White Sox

Sox Drawer - Hahn: 'We're not done'

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Sox Drawer - Hahn: 'We're not done'

For White Sox fans who have been waiting for their team to make some additional moves for the 2013 season, you might soon get your wish.

Were not done, said White Sox general manager Rick Hahn Tuesday on Chicago Baseball Hot Stove.

In his first off-season at his new job, Hahn has re-signed Jake Peavy to the rotation and added Jeff Keppinger at third base. Both are solid moves and fill needs, but everyone expected the White Sox to do more by now.

So did Hahn.

It has felt like its been a little bit slower in terms of coming together, he said about deals hes been working on. Its felt to me as a lot of hurry up and wait at times.

The wait for White Sox reinforcements is likely about to end.

Perhaps other things are going to be announced later in the week, Hahn revealed.

Translation? Friday at Sox Fest.

One logical addition is reliever Matt Lindstrom, the hard-throwing righty who reportedly agreed to terms a one-year deal with the White Sox over the weekend.

Thats been widely rumored, Hahn said of the White Sox hope in signing a reliever. Weve made no secret of the fact that were interested in finding a complement to Jesse Crain, perhaps from the right side of the bullpen. A power arm type that can get ground balls and can keep the ball in the park.

Hahn then looked at a monitor in the studio that was showing video of Lindstrom pitching for the Marlins.

There have been reports out there, and some video even, of guys who really fit into that role, he said with a wide grin.

Hahn admitted that he is still looking for a left-handed bat. Possibilities are out there, but he has to find a match that works for the White Sox.

If the right opportunity to get better presents itself, we will jump on it. But as of yet, we have not found that fit that we feel confident is truly an upgrade, Hahn said. We can go out and acquire a left-handed hitter which is probably going to make us look good, like were doing work and weve addressed a perceived need in January. But come April or May, if its not the right fit, then its going to be a worthless acquisition.

In 2011, the White Sox said good-bye to fan favorite Mark Buehrle. In 2012, it was A.J. Pierzynski. Now with Paul Konerko entering the final year of his contract, 2013 could be the swan song for the long-time Sox first baseman.

Konerko has not revealed his plans for beyond this season, whether he wants to continue playing or retire. He turns 37 on March 5.

Its been my experience that these things are best kept quiet between the player and the club in terms of any conversations about extensions or, Is this the end or what are your plans for the future? Hahn said. These things have a way of working themselves out, and Paulie has obviously been a big part of our past and hopefully a big part of our success in 2013, and perhaps beyond.

Who knows? Maybe Konerko will announce his intentions when he arrives at Sox Fest.
In an off-season of little news, there might be a bunch Friday.

Are the White Sox about to sign Marcell Ozuna or not?

Are the White Sox about to sign Marcell Ozuna or not?

Depending on which report you choose to believe, the White Sox could be on the verge of filling the void in their outfield with one of the bigger names on this winter’s free-agent market.

Dominican reporter Frank Castillo tweeted Saturday that the White Sox will sign Marcell Ozuna, planning to announce the free-agent deal Monday.

Well, that was followed up by a report from The Score’s Bruce Levine, who said the White Sox are not about to sign Ozuna.

So there’s that.

The White Sox were connected to Ozuna earlier this offseason, as well as more recently, with MLB.com’s Jon Morosi writing last week that the team had interest in Japanese import Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, but were waiting to hear on the decisions of Ozuna and fellow free agent Nicholas Castellanos first.

Ozuna turned heads with his fantastic 2017 season for the Miami Marlins, when he slashed .312/.376/.548 with 37 homers and 124 RBIs. Since being dealt to the St. Louis Cardinals, Ozuna hit .263/.327/.452 with 52 homers and 177 RBIs in two seasons.

The White Sox have a pressing need in right field, making it little surprise that they’ve been tied to numerous options, including Ozuna, Castellanos and Joc Pederson. Ozuna, though, exclusively played left field in St. Louis. Were the White Sox to add him, would they insist he play right field? They’ve expressed little to no interest in moving Eloy Jimenez out of left field.

It’s rumor season, and there should be plenty more of them with the Winter Meetings starting Monday in San Diego. The White Sox are expected to continue the aggressive approach they’ve displayed already this winter with the signing of Yasmani Grandal and their reported high bid to Zack Wheeler, who took less money to pitch for the Philadelphia Phillies.

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White Sox free agent focus: Turning to Marcell Ozuna to fill out the outfield

White Sox free agent focus: Turning to Marcell Ozuna to fill out the outfield

Baseball free agency is heating up as the weather gets colder. This week we are breaking down 10 potential free-agent targets for the White Sox ahead of the Winter Meetings.

Marcell Ozuna, OF, Cardinals

Age: 29

2019 salary: $12,250,000

2019 stats: .241 BA, .328 OBP, .472 SLG, .800 OPS, 29 HR, 89 RBI, 80 R, 12/14 SB 

What Ozuna would bring to the White Sox

Ozuna appeared on the verge of becoming an elite star like Anthony Rendon after a breakout season in 2017 with the Marlins. Ozuna came up at 22 and had decent years early in his career. He improved upon his first few years with 37 home runs, 124 RBIs and a .924 OPS as a 26-year-old.

Unlike Rendon, who broke through in 2017 and has sustained that for three seasons now, Ozuna's breakout year appears to be more of a flash in the pan. Ozuna was traded to the Cardinals before the 2018 season and saw a dropoff in his production.

His power and walk rate took big dips in 2018, although he bounced back in both last season. However, he hit .241, which was the lowest batting average of his career.

Ozuna had a career-high walk rate (11.3%) and had the second-best extra-base hit and home run rates of his career (he was only better in those areas in 2017). His strikeout rate (20.8%) was in line with his career average. So what went wrong? His batting average of balls in play was a career-worst .257, which suggests that maybe he's due for some form of bounce back in 2020 as far as batting average.

To simplify all that, Ozuna was good in some areas and inexplicably poor (and maybe unlucky) in others. Does that mean he will return to his big 2017 year wherever he signs? Probably not, but it does help to alleviate some of the feeling of risk for a player who has been inconsistent in his career.

Defensively, Ozuna has a Gold Glove on his resume from 2017, but the stats say he's just an average fielder. Not to mention, he's become infamous for this fielding gaffe.


What it would take to get him

He's young with a mostly positive track record offensively and if he can recreate his 2017 season offensively, he's an all-star outfielder. He won't be cheap, but he has enough question marks to come up just short of $20 million per year.

Ozuna should be able to get four or five years in the mid-to-upper teens per year, similar to fellow outfield free agent Nicholas Castellanos.

Why it's a fit for the White Sox

The White Sox need a corner outfielder. He fills a position of need, adds depth, patience and power to the lineup and won't be a liability in the field.

Ozuna isn't the splashiest signing the White Sox could make, but it makes a lot of sense for a lot of reasons.

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