White Sox

The All-Chicago team, 1960-1969

709614.png

The All-Chicago team, 1960-1969

By Tony Andracki and JJ Stankevitz
CSNChicago.com

This spring, we at Cubs Talk and White Sox Talk have decided to unify Chicago's two baseball teams into one in an effort to pick out the best players to grace each side of the city over the last 50 years. Each Wednesday during spring training, we'll roll out a different All-Chicago team, with today's version being the best Cubs and White Sox players from 1960-1969. Be sure to check out our 1970-1979, 1980-1989, 1990-1999 and 2000-2011 teams if you haven't already.

Tony: The 1960s were tough years for us. My parents were only children during the time but grew up with these guys, so I wanted to honor that. In some areas, there were shoo-ins, like Santo at third or Billy Williams and Ernie Banks. There were quite a few of Hall of Famers that played during this time.

JJ: My dad grew up a Cubs fan close to Wrigley Field while my mom grew up a Sox fan, so I've heard about plenty of these players. Of course, I'll be the first to admit I never saw any of them play, so we're relying pretty heavily on stats here.

Tony: Starting pitching was especially difficult. There were a good 10-12 guys that were deserving, so at least half of those were going to be cut. Pitching was definitely at a premium in this decade. The bullpen was easy -- just three Sox pitchers. The Cubs had some decent guys, but that's all they were -- decent. Meanwhile, Wilbur Wood was simply fantastic, as was Hoyt Wilhem.

JJ: That Juan Pizarro didn't make this cut speaks to the pitching depth the city had in the 1960s. Of course, pitching was pretty easy to find later in the decade with the raised mound. Plenty of these guys easily would've made the relatively-thin 1970s rotation.

Tony: Center field was another tough choice, begging the question: Why has it been so hard for Chicago to find a good, reliable centerfielder that sticks around for more than a couple seasons? Throughout all these lists that we've done, CF has been the only position where we've consistently struggled to find a clear candidate.

JJ: No kidding. In the last 51 years, only two Cubs center fielders have totaled double-digit WAR (Adolfo Phillips, Rick Monday -- although Brian McRae should count with 9.9 WAR). For the Sox, there are five, although only one of them played more than five years with the team. Check back next week for our All-City team from 1960-present to find out who gets the nod.

And now, to the roster:

C: Randy Hundley
1B: Ernie Banks
2B: Nellie Fox
3B: Ron Santo
SS: Luis Aparicio
LF: Billy Williams
CF: Jim Landis
RF: Floyd Robinson
DH: Roy Sievers

Bench: Minnie Minoso
Bench: Pete Ward

SP: Fergie Jenkins
SP: Joe Horlen
SP: Dick Ellsworth
SP: Gary Peters
SP: Tommy John

Closer: Hoyt Wilhem
Righty reliever: Eddie Fisher
Lefty reliever: Wilbur Wood

Now that all the decade-specific rosters are set, check back next week for the All-Chicago team of the last 50 years!

Kenny Williams shuts down rumor connecting free agent Yasiel Puig to White Sox

yasiel_puig.jpg
USA TODAY

Kenny Williams shuts down rumor connecting free agent Yasiel Puig to White Sox

You can put to bed the rumors about free agent outfielder Yasiel Puig possibly signing with the White Sox. It’s not happening.

The two sides did get together during the MLB Winter Meetings in December. Kenny Williams, Rick Hahn and Rick Renteria met with Puig for about 90 minutes to discuss the possibility of the 29-year-old joining the White Sox as their everyday right fielder.

But instead, the White Sox chose to take a different route. That same week, they acquired Nomar Mazara from the Texas Rangers for minor league outfielder Steele Walker, ending any chance of Puig coming to the South Side.

“After our meeting we came away big Yasiel Puig fans, but he wasn’t the right fit for us then and he isn’t right now,” Williams said.

With spring training games starting this weekend and the regular season a little over a month away, fellow Cuban Jose Abreu says he’s surprised the flashy 29-year-old outfielder remains a free agent.

“Yes, I am (surprised). That’s one of those things that happen that you don’t understand. A guy with his talent. He’s still so young,” Abreu said through a translator. “He doesn’t have a team yet. It’s a surprise. I’m confident he’s going to find something this year.”

Even with Puig’s talent, Abreu looks around the White Sox clubhouse and agrees with the decision by the White Sox not to sign the former All-Star, who hit .267/.327/.458 with the Reds and Indians last season.

“I don’t think he would be a good fit here. Don’t get me wrong. He has a lot of talent, but we’re full," Abreu said. "Our outfield is looking great with Nomar (Mazara), Eloy (Jimenez) and (Luis) Robert. There’s no reason for us to make more moves in that area of our team. He’s someone who would fit in with any major league ball club because he has the talent to help any of those teams.”

What about possibly platooning Puig with Mazara in right field? On paper, that might sound like a good plan, although Puig has traditionally hit better against righties than lefties in his career. But a larger issue could be the timeshare. The idea of Puig, nicknamed “Wild Horse,” being forced to the stable for half the season could spell problems, not only for him, but the chemistry inside the clubhouse.

“It would be difficult, especially for him being an everyday player,” Abreu said about Puig being a platoon player.  “When you have to make that decision, it’s not easy.”

So, where will Puig end up?  No one knows for sure, but it won’t be with the White Sox.  

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.

White Sox lock up Aaron Bummer with record five-year extension

White Sox lock up Aaron Bummer with record five-year extension

PHOENIX — The White Sox have locked up a key part of their bullpen and did it in record fashion.

The team is keeping Aaron Bummer on the South Side for the next half decade. The deal contains a pair of team options that could keep Bummer in a White Sox uniform through the 2026 season. According to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, it’s the biggest extension for a pre-arbitration, non-closer reliever in baseball history.

According to the team’s announcement, Bummer will receive $1 million in 2020, $2 million in 2021, $2.5 million in 2022, $3.75 million in 2023 and $5.5 million in 2024. The White Sox hold options for $7.25 million in 2025 and $7.5 million in 2026, with $1.25 million buyouts for either season.

The White Sox have good reason to want to keep the 26-year-old Bummer around. He was excellent during the 2019 season, emerging as one of the team’s most reliable late-inning options. He finished the campaign with a 2.13 ERA in 58 appearances. A left-hander, he was effective against both right- and left-handed hitters, holding righties to a .188 batting average and lefties to a .178 average.

“Any time you’re looking at relievers, there’s the capacity to come in in key situations, in high-leverage and be that guy that you can count on in any situation. That’s what we have with Aaron," White Sox assistant GM Jeremy Haber told reporters Saturday in Glendale. "In addition, the nature of the position — there’s ups and downs, and he’s experienced that in his career on and off the field, demonstrated that resiliency that you look for in that position."

Bummer will continue playing a prominent role in the White Sox ‘pen in 2020, likely starting the season as Rick Renteria’s primary eighth-inning option and forming a formidable back end of the bullpen alongside closer Alex Colome and new addition Steve Cishek.

But with Colome slated to hit free agency after the 2020 season, it’s possible Bummer could be a candidate to take over the closer’s job.

"The reliever role and coming in in the seventh, eighth, ninth inning — it takes a certain type of temperament," Haber said. "Not to just deal with and thrive in those, but handle the ups and downs whenever they come, and Aaron’s shown that."

Add Bummer’s name to the list of young, core players the White Sox have under team control for a long time. Now there’s an exciting bullpen arm to go along with locked-up stars in the making such as Eloy Jimenez, Tim Anderson and Luis Robert, among the other youngsters like Lucas Giolito, Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech, who aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

You need a strong bullpen to compete, and with their eyes on competing long into the future, the White Sox are trying to build just that for the long term.

"Every organization seeks to acquire and develop and retain championship-level talent," Haber said. "We’re very pleased to have been able to accomplish that today with another piece."

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.