White Sox

White Sox linked to Mariners slugger Edwin Encarnacion, but where the heck would he play?

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USA TODAY

White Sox linked to Mariners slugger Edwin Encarnacion, but where the heck would he play?

The looming decisions of mega free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado might be the only thing on the minds of White Sox fans as the new year approaches, but there are other players out there — and other offseason rumors involving the South Siders.

The latest, however, is a bit of head-scratcher.

MLB Network's Jon Morosi mentioned the White Sox as one of the teams turning attention to a potential acquisition of Edwin Encarnacion. This after a player the White Sox were linked to earlier this offseason, Nelson Cruz, signed with the division-rival Minnesota Twins.

Encarnacion has launched no fewer than 32 and as many as 42 home runs in each of the last seven seasons. He terrorized the White Sox as a member of the Cleveland Indians in 2017 and 2018. But now he's a Seattle Mariner, and if you've been paying attention to the offseason they've been having in the Pacific Northwest, they want to trade just about everybody.

If you're a team looking for a stopgap at designated hitter for the next one or two seasons, then you could do a lot worse than Encarnacion, who has an option for 2020. But the White Sox aren't that kind of team.

First off, bringing in a soon-to-be 36-year-old designated hitter doesn't exactly mesh with the rebuilding team's long-term plans. But perhaps more importantly, they don't have anywhere for him to play as the roster is currently constructed. The trade with the aforementioned Indians for Yonder Alonso created a two-man, tag-team situation at first base and designated hitter with Jose Abreu. Those two are expected to fill those two spots, in one combination or the other, in most games during the 2019 season. Adding a third wheel to that mix makes no sense, especially considering none of those guys can play any other positions, unless a move sending Alonso or Abreu out of town would accompany a trade for Encarnacion.

And there's another bit of info that makes this a tough one to understand from a White Sox perspective. While Rick Hahn has already made a trio of trades this winter — with the Indians for Alonso, with the Mariners for Alex Colome and with the Pittsburgh Pirates for Ivan Nova — dealing away prospects to a rebuilding team like the Mariners in exchange for a player who's about to turn 36 doesn't make a lick of sense with where the White Sox are in their own rebuilding project. The players dealt away in the Alonso, Colome and Nova deals weren't expected to be big parts of the future, with major league catcher Omar Narvaez the biggest name sent out of town. But someone like Encarnacion could cost a little more as the Mariners look to further stockpile their farm system.

The same confusion seemed to arise from the reported interest in Cruz, though at least he was a free agent, where the only cost would be in dollars.

Morosi also mentioned Jose Martinez of the St. Louis Cardinals as an option for teams looking for a DH, as he just got squeezed out of first base by the Redbirds' acquisition of Paul Goldschmidt. Martinez would make far more sense than Encarnacion, only 28 and not a free agent until 2023. But the same questions apply in that the White Sox would need to spend prospect capital to acquire him and that they have no place for him to play. That being said, in 270 career games with the Cardinals, he's batting .309 with a .372 on-base percentage. His power numbers, however, leave a little to be desired, with just 31 career home runs, a smaller career total than any single-season total Encarnacion has posted since 2011.

The White Sox have already added a designated hitter to the mix this winter in Alonso, and when you throw in Daniel Palka, who hit 27 homers as a rookie last season, that makes a crowded group of DHs on the South Side. And so adding another doesn't seem to be very logical. But the Hot Stove rumor mill doesn't stop this time of year.

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Paul Konerko misses out on 2020 Hall of Fame, falls off ballot after receiving 2.5% of vote

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USA Today

Paul Konerko misses out on 2020 Hall of Fame, falls off ballot after receiving 2.5% of vote

Former White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko will not be elected to the baseball Hall of Fame in 2020. Konerko received 2.5% of the vote, less than the 5% needed to remain on the ballot.

Konerko came to Chicago in 1998 and played his first season with the Sox in 1999, hitting .294 with 24 home runs and 81 RBIs. The following season, the White Sox made the playoffs for the first time since 1993. Konerko was with the team during their triumphant 2005 World Series win, hitting the first grand slam in White Sox World Series history and giving the Sox the lead 6-4 in Game 2 against the Astros.

Confused and frustrated? You’re not alone. Here's how the multi-step voting process works. Players become eligible to enter the Hall of Fame ballot five years after they’ve retired, if they’ve played a minimum of 10 seasons. From there, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America screening committee votes to determine which players make the ballot. Each voter can vote for 10 players. Players need to achieve at least 5% of the vote to be included on the next year’s ballot. If a player makes the ballot, they then need to achieve 75% of all ballots cast to be officially inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Regardless of the voting, Konerko will always be a White Sox legend.

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO TO DELIVER EXTENSIVE, LIVE, MULTI-PLATFORM “SOXFEST 2020” COVERAGE BEGINNING THIS THURSDAY, JANUARY 23

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USA Today

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO TO DELIVER EXTENSIVE, LIVE, MULTI-PLATFORM “SOXFEST 2020” COVERAGE BEGINNING THIS THURSDAY, JANUARY 23

Chicago, IL (January 21, 2020) – NBC Sports Chicago - THE NEW EXCLUSIVE HOME of the CHICAGO WHITE SOX - is ready to start up the highly-anticipated 2020 MLB season in a big way with expanded multi-platform coverage of “SoxFest 2020,” which will be held this weekend (January 24-25) at the McCormick Place Convention Center in downtown Chicago.  NBC Sports Chicago will be rolling out its most robust “SoxFest” coverage to date featuring multiple, live on-site shows, massive digital content, entertaining social media offerings, “Authentic Fan” booth giveaways/special appearances, and so much more.  Please note NBC Sports Chicago’s “SoxFest 2020” content coverage details below:

 

THURSDAY, JANUARY 23 --

  • 6:00 PM CT – “SportsTalk Live” special edition from SoxFest - Prior to the official start of “SoxFest 2020,” fans can look forward to a special edition of SportsTalk Live presented by The Chevy Silverado live from McCormick Place.  Host David Kaplan (@thekapman) will be joined by special guests, White Sox manager Ricky Renteria and NBC Sports Chicago White Sox game analyst Steve Stone (@stevestone), along with a panel of White Sox experts to discuss the upcoming weekend’s festivities and preview what lies ahead for the White Sox in 2020. (NOTES: This program will also stream live on NBCSportsChicago.com/WatchLive)

 

FRIDAY, JANUARY 24 --

  • 3:00 PM CT – “SoxFest 2020” Opening Ceremonies - Veteran NBC Sports Chicago White Sox expert/multi-platform host Chuck Garfien (@ChuckGarfien) will host network’s always-entertaining “SoxFest” Opening Ceremonies coverage “Live from the Black Carpet” featuring the official weekend kick-off introductions (and interviews) with White Sox players, coaches, front offices execs, broadcasters and legendary White Sox alumni.  NBC Sports Chicago’s “SoxFest 2020” Opening Ceremonies coverage will also be co-hosted by White Sox Pre/Postgame Live & Baseball Night in Chicago host Leila Rahimi (@leilarahimi) and NBC Sports Chicago multi-platform White Sox reporter Vinnie Duber (@VinnieDuber) who will provide additional commentary and conduct interviews throughout the ceremonies. (NOTES: This program will also stream live on NBCSportsChicago.com/WatchLive and via the “MyTeams by NBC Sports” app; fans located anywhere in the U.S. can download MyTeams for free on iOS and Android devices in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store…in addition, the Opening Ceremonies will re-air at 6:30 PM on NBC Sports Chicago+)

 

  • 6:00 PM CT – “SportsTalk Live” special edition from SoxFest - NBC Sports Chicago’s live, on-site coverage from “SoxFest 2020” continues with an additional remote edition of SportsTalk Live presented by The Chevy Silverado as host David Kaplan welcomes White Sox reliever Aaron Bummer and new acquisition/right fielder Nomar Mazara..  In addition, “Kap” will be joined by White Sox players and a panel of Sox experts to discuss all the off-season moves and acquisitions, the shaping of this season’s roster, including the starting line-up and pitching rotation, along with analysis on why 2020 may very well be the year the White Sox make their triumphant return to postseason action. (NOTE: This program will also stream live on NBCSportsChicago.com/WatchLive and via the “MyTeams by NBC Sports” app)

 

  • 7:00 PM CT – “SoxFest @ Night” (airing on NBC Sports Chicago+) - Fans are in for a special primetime treat Friday night as NBC Sports Chicago will deliver its exclusive presentation of SoxFest @ Night, a one-hour talk show hosted by Chuck Garfien and NBC Sports Chicago White Sox play-by-play announcer Jason Benetti (@jasonbenetti), which will take place LIVE in front of a die-hard White Sox fan convention audience on “SoxFest’s” primary stage.  Featured White Sox guests on SoxFest @ Night will include Rick Hahn (SVP/GM), Rick Renteria (Manager), Tim Anderson (SS), Jose Abreu (1B), Yoan Moncada (3B), Luis Robert (CF), Dallas Keuchel (SP), Lucas Giolito (SP), Yasmani Grandal (C) and Eloy Jimenez (LF).  (NOTE: This program will also stream live on NBCSportsChicago.com/WatchLive and via the “MyTeams by NBC Sports” app)

 

THROUGHOUT THE WEEKEND…

 

NBCSportsChicago.com, “MyTeams by NBC Sports” app and Social Media

  • Fans can look forward to even more comprehensive “SoxFest 2020” coverage all weekend long on NBCSportsChicago.com (NBCSportsChicago.com/WhiteSox) and the MyTeams by NBC Sports app featuring additional players/coaches/front office executive interviews, feature stories, fan reaction, photos, videos and much more provided by Garfien, Rahimi, Duber, along the NBC Sports Chicago team of behind-the-scenes White Sox experts (@NBCSWhiteSox). 

 

  • From a social media standpoint, NBC Sports Chicago will also deliver a number of additional on-site Facebook Live (Facebook.com/NBCSChicago) interviews and special segments throughout the weekend, along with numerous SoxFest “Sights & Sounds” highlights via ‘NBCSChicago’ on Instagram and Instagram Stories. 

 

“White Sox Talk” Podcasts

  • White Sox fans can look forward to brand new “White Sox Talk” Podcasts presented by Wintrust featuring the hottest SoxFest topics and special guest interviews. The “White Sox Talk” podcast is hosted by NBC Sports Chicago White Sox experts Chuck Garfien, Ryan McGuffey (@RyanMcGuffey), Chris Kamka (@ckamka) and Vinnie Duber.  Fans can download all of NBC Sports Chicago’s podcasts at NBCSportsChicago.com/podcasts and simply subscribe to them via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher.  The podcasts can be played on any mobile device, laptop, or desktop computer.
  • In addition, fans attending “SoxFest 2020” this weekend can also stop by the convention’s designated museum area on Saturday afternoon to watch a pair of “White Sox Talk” podcast tapings featuring Garfien, McGuffey and Duber interviewing starting pitchers Dylan Cease (12 NOON) and Michael Kopech (2:00 PM). 

 

“Authentic Fan” booth at SoxFest

  • NBC Sports Chicago’s “Authentic Fan” booth will feature a number of special White Sox-themed giveaways including “Authentic Fan” bobbleheads, mittens, baseball caps and much more (while supplies last).  Plus, fans can are urged to utilize the social media hashtag #AuthenticFan throughout the weekend as several lucky fans will be “authentically surprised” with special White Sox giveaways and experiences. NBC Sports Chicago’s dedicated White Sox Twitter handle (@NBCSWhiteSox) will also provide up-to-the-minute info on NBC Sports Chicago “Authentic Fan” booth activities, which will include specific timing details on White Sox player and broadcaster appearances throughout the weekend.