LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Looking to take a short break from Machado Mania? There's a new White Sox trade rumor involving Avisail Garcia.
The outfielder has been the subject of trade speculation this winter, and he's finally getting some reported interest, with USA Today's Bob Nightengale listing both the San Francisco Giants and Toronto Blue Jays as teams that have talked with the White Sox about Garcia.
The Winter Meetings started with questions about potential trade candidates Jose Abreu and Garcia, who both put up great offensive numbers last season. Garcia was statistically one of the best hitters in the American League, ranking second behind only MVP Jose Altuve with a .330 batting average and sixth with a .380 on-base percentage.
That production and the White Sox rebuilding efforts seemed to make Garcia a logical trade chip, someone who could potentially further stockpile the minor league system with more highly touted talent.
The option, of course, also exists for the White Sox to hold on to the 26-year-old outfielder, who despite being in the bigs since 2012 didn't put together a big offensive season until 2017. They could keep him and trade him at a later date, once the rest of baseball finds out if he's capable of repeating what he did last season. Or they could keep him for good, extending him and including him as a part of their long-term core.
Of course, all of that talk was obliterated by the Thursday morning reports about the White Sox and a potential trade for Baltimore Orioles superstar third baseman Manny Machado. Starting with The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal, several national writers reported on the White Sox aggressive push for Machado, who's set to become one of the headlining members of the 2019 free-agent class.
There are pros and cons to trading for Machado, and White Sox general manager Rick Hahn spoke about the team's thinking before departing the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort.
But perhaps Machado isn't the only subject of trade talks on the South Side right now.
Wednesday's White Sox-A's game lasted five hours and 48 minutes.
It went 14 innings and the White Sox lost by a 12-11 final score in Oakland.
A lot happened, and some of what happened seems like forever ago.
Remember how Carson Fulmer started the game? Or that Yoan Moncada hit a grand slam in the second inning? How about when the White Sox had an early five-run lead?
Like we said, a lot happened.
The South Siders didn't come out on top, but there were some wild stats our NBC Sports Chicago stats guru Chris Kamka compiled.
The good news? The White Sox have a day off on Thursday.
Eloy's comin' ... to Birmingham.
The White Sox top-ranked prospect will finally see regular-season game action in 2018, with the team announcing Wednesday that Eloy Jimenez will join Double-A Birmingham on Thursday.
There's a ton of excitement over the White Sox impressive collection of young players, but perhaps no prospect has generated the kind of buzz Jimenez has since coming over from the Cubs in last summer's crosstown trade.
No one, though, has been able to see much of Jimenez during this calendar year. Sidelined for a couple weeks during spring training, he only got seven Cactus League at-bats, but he impressed in that short period of time, hitting two home runs and a triple. Then, just before the season started, he suffered a slight injury to his pectoral muscle that he's been working back from since, keeping him out of minor league action.
Jimenez, ranked as the No. 4 prospect in baseball, has hit 43 home runs in four minor league seasons. Before coming over from the Cubs last summer, he hit eight homers in 42 games with Class A Myrtle Beach. He then hit eight more in 29 games with Class A Winston-Salem and three in 18 games with Birmingham.
When Jimenez will reach the South Side is one of the biggest talking points surrounding the White Sox rebuild. But he's got just those 18 games under his belt at the Double-A level, and there's no reason to rush him while the rebuilding White Sox aren't expected to contend for a championship this season. General manager Rick Hahn said multiple times this offseason that a good developmental season for Jimenez could involve him staying in the minor leagues all year.
But Jimenez has also repeatedly talked about being ready for the majors. And if he tears up Double-A and Triple-A the way many White Sox fans expect him to, his big league arrival might not be too far off. Tim will tell, and that time starts Thursday.