White Sox

Two sides agree: Talks have been good

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Two sides agree: Talks have been good

Most recent stories of NHL and NHLPA negotiations, or lack thereof, have been gloomy.

Few talks, abrupt ends to those that have taken place, and angry words from each side have been prevalent.

But on Saturday, something unusual happened: the two sides talked, and talked for a while. They talked until the early morning hours on Sunday, actually. And for the first time in weeks, theres actually some reason to be optimistic.

NHL commissioner Bill Daly and NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr met at an undisclosed location on Saturday, and the two sides will reportedly meet again early this week. Daly and Fehr talked until after 1 a.m. Eastern time, according to various reports.

And get this: they agreed on something.

We had a series of meetings over the course of the day and had a good, frank discussion on the most important issues separating us, Daly told NHL.com.

I agree with what Bill said, Fehr said in a statement. Hopefully we can continue the dialogue, expand the group and make steady progress.

Agreeing they had a good, frank talk. Hey, for two sides who couldnt agree on who ended a negotiating session in August, thats definitely a positive.

Saturdays talks were the first since mid-October, when the two sides parted not so amicably. The NHL came with a proposal featuring a 50-50 split in hockey-related revenue, whatever its true definition may be. The players association came with three proposals, including one that went 50-50 in the first year as long as the league honored existing player contracts. Talks went south quick, as the league said the two were speaking different languages.

So Saturdays news was good news. And if it helps both sides to keep meeting at secret locations, by all means keep doing it. Tuck yourselves away in some tiki bar in Florida if need be. If taking all the rhetoric and the saidhe said out of the negotiations leads to this getting done quicker, hide away.

Its something. Its progress. And its a glimmer of hope in negotiations that have had very little.

Podcast: Dylan Cease raves about the White Sox farm system

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AP

Podcast: Dylan Cease raves about the White Sox farm system

Coming to you from Washington DC, we speak with Dylan Cease who competed in the MLB Futures Game along with his Birmingham Barons teammate Luis Basabe. 

Cease talks about the White Sox loaded farm system, what players have impressed him the most, where he gets his composure on the mound and more. 

Check out the entire podcast here:

Fernando Tatis Jr. is the prospect who got away: White Sox fans, read this at your own risk

Fernando Tatis Jr. is the prospect who got away: White Sox fans, read this at your own risk

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Fernando Tatis, Jr. is one of the brightest future stars in the game. MLB Pipeline ranks him as the No. 3 prospect in all of baseball, one spot behind Eloy Jimenez.

He’s a five-tool shortstop slashing .289/.359/.509 at Double-A San Antonio with 15 home runs, 42 RBIs and 15 stolen bases in 85 games. He’s bilingual, charismatic, the kind of guy who could be a face of a franchise.

And two years ago, he was property of the White Sox.

That was until they traded Tatis, who was only 17 at the time, to the Padres for James Shields. Tatis had yet to play a single game in the White Sox farm system, so it was tough to predict his future. However, speaking with Tatis before he competed in the MLB Futures Game on Sunday, the trade was definitely a shock to him.

“I was surprised. It was weird. For a kid that young to get traded, I had never heard of it. When they told me that, I couldn’t believe it. I was like, ‘What’s going on?’” Tatis said in an interview with NBC Sports Chicago.

No front office is going to bat 1.000, and when it comes to Tatis, this is a trade the White Sox would love to have back.

But first, more perspective.

In June of 2016, six months before the White Sox started their rebuild, they were 29-26, a game and a half out of first place. With Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and a healthy Carlos Rodon anchoring their rotation, they felt that with the addition of Shields, they could compete for the division.

Unfortunately, perception didn’t meet reality. Shields struggled on the mound with the White Sox in 2016 and 2017. His numbers have improved considerably, and he could return the White Sox another prospect if he’s dealt before the trade deadline. However, it’s unlikely they’ll receive a player with the potential that Tatis has right now.

“(The trade) was about getting a good starter so they could get to the playoffs. I understood. I know this game is a business,” Tatis said.

Before the trade occurred, Tatis looked into his future and saw a day when he’d be the White Sox starting shortstop.

“Yeah, that was my goal when (White Sox director of international scouting) Marco Paddy signed me,” Tatis said. “We talked about it when I started and that was the goal.”

His goal now is to make it to the major leagues with the Padres.

“I’m pretty close. I want to keep working. When they decide to call me up, I’ll be ready.”

As for his former team, he’s impressed with the talent the White Sox have assembled.

“They’re building something special. They have really good prospects. I wish the best for them.”

You can’t help but wonder what the rebuild would look like if Tatis was along for the ride. He’s the one who got away.