White Sox

Word on the Street: Pitchers ponder future in Chicago

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Word on the Street: Pitchers ponder future in Chicago

Sunday, Nov. 21, 2010
CSNChicago.com

Cubs making a push for Vazquez

Despite a diminishing budget for the 2011 season, the Cubs are reportedly attempting to court Javier Vazquez to add to their starting rotation, as CubbiesCrib.com reports from Bruce Levin on ESPN Radio 1000.

Beyond Ryan Dempster and Carlos Zambrano, the Cubs' rotation is pretty open, the blog states, and Vazquez could slide in the No. 3 spot. However, the team is also allegedly interested in Jeremy Bonderman, Kevin Millwood, Jon Garland and Vicente Padilla to fill the same need, according to MLB Daily Dish.

Vazquez was a Cy Young candidate in 2009 with the Atlanta Braves, compiling a 2.87 ERA while running up a 15-10 record. Last season with the Yankees, he went just 10-10 with a 5.32 ERA.

Vazquez spent the 2006-08 seasons with the White Sox. (Cubbies Crib)

Putz heading to Arizona?

The Arizona Diamondbacks have already made it clear that they were interested in White Sox free agent first baseman Paul Konerko, but now they are reportedly turning their attention to free agent reliever J.J. Putz, according to multiple National League sources.

Putz lives in a northwest suburb of Phoenix in the offseason, so that may be a deciding factor for the right-handed veteran. He can close as well as set-up, so he could wind up being very valuable to whatever team he ends up with. (Chicago Tribune)

Sunday's Packers - Vikings game last for Favre?

The Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings played for the 100th time on Sunday, but the big question is whether or not it will be the last one for Brett Favre.

Favre has announced that he will retire after this season, but he has made that announcement several times before and still continues to play. So unless the two teams meet in the playoffs, this could be Favre's last Packers-Vikings game.

The game itself is the least hyped matchup between the two teams in several years. The Packers are 6-3, while the Vikings are struggling at 3-6. That might explain why Favre barely blinked when asked if he thought about possibly playing the Packers for the final time.

"No, I haven't really," Favre said. "We obviously need a win. That's my focus and hopefully our team's focus. We can't be concerned about anything else but winning the football game. There's no time to think about those types of things," (Player Press).

Canucks coach not happy with the Blackhawks
Canucks coach Alain Vigneault wasn't too happy with the players the Hawks were using on the power play with the game in hand Saturday.

His words only make the Hawks-Canucks rivalry more compelling.

"Obviously we're going to have to find a way to play better at home against that team," Vigneault said after the Hawks demolished his team 7-1.

"We basically embarrassed ourselves tonight in front of our fans, and they did everything they could tonight to rub it in our face -- 6-0 and they throw their No. 1 power play unit out there when it's a 5-on-3 power play. They have every right to do that. They did it. They were pushing it, and they did," (Chicago Sun-Times).

White Sox add three players to 40-man roster

The Chicago White Sox added three players to their 40-man roster in advance of Friday's 10:59 p.m. CT deadline to set their roster and protect players from the Rule 5 Draft.

The team purchased the contracts of right-handed pitcher Anthony Carter and shortstop Eduardo Escobar from Double-A Birmingham and right-handed pitcher Nate Jones from Class A Winston-Salem.

The White Sox now have 34 players on their 40-man roster, (ChiSox.com).
Boozer close to practicing
Sidelined power forward Carlos Boozer says he hopes to practice with the Bulls soon, telling CSNChicago.com's Aggrey Sam, "The great thing about my injury is Ive been able to run a lot and stay in shape as good as I can, so when I get back out there to practicehopefully very soon; maybe in a week, week and a half, Ill be able to practice sometime this week Im hopingI wont be too far behind," (CSNChicago.com).
NFL using electronic forensics in Favre-Sterger investigation
NFL investigators are using high-tech methods to trace the electronic trail behind purported X-rated photos and voice mails sent to former Jets sideline reporter Jenn Sterger and if they originated from Favre's cell phone.

Sterger's lawyer told the Daily News earlier this month that "substantial materials" were turned over to the NFL for its investigation, (NY Daily News).
White Sox ticket prices expected to increase

White Sox single-game tickets have yet to go on sale. But fans should expect a small increase price-wise from what they paid in 2010.

"We haven't announced our game prices at this time, but our philosophy for the last six or seven years has been a small incremental jump each year," said White Sox vice president and chief marketing officer Brooks Boyer, entering his eighth season in this capacity. "We are looking at making sure we have scenarios where families can get out to the ballpark.

"Our Value Mondays and our family packs will continue. You come in groups, and there's some cost savings there. It's going to be what our fans have come to expect," (ChiSox.com).

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."