White Sox

Matt Davidson's grand slam powers White Sox past Orioles

Matt Davidson's grand slam powers White Sox past Orioles

Matt Davidson has never been able to pimp one of his home runs. The White Sox slugger said that not once in a lengthy pro career has he believed he got enough of a ball to enjoy the view as it exits a stadium.

But that practice concluded in the sixth inning on Tuesday night and it ended with a little hop.

“It was natural,” Davidson said.

The third baseman’s late grand slam helped the White Sox pull away and down the Baltimore Orioles 6-1 in front of 15,038 at Guaranteed Rate Field. Davidson’s homer was his team-leading 12th and Avisail Garcia also had a two-run double in support of Derek Holland, who pitched six solid innings for his first win since May 21.

“I knew it when I hit it,” Davidson said. “You don’t really feel anything when you hit balls like that.”

Davidson — who also homered in Monday night’s victory over the Orioles — stepped to the plate with the White Sox ahead 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning. Baltimore starter Alec Asher had loaded the bases ahead of Davidson by hitting Avisail Garcia and walking Todd Frazier after Jose Abreu led off with a single. Davidson barely missed on a 2-2 fastball, hitting a deep drive foul into the left-field corner. But he wouldn’t miss the 3-2 offering, blasting it 15 rows beyond the bullpen in left field to put the White Sox up by five runs. The ball exited Davidson’s bat at 112 mph and traveled 435 feet.

“He put a great at-bat together,” said manager Rick Renteria, who Tuesday was treated to a belated beer shower for his 100th victory, which occurred on Monday. “Obviously, that was a tremendous battle. I know he fouled off -- hit the one foul, into the dugout or something. He left one up and put a really good swing on it. Obviously was able to drive it out of the ballpark. He hit it pretty well. Obviously those four runs were pretty big.

“He's done a nice job taking whatever opportunities we've given him and that's just a total credit to him.”

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The White Sox pulled ahead 2-1 in the fourth inning on Garcia’s two-run steamroller to left-center field. Melky Cabrera and Abreu, who had three hits, each singled ahead of Garcia.

That was all the support Holland needed as he worked out of a number of stressful situations. Holland allowed eight hits and walked two in six innings. The Orioles had two men reach base in four of those six innings but Holland only allowed a first-inning run on Manny Machado’s one-out RBI single.

Holland struck out five and walked two.

“You’ve got to make the situations as small as possible and make the pitches when you need to,” Holland said. “Made a key pitch to Machado (in the fifth) and kind of continue to go from there.”

Stuck in the minors the previous three seasons, Davidson has made the most of his first crack at the majors since 2013. While he’s striking out in nearly 38 percent of his at-bats, the rookie has a .503 slugging percentage as he’s homered once every 14.6 plate appearances this season.

Still, despite a number of round-trippers, Davidson hadn’t felt comfortable enough to enjoy one until Tuesday. As he exited the box, Davidson hopped a little, a move he said was totally unscripted.

“That one felt pretty good,” he said.

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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