White Sox

A perfect photo of a perfect Humber

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A perfect photo of a perfect Humber

Via the official twitter page of the Chicago White Sox, this amazing picture:

Humber says he's received 67 text messages and counting congratulating him.

White Sox don't see Harper-type free agent on starting-pitcher market

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USA TODAY

White Sox don't see Harper-type free agent on starting-pitcher market

LAS VEGAS — The White Sox seem to have a very specific set of circumstances when it comes to going after big-name free agents this winter.

Rick Hahn has explained over and over again that a player has to fit in with the team's long-term plans, and he's discussed taking advantage of opportunities to add premium talent to his ongoing rebuilding effort.

And the obvious guys that fall into that category are Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, the two biggest names on the free-agent market, two 26-year-old superstars who are expected to receive some of the biggest contracts in baseball history and change whichever franchise they sign up with.

But there are also some more immediate needs, like the one in the starting rotation. The White Sox filled one of two holes on the starting staff with Tuesday's trade for Ivan Nova, but another remains and there still remain multiple avenues Hahn could travel down to fill it. He could add another one-year fill-in, like Nova, and wait for Michael Kopech to recover from Tommy John surgery and for Dylan Cease to finish his development in the minor leagues. Or he could add a bigger name on a multi-year deal.

But here's the question: Is there a player out there who, like Harper and Machado, is a premium-type, long-term fit and is a starting pitcher?

"At this time, probably not," Hahn said Wednesday. "Perhaps via trade. But if you're talking strictly free agency, I would say probably not."

That's an interesting evaluation, if for no other reason than there's a 30-year-old Cy Young winner on the free-agent market.

Dallas Keuchel isn't exactly a no-brainer, but he looks like a pretty good long-term fit, one of the American League's better starting pitchers in recent seasons who has the experience of going through a rebuild and seeing it end in a World Series championship. He won the 2015 AL Cy Young, is a four-time Gold Glover and in the last five seasons has a 3.28 ERA and 784 strikeouts in 145 starts.

Perhaps the questioned criteria, purposely vague as to avoid hitting on specific free agents, didn't include Keuchel in Hahn's assessment. Or perhaps it most certainly did, revealing the White Sox don't consider Keuchel as a premium talent who fits in with their long-term plans.

Hahn's answer, whether it includes Keuchel or not, could also point to how the White Sox plan to plug that final hole in the rotation: in much the same way they plugged the other one in acquiring Nova. The White Sox have obvious faith in and high hopes for both Kopech and Cease, so giving them every chance to win jobs at the top of the rotation makes plenty of sense.

But if you're expecting a huge signing of a starting pitcher to either go along with or come in place of an addition of Harper or Machado, this winter doesn't look like the time.

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White Sox Talk Podcast: Are the White Sox the 'front runner' for Bryce Harper?

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Are the White Sox the 'front runner' for Bryce Harper?

Former Nationals and Reds GM Jim Bowden made big news at the Winter Meetings, saying on the CBS Sports Network that the White Sox are the "front runner" for Bryce Harper (:35). Should we believe it? (5:06)

Rick Hahn responds to the front runner report (9:53). Are the White Sox out on Dallas Keuchel? (11:43) Harper's agent Scott Boras describes what Harper is looking for in a team, his relationship with Jerry Reinsdorf (15:29) and more.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

White Sox Talk Podcast

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