White Sox

Is that just a draft, or are trade winds picking up?

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Is that just a draft, or are trade winds picking up?

A year ago at the NHL draft, Stan Bowman made a couple of moves with the trades of Brian Campbell and Troy Brouwer that began a roster domino effect when free agency began on July 1.

The Blackhawks missed Campbells game this past season - if not his Cap hit. And Brouwer had the kind of season closer to what the Hawks were hoping hed have given them in 2010-11.

By this time next week, following the draft Friday and Saturday in Pittsburgh, we should have a better idea of how much more change his roster for 2012-13 will go through, if the vice president and general manager arent closing in on moves already.

The last time Bowman spoke publicly, following the re-signings of Johnny Oduya and Jamal Mayers, he indicated he wasnt done - even though it appears he already has more candidates than actual roster spots. The organizational meetings with Joel Quenneville, scouts and the personnel department have been completed, and that group should know by now what theyre looking for, how they can get it, and who is potentially expendable in order to get the team they want in place.

Right now, he has a lot of the same type of defensemen. The Bowman Way is certainly the puck-moving way with his D-men, but he said he wouldnt rule out searching for more size on the back line to join the only sure thing who provides that in Brent Seabrook. Thats where his faith in Dylan Olsens readiness comes in, because the former first-rounder has the body for it, if not the NHL seasoning.

The same can be said for his faith in his other young players whove had spoon-fed experience the past couple of seasons. Should he put his trust in Jimmy Hayes and Brandon Saad now and stand pat with them, hoping they can grow into roles next season with their size and skill, similar to what Dwight King and Jordan Nolan provided the Stanley Cup champion Kings? Maybe he keeps one and packages another?

There is also the Jeremy Morin and Brandon Pirri to decide on, and down the road, last years two first-rounders -- Mark McNeill and Phillip Danault. Does he keep them, or even the 18th-overall pick Friday night, or can he get something valuable now for one or some combo package?

Most interesting of all will be if he swaps a familiar face or two off the current roster - not necessarily one of the core guys, but some others weve become familiar with who would have value elsewhere. They would bring something in return in the form of a veteran, or cap space to shop elsewhere.

The center position remains most intriguing between Dave Bolland, Marcus Kruger and Jamal Mayers (who could play wing) if the commitment to Patrick Kane in the middle is still in place. Make no mistake, Bowmans been on the phone measuring and gauging what it takes to make certain moves with other GMs. Now its a matter of what hed be sacrificing for what hes getting in return.

He doesnt have much more money to spend under the current salary cap, which many believe might come back down below last seasons number (64.3 million) once a new collective bargaining agreement is in place after a temporary rise to the 70 million range. If there are moves Bowman wants to make, that cap management means lateral moves, contract-wise. The 2012 free agent class is nothing more than ordinary, with that labor deal hovering over any spending sprees.

Bowman cant come out and tell us how much change he wants, other than change is needed. No specifics are ever provided, and very rarely whispered outside those office walls. After two years of first-round exits, no matter what the excuses or reasoning, hes faced with moving forward with basically the same roster he had last season. That would pin his hopes on a couple of kids growing up quickly and Corey Crawford needing to rebound in a big way on his own.

Of course, he can tweak some more.

Im thinking we might see some of the latter between now and this time next week.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: What should be the plan to call up the White Sox prospects?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: What should be the plan to call up the White Sox prospects?

SportsTalk Live is on location for White Sox Authentic Fan Night. Phil Rogers (MLB Network), Mark Carman (WGN Radio), David DeJesus and Ozzie Guillen join Kap to talk about Manny Machado Mania, Anthony Rizzo’s struggles and the White Sox plans for calling up their best prospects. 

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

White Sox add Alex Presley at Triple-A, another veteran outfielder who could factor into 2018 plans for banged-up outfield

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USA TODAY

White Sox add Alex Presley at Triple-A, another veteran outfielder who could factor into 2018 plans for banged-up outfield

Not long after the White Sox brought Michael Saunders into the organization, another outfielder with major league experience is joining Triple-A Charlotte.

Alex Presley — a 32-year-old who played 71 games last season for the Detroit Tigers and has also spent time with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Minnesota Twins, Houston Astros and Milwaukee Brewers — is the latest addition to the Knights’ outfield. He’s a guy who could potentially be used to help the White Sox outfield, which has seen two Opening Day players go on the disabled list for extended periods of time.

Avisail Garcia is in his fifth week on the DL while dealing with a Grade 2 hamstring strain. Nicky Delmonico is expected to miss the next four to six weeks while recovering from a broken bone in his hand. The White Sox might feel that the collection of Adam Engel, Trayce Thompson, Leury Garcia and Daniel Palka might be enough to get them through those injuries. But the results have not been great from that group. Engel and Thompson are both hitting under .200, while Leury Garcia and Palka have on-base percentages just above .300.

Presley, like Saunders, could be an option for a midseason promotion should he hit well in the minors. He hit .314 with a .354 on-base percentage in those 71 games with the Tigers last season. This year, he was playing in the Baltimore Orioles’ organization, where he hit .275 with a .347 on-base percentage in 26 games.

It’s possible we won’t see either veteran outfielder on the South Side this season (though having Presley here for Elvis Night would be pretty excellent), but it gives the White Sox options should the lack of production from their current crop of outfielders and the injuries to Avisail Garcia and Delmonico keep them out longer.

It’s also quite possible that none of the names mentioned to this point will have a role to play in this team’s long-term future, not an outlandish thought considering Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert, Micker Adolfo, Blake Rutherford and Luis Alexander Basabe are all still developing in the minor leagues.