White Sox

Charlie Tilson outrighted as White Sox begin to reshape 40-man roster

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USA TODAY

Charlie Tilson outrighted as White Sox begin to reshape 40-man roster

The baseball minutiae that is the 40-man roster might not be of the gravest importance to every fan. But it's going to have a decently sized impact on the White Sox this winter.

In order to protect players from the Rule 5 draft — in which organizations can snap up unprotected players off other teams' rosters — those eligible need to hold a spot on the 40-man roster. And a bunch of notable White Sox prospects will be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 draft this December, meaning the team will have to clear enough room on the 40-man to protect them or risk losing them to other teams.

Those notable prospects? Dane Dunning, Blake Rutherford, Jimmy Lambert, Bernardo Flores, Zack Burdi and suddenly much-discussed catcher Yermin Mercedes. That's as many as six spots the White Sox will need to free up to protect those guys. Also of note, players currently on the 60-day injured list (cough, cough, Michael Kopech, cough, cough — not to mention Ryan Burr and Carlos Rodon, also recovering from Tommy John surgery) have to be activated and take up a spot on the 40-man during the offseason.

Got all that?

In other words, expect a lot more moves like the one that happened Thursday, when the White Sox outrighted outfielder Charlie Tilson, who can either stay in the White Sox minor league system or become a free agent. That brought the 40-man roster to 39, but there's a long way to go before the White Sox can cram everyone they need to cram onto the thing.

Unfortunately for Tilson, his most noteworthy moment of the 2019 season came when Eloy Jimenez crashed into him in the outfield in Kansas City, sending the key piece of the White Sox long-term future to the injured list with an ulnar nerve contusion. That wasn't Tilson's fault, of course, but he was sent to Triple-A after that game and did not return to the majors, not even as a September call up.

Tilson, a Wilmette native, slashed .229/.293/.285 in 54 games, part of the White Sox roulette of outfielders who tried and failed to produce in 2019. Jimenez and Leury Garcia were mainstays, but Tilson, Adam Engel, Jon Jay, Daniel Palka and Ryan Cordell couldn't do much offensively with the opportunities they were given, the big reason finding a right fielder is on Rick Hahn's offseason to-do list.

As for what all this has to do with the the Rule 5 draft, it's the first of an expected series of moves to free up enough spots on the 40-man roster to protect all those prospects newly eligible. Regular offseason departures will likely free up many more. Ivan Nova, Jon Jay, Hector Santiago and Ross Detwiler are heading to regularly scheduled free agency, it would be quite surprising if the White Sox picked up Welington Castillo's 2020 option, and Ryan Goins and Yolmer Sanchez are non-tender candidates, even if their fates haven't been decided just yet.

But there are many more decisions to be made with players the White Sox still have under team control, guys whose promise might have dimmed in 2019 but who still could reach high ceilings, guys who could provide much-needed depth on a potentially contending roster in 2020. The White Sox made their decision with Tilson this week. Expect some more to follow.

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Tim Anderson wants South Side to 'stay prepared' for return of White Sox baseball

Tim Anderson wants South Side to 'stay prepared' for return of White Sox baseball

Baseball will be back at some point.

And when it returns, Tim Anderson wants the South Side to be ready.

“Stay prepared,” the White Sox shortstop said during a Friday conference call. “When the time comes we’re going to need the same energy. And I know they’re going to be hungry to cheer us on. We’re going to be hungry to play. We need both energies to match when we step between the lines.

“I know they’re excited, we’re excited too. It’s going to be great when we do start back up, the fans are going to be really excited and the energy is going to be crazy. I can’t wait to see what happens.”

Fans across the country are waiting for their favorite teams to return to action as Major League Baseball joins the rest of the world in pausing in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. White Sox fans are perhaps a bit more impatient than others as they continue to wait for the start of the most anticipated season of South Side baseball in years. This was supposed to be the White Sox emergence from years of losing, a vault from rebuilding mode into contending mode.

Instead, the moment requires even more patience from a fan base that’s already been waiting more than a decade to see their team return to the postseason.

The players are sitting through the same wait. As excited as fans are to see the White Sox turn a corner and play winning baseball, the team is just as excited, if not more. Manager Rick Renteria was talking playoff expectations as early as the end of the 89-loss 2019 campaign. Positive momentum and big expectations were the talk of spring training.

And now Anderson and his teammates, just like South Side fans, have to wait to do what they were so excited to begin.

Not that this delay to the start of the 2020 season has changed those expectations one bit.

“I think we stay positive,” Anderson said. “I think it's just more time to prepare, more time to think about it. And when it's time to get back rolling, that way we're ahead of people already and we know exactly what we need to do.

“It's going to happen regardless. Whatever's going to happen is going to happen anyway.”

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White Sox Talk Podcast: Remembering White Sox great Ed Farmer

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Remembering White Sox great Ed Farmer

On yesterday, White Sox nation lost a legend in the passing of broadcaster and former player Ed Farmer. Host Chuck Garfien and NBCS Chicago White Sox insider Adam Hoge discuss memories of Ed Farmer and react to comments made by Ed's broadcast partner Darrin Jackson, and former White Sox players Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski.

(2:00) - Ed Farmer was one of a kind

(7:09) - Darrin Jackson remembers his friend Ed Farmer

(11:50) - Ed Farmer bled White Sox

(17:40) - Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski discuss what Ed Farmer meant to them

(22:14) - The time Ed Farmer got into a brawl as a White Sox

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:

White Sox Talk Podcast

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