White Sox

White Sox Talk Podcast: Tim Anderson's new deal, 2017 predictions

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AP

White Sox Talk Podcast: Tim Anderson's new deal, 2017 predictions

On this edition of the White Sox Talk Podcast, Chuck Garfien talks with CSNChicago.com White Sox Insider Dan Hayes about Tim Anderson's new contract, Reynaldo Lopez' lights-out performance against the San Francisco Giants, Michael Kopech mowing down the Cubs and much more.

Later, CSN's Ryan McGuffey and Chris Kamka join the podcast to give their 2017 White Sox predictions.

Finally, CSN's Tom Cooper stops by to discuss if David Ross has "jumped the shark" with the Cubs.

Check out the latest edition of the White Sox Talk Podcast here:

Rick Renteria: Eloy Jimenez could 'absolutely' have same impact on White Sox as free agents like Harper, Machado

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USA TODAY

Rick Renteria: Eloy Jimenez could 'absolutely' have same impact on White Sox as free agents like Harper, Machado

LAS VEGAS — All White Sox fans want to hear about this week is Bryce Harper. And maybe Manny Machado.

The South Siders are reportedly in on the two biggest fish in this winter's free-agent pond, two 26-year-old superstars who would mesh perfectly with the White Sox rebuilding effort and their long-term plans to field a perennial championship contender.

The impact of adding a player the caliber of Harper or Machado would be huge for a team coming off a 100-loss season and an organization developing a wave of talented prospects. And everyone within the organization knows it.

"I think it makes your team better in and of itself. The caliber of players that everybody is talking about and hopefully trying to acquire, it changes the dynamic of your club," manager Rick Renteria said Tuesday at the Winter Meetings. "You're not going to win with one guy, but it's a big piece that helps now build a bridge with the rest of the men that are on that club. And you ultimately start off to do it as a team. But getting a guy that has the talent that some of these guys have that are out there right now, it would certainly enhance our club."

But even if Harper or Machado don't end up on the South Side, that kind of player could still be suiting up for the White Sox in 2019.

Eloy Jimenez is the No. 3 prospect in baseball, a guy who the White Sox believe has superstar potential. And he's coming. In fact, it should only be a matter of weeks into the 2019 season before Jimenez makes his big league debut and begins his career as a centerpiece of the South Siders' leap from rebuilding to contending.

"He's a truly gifted and exciting player to have," Renteria said. "My hope is that he's going to be a 30-plus-type-homer guy, who is probably going to hit for average. I think he's going to be a pretty good defender. I think he's worked very, very hard at that. He's a big man. His understanding and knowing and learning about maintenance and diet and all those things, he looks really good.

"And so we're hoping that this young man's career for us is going to be one of those future impact guys. I don't want to call him a Hall of Famer, because that's a lot to put on a kid's plate. But he has the skill set to potentially be a very, very impactful front line major league player."

If all goes according to plan with Jimenez, could he be just as impactful as big-name players from outside the organization like Harper or Machado?

"Absolutely," Renteria said. "And I think it's because the expectation and the understanding of who he is and what he's about and the skill set that he brings to the table. We're all excited about the possibilities.

"As we continue to move forward with these guys, Eloy certainly has a chance of being one of those big-time players that you see on every other club, and maybe similar to some of the guys we're trying to acquire."

Jimenez has no shortage of fans in Chicago, who have been clamoring to see him promoted to the major leagues since before the beginning of the 2018 season. He spent that campaign tearing it up at Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte, finishing the year with a .337/.384/.577, 22 home runs and 75 RBIs. He's continued that kind of mashing in the Dominican Winter League, riding into Tuesday's game with a seven-game hit streak, a grand slam under his belt and a batting average north of .400. Then he hit a home run in the first-inning Tuesday.

So, yeah, this Eloy guy sounds pretty good. And he's going to be doing that kind of thing in Chicago very soon.

White Sox fans have every right to be excited about their team's aggressive approach to this offseason and their reported attempts at landing one of the best players in baseball. But if next spring comes and Harper's a Philadelphia Phillie and Machado's a New York Yankee, there'll still be joy on the South Side of Chicago because Jimenez could have the same impact.

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Adam Jones talks about what he brings to the table: Could the White Sox take a gamble?

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USA TODAY

Adam Jones talks about what he brings to the table: Could the White Sox take a gamble?

LAS VEGAS — While Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are grabbing most of the headlines and attention here at the Winter Meetings, another well-known free agent was in the hallway on Tuesday at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, standing there almost anonymously.

He’s a five-time All Star with four Gold Gloves and a free agent for the first time in his career, but Adam Jones doesn’t have a job for next season. From the sounds of it, an opportunity doesn’t even appear anywhere close at the moment.

What teams have expressed interest in signing the 33-year-old outfielder?

“None that I know of. I’m just waiting for a call,” Jones said in an interview with NBC Sports Chicago. “I’m just testing the temperatures, meeting with my representation later. If anybody wants to see me in my physical state, then I’m available for that also.”

On the surface, the White Sox could be a possible fit for the veteran center fielder on a short-term contract. Jones is an established leader who can imprint his experience on a young team. It’s a role he took pride in with the Baltimore Orioles. He’s hoping to do it again.

“At this point, I’m older so I’m going to have to be that veteran presence,” Jones said. "I’ve had Manny (Machado) and (Jonathan) Schoop under my wings the last six years, so it’s been great to see that transition and see how players look up to the older players. When I came into the game, I had some very good people to look up to. I just want to be that same influence that the younger generation could look up to.”

Speaking of Machado, inquiring minds want to know where Jones’ former Orioles teammate might sign.

“Whoever’s cutting the check for him,” Jones said. “I’m sure he has a lot of destinations, a lot of options. It’s going to be interesting to see where he signs. Him and Harper.”

Machado has taken a ton of heat for his “Johnny Hustle” comments to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal during the playoffs. Jones believes that’s not the Machado that he knows.

“He plays the game hard and the right way. I think if he could, he would probably take that (Johnny Hustle) comment back,” Jones said. “Overall, the man can play the game. He plays the game hard. He plays it right. His numbers speak for themselves, and I think he can be an immediate impact on any single lineup immediately. As an overall baseball player, he is as good as they come right now.”

As for Jones, he’s coming off a down year offensively. His 15 home runs and 63 RBIs are his lowest since his rookie season in 2008. However, his 35 doubles were his most since 2013 and he was playing on a wretched Orioles team that went 47-115.

Jones says he still has a lot left in the tank.

“On the field, I’m first going to be a person who stays healthy. I’m a very consistent person in the health department over my career. I still believe that I’m very capable of playing,” Jones explained. “I think I had a little bit of a down year last year in terms of power. Overall, we didn’t have a very good year, but I think overall my year was good. I still hit .280.”

Off the field, Jones takes tremendous pride in helping out in the community.

He recently hosted the sixth annual #StayHungry tailgate before a Baltimore Ravens game, raising more than $125,000 for the Living Classroom Foundation and a Baltimore Boys and Girls Club.

“In the community, you can just look up what I’ve done in the city of Baltimore. I’ve been able to inflict some change,” Jones said. “My family has been very instrumental in every endeavor off the field. You get a full package of me. Someone who’s going to be on the field. You see that I play the game hard, and always have and always will. And off the field, you get somebody who really cares about the next generation and the city.”

Jones also likes a good meal, and he’d never run out of options in a city like Chicago.

“There’s good food in Chicago. Good steaks, good fish, good sea bass in a lot of locations,” Jones said smiling.

Could the White Sox be in his future? This being Las Vegas, maybe they take a gamble on him. Looking at his track record and what he can bring to a clubhouse, there are riskier moves than Jones.

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