White Sox

Gibbs will miss 4-6 months

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Gibbs will miss 4-6 months

Its a good thing Arne Friedrich, the veteran German defender, is ready to play. The Fire needs him badly now, following Tuesdays surprise announcement that central defender Cory Gibbs will be sidelined 4-6 months following knee surgery.

Gibbs went down during a training session last week and sat out Saturdays friendly against the University of Louisville at Toyota Park, the match in which Friedrich made his Fire debut. Club staffers waited until after Tuesdays surgery at Glenbrook Hospital to release word on Gibbs status. The surgery, to repair a torn meniscus in Gibbs right knee, was performed by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jason Koh of NorthShore Medical Group.

"The last couple days, after hearing about the injury, was basically another low point in my life, said Gibbs, in a statement released by the team. "With the support from my wife, family and teammates and with prayer, I definitely have a more positive outlook. Ive dealt with injuries in the past and have come back to perform at a high level. I hate missing training and contributing in games, so from the first day after the operation Im going to do everything I can to get back as soon as possible."

Gibbs, 32, was a mainstay in the back last season, his first with the Fire. With 19 caps for the U.S. national team, Gibbs was the Fires Defender of the Year in 2011 and scored a memorable goal against Englands Manchester United in a friendly at sold out Soldier Field. Along the way Gibbs also served as a mentor for Jalil Anibaba in his rookie season.

Anibaba played beside Gibbs in the center of the four-man back line in the first three games of this campaign, with Gibbs on the field every minute. Friedrich will move into a center back spot now, but declared himself only 70 percent fit after playing 88 minutes in the Fires 1-0 win over the Louisville collegians.

If a replacement is needed for either Anibaba or Friedrich in Sundays home match against the Houston Dynamo, the logical player off the bench would be Austin Berry. The Fires first-round selection (ninth overall) in Januarys SuperDraft, Berry has yet to play in a Major League Soccer match.

Last season the Fire was deep at the center back position, with Gibbs having Josip Mikulic, Yamith Cuesta and Anibaba as available partners. Family issues kept Mikulic from rejoining the Fire for this season, and contract issues led to Cuesta leaving the club.

Anibaba started as the right back in his rookie season, but coach Frank Klopas preferred him more in the center after the acquisition of Dan Gargan in a trade with Toronto FC late in the campaign. Gargan will start on the right on Sunday, assuming a sprained toe on his left foot has healed. That injury kept Gargan out of the Fires last MLS game -- a 2-0 loss at Colorado on April 1 -- and he only jogged on the sidelines during Saturdays friendly.

The starter on the left side will again be Gonzalo Segares. In his eighth season with the Fire, Segares will make his 151st regular season appearance, tying him with Jim Curtin for ninth all-time on the Fires career games-played list.

White Sox Talk Podcast: What are the White Sox getting in Nomar Mazara?

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: What are the White Sox getting in Nomar Mazara?

The White Sox made a late night trade at the Winter Meetings, acquiring right fielder Nomar Mazara for 2018 second-round pick Steele Walker.

Chuck Garfien, Ryan McGuffey and Vinnie Duber discuss the trade, why it was made and, love it or hate it, is it the right move for the short term? (1:25) Then, Rangers beat writer Evan Grant from the Dallas Morning News answers the question: What are the White Sox getting in Mazara? (15:43)

Listen to the full episode in the embedded player below:

White Sox Talk Podcast

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Yankees sign Gerrit Cole to a record nine-year, $324 million deal

Yankees sign Gerrit Cole to a record nine-year, $324 million deal

In terms of big-time free agent moves, it doesn't get bigger than the New York Yankees new deal with sought-after pitcher Gerrit Cole. On Tuesday, ESPN's Jeff Passan reported that the Yankees and Cole were agreeing to a record nine-year, $324 million deal.

Cole was dominant in 2019, finishing with a 20-5 record and a 2.50 ERA. The wins, losses and ERA  were all career-bests for Cole. He continued his dominance in the MLB playoffs, where he pitched 36 2/3 innings, going 4-1 with a 1.72 ERA. He was especially unhittable in the 2019 ALCS, where he very impressively gave up no earned runs over 212.1 innings pitched against the Yankees, who scored the most runs in the MLB in 2019. His 326 strikeouts in 2019 made him the Astros franchise-leader in Ks in a season, adding even more mystique to a year that felt like something out of a movie.

Despite the dominant season for Cole, he finished second in the AL Cy Young voting to former teammate Justin Verlander as he was a part of an absolutely awesome pitching staff that has now been dealt a big blow. Cole will now be joining another staff that has a chance to become elite over time, as the Yankees will add his elite arm talent to a group that includes Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, and Domingo German.

Cole is likely to be in the Bronx for the long haul, though he does have an early opt-out clause.

The Yankees rode their great offense all the way to a Game 6 in the ALCS, despite their pitching ranking a ho-hum 14th in the league in ERA (4.31). With Cole now in tow, there is reason to believe that the 'Evil Empire' is truly back.

And while the Cubs and White Sox were not considered to seriously be in the running for Cole's services, his signing means that there will likely be developments soon in regards to the other top arms on the market, some of which have been linked to Chicago. This list includes names like Madison Bumgarner, Dallas Keuchel, and Hyun-Jin Ryu. 

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