White Sox

White Sox Carlos Rodon doesn't want Cubs' Kris Bryant hype

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White Sox Carlos Rodon doesn't want Cubs' Kris Bryant hype

He’s the second top-rated prospect to be promoted to Chicago in four days but Carlos Rodon is glad the hype surrounding him isn’t as great as Kris Bryant’s.

The two share the same agent, Scott Boras, and played together for USA Baseball in 2012.

Rodon -- who is expected to start in the bullpen after the White Sox called him up from Triple-A Charlotte on Monday -- even admitted he really likes the Bryant Red Bull commercial featuring Mike Ditka and Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan. But the left-hander, the third overall pick of the 2014 draft, doesn’t mind if his debut doesn’t create the same stir as when Bryant made his first appearance for the Cubs on Friday at Wrigley Field.

“Nah, I want to go under the radar,” Rodon said.

There’s no question why Bryant, drafted in 2013, would receive more hype, having conquered the minor leagues with 43 home runs over a full season in 2014. Though the White Sox are confident Rodon can succeed in the majors, general manager Rick Hahn sees this promotion as the next step in the left-hander’s development.

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

The move to the major league bullpen not only allows Rodon to ease into a big league career, it also allows the White Sox to manage his workload and keep his innings down. The White Sox took a similar approach with Mark Buehrle in 2000 and again with Chris Sale in 2010 and 2011.

“We're going to let him evolve,” Hahn said. “There's no real restrictions on him in terms of his usage out of the ‘pen at this time. It is a transition, so you're not going to see back-to-backs initially, you're not going to see an inordinate workload in a given week initially. We're going to ease him into this. Again, his development's not done. This is the next step and the most visible step and ideally, the finishing step in his development.”

Rodon is stepping into unfamiliar yet “doable” territory, he said. White Sox manager Robin Ventura suggested Rodon could be used for a lengthier appearance after he made two starts at Charlotte or he could face one left-handed hitter. But Ventura wants to ease Rodon into his new role.

“He’s a nice addition,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “There’s a couple of different ways you can use him. …

“Right now, probably looking at the middle of the game if a spot comes up that looks conducive for him to come in.”

[MORE: Rodon's high school coach sees White Sox getting great pitcher, person]

Rodon knows he could survive in a major league bullpen with just his slider and fastball. But he doesn’t have any plans to slow down his use of the changeup, a pitch both he and the White Sox have discussed he needs to further develop in order to be successful.

Rodon threw the changeup 20 times in his final spring training start and is confident he can get outs with the pitch.

“Oh, it's still there,” Rodon said. “It's a good pitch.”

Rodon believes he belongs in the majors, “You have to be that way, have to be confident,” he said.

Perhaps that’s why he believes he can handle pitching out of the bullpen even though he’s pitched almost exclusively as a starter. Rodon appeared out the bullpen three times in 11 minor league games.

“Yeah, it's a little different,” Rodon said. “You come out, you throw your best fastballs and you don't really try to pace yourself.

“I kinda have an idea what it's like. I had one outing out of the bullpen, I forgot who was it against. It was at home. It was a different routine, but it's doable.”

Just don’t look for him to be featured in any Red Bull spots like his crosstown counterpart Bryant -- not yet, anyway.

“But that’s a cool commercial,” he said.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Could the White Sox trade with the Red Sox?

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Could the White Sox trade with the Red Sox?

The crew wraps up the final day of the Winter Meetings for the White Sox.

On the latest White Sox Talk Podcast, Chuck Garfien, Vinnie Duber and Ryan McGuffey talk about a rumored deal between the White Sox and the Red Sox (2:41) that would move some pieces around.

Rick Hahn speaks for the final time in San Diego and the guys react to his comments.

Later, they debate why fans are disappointed with the White Sox and the outcome for the team at the end of the Winter Meetings.

Listen to the episode here or in the embedded player below.

White Sox Talk Podcast

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White Sox reportedly 'in play' for David Price, but how much sense would a trade make?

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USA TODAY

White Sox reportedly 'in play' for David Price, but how much sense would a trade make?

SAN DIEGO — David Price on the South Side? Maybe.

According to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, the Boston Red Sox have had trade conversations involving Price with at least five teams, and the White Sox are “in play” for the veteran left-hander.

Boston is trying to shed salary, and getting rid of the $96 million remaining on Price’s deal over the next three years would be a good way to accomplish that goal.

The White Sox, given their financial flexibility, are a team that could absorb that kind of money in a trade. While much discussion of Rick Hahn’s statement in February that “the money will be spent” has focused on high-priced free agents, the general manager said Wednesday that such fiscal positioning could be beneficial on the trade market, too.

“Absolutely,” he said during his final media session of the Winter Meetings. “You’ve seen over the years us use our financial flexibility to acquire some contracts. I think back to the (Joakim) Soria trade with the Dodgers. The thing we brought to the table there was the ability to absorb some contracts. That flexibility doesn’t always have to be spent on free agents.”

But here’s the thing. ESPN’s Jeff Passan got this whole Price conversation going when he reported the interest of multiple teams on Tuesday, and he suggested the Red Sox might be able to ship Price out of town if they included a “player of value.” A young player with affordable club control would sweeten any such deal, and speculation latched onto outfielder Andrew Benintendi, who is under team control for three more years.

That’s the kind of deal — before we hear what it could cost, obviously — that would look like a good one for the White Sox.

Well, another nugget in Feinsand’s report throws that idea out the window.

“One scenario that has been floated in recent weeks would have the Red Sox attaching a young player — Andrew Benintendi's name has been mentioned often — to Price in order to dump the pitcher's contract.

“A source said that concept has not been considered by Boston's front office — nor will it be, especially not with Benintendi.

“‘That's not going to happen,’ the source said.”

If that’s the case, if the Red Sox are talking about a Price trade that doesn’t involve a young, controllable player coming back, is there any reason for the White Sox to consider such a move? Is there any reason to trade for Price alone?

The White Sox do need pitching, quite badly, as a matter of fact. Their quest for two arms to add to the starting rotation has yielded no additions yet, with their high bid for Zack Wheeler spurned in favor of a lower offer from the Philadelphia Phillies. Price would be an upgrade to the White Sox rotation, and they could potentially get him without having to give up any of their prized prospects (a trade involving someone like Benintendi might cost a high-level prospect, in addition to salary relief).

After turning in some memorable performances during the Red Sox championship run in 2018, Price got off to a great start in 2019, with a 3.16 ERA in his first 17 starts. But due to a cyst in his wrist, he made only two starts over the season’s final two months. He finished with a 4.28 ERA, second highest of his career.

Considering the White Sox are heading into 2020 with just three rotation spots spoken for, they could do a lot worse than Price from a production standpoint. But the veteran lefty doesn’t exactly have a sterling reputation as a clubhouse presence. NBC Sports Boston’s John Tomase listed several red flags in a recent piece: “He's no longer a 200-inning pitcher. His elbow could blow. He considers himself a great teammate, but he consistently brings negativity into the clubhouse, which multiple rival executives have noted warily. He's too expensive. He hasn't made an All-Star team or earned a Cy Young vote since 2015. He's past his prime.”

Do the White Sox need those headaches? Aren’t there options out there, via trade or free agency, that would bring in similar levels of production without all that other stuff? It doesn’t seem like a young team that is developing what appears to be a very positive culture needs someone who “consistently brings negativity into the clubhouse.”

Now, if someone like Benintendi — or, for example, the large contract of designated hitter J.D. Martinez — comes along with him, maybe it’s a pill you’re willing to swallow. Of course, that would require other unpleasant possibilities, such as letting a recent first-round draft pick like Nick Madrigal or Andrew Vaughn go. Hahn talked about the team’s unwillingness to deal away its prized prospects for a short-term gain. The White Sox lost a combined 195 games to end up with the draft picks that produced Madrigal and Vaughn. That was an awful lot of suffering just to trade those guys away.

A potential Price trade has its upsides, but ones contingent on other aspects of such a deal. If those aspects go by the wayside, acquiring Price doesn’t make quite as much sense.

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