White Sox

White Sox prepared for potential Jeff Samardzija trade

7-25-jeff-samardzija.png

White Sox prepared for potential Jeff Samardzija trade

CLEVELAND -- Jeff Samardzija Trade Watch 2015 has unofficially moved to DEFCON 3 as of Saturday afternoon.

With rumors swirling that they continue to entertain offers for their right-handed pitcher, the White Sox have likely insured themselves for a possible trade by aligning the throw days of Samardzija and Triple-A pitcher Erik Johnson in case they make a move before the Northwest Indiana-native’s next start on Tuesday in Boston.

[MORE: Alexei Ramirez 'starting to click' at right time for White Sox]

Johnson -- the starting pitcher in the International League All-Star Game this month -- had his next start pushed back from Saturday toTuesday.

With Johnson, who is 8-5 with a 2.59 ERA in 17 games (16 starts), already at 94 innings, the White Sox have monitored his workload over the past few weeks in case his season extends into September. Were the White Sox to trade Samardzija, Johnson could have as many 12-13 starts left before the season ends.

Johnson is the likeliest candidate to replace Samardzija were the White Sox to deal him away before the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline. Top pitching prospect Frankie Montas would be another potential candidate as would Scott Carroll, who is scheduled to start Monday for Charlotte.

Though the trade market is saturated with arms, the White Sox reportedly have held Samardzija in high esteem, asking for a bundle in return. CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman said the White Sox want four young players in return for Samardzija while ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick suggested they’re looking for a substantial return.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

Samardzija has done nothing but looked like an ace over his past eight turns after he got out to a slow start. In those starts, Samardzija has a 2.55 ERA and he has made nine straight turns of at least seven innings.

According to FOX Sports' Jon Morosi, the Toronto Blue Jays are actively pursuing Samardzija. 

White Sox Talk Podcast: Rebuild advice from 3 Houston Astros All-Stars

astrosasg.png
USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Rebuild advice from 3 Houston Astros All-Stars

With the White Sox in the middle of a rebuild, Chuck Garfien spoke with 3 Houston Astros All-Stars who explained how they went from a rebuilding team to World Series champions. Jose Altuve, George Springer and Alex Bregman talk about how they dealt with losing, how they learned how to win, the importance of adding veterans to the young core, and how they kept hope alive during the rebuild.  Then later, Chuck spoke with Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Lorenzo Cain trying to understand how he dominated the White Sox for so many years.

Jose Abreu didn't come to White Sox looking for leadership role, but he's the face of the franchise on the All-Star stage

0717-jose-abreu.jpg
USA TODAY

Jose Abreu didn't come to White Sox looking for leadership role, but he's the face of the franchise on the All-Star stage

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Jose Abreu didn’t come to the White Sox to be a leader. But that’s what he is as he took his spot among the best in baseball at Tuesday night’s All-Star Game.

Abreu is the face of the South Side baseball club and he’s had a stellar-enough first four and a half seasons in Major League Baseball to earn the distinction of a starter in the Midsummer Classic. But Abreu, unsurprisingly, doesn’t look at himself as one of the best in the game. He looks as himself as a hard-worker.

“I don’t believe that I’m the best,” Abreu said through a team translator on Monday. “I’m just a person who likes to work hard every day and try to do my best.”

That humility is nothing new to folks who follow the White Sox on a regular basis. And neither is talk of Abreu’s work ethic, the admiration of everyone involved with the team and a constant talking point from Rick Hahn, Rick Renteria and all Abreu’s teammates.

Abreu has become as important for his off-the-field roles as he has for his on-the-field production for this rebuilding White Sox team. He’s been described as a role model for all the young players in the organization, whether they’re on the big league roster right now or coming up through the system.

“None of them have told me that yet,” Abreu joked. “But I know that. It’s definitely a compliment, and I take it as something that makes you feel good, something that makes you keep moving forward and to keep trying to help the guys to improve and get better as a team. You feel like that is a big honor, that people think that way of you.”

As good as he feels to be held in such esteem, Abreu didn’t set out to be one of this team’s leaders when he came to the United States. And to be honest, he might not be in his current position if it weren’t for the team’s rebuilding effort. Abreu is one of the few veterans on this team.

“That was something that happened. I didn’t look for it,” Abreu said. “I was always trying to help people and trying to give advice to help people to improve. But I never tried to be a leader. If people say that because of what I do, that’s good, but that’s not something that I’m trying to force or something that I say, ‘I want to be a leader.’ No, that’s not who I am. I am just the kind of person who likes to help people, who likes to give advice.”

Abreu is seemingly the definition of what the White Sox want their next winning roster to be full of. And whether it’s the special relationship he has with fellow Cuban Yoan Moncada or the role-model status he holds in the eyes of his other teammates, both current and future, he’s helping the White Sox develop those kinds of players.

Oh, and he’s generally — though this season has seen an extended slump and atypical numbers — one of the most consistently productive hitters in the game.

Who wouldn’t want all that as the face of the franchise?

“It’s all a blessing. I can’t ask for anything else,” Abreu said. “I’m a true believer that if you work hard, good things are going to happen. That’s why I work hard every day, I try to do my best, I try to improve every day and just to be a better person. Not just a better player, but a better person.”