would have been more difficult to give up Dylan Cease if he was already performing at the Double-A level, and that the White Sox organization would be a good place to continue his education as a young pitcher.

While Eloy Jimenez keeps drawing ridiculous comparisons – the running total now includes Kris Bryant, Miguel Cabrera, Edgar Martinez and David Ortiz – Cease is more than just the other name prospect from the deal that shocked the baseball world during the All-Star break.

“We still project him as a starter,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said during this week’s GM meetings in Florida. “He certainly has the stuff where it’s easy to envision him as a potential dominant reliever. But to this point – for the foreseeable future – we deal with the starting and continue to develop him as a potential front-end arm.”

The Theo Epstein regime still hasn’t developed an impact homegrown pitcher, but that hasn’t stopped the Cubs from winning 292 games, six playoff rounds and a World Series title across the last three seasons, while still being in a strong position to win the National League Central again in 2018.

Without Quintana and his affordable contract that can run through 2020, Epstein’s front office might have been looking at the daunting possibility of trying to acquire three starting pitchers this winter.

While surveying a farm system in the middle of a natural downturn, Baseball America ranked seven pitchers on its top-10 list of prospects from the Cubs organization: Adbert Alzolay, Jose Albertos, Alex Lange, Oscar De La Cruz, Brendon Little, Thomas Hatch and Jen-Ho Tseng.

So far, only Alzolay, an Arizona Fall League Fall Star with seven starts for Double-A Tennessee on his resume, and Tseng, who made his big-league debut in September, have pitched above the A-ball level.

Cease – who went 0-8 with a 3.89 ERA for Class-A Kannapolis in his first nine starts in the White Sox system – has a 100-mph fastball and a big curveball and won’t turn 22 until next month. That stuff allowed Cease to pile up 126 strikeouts against 44 walks in 93.1 innings this year, putting him in the wave that includes Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Michael Kopech and Alec Hansen.

“Ideally, we have a lot of guys we project to be part of the future, very good, championship-caliber rotation,” Hahn said. “In an ideal world, there’s not going to be room at the inn for all of them. You only have five in that rotation and some of these guys will wind up in the bullpen. In reality, as players develop, you’re going to see some attrition.”

One spot after the White Sox grabbed Carlos Rodon with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 draft, the Cubs did Kyle Schwarber’s below-slot deal, using part of the savings to buy out Cease’s commitment to Vanderbilt University ($1.5 million bonus for a sixth-rounder) and supervise his recovery from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

Cease was never going to be on the fast track to Wrigley Field, and now the White Sox hope he can be part of the foundation on the South Side, where it’s easier to sell a rebuild after watching the Cubs and Houston Astros become World Series champions.

“It doesn’t change really for us internally in terms of our commitment or focus or our plan or our timeline or anything along those lines,” Hahn said. “I do think, perhaps, it helps the fan base understand a little bit about what the process looks like, where other teams have been and how long the path they took to get to the ultimate goal of winning a World Series (was). In Chicago, many fans saw it firsthand with the Cubs.

“There are certainly more and more examples in the game over the last several years to help sort of show fans the path and justification for what we’re (doing).”

The White Sox just traded for a really intriguing arm

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USA TODAY

The White Sox just traded for a really intriguing arm

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."