White Sox

Todd Frazier already feeling right at home with White Sox

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Todd Frazier already feeling right at home with White Sox

GLENDALE, Arizona -- Todd Frazier has yet to play a regular season game for the White Sox, but the team’s new third baseman already feels like he’s home.

I mean, really home.

If it was up to him, Frazier says he’d play for the White Sox for the rest of his career.

“Just talking to the guys, talking to Rick (Hahn), Robin (Ventura), the atmosphere. It’s just a different vibe,” Frazier said. “I can just tell it’s going to be a good fit for me.”

So if Rick Hahn came to you and offered a lifetime contract, you’d sign it?

“Sure. Most definitely.”

Frazier might have grown up in New Jersey, but he relates to the backseat sentiment of many White Sox fans who live in the shadow of the more popular Cubs.

In fact, he thrives on it.

“I went to a high school where we were the low high school,” Frazier explained. “There are three Toms River High Schools and we were always the one they put aside, and we’d come out and bring out the broomsticks and take care of business. I like that a lot.”

After facing the White Sox twice during spring training, San Francisco Giants (and former White Sox) pitcher Jake Peavy delivered a message to Chicago after Sunday’s game, saying, “Don’t sleep on that South Side team.”

Frazier agrees.

“We want to be those guys that nobody talks about. and the next thing you know - boom, here we come. I think we have that team,” Frazier said. “We have to prove ourselves, of course. The Chicago Cubs the last couple years I’ve been playing against them every two to three weeks. I know them really well. They’ve been playing great. They have a good caliber of guys coming up. Good for them, but don’t sleep on us, and we take that seriously. We’re going to work our tails off and we’re gonna wake some people up and hopefully when that rivalry (with the Cubs) comes around, it’s meaningful this year.”

[MORE: Jimmy Rollins named White Sox Opening Day starter]

As you can probably tell, Frazier is a straight-talking quote machine.

He’s also got the bat and glove to back it up.

His 35 home runs last year with the Reds would have led the White Sox. It was 11 more than all White Sox third basemen hit the last two seasons combined.

No wonder Hahn traded away three of their top prospects to get him.

But as you’ll find with Frazier, he’s not just thinking about himself when he takes the field. And he’s not just thinking about his teammates.

Be on the lookout when you come to a game, because he might be thinking and playing for you.

“Why not go out there everyday and say to a kid in the stands, maybe that’s his first time watching a game. Why not perform for him? Give him something to remember,” he said.

[MORE: Cooper says White Sox need more from Mat Latos]

Reds fans will always remember Frazier’s walk-up songs in Cincinnati. Growing up an hour south of Frank Sinatra’s hometown of Hoboken, New Jersey, Frazier picked Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon” and “Come Fly with Me” to be belted over the loudspeakers whenever he came to the plate.

He still hasn’t finalized which song or songs he’ll use at U.S. Cellular Field.

“I was going back and forth," he said. "I’ll start listening to music and I’ll figure it out. It’s coming along.”

You mean you’re not going to use “My Kind of Town (Chicago is)?” It seems like a perfect fit.

“I’m not sure. I’m up in the air right now.”

It would probably be a big hit.

“I think it would, too. It’s up there on the list.”

Will it be something Sinatra?

“Most likely.”

Come to think of it, “Summer Wind” wouldn’t be bad when the weather heats up.

If Frazier is on a hot streak, he can deliver a message to the opposition with “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.”

But come to think of it, if there’s one Frank Sinatra song that White Sox fans have been waiting for and can really get behind, it’s this:

“The Best is Yet to Come.”

Will an arbitration raise price Yolmer Sanchez off the White Sox 2020 roster?

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USA TODAY

Will an arbitration raise price Yolmer Sanchez off the White Sox 2020 roster?

Yolmer Sanchez could win a Gold Glove in the coming weeks. He could also be looking for a new job.

That’s the tough situation the White Sox face with the guy who served as their starting second baseman during the 2019 season. He did a very, very nice job of playing second base, too. Not sure what your defensive metric of choice is, but the commonly used defensive runs saved (DRS) stat says Sanchez was the best defensive second baseman in the American League and the second best in baseball, behind only Kolten Wong of the St. Louis Cardinals.

But the offensive numbers are the offensive numbers, the only reason we’re not calling Sanchez a slam-dunk Gold Glove winner, as that award has a habit of honoring the defensively and offensively gifted instead of just the defensive aces. Sanchez slashed .252/.318/.321 in 2019 with two home runs and 43 RBIs. The 10 triples he hit in 2018 to lead the AL dropped to four in 2019, and his doubles plummeted from 34 to 20.

With hotshot prospect Nick Madrigal — who has his own reputation as a sensational defender, the newly minted winner of a minor league Gold Glove — figuring to take over at second base in the early portion of the 2020 season, Sanchez’s time was already running out as far as being an everyday major leaguer. But Madrigal’s ascent isn’t the reason the White Sox might be forced to part ways with Sanchez this winter. Money is.

Sanchez is set to receive a multi-million-dollar raise through the arbitration process, something we figured was coming for a while now. But MLB Trade Rumors put a dollar amount on that raise last week, when the site released its annual arbitration projections. Sanchez made $4.625 million in 2019. In 2020, so says MLB Trade Rumors, he’s set to make $6.2 million through the arbitration process.

And that will likely price him off the White Sox roster.

Sanchez has plenty of value to this White Sox team, to be sure. He’s a great clubhouse presence, a versatile infielder and a guy who plays great defense. Manager Rick Renteria lauded the quality of Sanchez’s at-bats at the end of the season. But $6.2 million is probably just too much to pay for a backup infielder who doesn’t do much in the way of hitting, especially with that money needed to do so much more for the White Sox during what's expected to be a busy and important offseason.

It's not like the team won't be covered. The White Sox can hang onto Leury Garcia, who MLB Trade Rumors projected is due for a $4 million payday through arbitration. Garcia not only plays all the infield positions Sanchez plays, if not as exceptionally, but can play all three outfield spots, too. Danny Mendick can stick around for a fraction of the cost and man second base until Madrigal arrives from the minor leagues, perhaps even sticking around as the backup infielder Sanchez would be after that.

It’s all part of the shifting landscape with a White Sox team looking to transition from rebuilding to contending. As many fans as Sanchez deservedly won with his fun-loving personality and Gatorade-bucket related antics during postgame celebrations, he’s an example of the kind of light-hitting player the White Sox will continue to move on from as their roster simply gets better. You can expect Sanchez to be just one of those fading figures. A contending lineup probably doesn't have much room for the Adam Engels and Ryan Cordells and Daniel Palkas and Matt Skoles, either, as the front office look to stuff the roster with young, core players like Madrigal and Luis Robert as well as bigger-name offseason additions in the coming months.

As for the rest of the arbitration-eligible White Sox the front office will have to either commit to or non-tender, most would figure to be easy decisions. James McCann is projected to receive $4.9 million, Carlos Rodon is projected to receive $4.5 million, Evan Marshall is projected to receive $1.3 million. Those are all affordable salaries for a starting catcher, a starting pitcher and a reliever coming off a strong season. Likewise, after he was used 57 times, Josh Osich could certainly return to the bullpen mix. He's projected to get $1 million.

Conversations might be had about whether Alex Colome is worth a projected $10.3 million, but he has racked up 126 saves in the last four seasons and just finished the 2019 campaign with a 2.80 ERA, his lowest since 2016. He saved 30 games in 33 attempts, one of the best conversation rates in the game, and though his 3.91 second-half ERA compares rather poorly to his 2.02 first-half ERA, he remains one of the more reliable late-inning men around. It’s a safe bet he’ll be back, considering the White Sox didn’t deal him at the trade deadline like they did with their closers in the two seasons prior — and certainly they knew an arbitration raise would be coming when they made that decision.

The only other name heretofore unaddressed is Ryan Goins, who like Garcia boasts positional versatility in both the infield and outfield. He played six positions, including designated hitter, for the White Sox in his 52 games with the big league club this season. His projection is a very affordable $900,000, but he turned in a less-than-memorable offensive season. We'll see what happens there.

Now, remember these are projections, so if the White Sox offer these guys contracts and avoid arbitration altogether, the final numbers could obviously be different. But like Avisail Garcia last offseason, perhaps Sanchez is a victim of the projected increase in salary more than any lack of desire to keep him around, a rather large element when looking to project the White Sox bench for the 2020 season.

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White Sox Talk Podcast: Myths about the 1919 Black Sox 100 years later

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AP

White Sox Talk Podcast: Myths about the 1919 Black Sox 100 years later

Chuck Garfien and Chris Kamka speak with Black Sox historian Jacob Pomrenke about the biggest myths surrounding the infamous 1919 Black Sox who fixed the World Series (2:30).

Gambling wasn't limited to the White Sox back then. Even Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker threw a game? (10:30)

The role of "Shoeless" Joe Jackson in the fix. (19:20)

Could Jackson ever get into the Hall of Fame? (27:00)

Could a World Series be fixed in today's game? (33:00)

Listen to the full episode in the embedded player below:

White Sox Talk Podcast

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