White Sox

White Sox minor league update: Yoan Moncada has strong debut in Triple-A Charlotte

White Sox minor league update: Yoan Moncada has strong debut in Triple-A Charlotte

After a strong finish to spring training, Yoan Moncada picked up right where he left off in his Charlotte Knights debut.

The No. 2 MLB prospect went 3-for-5 with three singles, two runs, a stolen base and a walk on Thursday in Triple-A Charlotte's 9-8 win in 11 innings over the Norfolk Tides.

"It was a good game," Moncada said. "It was a good way to start the season. I felt really good with my bat, with my swing. I hit the ball with authority throughout the whole field. My legs were loose and ready to run, I took every opportunity to make an impression and to help my team.

"I was anxious to start the season. I was excited before the game started. It was a very exciting experience with the fans and my teammates."

In his final seven spring training games, Moncada went 10-for-22 with three doubles, three home runs and 11 RBIs. It's the kind of production the White Sox are banking on for when he reaches The Show one day in Chicago.

Though manager Rick Renteria was thrilled to see Moncada have a nice debut, he isn't thinking ahead about what it’d be like to coach the team's top prospect just yet.

"I'm glad that he got three hits last night," Renteria said. "I'm glad that he's moving forward. I think for me to start thinking that far ahead wouldn't be prudent. I think it doesn't serve me in any way, shape or form at this particular time with what we're trying to do with the guys that are here."

The White Sox No. 4 prospect, Reynaldo Lopez, started Thursday's game and pitched three innings. He allowed three hits, four runs (two earned), a home run and three walks while striking out five.

Lopez said he enjoyed the Opening Day experience with his new club, but admitted that playing in cold and windy weather made things challenging for him.

"I felt good," Lopez said. "The first two innings I felt all my pitches were sharp, but in the third I couldn't feel my hand because of the cold weather, and then I started to have some complications. But overall, I felt good."

Zack Burdi made an appearance for the Knights as well. The Downers Grove-native pitched 1 2/3 innings with three strikeouts and a walk.

In Single-A Winston-Salem, Zack Collins had himself a day for the Dash. The 10th overall pick of the 2016 draft went 3-for-4 with two doubles, two runs, and a walk.

Luis Alexander Basabe, the team's No. 8 rated prospect, went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts.

While Renteria has his own club to manage, he keeps a close eye on how his young talent is doing at the minor-league level.

"We keep track of all that stuff," Renteria said. "There are a lot of things that we keep our eye on. Obviously, we try to make sure we're focused on what we're doing here but yes, we keep an eye on what's going on down there, how guys are pitching, how guys are taking their at-bats, how they're defending.

"And then beyond that, the reports that we get that are connected to those numbers, to see if they correlate."

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With the 2016 MLB Draft and the returns the White Sox received from the trades of Chris Sale and Adam Eaton, the team’s farm system has vastly improved from this time a year ago. Given that the team is in rebuild mode, it's easy to assume that the White Sox could be following their top prospects closer than usual.

But Renteria is approaching it the same way he did in 2016.

"I can't speak to that because I wasn't in that office doing those things," Renteria said. "I can tell you for most organizations it's pretty consistent, everybody kind of keeps abreast of what's going on within their organization, in their system. I don't think it probably was any different for us than what it's going to be this year."

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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