White Sox

In 'intense' showdown with former team, Derek Holland's ex-mates get bragging rights

In 'intense' showdown with former team, Derek Holland's ex-mates get bragging rights

Derek Holland was excited to pitch against his old team, the franchise with which he spent the first eight seasons of his big league career.

Surely, though, things played out a little differently than he had hoped.

Holland was chased by the visiting Texas Rangers after 5.1 innings of work Saturday afternoon, tagged for five runs in what turned out a 10-4 loss for the White Sox on the South Side.

“It was intense,” Holland said. “I mean, obviously you know they want to hit the home runs off me and they want to crush me just like I want to strike them out. I thought everything was there. Just a few things got away. Nothing to kind of beat myself up over. I felt like I did a good job of attacking, just a little upset with too many pitches that cost me.”

Things started promising enough, Holland punching out Delino DeShields to start the game, getting longtime teammate Elvis Andrus to groundout and striking out Nomar Mazara for a 1-2-3 first inning.

That earned a little “chirping,” as Holland put it, from his former mates in the Rangers’ dugout.

“They were chirping me, they were chirping me,” Holland said. “I want to say it was (Adrian) Beltre who said, ‘Throw that again.’ And I did. I threw the same pitch, and when I struck him out I immediately made sure I made some contact with him. It was fun.”

That was about as good as it got for Holland, though. He loaded the bases with nobody out in the second but got out of it with only one run’s worth of damage on the scoreboard. After two more scoreless frames, the big blow came in the fifth, when the aforementioned Andrus blasted a two-run homer to cap a three-run fifth inning.

Bragging rights secured.

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“I know I’m going to hear about that one,” Holland said. “The only thing I can say is thank god that wind was behind it. I thought it was a routine fly ball, and it’s one of those things. A home run is a home run whether he crushes it or he doesn’t. When it shows up on the sheet you don’t know where it’s actually at.

“Give the man credit, he hit the ball. I made the pitch. It’s just the way it goes.”

Holland was credited with one more run when Rougned Odor scored on Mike Napoli’s two-run homer off Michael Ynoa. All in all, a less-than-ideal outing featuring five runs, five hits and a pair of walks in fewer than six innings.

It’s been an up-and-down summer thus far for Holland after a spectacular first two months in a White Sox uniform. In his first 10 starts in April and May, Holland posted a 2.37 ERA, with opposing hitters hitting just .227 against him. But in his last six starts in June and now one in July, he’s got a 9.00 ERA with batters hitting .364. He’s surrendered at least five earned runs in four of his last six outings.

Still, this one might have to be considered an outlier, regardless of what the result was, because of the emotional element of Holland facing the Rangers for the first time.

“I think they knew what was coming,” Holland said. “I’ve been with them for pretty much 10 years. I know they were ready for me to come inside. It was just one of those things. You've got to battle with those guys. They know you, you know them. Just didn’t come out on top. That’s the big thing. Tried everything I could.”

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


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?


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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