White Sox

Welcome to Ozzie, Miami

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Welcome to Ozzie, Miami

Over the course of his eight years with the White Sox, Ozzie Guillen said plenty of cringe-worthy things. Most (but not all) of the time, we could collectively roll our eyes and chalk it up to Ozzie being Ozzie.

His comments about Fidel Castro might have been brushed off in Chicago. In fact, it already happened, and it didn't make waves here. That's Ozzie. He has strong opinions, and he's not shy about voicing them. And he doesn't choose his words carefully.

But his latest round of comments about his admiration for Castro are a completely different animal. He not only offended a large part of the fanbase Miami is trying to win over, he alienated them.

Guillen seemed sincere in his apology, but that he's made these comments about Castro before makes his contriteness seemed canned, forced by a team that's in desperate need of a PR save. This may not have been one of Guillen's trademark off-the-cuff riffs that he may or may not mean. This smells of something Guillen has believed for years.

Cry freedom of speech all you want. Guillen had every right to say what he said, but the Marlins had every right to punish Guillen. He damaged their brand. For a team that's aggressively trying to gain a foothold in the Miami market, these comments were a significant blow.

Guillen was one of the central parts of those marketing efforts. Like it or not, he's one of the faces of the Marlins. And one of the faces of the team has given the organization a black eye not even a week into the regular season.

Maybe Guillen's apology will be accepted -- although the early returns aren't good. Maybe winning will cure everything. Or maybe this will all blow over in a few weeks.

Or maybe it won't. If the Marlins don't win, it'll only give Guillen's opposition more ammo, not that they exactly need any right now. But keeping a manager who not only said he supports Fidel Castro but also led the Marlins to a fourth-place finish? Not even a sharp new park will keep fans coming out for that.

Guillen said those comments were the biggest mistake of his life. He just might be right about that.

White Sox pitching prospect Ian Clarkin goes to Cubs on waivers

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AP

White Sox pitching prospect Ian Clarkin goes to Cubs on waivers

Ian Clarkin, one of the return pieces in the seven-player swap with the New York Yankees in 2017, is no longer with the White Sox organization after being picked up by the Cubs on waivers Tuesday.

Clarkin, a 23-year-old left-hander, was no longer ranked as one of the top 30 prospects in the White Sox loaded farm system.

He split time between Class A Winston-Salm and Double-A Birmingham in 2018, struggling at the latter stop to the tune of a 5.64 ERA in 68.2 innings. He made 18 appearances there, only 10 of which were starts.

The deal that sent David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle and Todd Frazier to the Bronx was the biggest of a flurry of trades made by the White Sox in the summer of 2017. But after Clarkin's departure to the other side of town, outfield prospect Blake Rutherford is the only member of the four-player return package still with the White Sox organization. Major league reliever Tyler Clippard was dealt to the Houston Astros later that same season. Outfield prospect Tito Polo became a minor league free agent this offseason. And now Clarkin is gone on waivers.

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White Sox add four to 40-man roster, protecting prospects from Rule 5 Draft

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MLB.COM

White Sox add four to 40-man roster, protecting prospects from Rule 5 Draft

The White Sox added four of their valued prospects to the 40-man roster Tuesday, protecting them from selection in next month's Rule 5 Draft.

Dylan Cease, Seby Zavala, Kodi Medeiros and Jordan Stephens were the four additions to the 40-man, which the team announced sat at 38 after those moves.

Cease, MLB Pipeline's minor league pitcher of the year, was a no-brainer addition following his sensational 2018 campaign. He posted a 2.40 ERA and struck out 160 opposing batters in 124 innings over 23 starts between Class A Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham. He's currently ranked as the No. 3 prospect in the organization.

Zavala got off to a hot start in 2018 before cooling down following a promotion from Double-A Birmingham to Triple-A Charlotte. With the Barons, he slashed .271/.358/.472 with 11 home runs in 56 games. But in his 48 games with the Knights, he slashed just .243/.267/.359 with two home runs. Zavala is currently ranked as the No. 22 prospect in the organization.

Medeiros came over from the Milwaukee Brewers in the midsummer trade that sent Joakim Soria out of Chicago. The 2014 first-round pick made seven starts at Double-A Birmingham after the trade and posted a 4.98 ERA with 34 strikeouts and 22 walks in 34.1 innings of work. Medeiros is currently ranked as the No. 19 prospect in the organization.

Stephens split time between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte in 2018. All together, he finished the year with a 4.23 ERA and 139 strikeouts in 28 starts. Stephens is currently ranked as the No. 20 prospect in the organization.

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