White Sox

White Sox: Todd Frazier breaks out after enjoying Indians celebration

White Sox: Todd Frazier breaks out after enjoying Indians celebration

CLEVELAND — Todd Frazier enjoyed the sights and sounds of Cleveland's pregame Opening Day festivities on Tuesday afternoon. But he probably relished the ones later produced by his bat a little bit more.

The White Sox third baseman said before the Indians celebrated their 2016 pennant that he felt like his offense wasn't too far off despite a slow start. After singling once and walking four times in his first 21 plate appearances, Frazier doubled and homered in his first two trips on Tuesday. The effort wasn't enough for the White Sox, who fell 2-1 to Cleveland at Progressive Field. Frazier finished 2-for-4.

"You hit the ball hard it's going to find the hole eventually," Frazier said. "Got two pitches to hit, worked the count in the second one and knew he had to throw a strike and squared it up. Tough wind today. When you square it up, it's going to be unlucky sometimes, but most of the time you're going to something out of it."

Frazier has had his share of bad luck mixed with a bunch of pop outs early in the season. He entered Tuesday 1-for-17 with no extra-base hits and no RBIs. But Frazier said he wasn't overly concerned in part because he had walked four times and struck out only twice. 

He also figured that four of the balls he'd put in play — all with at least a 42 percent of becoming a hit (three were 61 percent or higher), according to Baseball Savant — would eventually start to go for hits.

They did almost immediately. Frazier did his best to be a party pooper on Cleveland's big day as he turned around a 96-mph Carlos Carrasco fastball and ripped it past Indians third baseman Yandy Diaz for a one-out double in the second inning. Frazier then led off the fifth with a 390-foot, line-drive homer to tie the score at 1. 

The production — the only for the White Sox all game — is a byproduct of how Frazier said he's felt at the plate. 

"I'm seeing a lot of pitches," Frazier said. "You have to take some plusses off of what I've been doing. I'm not striking out that much.

"Sample size, but I'm squaring the ball so not really. It's frustrating but at the same time I feel pretty good."

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Frazier couldn't help but to enjoy the Indians' festivities as they celebrated their first AL pennant since 1997. Jim Thome, Jim Brown and Austin Carr threw out the first pitch, players received their AL champions rings and two F-16s did a fly over all before first pitch.

Francisco Lindor then kept the party going with a first-inning solo homer off James Shields. A festive day ended when Michael Brantley doubled in Lindor with two outs in the 10th.

"You want to play in an atmosphere like that every day," Frazier said. "Couple of intense outs there. Everyone is in the game. It was a lot of fun to play in. Not fun coming out with the outcome.

"You want that for yourself too, for your team. You see the glories of winning and it's pretty cool. To sit there on the other side and say it's not exciting to watch, it's a travesty to say that because everybody dreams of doing that. 

"If you don't get hyped for that you're not living."

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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