White Sox

Cuban native Ramirez forgives former manager Guillen

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Cuban native Ramirez forgives former manager Guillen

CLEVELAND - As Ozzie Guillen tried to explain his way out of another mess he created with his mouth, Chicago's new manager felt compassion for his predecessor.

Robin Ventura watched and wished the best for Guillen.

"It's a tough day for him," Ventura said Tuesday, hours after Guillen apologized in South Florida for comments lauding Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, remarks that led some to call for his firing. "He's a friend, so it was not easy to watch. He looked sincere and meant it."

Ventura was Guillen's teammate for eight seasons in Chicago. This year, he replaced the outspoken manager, who led the White Sox to a World Series title in 2005 before leaving them after eight stormy seasons during which Guillen often made headlines with outrageous remarks.

Most of Chicago's players declined to talk about Guillen's situation.

One willing to talk was infielder Gordon Beckham, who said most White Sox players believe Guillen's true feelings did not come out in the Time magazine article in which he said he loves Castro and respects the retired Cuban leader for staying in power so long.

"You feel for Ozzie," said Beckham, who played three seasons for Guillen. "I think all of the guys in this clubhouse knew what he meant when he said it. It was like, this guy (Castro) has had people trying to get him, take a shot at him, and he's lasted 60 years. Sometimes Ozzie says more than he should."

Guillen's comments were particularly personal for White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez, a Cuban. Still, he's ready to forgive his former manager.

"Apologizing is definitely a big first step," said Ramirez, who played for Cuba in the Athens Olympics. "Everyone has their opinion. But I also feel people should be forgiven. So if he's going to apologize, I feel that hopefully he'll be accepted."

The 30-year-old Ramirez left Cuba in 2007 and joined the White Sox in 2008.

"I would just say whatever his thoughts or comments are, those are Ozzie's comments," he said. "That's more on him. It's one of those (situations) that there are some people who like Castro, and there are some people who don't. You're in Miami, it's definitely a different thought frame. But that's his opinion, and it's not the same opinion I have."

Ventura, who was a surprise pick to take over in Chicago because he had never managed at any level, hopes to learn from Guillen's faux pas.

"I'm going to stick to just talking about baseball," Ventura said before the White Sox and Indians were postponed because of rain and cold weather.
Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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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