White Sox

BBQ: Carlos Quentin Flying the Coop?

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BBQ: Carlos Quentin Flying the Coop?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010
9:14 PM

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

With rumors, whispers, and team sources ever swirling through the offseason, turn to the BBQ to provide a bit of a reality check. Heres an examination of the rumor that Chicago White Sox GM Ken Williams is looking to swap right-fielder Carlos Quentin for St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Colby Rasmus:

Dont Williams and manager Ozzie Guillen like Quentin?

Love him. Both Williams and Guillen expressed support and admiration for their fiery and oft-injured right fielder in their season-assessing comments last month. Williams sees a lot of himself in the youngster, both with their football backgrounds and the challenges that being too intense presents (Williams has lamented that the week-long buildup that football provides is a better fit for his brand of hyperintensity.) Meanwhile the skipper went so far as to call Quentin one of his three model players that September call-ups should emulate.

So why would Quentin be on the trading block?

The reality of the situation is that Williams was unable to translate his intensity to baseball and fears the same from Quentin. If Quentin is unable to stop beating himself up over setbacks, his value dissipates.

Hes averaged just 120 games per season with the White Soxisnt Quentins biggest problem being hurt physically, not mentally?

To the Chicago brain trust, everything negative about young Qfrom his injuries and slumps, even to defensive lapses or awkward work on the basepathsstems not from physical limitations or being injury prone, but self-criticism.
Has Quentin finally gotten the message that he needs to lighten up?

Late in the year, the media-shy Quentin finally acknowledged a need to lighten up. Apparently was convincing enough in meetings with Williams and Guillen for that pair to anticipate big things in 2011, Quentins fourth full major league season.

Is Quentin still a good fit for the White Sox?

Well, the clock is starting to run out on Quentin in Chicago. His defensive lapsesgraver for a right-fielder than when he roamed in leftare now completely offsetting his offensive worth. His best fit with the White Sox, despite being just 28 and with the wear of less than 500 major league games on his legs, is designated hitter. Meanwhile, his yearly arbitration price is only rising (3.2 million in 2010 and a safe bet for 4 million in 2011).

Rasmus is just 24 years oldwhy would he be available?

In spite of Cards GM John Mozeliak giving no indication Rasmus would be dealt this winter, hes yet to hear Williams offer, sure to be Quentin-plus. Rasmus did get in some sort of row with St. Louis skipper Tony LaRussa and while everyone is making nice right now, teams are inclined to make nice with potential superstars.

Wont the White Sox have sellers remorse if Quentin returns to 2008 form?

Even if Q was coming off a near-miss MVP season as was his 2008 (.965 OPS and 36 homers in 130 games), Chicago would be inclined to consider Rasmus, a left-handed batter who is a defensive aid rather than a liability. As superb as Alex Rios was in center in 2010, acquiring Rasmus would push Rios to right, and along with Juan Pierre patrolling left field, would give Chicago center field-speed at all three outfield positions. Offensively, Rasmus is no slouch. Four years younger than Quentin and all-importantly under team control until 2016, the lefty swatted 23 homers en route to an .859 OPS in 2010. He had a colossal 149 strikeouts, but would trim his Ks as he matures.

Would trading for Rasmus affect any other White Sox free agent decisions?

Acquiring Rasmus and his middle-order (he batted fifth for St. Louis in 2010), left-handed bat might also alleviate the need to automatically bring back A.J. Pierzynski and potentially avoid overpaying for a booming lefty like Fielder, Martinez, or Dunn.

BBQ Verdict: Tasty

Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.com's White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute White Sox information.

Bryce Harper comments on Nicky Delmonico's Instagram, White Sox faithful goes wild

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USA TODAY

Bryce Harper comments on Nicky Delmonico's Instagram, White Sox faithful goes wild

On Thursday afternoon, White Sox outfielder Nicky Delmonico posted a video on his social media accounts (Twitter and Instagram, to be specific) where he is playing wiffle ball on the beach with some White Sox fans.

Free agent extraordinaire Bryce Harper commented, "@nickydelmonico This is what it's all about! Love this brotha!" and White Sox faithful—rightfully so—go very excited at just seeing Harper commenting on the social media account of a current White Sox player.

Some of the best responses from White Sox fans are below:

ericksyndrome: @bharper3407 you can take over the city of Chicago 👀

mattthew_smith: @bharper3407 don’t play with my emotions Bryce. I need this 😂 #GoSox

pgrizzy20: @bharper3407 Bryce for the love of God please come win a WS on the south side with us!

r_baker_11: @bharper3407 THIS HAS TO MEAN SOMETHING

boomzdaddy: @bharper3407 change the recent mold as a star and go to a team where YOU will be the main reason they become great again in the greatest city in the country, Chicago. #whitesox

New report offers details on White Sox quest to land Bryce Harper

New report offers details on White Sox quest to land Bryce Harper

LAS VEGAS — Want some details about the White Sox pursuit of the biggest name on this winter's free-agent market and one of the best players in baseball?

Well, USA Today's Bob Nightengale offered some tidbits about the quest to bring Bryce Harper to the South Side.

The White Sox — who one analyst called the front runner in the Harper derby Wednesday — featured heavily in Nightengale's report from the Winter Meetings chronicling the sweepstakes to hand out what's expected to be the richest contract in baseball history. According to Nightengale, White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and Scott Boras, Harper's agent, have twice spoken via telephone, an interesting item in the wake of Boras' Wednesday press conference, when he said he always enjoys talking with Reinsdorf.

Nightengale added that the White Sox met with Harper on Nov. 19, a sitdown that reportedly included general manager Rick Hahn, executive vice president Ken Williams and Hall of Famer Jim Thome. Then there was this line, make of it what you will.

"Reinsdorf was not at the meeting, and still has not granted permission for Williams and Hahn to negotiate a contract."

So what's all this mean?

Well, it's just the latest reported example of the White Sox commitment to landing a big fish like Harper, to add a 26-year-old superstar to their rebuild effort and watch their highly touted prospects grow up around him, turning Chicago's South Side baseball team into a perennial championship contender.

Though teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers, the New York Yankees, the Cubs and, to an extent, the Philadelphia Phillies can pitch win-now rosters, the White Sox future-focused pitch seems to be working. Hahn talked Wednesday about the positive feedback he's received from the other side of the table when it comes to the White Sox talking up Eloy Jimenez and Michael Kopech and Dylan Cease and Luis Robert. That quartet has played a grand total of four Major League Baseball games, but the future is so bright, it seems to be drawing the attention of some of baseball's big names.

What's been made abundantly clear at these Winter Meetings is that the White Sox are going to be aggressive in their pursuit of a player that fits their long-term plan. And Harper (not to mention his fellow mega free agent Manny Machado) certainly fits the long-term plan. Being aggressive also means being willing to pay the big bucks these kinds of players command, and the White Sox certainly seem willing to do that, too.

That doesn't mean they'll make the biggest offer, of course, because there are other teams out there willing to do that, too. Nightengale added that the Phillies are still the favorites in the Harper derby. They've vowed to spend "stupid" this offseason.

And so maybe the White Sox go to Glendale, Arizona, for spring training without Harper in tow. But what they will remain is serious about making this rebuilding effort yield a winner. This latest report is just the latest example of that here in Vegas.

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