The temperature is rising on the South Side, and if you look outside, you know it has nothing to do with Mother Nature.
Instead, it’s a heat wave coming from a fresh-faced 22-year-old slugger who’s crushing baseballs, igniting a fan base and screaming “Hi Mom!” to his actual mother whenever he spots a TV camera with its red light on.
Eloy Jimenez has arrived with the White Sox, and according to a New York Yankees All Star who has known him for years, the best is yet to come.
“Not this year, but next year, he’s going to be even better,” infielder Gleyber Torres said about Jimenez.
The two of them were signed by that team across town in 2013 when they were both 16 years old. They were practically inseparable back then, and they remain tight to this day.
“I talk with Gleyber pretty much every single day now. He’s kind of like my brother,” Jimenez said. “We haven’t lost that communication, and I think that’s good for us.”
Torres echoed similar thoughts about Jimenez.
“In my first couple years with the Cubs, he was my roommate every day. We’ve got a really good relationship. We’re like brothers. We are really good friends,” Torres said. “I’m just happy to see what he’s doing right now.”
Which, lately, has been just about everything.
There was that majestic home run Jimenez belted on Wednesday against the Washington Nationals that landed on the center field concourse at Guaranteed Rate Field, the two walks the next day when the Yankees decided to pitch around Jimenez as if he was a perennial All Star, and then the two-homer game on Friday: The first one gave the White Sox the lead, the second stuck a dagger into the Yankees, as well as the heart of his longtime friend.
“For sure, I didn’t like it,” Torres said with a smile about Jimenez’s two-homer, six-RBI game. “I’m not surprised. I knew Eloy before he signed with the Cubs out of the Dominican. He’s a big dude. The power is coming every day.”
How good can Jimenez be? Torres, who plays on a star-studded team with Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge and Didi Gregorius, sees Jimenez reaching the same stratosphere.
“He can be a star for all of MLB. He’s just a young guy right now, but when he matures a little more, he can do everything.”
Jimenez is turning up the heat in Chicago, and it’s not even summer yet.
The South Side can’t wait for the sizzle to come.
Farewell, Lonzo Ball-to-the-Bulls rumors.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Saturday evening that the Los Angeles Lakers have finally acquired Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans, and the deal doesn't include a third team.
Monster haul for David Griffin and the Pelicans. They maximized the AD trade without needing a third team. History of Griffin deals typically include strong pick protections, which could made trade even better. And now, LeBron gets his second star in LA. Here we go. https://t.co/Yf6cjlhvv4— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 15, 2019
In exchange for Davis, a six-time All-Star about to enter his prime, the Pelicans recieved Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and three first round picks, including the No. 4 pick in next week's NBA Draft.
There was some speculation - also reported by Woj - that a third team would need to get involved in order to satisfy what Pelicans GM David Griffin was looking for in a package for Davis.
Though the Bulls were never directly connected in reports as a potential third team, it made sense considering they own the No. 7 pick and have a need at point guard.
There was also some speculation - though, again, never concrete news or reports - that Zach LaVine could have been an option in a deal, with the Bulls acquiring the No. 4 pick.
Alas, the Bulls aren't part of the deal. But it still may have an effect on them.
The Pelicans now own the Nos. 1 and 4 picks in next week's draft. They're obviously going to take Duke forward Zion Williamson with the first pick but now have options at No. 4. Whereas the Lakers had been linked to Vanderbilt poing guard Darius Garland, the Pelicans really don't have a need there with Ball and Jrue Holiday in the backcourt.
That, in theory, could bump Garland down to No. 6 and the Phoenix Suns, which would then free up the Bulls to take North Carolina's Coby White at No. 7.
Wojnarowski also reported that teams are still inquiring about the No. 4 pick from the Pelicans. It's unlikely the Bulls would depart with LaVine though maybe they could put together some sort of package to move up from No. 7.
Teams are already expressing significant interest in the No. 4 overall pick belonging now to the Pelicans, league sources tell ESPN. Talks are expected to continue over the next few days. This deal could get even bigger for the Pelicans.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 15, 2019
What's more likely is the Bulls keep their assets intact in such a weak draft class and move forward with the best player available on the board at No. 7.
But it's officially Woj Bomb season, so buckle up. As is the case every NBA offseason, anything can and will happen.