White Sox

After sitting for four games, Matt Davidson sparks White Sox

After sitting for four games, Matt Davidson sparks White Sox

Matt Davidson hadn't played his team's previous four games before putting on yet another big showing with the bat on Monday night.

But time on the bench hasn't slowed down Davidson. The designated hitter/third baseman continued to make the most of his opportunities as he fell a triple shy of the cycle in a 12-1 White Sox victory over the Kansas City Royals in front 11,484 at Guaranteed Rate Field. Davidson blasted his fourth home run and drove in four runs as the White Sox produced their biggest inning since 2012 and tied a season-high with 15 hits. The outpouring provided ample support for Miguel Gonzalez, who improved to 3-0 after he allowed an unearned run and two hits in eight innings.

"I looked at Jacob (May) tonight and said, 'Man, every time (Davidson) plays he hits a home run,'" said shortstop Tim Anderson, who singled three times and scored three runs. "He's putting together some good at-bats and is definitely one of the lead guys on the offensive side throughout the season. He's been putting together good ABs and crushing balls."

Monday's appearance was the 12th for Davidson this season in 18 White Sox games, but his first since Tuesday in New York and only his ninth start.

Davidson didn't show much rust.

He made up for lost time starting with a solo homer in the second inning off Jason Vargas to put the White Sox ahead 1-0. Four innings later, Davidson helped jumpstart an eight-run rally with an RBI double to right-center field to put the White Sox ahead 5-1. Anderson also singled in a run and Tyler Saladino tripled in two more to make it 8-1. Todd Frazier also had a two-run double before Davidson nearly knocked down the left-field fence with a two-run single. It was the biggest inning for the White Sox since they scored nine times in the fifth inning of a July 3, 2012 contest against the Texas Rangers.

Davidson is hitting .368/.375/.789 with four homers and 14 RBIs in 40 plate appearances this season. He should find himself in the starting lineup again with left-hander Danny Duffy on the mound for the Royals.

"He's going to keep doing what he needs to do," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "He's doing it right now. He's playing. He's going to stay working and we're going to get him the opportunities every chance we get like we are now. He doesn't have to do more than he's doing now. He's a part of us and fortunately for us every time he gets in there he does something pretty impactful for us."

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All three of Davidson's hits exited his bat at greater than 103 mph, including the 110-mph single. According to MLB Barrel Alert, Davidson has hit eight pitches off the barrel this season.

He's feeling a ton of confidence and would love to play every day. But after being stuck at Triple-A Charlotte since 2014, Davidson isn't about to complain.

"It feels a whole lot better being here than in Charlotte, so I'm enjoying every single day," Davidson said. "Obviously I want to play, but being here with these guys and being in Chicago is a dream come true."

Whether he's in or out of the lineup, Davidson said he tries to stay sharp for his opportunities by staying focused every day. No matter the score, Davidson heads to the cage around the fifth inning to prepare for a potential late-innings at-bat even if they never arrive. He thinks that helps him take advantage of the days he finds himself penciled into Renteria's lineup card.

"I try to treat it as close to a game as possible," Davidson said. "If I'm not playing it's not like I'm going to go eat a ton of food. I try and not take a day off mentally and screw around."

Gonzalez hasn't been messing around this season whenever he takes the mound. He continued as an outstanding stretch that dates back to July with eight more strong innings.

Gonzalez needed only six pitches to retire the side in order in the first and sixth innings. Only one of the hits allowed by Gonzalez left the infield — Mike Moustakas' game-tying RBI double in the third. He struck out five with only one walk and lowered his ERA since July 1 to 2.54 in 106 1/3 innings.

The team's sixth-inning rally was so long that the right-hander headed into the home batting cages to throw a handful of pitches and stay warm. But he wasn't complaining afterward, either.

"It felt so long but I try not to do too much," Gonzalez said. "We scored eight runs and that's huge for our team."

White Sox Talk Podcast: Could the White Sox trade with the Red Sox?

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Could the White Sox trade with the Red Sox?

The crew wraps up the final day of the Winter Meetings for the White Sox.

On the latest White Sox Talk Podcast, Chuck Garfien, Vinnie Duber and Ryan McGuffey talk about a rumored deal between the White Sox and the Red Sox (2:41) that would move some pieces around.

Rick Hahn speaks for the final time in San Diego and the guys react to his comments.

Later, they debate why fans are disappointed with the White Sox and the outcome for the team at the end of the Winter Meetings.

Listen to the episode here or in the embedded player below.

White Sox Talk Podcast

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White Sox reportedly 'in play' for David Price, but how much sense would a trade make?

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USA TODAY

White Sox reportedly 'in play' for David Price, but how much sense would a trade make?

SAN DIEGO — David Price on the South Side? Maybe.

According to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, the Boston Red Sox have had trade conversations involving Price with at least five teams, and the White Sox are “in play” for the veteran left-hander.

Boston is trying to shed salary, and getting rid of the $96 million remaining on Price’s deal over the next three years would be a good way to accomplish that goal.

The White Sox, given their financial flexibility, are a team that could absorb that kind of money in a trade. While much discussion of Rick Hahn’s statement in February that “the money will be spent” has focused on high-priced free agents, the general manager said Wednesday that such fiscal positioning could be beneficial on the trade market, too.

“Absolutely,” he said during his final media session of the Winter Meetings. “You’ve seen over the years us use our financial flexibility to acquire some contracts. I think back to the (Joakim) Soria trade with the Dodgers. The thing we brought to the table there was the ability to absorb some contracts. That flexibility doesn’t always have to be spent on free agents.”

But here’s the thing. ESPN’s Jeff Passan got this whole Price conversation going when he reported the interest of multiple teams on Tuesday, and he suggested the Red Sox might be able to ship Price out of town if they included a “player of value.” A young player with affordable club control would sweeten any such deal, and speculation latched onto outfielder Andrew Benintendi, who is under team control for three more years.

That’s the kind of deal — before we hear what it could cost, obviously — that would look like a good one for the White Sox.

Well, another nugget in Feinsand’s report throws that idea out the window.

“One scenario that has been floated in recent weeks would have the Red Sox attaching a young player — Andrew Benintendi's name has been mentioned often — to Price in order to dump the pitcher's contract.

“A source said that concept has not been considered by Boston's front office — nor will it be, especially not with Benintendi.

“‘That's not going to happen,’ the source said.”

If that’s the case, if the Red Sox are talking about a Price trade that doesn’t involve a young, controllable player coming back, is there any reason for the White Sox to consider such a move? Is there any reason to trade for Price alone?

The White Sox do need pitching, quite badly, as a matter of fact. Their quest for two arms to add to the starting rotation has yielded no additions yet, with their high bid for Zack Wheeler spurned in favor of a lower offer from the Philadelphia Phillies. Price would be an upgrade to the White Sox rotation, and they could potentially get him without having to give up any of their prized prospects (a trade involving someone like Benintendi might cost a high-level prospect, in addition to salary relief).

After turning in some memorable performances during the Red Sox championship run in 2018, Price got off to a great start in 2019, with a 3.16 ERA in his first 17 starts. But due to a cyst in his wrist, he made only two starts over the season’s final two months. He finished with a 4.28 ERA, second highest of his career.

Considering the White Sox are heading into 2020 with just three rotation spots spoken for, they could do a lot worse than Price from a production standpoint. But the veteran lefty doesn’t exactly have a sterling reputation as a clubhouse presence. NBC Sports Boston’s John Tomase listed several red flags in a recent piece: “He's no longer a 200-inning pitcher. His elbow could blow. He considers himself a great teammate, but he consistently brings negativity into the clubhouse, which multiple rival executives have noted warily. He's too expensive. He hasn't made an All-Star team or earned a Cy Young vote since 2015. He's past his prime.”

Do the White Sox need those headaches? Aren’t there options out there, via trade or free agency, that would bring in similar levels of production without all that other stuff? It doesn’t seem like a young team that is developing what appears to be a very positive culture needs someone who “consistently brings negativity into the clubhouse.”

Now, if someone like Benintendi — or, for example, the large contract of designated hitter J.D. Martinez — comes along with him, maybe it’s a pill you’re willing to swallow. Of course, that would require other unpleasant possibilities, such as letting a recent first-round draft pick like Nick Madrigal or Andrew Vaughn go. Hahn talked about the team’s unwillingness to deal away its prized prospects for a short-term gain. The White Sox lost a combined 195 games to end up with the draft picks that produced Madrigal and Vaughn. That was an awful lot of suffering just to trade those guys away.

A potential Price trade has its upsides, but ones contingent on other aspects of such a deal. If those aspects go by the wayside, acquiring Price doesn’t make quite as much sense.

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