White Sox

Blackhawks' Toews in vs. Wild; Hossa questionable

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Blackhawks' Toews in vs. Wild; Hossa questionable

Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011
12:19 p.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

Jonathan Toews will be in the lineup but Marian Hossa (sick) is questionable tonight as the Chicago Blackhawks host the Minnesota Wild at the United Center.

Neither was skating this morning, and coach Joel Quenneville said an ill Hossa will be a game-time decision. This is the Blackhawks last game before they get another five-day break at least those not going to the All-Star Game.

We know this is an important game today, Quenneville said. Its an easy game to look past; we want to bring our concentration to this game. (The Wild) have got some depth, guys who are delivering. Im sure theyre excited coming into todays game.
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Meanwhile, defenseman Nick Leddy will face the Wild team that selected him 16th overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft before trading him to the Blackhawks in February 2010.

Yeah, its a big night. But at the same time I never really played with them, said Leddy, who was surprised when he was traded. I was a little shocked at the time because it came out of nowhere, I had no idea it was coming. But I guess it wasnt a bad thing.

Quenneville said the brief Wild history could still be a boost to the 19-year-old tonight.

I think you look back at guys, whether theyre drafted or traded, theres a little more incentive when youre facing that team, he said. Its a game youre targeting. For him, its the hometown so Im sure hes excited about tonights game.

Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

White Sox Talk Podcast: SoxFest at Night!

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

White Sox Talk Podcast: SoxFest at Night!

Chuck Garfien and White Sox play-by-play announcer Jason Benetti host SoxFest at Night live from Sox Fest at McCormick Place. They're joined by Rick Hahn, Rick Renteria, Tim Anderson, Yasmani Grandal, Eloy Jimenez and many more.

Listen here or in the embedded player below.

White Sox Talk Podcast

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Cubs agree to deal with free agent outfielder Steven Souza, per report

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USA TODAY

Cubs agree to deal with free agent outfielder Steven Souza, per report

The Cubs have made a roster move.

According to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand, the Cubs and outfielder Steven Souza have agreed to a one-year, big-league deal. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal first reported Friday the two sides were nearing an agreement.

Souza, 30, missed the 2019 season after suffering a torn left ACL and LCL at the end of spring training. He also missed a chunk of 2018, playing 72 games while hitting the injured list on multiple occasions. The Diamondbacks non-tendered him last month.

Souza is a career .233/.323/.417 hitter with 70 home runs in five seasons. His best campaign came with the Rays in 2017: .239/.351/.459, 30 home runs, 78 RBIs and a 121 wRC+ — all career-bests, excluding his average. He sported a walk rate (13.6 percent) above league average (8.5) that season, though his strikeout rate (29 percent) was worse than average (23).

Signing Souza likely rules out a return of fan favorite outfielder Nicholas Castellanos. The Cubs have been linked to Castellanos throughout the offseason, but since they're looking to stay under MLB’s luxury tax threshold, re-signing Castellanos would require some financial maneuvering.

Souza has spent most of his career in right field (3,608 career innings) but has minimal experience playing center (33 1/3) and left (20). He’s above average in right (career 6 Defensive Runs Saved) and posted a career best 7 DRS in 2017.

The Cubs have a five-time Gold Glove right fielder in Jason Heyward, so Souza will see time at all three outfield spots. Heyward moved to center full-time last season after the Cubs acquired Castellanos and has played center at times throughout his career.

He's coming off a serious knee injury, but Souza is a low-risk, high-reward move for the Cubs. If he's healthy, he’ll add power to the middle of the order and add another bat to an outfield group with some question marks. Albert Almora Jr. and Ian Happ have each struggled offensively at times since 2018. Souza offers another option in case those two slump again, with room for a larger role.