White Sox

Hossa game-time decision, Stalberg in?

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Hossa game-time decision, Stalberg in?

Marian Hossa is a game-time decision and Viktor Stalberg is available to play when the Chicago Blackhawks host the Boston Bruins tonight at the United Center.

Hossa suffered an upper-body injury, according to coach Joel Quenneville, but it's apparently "very short-term."

"He's had a good preseason and that line (with Patrick Kane and Daniel Carcillo) has had something each and every night," Quenneville said of Hossa. "He compliments that line with his puck-possession game and defensive responsibility."

If Hossa is out, it sounds like Stalberg (left knee) would be in. Stalberg was filling in at Hossa's right-wing spot with Carcillo and Kane this morning and said he's ready to get back.

"Right now I'm looking to get back in game shape and get those first couple games in," said Stalberg, who will be wearing a knee brace but doesn't notice it.

"With technology these days they're pretty comfortable," he said. "That's not an issue at all. I just want to get back on the ice."

John Scott could also play tonight against the Bruins. Corey Crawford will get the start in net.

Briefly

Goaltender Tim Thomas is expected to start for the Bruins tonight.

Forward Jeremy Morin, who suffered a concussion in January, played his first game since then Friday night for the Rockford IceHogs. He scored the first goal in the IceHogs' 4-3 loss to Abbotsford.

White Sox Talk Podcast: SoxFest at Night!

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

White Sox Talk Podcast: SoxFest at Night!

Chuck Garfien and White Sox play-by-play announcer Jason Benetti host SoxFest at Night live from Sox Fest at McCormick Place. They're joined by Rick Hahn, Rick Renteria, Tim Anderson, Yasmani Grandal, Eloy Jimenez and many more.

Listen here or in the embedded player below.

White Sox Talk Podcast

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Cubs agree to deal with free agent outfielder Steven Souza, per report

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USA TODAY

Cubs agree to deal with free agent outfielder Steven Souza, per report

The Cubs have made a roster move.

According to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand, the Cubs and outfielder Steven Souza have agreed to a one-year, big-league deal. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal first reported Friday the two sides were nearing an agreement.

Souza, 30, missed the 2019 season after suffering a torn left ACL and LCL at the end of spring training. He also missed a chunk of 2018, playing 72 games while hitting the injured list on multiple occasions. The Diamondbacks non-tendered him last month.

Souza is a career .233/.323/.417 hitter with 70 home runs in five seasons. His best campaign came with the Rays in 2017: .239/.351/.459, 30 home runs, 78 RBIs and a 121 wRC+ — all career-bests, excluding his average. He sported a walk rate (13.6 percent) above league average (8.5) that season, though his strikeout rate (29 percent) was worse than average (23).

Signing Souza likely rules out a return of fan favorite outfielder Nicholas Castellanos. The Cubs have been linked to Castellanos throughout the offseason, but since they're looking to stay under MLB’s luxury tax threshold, re-signing Castellanos would require some financial maneuvering.

Souza has spent most of his career in right field (3,608 career innings) but has minimal experience playing center (33 1/3) and left (20). He’s above average in right (career 6 Defensive Runs Saved) and posted a career best 7 DRS in 2017.

The Cubs have a five-time Gold Glove right fielder in Jason Heyward, so Souza will see time at all three outfield spots. Heyward moved to center full-time last season after the Cubs acquired Castellanos and has played center at times throughout his career.

He's coming off a serious knee injury, but Souza is a low-risk, high-reward move for the Cubs. If he's healthy, he’ll add power to the middle of the order and add another bat to an outfield group with some question marks. Albert Almora Jr. and Ian Happ have each struggled offensively at times since 2018. Souza offers another option in case those two slump again, with room for a larger role.