White Sox

Is Tim Anderson happy the Manny Machado saga is over? 'F**k yeah'

Is Tim Anderson happy the Manny Machado saga is over? 'F**k yeah'

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Manny Machado is about to be a San Diego Padre. The White Sox are looking likely to start the 2019 season without a monster free-agent addition. And fans are not at all happy.

So what do the guys in the clubhouse have to say? Are they glad this whole thing has come to an end?

“F**k yeah,” Tim Anderson said Wednesday. “S**t, maybe y’all can stop asking me now.”

For months, these guys have been peppered with questions about Machado and the team’s ongoing pursuit of one of the two big names on this year’s free-agent market. They’ve answered them as you’d expect: Machado, his immense talent and his All-Star production would be welcome, but if he goes elsewhere, that’s fine, too.

If you’ve been on Twitter since Tuesday’s news broke, you know that’s hardly the same opinion as the White Sox faithful.

Anderson has been one of the more distinct voices in this whole thing, however, as it was potentially his job as the starting shortstop that might have been handed to Machado had the White Sox signed the 26-year-old superstar. He told Our Chuck Garfien at SoxFest that “shortstop is mine” and said that he’s worked too hard for fans to give his job away to someone else.

So it will come as little surprise that Anderson is happy to be done talking about Machado.

“I could (not) care less about (Bryce) Harper and Machado’s situation,” Anderson said. “I know where we’re headed. We have a great group of guys here.

“We’re going to be South Side regardless. Nobody’s decision determines what we’ve got going on in this locker room. I feel we have a great group of guys here. We’re going to do something special. The White Sox are moving in the right direction. One decision won’t dictate our season.

“We’re going to keep rolling. Either ride with us or get run over. We know who’s on the boat with us and which way we want to sail.”

Yonder Alonso had a less fiery approach than Anderson, not a surprise considering Machado’s his brother-in-law and he’s happy for him.

But one of the newest White Sox echoed Anderson’s comments when it came to talking about the guys currently in the room, currently on this roster, and spoke about the big expectations that have been the theme of the early weeks of spring training.

“Inside this room, the 60-plus players, plus the coaching staff, the front office, it’s always been about the guys in here,” Alonso said. “It’s been about going out there and getting better every single day and taking care of one another. I think the media, at times, can maybe pull out a different take on things, but I know for us inside this room, we’re all one and we’re all together.

“You say (the talent is) coming, but I think it’s here. At some point here, enough is enough. We feel like right now is the time, and we feel like not only is it the time right now but it’s the time going forward in the stage where we’re at. I think we’re hitting that peak where you’re going to see a lot of guys here for a lot of years doing great things.”

The ability to focus on baseball, focus on the upcoming season, now that the unfinished business is, for better or worse, finished would seem to be a benefit to this group of players. As general manager Rick Hahn has said all along, no one player is going to define the rebuilding process. And so these players, a part of this process for varying amounts of time into the future, are ready to continue on the track they’ve been on this whole time.

And they’re probably happy to be done with these questions, right, Yonder?

“What do you think?” he said with a laugh.

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Eloy Jimenez celebrates new contract with monster day in spring training

Eloy Jimenez celebrates new contract with monster day in spring training

The ink on Eloy Jimenez's contract is still drying, but the outfielder already celebrated with a big game in spring training.

Jimenez and Rick Hahn spoke at a press conference mere hours before Saturday's Cactus League game against the Dodgers took place. Then Jimenez did his thing with the bat in the game.

The 22-year-old opened with a walk then followed with a pair of singles later in the game. He saved his best for last with a home run in the eighth inning.

Jimenez had not been having a good spring training and was even sent down to minor league camp nearly two weeks ago. Saturday's action was his first game in big league camp since March 11.

Before Saturday he was hitting .154/.154/.346 in nine games. The 3-for-3 game moved Jimenez's spring numbers to a much more respectable .241/.267/.517. His walk on Saturday was his first in the Cactus League. He now has two home runs.

During Saturday's press conference, Hahn went out of his way to say they are not making any announcements about the Opening Day roster yet. It is still assumed the Jimenez will start with the White Sox, but Hahn said they would like to have face-to-face conversations with the other players involved when it comes to the 25-man roster decisions.

With that said, Jimenez did bat sixth on Saturday. That could be a glimpse of where he will bat on Opening Day with Yoan Moncada (who continued his hot spring with two doubles and a home run on Saturday), Tim Anderson, Jose Abreu, Yonder Alonso and Welington Castillo batting ahead of Jimenez in the lineup.

Plenty of eyes with remain on Jimenez for the rest of spring and in 2019. He delivered in his first game since signing his new contract.


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Nicky Delmonico sent to Triple-A, but do White Sox need to cut another outfielder to clear room for Eloy Jimenez?


Nicky Delmonico sent to Triple-A, but do White Sox need to cut another outfielder to clear room for Eloy Jimenez?

The White Sox made a notable outfield cut Saturday, sending Nicky Delmonico to Triple-A Charlotte not long after Eloy Jimenez signed his new six-year deal.

Rick Hahn wouldn't 100-percent confirm during the press conference whether or not Jimenez would be on the team's Opening Day roster, but the new deal eliminates the service-time conversation surrounding Jimenez and allows him to make his major league debut when the regular season starts next week in Kansas City.

If Jimenez is going to end up on the Opening Day roster, the White Sox will need to make room for him. That could mean cutting another outfielder in addition to Delmonico, but not necessarily. More on that in a bit.

Delmonico might have had a tough time making the Opening Day roster even if Jimenez would've started the season in the minor leagues. The White Sox outfield is a crowded one after the offseason addition of veteran Jon Jay. The presence of Adam Engel, Daniel Palka and the versatile Leury Garcia made it difficult to envision a place for Delmonico, who had a disappointing, injury-filled season in 2018 after showing promise at the end of the 2017 campaign.

It seems as if, eventually, the White Sox could have to move another one of those aforementioned outfielders to make room for Jimenez, who figures to be the team's everyday left fielder in 2019. But that decision could be delayed until mid April thanks to a bunch of built-in off days at the start of the regular-season schedule.

Both Hahn and manager Rick Renteria have discussed the possibility of the White Sox using only four starting pitchers at the outset of the season. Thanks to those off days, those four starters can all pitch on regular rest until as late as April 17. So, theoretically, Ervin Santana, who figures to wind up as the team's fifth starter, wouldn't be needed on the major league roster until that finale of a home series against the Kansas City Royals in mid April. That's one less pitcher that needs to be on the roster and one more position player that can be on the roster.

The versatility of Garcia, who has torn the cover off the ball this spring, and infielder Jose Rondon, who has added a little bit of outfield to his repertoire this spring (and is out of options), means they're likely not going anywhere. But instead of having to potentially dispatch of fan favorite Palka before the season even begins, there are potentially two spots available for three players, those two and Engel. Palka brings power, while Engel brings defense. Both have their weaknesses, too, Palka seeming best suited for a DH role that has been given to the combination of Jose Abreu and Yonder Alonso, and Engel the owner of a career .207/.260/.314 slash line.

It's important to note in all of this, too, that Renteria has said that Jay might not be an everyday player. Jay's versatility in the outfield also means he might be playing at one set position all season. So for those arguing that the White Sox could have an everyday outfield of Jimenez, Jay and Palka for the next six months, it might not be so simple. And if Jimenez and Palka are in the corners, that makes Engel's glove all the more valuable.

Jimenez returned to the White Sox lineup for Saturday's Cactus League game, perhaps another sign that he could return to the major league roster after being optioned to Charlotte prior to the announcement of the new contract.

Whether his making the roster would force off another outfielder remains to be seen.

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