White Sox

Prospect-rich Dodgers have reported interest in Jose Abreu, but do White Sox want to deal?

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USA TODAY

Prospect-rich Dodgers have reported interest in Jose Abreu, but do White Sox want to deal?

Here’s a surprise from Wednesday night: The Los Angeles Dodgers have contacted the White Sox about Jose Abreu.

That’s per a report from NBC Los Angeles’ Michael J. Duarte.


Obviously, there’s no information about whether the White Sox are listening or not. But Abreu’s long-term future on the South Side has been a topic of conversation for some time, really ever since Rick Hahn’s front office started its rebuilding effort.

But should the White Sox decide that cashing in on the soon-to-be-31-year-old Abreu is better for the long-term future of the team than giving him a contract extension (or simply hanging onto him until the 2019 trade deadline), there are perhaps few more intriguing potential trade partners than the Dodgers.

They boast four prospects ranked in MLB Pipeline’s top 100: outfielder Alex Verdugo, catcher Keibert Ruiz, right-handed pitcher Dustin May and middle infielder Gavin Lux. And then there’s Walker Buehler, the 24-year-old right-handed starting pitcher who posted a 2.62 ERA in 24 games (23 of them starts) in 2018. He’s under team control for five more seasons, the type of long-term player that would line up perfectly with the White Sox bright future.

Abreu is beloved by the White Sox organization, a guy the brass frequently points to as an example for younger players to follow. Plus, he’s been an extraordinarily productive hitter since arriving from Cuba before the 2014 season, when he won the AL Rookie of the Year Award. He became the third player ever to start his career with four straight seasons with at least 25 home runs and 100 RBIs. But thanks to a prolonged midseason slump and a pair of freak injuries, Abreu failed to match those numbers in 2018 and ended up with his worst statistical season as a big leaguer — though he was still the AL’s starting first baseman in the All-Star Game and a Silver Slugger.

His advancing age, a down season (no matter how fluky) and just one more season remaining on his current contract might make Abreu a less-than-perfect long-term fit than he seemed at this time a year ago.

The White Sox still have plenty of flexibility to make a decision on Abreu. They can trade him this offseason, trade him at the deadline or give him a contract extension that keeps him around as the team transitions from rebuilding mode to contention mode.

But at least one team, one that potentially has a lot to offer in return, has interest. And given how productive Abreu’s been since coming to the U.S., it wouldn’t be surprising to learn that others do, too.

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White Sox Talk Podcast: Carlos Rodon says it's time to s**t or get off the pot

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Carlos Rodon says it's time to s**t or get off the pot

In a candid interview with Chuck Garfien, White Sox pitcher Carlos Rodon talks about the rebuild, his struggles last season, Manny Machado and more.

He explains his troubles from last September (04:04), if he thinks he deserves to be the White Sox Opening Day starter (07:34), why it's time for the White Sox to start winning (08:20), if the White Sox did everything they could to sign Manny Machado (10:32) and more.

Listen to the entire podcast here or in the embedded player below.

White Sox Talk Podcast

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Carlos Rodon is ready for White Sox to start winning: 'There's a point in time where it's s**t or get off the pot'

Carlos Rodon is ready for White Sox to start winning: 'There's a point in time where it's s**t or get off the pot'

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Even though the White Sox failed in their attempt to sign Manny Machado, spring training goes on.

There’s a season to be played. Machado certainly would have helped in 2019, but as someone who was here before the rebuild began and hopes to play a big role with the White Sox when their contending window opens, Carlos Rodon says it’s time.

It’s time for the White Sox to start winning.

“There’s a point in time where it’s s**t or get off the pot, man. I mean, there’s a point where you’ve got to make a turn,” Rodon said in an interview on the White Sox Talk Podcast. “I’ve been on teams like this before, not in the big leagues, but during my younger baseball career, where they’re OK or weren’t good at all, and there’s a point where the team turned and we became great or just winners. We just came together and it just happened. It’s got to happen soon. We’ve got to start picking up some ground. This is about winning, and I get the whole ‘there’s a process to winning,' and I agree a hundred percent with Rick (Hahn), but it’s time.”

Rodon isn’t promising an AL Central crown in 2019, but if White Sox fans are starting to feel a little itchy after 195 losses in the first two seasons of the rebuild, you’re not alone. Rodon feels your impatience.

The impressive prospects that Hahn and the front office have signed or acquired are starting to find their way to the majors, but is there enough talent in the clubhouse right now to answer Rodon’s hope of turning the corner in 2019?

“These guys are here for a reason, so I believe in every guy beside me in this locker room. I think we have the ability. I’ve always liked being the underdog. I’ve always liked being the guy that has something to prove. It just gives you a little fire,” Rodon said.

For the White Sox to take that next step, several players must start reaching their potential. Rodon includes himself in this category.

Coming back from shoulder surgery last season, Rodon returned in mid-summer and showed flashes of that ace the White Sox envisioned he’d become when they picked him third overall in the 2014 draft.

He combined to go 5-0 with a 1.84 ERA in July and August. What happened in September?

“For a lack of a better term, I s**t my pants. It seems like it always happens. Right in the middle of August and July, I get on a good run and then I s**t my pants,” said Rodon, who went 0-5 with a 9.22 ERA in the final month of the season.

What went wrong?

“I don’t know. I try to do too much. I have stuff that I don’t have to throw that 96 (mph) up there all the time. Just kind of let it work. Something I was working on today just kind of smoothing it out. I try to do more than I should when what I have is already good enough,” said Rodon, who turned 26 in December. “It’s just being young, I guess you could say. Still learning how to pitch.”

Entering his fifth season in the majors and holding the most seniority in the White Sox starting rotation, Rodon could be in line to start for the White Sox on Opening Day. But ask him if he thinks he’ll get the ball when they begin the season March 28 in Kansas City, he gives a very honest answer.

“It would mean a lot, but I feel like I haven’t really deserved it. I haven’t really earned it,” Rodon explained. “But if I am the Opening Day starter, I’ll take it with pride and go out there and compete. I’m not going to lie to you, I don’t feel like I’ve truly earned a top-of-the-rotation kind of guy, but that’s because we have a young rotation and I guess you could say (I have) most of the experience except for Ivan (Nova).”

While many White Sox fans would have loved to have seen Machado in a White Sox uniform on Opening Day, Rodon doesn’t fault the front office in their attempt to sign the All-Star free agent.

“Guys that make it to free agency have been in the big leagues for six years and they’ve earned the right to decide where they want to go. Now granted, I commend Rick, Jerry (Reinsdorf) and Kenny (Williams) and all of the guys in the front office that put in all of the hard work to try to make a run at Machado. They should be able to go home at night and sleep well because they did everything they could. It’s not up to us. The player still has a decision. He has a decision to make and he decided to go a different route and we did everything we could, so there’s nothing you can do about it. Something you move on from and the season continues,” Rodon said.

Do you believe the White Sox did everything they could to get Machado?

“I believe we did. I think we did, so they say. And I’m going to go with that. I trust what they say.”

And trust Rodon when he says it’s time for the White Sox to turn things around. There’s a clubhouse filled with players who feel the same way.

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