White Sox

White Sox winter meetings recap: Day 1

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White Sox winter meetings recap: Day 1

The first day of the winter meetings in Dallas passed by without anything concrete happening, but the groundwork appears to be laid for Mark Buehrle to leave the White Sox.

Chuck Garfien says Miami is still the frontrunner to sign Buehrle, despite that Robin Ventura, Kenny Williams and Jerry Reinsdorf want the lefty back. Ventura actually ran into Buehrle on the street in New York City, of all places, and implored Buehrle to return.

But Buehrle could get a four-year deal, possibly for a total close to the four-year contract extension he signed with the White Sox in 2007. That's a price tag the Sox won't -- and shouldn't -- meet.

The Twins reportedly jumped into the Buehrle sweepstakes, although they aren't considered a major player. As it stands, the Marlins, Nationals and Rangers are likely the three teams with the best shot to land Buehrle.

Late in the evening, a rumor popped up that the Cardinals could try to deal Kyle Lohse to make room for Buehrle in their rotation. That probably won't happen, though.

In non-Buehrle news, the asking price on John Danks and Gavin Floyd remained high Monday. The Yankees aren't willing to trade either Manny Banuelos or Jesus Montero, both blue-chip prospects, for Danks. Williams doesn't appear to be at the winter meetings to set the market on pitching, instead, he's letting the market dictate itself. And until the pitching market is more clear, he's going to demand all of the tea in China for Danks or Floyd.

Minnie Minoso received just nine of 16 votes from the special "Golden Era" veterans' committee, falling three votes short of a worthy induction into Cooperstown. Jerry Reinsdorf was stunned by the result.

White Sox pitchers and catchers report Feb. 23, with the first full-squad workout Feb. 28 and the first spring training game March 5 of next year. About a month before spring training, the White Sox will host a 2005 World Series reunion of sorts at SoxFest.

Around the division: Minnesota made an odd move, re-signing Matt Capps to a deal worth a minimum of 4.75 million for 2012. There's a 6 million option for 2013 as well. While 4.75 million isn't much, the Twins don't have unlimited cash and could've spent it better than on a guy who posted a negative WAR last year.

And finally, Kansas City is reported to have interest in A's starter (and two-time former White Sox farmhand) Gio Gonzalez and Tamps Bay's James Shields. The Rays asked for an exorbitant return for Shields, and it's hard to see Kansas City dealing away star prospect Wil Myers in any deal this winter.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Manny Machado Mania

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Manny Machado Mania

Manny Machado to the White Sox?? It's been the dream for many White Sox fans for months.

With Machado in town to the play the White Sox, Chuck Garfien and Vinnie Duber discuss the White Sox chances of signing the soon-to-be-free agent.

Garfien also talks with Nicky Delmonico who played with Machado and fellow free agent to be Bryce Harper on the U.S.A. 18-under national team.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

Rick Renteria issues another benching after Welington Castillo doesn't hustle on popup

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USA TODAY

Rick Renteria issues another benching after Welington Castillo doesn't hustle on popup

One thing you better do if you play for Rick Renteria is run to first base.

Yet again, Renteria benched one of his players Monday for the sin of not hustling down the line.

Welington Castillo, a veteran, not a developing player in need of ample “learning experiences,” popped up to first base with two runners on and nobody out in the sixth inning of Monday’s eventual 3-2 loss to the visiting Baltimore Orioles. He did not run down to first, instead staying at home plate.

So when the inning ended and the White Sox took the field, Castillo stayed in the dugout.

Ricky’s boys don’t quit, or so the slogan goes. But what happens when a player doesn’t live up to that mantra? What happens when they don’t play their absolute hardest for all 27 outs, as the T-shirts preach? This is what happens. A benching.

“It was towering fly ball in the infield at first, probably had 15, 20 seconds of hangtime,” Renteria explained after the game. “I assumed the dropped ball. It has occurred. He could, at minimum, at least start moving that way.

“That’s uncharacteristic of him, to be honest, it truly is. Maybe he was just frustrated in that he had the fly ball and just stayed at the plate, but there was no movement toward first at all. And you guys have heard me talk to all the guys about at least giving an opportunity to move in that particular direction.

“Everybody says, ‘Well, 99 out of (100) times he’s going to catch that ball.’ And then that one time that he doesn’t, what would I do if the ball had been dropped? Would it have made it easier to pull him? Well, it was just as easy because you expect not the best, but the worst.

“That is uncharacteristic of that young man. I had a quick conversation with him on the bench, and he knew and that was it.”

It might seem a little overdramatic, a little nutty, even, to sit down a veteran catcher brought in this offseason to provide some offense and to do it in a one-run game. But this rebuild is about more than just waiting around for the minor league talent to make its way to the South Side. It’s about developing an organizational culture, too. And Renteria feels that if he lets this kind of thing slide at the big league level, that won’t send the right message to those precious prospects who will one day fill out this lineup.

“There’s one way to do it, you get your action, you start moving toward that direction in which you’ve got to go,” Renteria said. “What would’ve happened if everybody’s watching it — and I’m setting the tone for not only here, our club, (but also for) everybody in the minor leagues — and they’re saying, ‘Well, at the top, they said they’re going to do this and then they don’t do it.’

“It’s really simple. And people might like it, not like it. I’ve got to do this, do that so everybody understands what we’re trying to do here. We’re not done with what we’re trying to do.”

This isn’t the first time this has happened in 2018. Avisail Garcia was taken out of a game during spring training for not giving maximum effort. Leury Garcia was removed from a game earlier this month for not busting it down the first-base line on a weak grounder that went right to the first baseman.

It’s become a somewhat common tactic for Renteria, and while it might strike some as taking things a little too seriously, what good is this developmental season if a culture goes undeveloped? The White Sox have placed their bright future, in part, in Renteria’s hands, and they’ve talked glowingly about how the players have bought into his style and how the team played last season under his leadership.

If Renteria truly is the right man for the rebuild, things like this are how he’s going to establish his culture. And it will, he hopes, impact how all those prospects play when they’re no longer prospects and the White Sox are contending for championships.