White Sox

Scott Boras believes White Sox can 'step into a competitive mode'

Scott Boras believes White Sox can 'step into a competitive mode'

It wouldn’t be a surprise if the Winter Meetings were Scott Boras’ favorite time of the year.

The super agent gets to be the main attraction for hoards of baseball reporters when he speaks. On Tuesday, Boras stood in front of a backdrop with his agency’s logo on it and faced dozens of reporters who were crammed in tighter than on a rush hour subway ride.

Naturally, he fielded many questions about prized free agents Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon. He was also asked about the White Sox, who have been connected to Boras clients Hyun-Jin Ryu and Dallas Keuchel.

“I think the Sox have provided a format that a lot of their young players have arrived, a lot of their young pitchers have arrived,” Boras said. “It’s very reasonable to understand that they’ve got a talent base that now allows them with the additions of some free agents where they can certainly step into a competitive mode.”


Whenever Boras says something it is always with his clients’ interests in mind. Boras talking up the White Sox, with the caveat of them adding free agents, is to his and his clients’ benefits. Boras wants every team to feel like they are one player, preferably one of his players, away from making a significant jump.

So, of course Boras said the White Sox can step into a competitive mode. That doesn’t mean he’s wrong to say that. Much of the team’s young talent took major strides in 2019 and more should arrive in 2020. Throw in free-agent signing Yasmani Grandal and the White Sox do appear close to being a contending team.

In Ryu and Keuchel, Boras holds the keys to two players who could help the White Sox become a contender. Let’s see if he and the White Sox can put his words to the test.

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What will Steve Cishek's role be with White Sox? 'Get three outs, any inning'

What will Steve Cishek's role be with White Sox? 'Get three outs, any inning'

It's safe to say the White Sox wanted to add Steve Cishek to their bullpen.

"According to my agent, within five minutes after the World Series, the White Sox called and expressed some interest," Cishek said Wednesday. "So when you get a call that soon, you know the team is up to something. Then of course with what they did this offseason, it made signing here very intriguing."

So what will Cishek's role be at the back end of that bullpen? For the newest member of the South Side relief corps, it's really not that difficult.

"I would assume it would be the same as it was with the Cubs," he said. "Get three outs, any inning."

Cishek is aboard to bolster that back end, one that heads into 2020 with some concrete names but some mystery, as well. Alex Colome will be the team's closer after racking up 126 saves over the past four seasons, and Aaron Bummer figures to be a frequent presence in the eighth inning of games after posting a 2.13 ERA last season.

Cishek was extraordinarily reliable for Joe Maddon and the Cubs in his two seasons on the North Side, with a 2.55 ERA in a whopping 150 appearances, many of them coming in high-leverage situations.

While Evan Marshall and Jimmy Cordero will start the season as options for Rick Renteria in high-leverage situations, too, that pair doesn't have quite the track record of Cishek. With Rick Hahn quick to remind about the volatility of relief pitching from one year to the next, adding a dependable arm in Cishek is an important complement to what the White Sox already had in the 'pen.

"I am fortunate enough now that we have guys that have all been at the back end of a ballgame and have had success in that particular role," Renteria said Wednesday. "I've got flexibility now and strength and hopefully having guys being able to take advantage of high-leverage situations. I use a guy two, three, four days (in a row), it's nice to have another guy I can probably slot in there to be able to do things like that. I have a little bit more flexibility right now."

Cishek's contributions on the pitcher's mound will obviously be of great import, but like every other veteran addition the White Sox have made this winter, he's also expected to do plenty in the clubhouse. While the Cubs teams he was a part of played in just one postseason game the past two seasons, he's no stranger to dealing with big expectations. The White Sox have those now after years of rebuilding, and Cishek should be able to help guide the players new to such an environment.

"With expectations, as long as we stay together as a team we can accomplish a lot," Cishek said. "A lot of the guys we've brought in have been through the fire. As a matter of fact, most of the guys have played in the playoffs the last four or five seasons even. So they have the playoff experience. They know what it takes to win and get to that level, and I think that's going to bode well for these young guys to see how they work, how us older veteran guys get after it and hopefully follow suit.

"I think we can teach these guys how to win."

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White Sox Talk Podcast: The person making the boldest White Sox predictions

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: The person making the boldest White Sox predictions

Chuck Garfien is joined by the man who predicted a White Sox division title for the 2020 season before the Sox made any moves, Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com. Castrovince also discusses his other bold White Sox predictions and why he's making them.

(2:48) - Why Castrovince selected the Sox to win the AL central

(7:03) - Why Castrovine selected Rick Renteria as AL Manager of the Year

(9:56) - Yoan Moncada will challenge Mike Trout for AL MVP

(12:43) - Will Luis Robert win Rookie of the Year

(13:54) - Why the Padres missed and the White Sox won last winter on Manny Machado

(18:57) - Was the Astro punishment enough?

(23:30) - For the love of Bruce Springsteen

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