White Sox

Moves give White Sox prospect chance to mature

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Moves give White Sox prospect chance to mature

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The White Sox made a pair of moves this week that keeps them from making another they feel might be premature at this juncture.

With the addition of infielder Angel Sanchez at Thursdays Rule 5 draft and Wednesdays signing of free agent Jeff Keppinger, the White Sox hope they have fulfilled two big needs without having to rush minor-leaguer Carlos Sanchez to the majors.

Carlos Sanchez, 20, advanced from Single-A to Triple-A in the span of last season and heads into 2013 as the organizations No. 3 prospect, according to Baseball America. He posted a .323.378.403 slash line with a homer and 56 RBIs at three stops and followed it up with a strong performance at the Arizona Fall League.

A combination second basemanshortstop, Carlos Sanchez was one of the most talked about players at the teams organizational meetings last month, enough that the White Sox considered him as a possibility at third base even with limited experience.

But the club will officially announce it filled its hole at third base with Keppinger next week and has covered its utility job with the drafting of Angel Sanchez.

I know we are really hesitant about starting Carlos in the major leagues in April, assistant general manager Buddy Bell said. I think thats a good thing. He hasnt had many at-bats above A-Ball. We sent him to Birmingham and the end of the year in Charlotte because of the playoffs. Theres still some at-bats he needs to get. I think hes proven to all of us that I dont think its out of the question he could be in the big leagues next year at some point.

General manager Rick Hahn noted in November the White Sox have a history of taking the best players with them to Chicago when the team breaks camp. Though Carlos Sanchez hasnt officially received an invite to big league camp in February, the writing is on the wall and he could at least have a shot at the backup infielder job along with Steve Tolleson and Angel Sanchez.

But the team also wants to exercise caution.

Carlos Sanchez has 172 plate appearances above Single-A, including only 39 at Triple-A Charlotte. While his glove has always been a selling point, Carlos Sanchez made significant strides at the plate last season as his OPS jumped up 95 points from the season before. His track has similarities to those of Gordon Beckham and Daniel Hudson -- who breezed through the minors -- but the White Sox ideally would love to give Carlos Sanchez more time to mature. And then theres the fact that a delayed arrival, perhaps in the middle of the summer, also limits the chance of Carlos Sanchez reaching early arbitration.

Wed have to talk about that come Glendale, and were way ahead of ourselves with that one, Hahn said of the potential for a backup infielder job out of camp. Probably the best thing for this kids development is to get more ABs at Triple-A.

Prized White Sox prospect Andrew Vaughn wraps up stint with USA Baseball

Prized White Sox prospect Andrew Vaughn wraps up stint with USA Baseball

As the No. 3 overall pick in the 2019 draft, Andrew Vaughn’s first full season in the minors this coming season will be one of the biggest storylines in the big picture of the White Sox rebuild in 2020.

Before that season begins for Vaughn, he got some international experience playing for USA Baseball at the Premier12 tournament. The Premier12 served as the first Olympic qualifying tournament.

Vaughn played in all eight games for the American team which was comprised of minor leaguers not currently on MLB 40-man rosters. He split time between first base and DH and was often in the middle of the order.

In eight games Vaughn hit .321/.367/.357. He had just one extra base hit, a double, in 30 plate appearances.

The lack of power might be somewhat concerning, but he certainly showed contact and on-base skills against quality, experienced competition.


As for USA Baseball, the team entered Saturday’s bronze medal game against Mexico knowing the winner would qualify for the Olympics. The Americans led 2-1 entering the ninth inning, but gave up a home run to send the game to extras. Mexico won with a bases-loaded walk-off single in the 10th.

The US still has two more chances to qualify for the Olympics. There is an Americas qualifying tournament in March and then a last chance tournament soon after that one. Those take place during spring training so it’s unclear if Vaughn would leave White Sox camp for that.

Tyler Johnson, a White Sox relief prospect, was on the initial roster for the tournament, but left the team due to a minor injury.

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Jose Abreu accepts qualifying offer, returns to White Sox on one-year deal

Jose Abreu accepts qualifying offer, returns to White Sox on one-year deal

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — It’s almost like Jose Abreu never left.

He was only a free agent for a week and a half, Abreu bringing his brief time away from the White Sox to an end Thursday, when he accepted the qualifying offer of a one-year deal with $17.8 million.

It’s not the multi-year contract that was expected, but MLB Network's Jon Heyman reported that the sides will continue to discuss a long-term pact. Still, the decision is a rare one, with Abreu becoming one of the few players ever to accept the qualifying offer. But he’ll get a nice payday for the 2020 season with a chance to do this whole free-agency thing again a year from now, if he chooses.

There was speculation that Abreu could accept the qualifying offer because of a potentially weak market for his services league-wide. If Abreu rejected the qualifying offer and things fell apart in discussing a multi-year deal with the White Sox, any team that signed him to a contract would have lost a draft pick in doing so. That deterred teams from signing free agents just in the last year, with Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel notably going unsigned until June.

Who knows if that — or just the desire to earn $17.8 million before a potential dip in his annual salary as he ages — had anything to do with Abreu’s decision, but it’s what was being speculated.

Regardless, the White Sox have their first baseman back, great news after he turned in one of the more productive seasons of his six-year big league career in 2019. Abreu led the American League with a career-best 123 RBIs and came three home runs shy of matching a career-high in that category, as well.

Abreu’s return always seemed a foregone conclusion, with the three-time All Star spending the entire 2019 season talking about how badly he wanted to remain on the South Side, going as far as to pledge that if the White Sox didn’t re-sign him, he’d sign himself to a contract and play here anyway.

The feeling was mutual, too, with general manager Rick Hahn, manager Rick Renteria and teammates praising Abreu as a model player and a mentor for the team’s young stars in the making. Eloy Jimenez said Abreu had been like a father during the rookie’s first season in the majors. Abreu revealed that team chairman Jerry Reinsdorf told him he’d never wear another uniform.

He’s as giddy about the team’s future as anyone and has cited the planned shift into contention as the reason he wants to stick around. Tim Anderson said “it’s only right” that Abreu return for 2020, a season in which the long-awaited transition out of rebuilding mode could take place. Hahn said earlier this season that it’s “very likely” Abreu would be around for the franchise’s planned good times.

Abreu’s been incredibly productive at the plate, though his off-the-field contributions are just as important, of course, and he’s been a mentor to players like Jimenez and Yoan Moncada as they’ve gotten their first taste of the major leagues. Luis Robert, the organization’s No. 1 prospect, figures to find his way under Abreu’s wing when he reaches the bigs next season.

Abreu has long seemed to be held in the same esteem as players who have their numbers retired and statues standing at Guaranteed Rate Field, earning the title of “Mr. White Sox” for this generation. It’s no surprise the White Sox are keeping him in that role moving forward as they plan to start seeing brighter days on the South Side.

After capturing the RBI crown, Abreu made his final prediction of the 2019 campaign, saying he did believe he'd be back with the White Sox for 2020. It might not have been terribly difficult to be prescient in this case, but he was nonetheless.

"Everybody knows my wishes and my desire to stay here," he said through team interpreter Billy Russo. "This is an organization I respect. This is an organization I really honor.

"I want to be here, and you know guys, I’ve been telling you that. Hopefully I’m going to be here."

Hope no longer. It might not have gone down exactly as was expected, but Abreu isn't going anywhere.

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