White Sox

Sonny Gray is available: Could he be a one-year stopgap for the White Sox?

1012_sonny_gray.jpg
USA TODAY

Sonny Gray is available: Could he be a one-year stopgap for the White Sox?

The White Sox have a hole or two to plug in their starting rotation. Could Sonny Gray be an answer?

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Friday that he's looking to trade Gray away from the Bronx this winter.

Gray isn't as attractive an add as he was a few years back, when he was coming off a sensational 2015 campaign that saw him post a 2.73 ERA and log 208 innings. He went to the All-Star Game and finished third in the AL Cy Young vote that year.

Since, he's been less successful. He made just 22 starts with the Oakland Athletics in 2016 and had a 5.69 ERA. The following season, he started with a strong 3.43 ERA in 16 starts for the A's before the midseason trade that sent him to the Yankees, where he made 11 starts with a 3.72 ERA. This season didn't go too well, earning Gray a move to the bullpen. He finished with a 4.90 ERA in 30 games, only 23 of those being starts. He threw just 29.1 innings over his final 10 appearances of the season, three of which were starts. He had a 5.26 ERA with 50 walks in 113 innings as a starter in 2018.

Those numbers won't leap off the page (in a positive way) for anyone, but there's no doubt that a potential deal for Gray would be a low-risk move for the White Sox. For a team looking to add 40 percent of a starting rotation, being able to do so cheaply — be it from a dollar or prospect standpoint — would be a good thing, especially if the strategy ends up being to simply add one-year fill-ins while Michael Kopech recovers from Tommy John surgery and Dylan Cease makes his way to the major leagues.

However, Gray's 57-walk total from the 2018 season could be something the White Sox would want to stay away from. After all, White Sox pitchers led the AL with 653 walks this season. They also had five of the top 21 walk-issuing pitchers in the Junior Circuit: Lucas Giolito led the league with 90, James Shields was third with 78, Reynaldo Lopez was fifth with 75, Hector Santiago was 15th with 60, and Carlos Rodon was 21st with 55. Gray slotted in right ahead of Rodon.

But Gray has obviously produced results in the past, and whether the White Sox are looking to simply plug the holes in the 2019 staff or potentially find a sign-and-flip candidate for the 2019 trade deadline — he's slated to hit free agency after the 2019 season — Gray could fit that bill. One thing's for sure: He's available.

Did the Yankees just copy the White Sox in their quest to sign Manny Machado?

Did the Yankees just copy the White Sox in their quest to sign Manny Machado?

"It's a copycat league," you'll often hear. And now the White Sox are getting copied. Kind of.

The White Sox raised a few eyebrows last weekend with their surprising trade for Yonder Alonso. Alonso, acquired from the Cleveland Indians, brings a ton of positives to the 2019 and 2020 White Sox. Their lineup needed a boost, and he gives it one. Their clubhouse needed some more veteran leadership, and he brings that. He allows Jose Abreu to take better care of his body and could have long-term benefit as a positive influence on young players.

But everyone looked past all that and noticed that he also happens to be Manny Machado's brother-in-law.

Machado is one of the two free-agent superstars the White Sox are pursuing, along with Bryce Harper, and the popular opinion on social media was that the South Siders brought in Alonso to help with their pitch to Machado. Heck, they announced the trade just two days before Monday's meeting with Machado.

Rick Hahn shot down all that, saying this was a baseball move, and the benefits of Alonso's arrival, independent of his relationship with Machado, are listed above.

But now the New York Yankees, just two days before their meeting with Machado, have gone and done something similar, hiring Carlos Beltran as a special advisor to general manager Brian Cashman. Why is it similar to the White Sox acquisition of Alonso? Machado's agent used to represent Beltran.

If it's not coming through, this all a bit joking, of course. Hahn had a laundry list of reasons the White Sox traded for Alonso, and Beltran has his own appeal to any team after his lengthy big league career and his recent role as a veteran leader with the Houston Astros during their championship season.

But the coincidences — or conspiracies, if you will — are a little fun to point out.

Alonso and Beltran are assets to their respective teams. But if they can help sway Machado, well that will go down as a nice added benefit.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.

Top White Sox stories of 2018: Adam Engel's week of home-run robberies

Top White Sox stories of 2018: Adam Engel's week of home-run robberies

As the new year approaches, we're counting down the top White Sox stories from 2018.

Somewhat quietly, Adam Engel was a Gold Glove finalist in center field this fall.

But he had one week in August that was anything but quiet, and that week alone might have put him in the running for the annual fielding award.

In the span of seven days, Engel made a trio of jaw-dropping home-run robberies against the New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians.

First, on Aug. 6, he stole one away from Yankees hitter Greg Bird.

He followed that up the very next night, with this robbery of a home run off the bat of Kyle Higashioka. This theft came right near the "The Catch" sign in center field and brought to memory Dewayne Wise, who made, under the circumstances, the best catch that Hawk Harrelson had ever seen.

White Sox pitcher Reynaldo Lopez really appreciated that one.

"I just wanted to take off my glove," he said through a team translator that day, "and go out there and kiss him."

And if that wasn't enough, Engel stole the show (literally) in the Sunday afternoon game Aug. 12, this thievery of Indians slugger Yonder Alonso — now one of Engel's White Sox teammates — the best of the bunch.

While Engel's offensive production has been slow to come along, his defensive ability has never been questioned, and spectacular plays like this show how valuable his glove can be to the White Sox moving forward.

"That’s something I take a lot of pride in, show up every day and trying to help the team win in any way that I can," Engel said that Sunday. "Defensively, it’s something I know I can count on. Just make sure to try to work on that every day. Make sure I stay sharp, and offensively hopefully I can get it going."

A season's worth of high-quality defense got him the title of Gold Glove finalist, but this week in August surely brought his skill to the attention of the baseball world.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.