White Sox

Dunn homers as Sox beat Angels

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Dunn homers as Sox beat Angels

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Albert Pujols wasn't concerned that it took seven spring training games to hit his first homer for the Los Angeles Angels. He knows they will come.Pujols hit two Wednesday in the Angels' 9-7 loss to the Chicago White Sox, a game in which Los Angeles starter Ervin Santana was struck on the right shoulder by a line drive.Santana exited after being hit in the second inning and is day to day with a bruise. Manager Mike Scioscia said Santana, who is in line to be the No. 3 or 4 starter, could miss a start without being set back for the season.Santana said he felt a little pain, but he wasn't worried. While icing the shoulder, he said no X-ray was planned. Santana pitched a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians on July 27 and he finished last season 11-12 with a 3.38 ERA."Everything will be OK," he said.The White Sox's Tyler Flowers and Adam Dunn homered, and the Angels' Howie Kendrick also homered.
Pujols hit a three-run home to left field and a solo shot to center. The three-time NL MVP signed a 10-year, 254 million deal with the Angels in December after he played 11 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals."I try to just put a good swing on it all the time," Pujols said. "I'm not sitting out there trying to hit the ball out of the park. I'm just trying to hit the ball back to the middle and let the ball get deep and try to make good swings every day, whatever I have to do to help this ballclub and this organization win."I know it's spring training. The games probably don't count, but you still need to take the game serious," he added."We hope we're going to see that often this year," Scioscia said. "It's great to see him getting comfortable in the box."After the line drive struck Santana, he was able to field the ball and throw to first to retire Alexei Ramirez. The Angels' staff checked on Santana and then he was replaced by Eddie McKiernan."We'll see tomorrow," Santana said.Santana allowed a run and a hit, struck out two and walked one in 1 1-3 innings in his second start of spring training."I felt very good," Santana said. "The ball was coming out good."Chris Sale allowed five runs in 4 1-3 innings for the White Sox. He gave up seven hits and struck out two. Sale, who is transitioning from a reliever to a starter, has allowed eight runs in 7 1-3 innings."That's unacceptable on every level, I don't care who you are," Sale said. "By no means am I going to go home and kick myself in the rear, but I'm disappointed with what happened today. At the same time, there are positives with this. I had some good innings."Sale hit Pujols with a pitch in the first inning. Pujols hit a three-run home run off Sale the next time he faced him."A hitter like him, he's arguably the best in the game," Sale said. "He proved a couple innings later if you're going in, you better get it in."Manager Robin Ventura reaffirmed his confidence in Sale."He's still got great stuff," Ventura said. "He's going to be in there."Flowers hit a solo homer, his second of the spring, off McKiernan. Kendrick hit his second home run, a two-run shot off Anthony Carter. Dunn also hit his second of the spring, a two-run drive.NOTES: As a precaution, White Sox closer candidate Jesse Crain didn't pitch because of a slight strain of his right oblique. .Dunn was back in the lineup as the designated hitter after sitting out Tuesday with a stiff neck. .The White Sox optioned right-handed pitcher Gregory Infante to Triple-A Charlotte, reassigned catcher Damaso Espino, right-handed pitchers Brian Omogrosso and Jacob Petricka and outfielders Brandon Short and Delwyn Young to the minor league camp and added infielder Tyler Saladino to major league camp. Ventura said he wanted to see Saladino, who started at second base and hit second.

Potential White Sox target comes off board as Madison Bumgarner signs with Diamondbacks

Potential White Sox target comes off board as Madison Bumgarner signs with Diamondbacks

Having already lost out on Zack Wheeler, the White Sox can now scratch another free agent pitcher off the list of potential targets.

Sunday, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported the Diamondbacks are nearing a five-year deal with former Giants star Madison Bumgarner worth $85 million.

The White Sox weren’t heavily rumored to be pursuing Bumgarner and signing him was somewhat unrealistic. Although the South Siders are looking to add a starting pitcher or two this winter, Bumgarner enjoys hitting and therefore seemed more likely to sign with a National League team. The 30-year-old’s career OPS is .532 but he’s hit 19 homers in 11 seasons.

Adding Bumgarner would have provided the South Siders a veteran starter — one with an excellent postseason track record — to mix with their young rotation featuring Lucas Giolito, Michael Kopech and Dylan Cease. With MadBum off the board, the list of major free agent pitchers continues to shrink. 

Lefties Dallas Keuchel and Hyun-Jin Ryu are still available, but other teams that missed out on Bumgarner will shift their focus to the duo. Consequently, the White Sox will face stiff competition if they wish to sign either pitcher. Both were expected to be more affordable than Bumgarner but interested teams may be willing to offer more money to ensure they don’t come out of free agency empty-handed.

Where the White Sox turn next is to be determined. What's certain is they're running out of free agent options to upgrade their rotation.

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Indians signal big shift with trade of Corey Kluber

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USA TODAY

Indians signal big shift with trade of Corey Kluber

The Indians have won more than 90 games in each of the past four seasons, with three AL Central titles in that span, but big changes are coming in Cleveland.

With rumors of a Francisco Lindor trade still floating around, the Indians have dealt two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber to Texas. The return package from the Rangers includes outfielder Delino DeShields Jr. and reliever Emmanuel Clase.


DeShields Jr. is a 27-year-old speedster who has struggled offensively since debuting with the Rangers in 2015. He has a career .668 OPS with a .591 OPS in 2018 and a .672 OPS last season. For comparison, White Sox outfielder Adam Engel had a .614 OPS in 2018 and a .687 OPS in 2019.

Clase is a 21-year-old righthander who debuted with the Rangers last season. He is a hard-thrower, capable of reaching 102 mph with his fastball while also getting cut action on it. Clase had a 2.31 ERA in 23.1 innings in the majors in 2019. Still, he is only rated as the No. 30 prospect in the Rangers’ system by MLB Pipeline.

The Kluber trade is relevant to the White Sox because it’s a division power trading away a key player for younger, less established talent. It also shows the price to pay for a noteworthy pitcher in a trade.

If the White Sox fail to land a marquee starting pitcher in free agency, a trade is the next route.

The Kluber deal may have implications for the Cubs as well. Texas appears to be intent on competing with the Astros, A's and Angels in the AL West. The Rangers have been linked to free agent third baseman Josh Donaldson, and if he winds up in Texas, that would clarify possible trade partners for Kris Bryant.

Back in the AL Central, Kluber was a stud for the Indians from 2014-2018. He surpassed 200 innings each of those seasons and had a 2.85 ERA in that five-year period.

Last season, however, Kluber was limited to 35.2 innings in seven starts after getting hit by a line drive on May 1, which fractured his right arm. Even before the injury, the 33-year-old righthander struggled with a 5.80 ERA and the highest walk rate of his career (15 in 35.2 innings).

The Indians didn’t win the AL Central last season, but the fact that they won 93 games with only seven mostly ineffective starts from Kluber is a sign that he may not be as essential as he was in previous years.

Perhaps the return for Kluber is more a sign of a lack of belief in him after a tough 2019, but this level of package is something the White Sox could put together without trading a core piece of the future.

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