Chicago White Sox: trades

White Sox get started on latest changes

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
10:41
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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Chris BassittAP Photo/Matt MartonChris Bassitt gave up five runs on seven hits in his first major league start.

CHICAGO – A sluggish August for the Chicago White Sox has been a reminder that more roster tweaks are needed, even with activity already underway.

Saturday’s 8-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers in Game 2 of a day/night doubleheader was mostly significant for the White Sox because of who wasn’t available. Alejandro De Aza was held out of the starting lineup with a trade in the works and before the fifth inning was complete, he was a member of the Baltimore Orioles.

The De Aza deal, combined with one that sent Gordon Beckham to the Los Angeles Angels on Aug. 21, was not unlike rearranging the living room to create space for a potential new piece of furniture.

The second-base spot is first being handed to Carlos Sanchez, and perhaps Marcus Semien as well, over the final month. Micah Johnson will then have a say in second-base matters next spring.

As far as left field, it remains to be seen who the White Sox plant there first, but Jordan Danks and Jared Mitchell could see time as potential September call-ups. Perhaps Semien plays in left, too. The White Sox can then decide if they like what they see in one of those options, elect to stay with Dayan Viciedo or go another route.

“There's opportunity there,” Hahn said about the left-field job. “There's opportunity for someone to step up and seize that job, and if not, it's something we'll be looking to explore filling in the offseason.”

By moving Beckham and De Aza before the season was complete, the White Sox also save short of $1 million on each, but combined that isn’t an insignificant amount of money. It makes even more financial sense when considering both were probably going to be cut loose as arbitration-eligible players who might not have been tendered contracts.

Both Beckham and De Aza were headed toward raises over the $4 million-plus each was making. Going off what those salaries are this season, the White Sox have another $8.4 million to work with. Then consider Adam Dunn's $15 million, Matt Lindstrom's $4 million and Paul Konerko's $2.5 million all come off the books for 2015. Ronald Belisario ($3 million) could be a non-tender candidate.

Money to spend is for the offseason, though. This next week is about young players getting their chance to audition for a roster that will have even more reinforcements soon.

“You are going to have some guys up here for those are positions that now have opportunities,” manager Robin Ventura said. “You are going to see some guys in there that are different than what we’ve had for the last couple of years. They are going to get a chance.”

Another player whose audition began Saturday night was right-hander Chris Bassitt, who gave up five runs on seven hits with four walks in 6⅓ innings. Bassitt will remain with the team through the rest of the season and could even get some starts over the final month.

“For a first time up here, I’m sure he’s real nervous, but besides the couple of innings there, he settled down and really kind of gathered it back together,” Ventura said. “It was nice to see -- he had a real live arm. For his first time, it’s intriguing. It’s one of those where you like what you see. He’s pretty young, so he’ll be up here in September, and we’ll see what we do.”

Bassitt not only got his first chance to pitch in the major leagues, but he also saw a major league teammate get traded for the first time, and it wasn’t lost on him that changes are happening, with multiple opportunities available.

“Yeah, I mean definitely,” Bassitt said. “You look at it as pretty much 'go out there and prove your worth from here on out' and just pretty much just try to go out there and compete as much as you can, just to show them that, ‘Hey, I can compete at this level.’ Not only that but, you deserve to be here. You have a little space for them to go and say: ‘Hey, this guy can make us win in the future.’”

Playoff rosters for contenders aren’t due to the league office until Sunday, so the White Sox still have time to make deals. Dunn could even get moved to a contender that needs some left-handed power.

“The deadline's 11 [p.m. CT Sunday], so we're going to have to keep working and exploring some opportunities,” Hahn said.

Another season of change has arrived in earnest.

White Sox stand pat as deadline passes

July, 31, 2014
Jul 31
6:10
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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DETROIT – A Chicago White Sox team still in the midst of a roster rebuild was unable to take advantage of trade deadline player movement Thursday.

Gordon Beckham, Dayan Viciedo and John Danks were all trade possibilities, but no deals went down. The asking price on Alexei Ramirez was said to be too high for suitors, while Adam Dunn remains a possibility to be moved during the trade waivers period in August.

“If there was something there we would have done something,” manager Robin Ventura said. “We know people are making moves all over the place, but like (what was) said earlier, we probably expected to have these guys in here today and tomorrow, and that’s what we’ve got.”

At this point last year, the White Sox had already added Avisail Garcia, doing it July 30 when Jake Peavy was sent to the Boston Red Sox. In August of last year, the White Sox pulled off a move that sent Alex Rios to the Rangers. That deal not only freed up some cash, but also brought back Leury Garcia in return.

In the offseason, center fielder and leadoff man Adam Eaton was brought into the mix via trade and Jose Abreu was signed. The White Sox also traded closer Addison Reed for third baseman Matt Davidson, but that move has yet to yield a return since Davidson remains at Triple-A Charlotte.

The White Sox still have areas of the roster that could use bolstering. Their bullpen has gone through some difficult times and the back end of the rotation has proved to be vulnerable. Moving forward, the White Sox still need to decide if Viciedo is the answer in left field and if Tyler Flowers is their guy at catcher.

None of those needs were met Thursday, but it didn’t mean the White Sox would not see the awkward trade process first-hand. In the seventh inning, with Beckham at the plate, the Tigers pulled center fielder Austin Jackson out of the game because he had been traded to the Seattle Mariners.

Tigers starter Drew Smyly already had been told that he was headed to the Tampa Bay Rays, with former Cy Young Award winner David Price headed to Detroit.

“It was odd,” Ventura said. “At first I thought the pitcher might have been hurt, but we’ve seen that before when deals were going down. I don’t know how many minutes it was before (the deadline). But when you see that happen, I’m sure it’s weird for them. It’s odd in the middle of the game even for their team to have that happen. You can tell it affects some guys.”

An inning after the trade, the White Sox added two runs to help wrap up a 7-4 victory.

Beckham, who acknowledged that the past few weeks have been awkward, looked comfortable when he doubled in a run in the second inning. But, otherwise, the White Sox have insisted that nobody was feeling any trade-deadline pressures.

“Truthfully, it wasn’t even a topic of conversation in here between anybody,” Danks said. “There’s nothing anybody can do about it. It’s part of the game, and, yeah, I don’t think that had any effect on any of us, to be honest.”

Now comes August, when players who go through trade waivers can be moved. The restrictive nature of the process tends to reduce the anxiousness.

“The deadline doesn’t mean you can’t get (a trade) done,” said Dunn, who could end up being an August target of a team in need of left-handed power. “If you are worried about that, you aren’t worried about what you are supposed to be worried about. I mean, personally, I don’t ever think about it. I know a lot of times a lot of guys read stuff they probably shouldn’t read and start believing it.”

While Thursday brought the official end to this deadline, indications are that White Sox players knew there might not be a deal as far back as a week and a half ago. It could help to explain the 5-2 record on their just-concluded road trip to Minnesota and Detroit, as well as their eight victories in 13 games since the All-Star break.

“They were pretty good today as far as being able to not really pay attention to it,” Ventura said of his team that pounded out 16 hits. “I think even this road trip, two weeks ago it was probably in their head a little bit, and this road trip was good.”

Now comes a six-game homestand against Minnesota and Texas and maybe a chance for some guys to cancel that pending order for moving boxes.

“It ended on a good note,” Ventura said of the road trip. “Guys swung the bat today, even early on putting pressure on. And you’ve got a guy like Moises (Sierra) swinging like he did. Any time the bottom of your order is swinging like that you have a chance to score some runs. I wouldn’t say (Danks) was particularly sharp, but we battled through it.”

Game to take minds off deadline

July, 31, 2014
Jul 31
12:15
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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DETROIT -- Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura had the lineup posted early outside the clubhouse doors and the names of all the usual suspects were written in black permanent marker.

There are no definitives when it comes to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, but as the White Sox sat a few hours before moves were supposed to be completed, a sense of calm permeated the locker room that earlier in the month had an edge to it.

[+] EnlargeJohn Danks
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY SportsWith the trade deadline looming, John Danks took the mound for the White Sox on Thursday.
At one point well in advance of Thursday’s afternoon game with the Detroit Tigers, when manager Robin Ventura entered the clubhouse his presence elicited a mock warning alarm from a table that consisted of Alejandro De Aza, Alexei Ramirez and Dayan Viciedo.

It got a grin out of Ventura, who was not there to tap a player on the shoulder and tell him to pack his bag. Discussion of the morning’s trade between the Oakland Athletics and the Boston Red Sox was airing nearby on a television.

“I can mess with you guys, but I expect these guys to all be here,” Ventura said. “The lineup is the lineup today, unless something happens. I’ll find out then.”

Ventura’s plan to “mess with” the media, and perhaps some players, was to take the lineup card down and rewrite a new one with some names missing.

“It looks like (A’s general manager) Billy Beane had his coffee on early this morning; he’s doing most of (the trade activity). You can mess with the guys if you want to, but I’ll let the players do that. They like doing that to each other.”

John Danks was mentioned in rumors this month, with the New York Yankees possibly interested, but he warned up and took the mound in the first inning, lessening chances a deal was coming. Gordon Beckham, whose days seem to be numbered with a healthy amount of second base prospects in the organization, was in the lineup as well.

Ramirez, Viciedo, and anybody else who popped up in a rumor this month was on the field playing out the last hours before the deadline.

“It is what it is,” Beckham said about the deadline. “I mean, it’s just another day, you know. ... Yeah, it will feel good to get that behind us.”

It doesn’t mean the opportunities for deals are done. If the roster remains intact by the end of Thursday, there is always trade waivers in August. Beckham, Viciedo and even Adam Dunn could all be traded then, depending on teams’ stretch-drive needs.

But Thursday is the day that players always sweat the most.

“For them it would be good (to get past the deadline),” Ventura said. “Even for us, we’re just talking about stuff that’s all hypothetical and you don’t know what it really holds. Everybody is going to be happy to get by (this day).”

White Sox taking trade deadline in stride

July, 30, 2014
Jul 30
10:14
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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DETROIT -- On the one-year anniversary of Jake Peavy’s trade to the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday, all was quiet with the Chicago White Sox.

That 2013 trade, which is now fondly known as the deal that brought Avisail Garcia to the South Side, signaled the start of the White Sox’s current roster rebuild, which is in full swing with Jose Abreu at first base and Adam Eaton in center and at the leadoff spot.

It also was announced Wednesday that Garcia is headed out on a minor league rehab assignment, with a return later this season still possible.

With this year’s non-waiver trade deadline fast approaching at 3 p.m. CT on Thursday, the White Sox don’t look to be in position to make much of a splash.

Gordon Beckham’s struggles, which have lasted well more than a month now, have crashed his market.

Dayan Viciedo had off-and-on interest, John Danks won’t yield both the salary relief combined with the prospect the White Sox are looking for, and nobody is willing to meet a steep price on Alexei Ramirez.

Adam Dunn is more likely to be moved in August through trade waivers, if at all, than in July.

If teams want to buy what the White Sox are selling, perhaps a final-day agreement can be brokered. Nothing pushes a deal to fruition like a set deadline.

After Wednesday’s 7-2 defeat to the Detroit Tigers, Beckham said the passing of the trade deadline will take a weight off his shoulder. But he added that he still has plenty more to deal with if he wants to start being productive again.

“I’m definitely not going to blame my struggles on the trade deadline; it is what it is,” Beckham said. “It’s been a little different, but you know what, I mean, honestly, I played so bad, unfortunately, I don’t know how much of a chance the White Sox have to trade me. So, that’s the unfortunate thing for them."

Teams interested in second basemen, such as the San Francisco Giants and Toronto Blue Jays, did have scouts in Detroit this week. But Beckham wasn't feeling like a wanted man.

“Obviously, I hold myself to a high standard and really haven’t achieved that this month," he said. "It’s just been frustrating. We’ll see what happens and go on to August.”

In regard to the deadline, White Sox manager Robin Ventura was asked which would be better: To know who he has on the roster moving to August? Or to not have to be asked trade questions any longer?

“Probably being asked about it,” Ventura said. “At this point, I expect the faces we have in there I will see the next few days. So just keep playing.”

The White Sox were handcuffed by Tigers starter Max Scherzer on Wednesday, but the day before their bats delivered a double-digit run total in an easy victory. That kind of game on Tuesday would not have been possible for the White Sox around last year’s deadline, as stress and uncertainty seemed to rule each day.

“Last year was different,” Ventura said. “This year, guys aren’t really concerned about it. I think they were a few weeks ago. Right now, it seems like a little bit lighter mood than it was when there was a lot of talk two weeks ago. It’s a little quieter right now. And I think guys are pretty loose for it being the trade deadline.”

Buyers or sellers? Hahn toes the line

July, 18, 2014
Jul 18
7:07
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- The second half of the baseball season might have started Friday for the Chicago White Sox, but much focus was on the nonwaiver trade deadline less than two weeks away.

The White Sox entered play Friday with a 45-51 record and are in the midst of a roster rebuild, so it seems fairly obvious they will at least explore deals that would return some more young talent.

But when asked if the White Sox are buyers or sellers, general manager Rick Hahn took pause.

"It's certainly a very fair question but also not one that I'm going to answer, which I think you can understand," Hahn said. "Look, we are not where we need to be; we know that. We are realistic about where we are today. We are realistic about where we are likely to be over the next 10 weeks or so.

"I think if there are opportunities to continue the process we started over a year ago, in terms of putting long-term pieces in place that we feel will allow us to compete on an annual basis, we will follow down those paths."

Gordon Beckham or Dayan Viciedo could be used as trade bait in the coming days, but either of them alone might not get back the kind of young, core player the White Sox are seeking.

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Extra Bases: Deadline offers less trepidation

July, 3, 2014
Jul 3
9:00
AM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- The non-waiver trade deadline is exactly four weeks away and the Chicago White Sox figure to be busy, even though this year's team is much improved from last year's squad.

It isn't as if the White Sox will be open to moving as many players as they were willing to give up in 2013.

While everybody seemed to be on pins and needles last July, the team now has an established young core that will remain intact once the calendar flips to August.

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Adam Eaton, Jose Abreu, Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and Avisail Garcia aren't going anywhere. And unlike a year ago when the White Sox might have been willing to deal Alexei Ramirez, the shortstop's rebound this season figures to keep him out of any trade talk -- unless a return package is significant.

Trade candidates include Gordon Beckham and Dayan Viciedo. Matt Lindstrom might have been in that group had he not needed surgery to heal an ankle injury.

“Yeah, I think with everybody, that [trade] stuff comes up,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “It's natural for every team to have those kind of things. For us, it's just taking care of playing the game. You're looking at spurts of us where we'll play well, and then there will be a spurt where you don't do things well and you get beat.

“It has to be more consistent to be able to make an extended run at that.”

It still doesn't feel as though there is as much tension in the White Sox clubhouse this July as there was exactly a year ago, before Jake Peavy, Alex Rios, Matt Thornton and Jesse Crain were moved.

“It was bad last year,” Ventura said. “I think that was a little more in your face. Here, you see, it's just better, as far as being able to compete with certain teams and playing better. It's been pretty inconsistent, but last year was just bad.”

Read all about it: Here is the Rapid Reaction from Wednesday’s 3-2 walk-off victory over the Angels. … Abreu won the American League rookie of the month award for the second time. … Albert Pujols of the Los Angeles Angels is impressed with Abreu.

Keep an eye on this: With an infield single in the fourth inning Wednesday, Eaton has reached base in 25 of his past 26 games.

Question of the day: If the White Sox make moves before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, will they aim to bring aboard major league-ready players or prospects for the farm system?

Viciedo ignoring trade rumors

March, 10, 2014
Mar 10
7:04
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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As trade rumors swirl around Dayan Viciedo -- a player many once thought would be an eventual mainstay in the heart of the Chicago White Sox order -- the projected starting left fielder is trying to avoid all the chatter.

Multiple reports have said teams are coming to the White Sox with interest not only in Viciedo, but in Alejandro De Aza as well. Expected to be the fourth outfielder this season, De Aza is actually the highest-paid outfielder on the team, set to make $4.25 million this season.

[+] EnlargeDayan Viciedo
Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY SportsInconsistent production has put Dayan Viciedo in the middle of trade rumors this spring.
At 25 years old, though, Viciedo is four years younger that De Aza and will make $1.45 million less this season. His potential upside could be enticing for teams that want to take a gamble on corner outfield production.

“I haven’t really thought about [trade rumors] to be honest with you,” Viciedo told reporters Monday in Arizona. “Those are things I don’t control and things out of players' control. So that type of thing doesn’t concern me. What concerns me is the work that I’m putting in out on the field and try to get better every day this spring.”

Viciedo’s brief tour in Chicago hasn’t quite been a smooth one. He seemed to show his potential in 2012 with 25 home runs and 78 RBIs to go along with a .444 slugging percentage, but an early oblique injury he suffered last season, coupled with a wildly aggressive swing once he returned, led to 14 home runs, 56 RBIs and a .426 slugging percentage in 2013.

One intriguing aspect for the White Sox to explore, though, is whether the arrival of fellow Cuban Jose Abreu has a positive influence on Viciedo, who says Chicago is the place for him.

“Only God knows what will happen in the future, but right now, and in the future, I’m thinking about the White Sox,” Viciedo said. “I’m thinking about how I can make this team better, how I can contribute to this team. This is where I want to be.”

A fresh start could be what Viciedo needs, but he isn’t ready to go that route just yet.

“I don’t think about other opportunities or what other opportunities may be,” he said. “Baseball is baseball. But my opportunity, and what I have to do, is right here right now and getting better, doing what I’m doing and helping this team. I don’t think about other opportunities. Whatever happens in the future happens. But what I’m thinking about is right here, right now.”

One De Aza suitor comes off board

December, 12, 2013
12/12/13
12:13
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Take the San Francisco Giants out of the running for potentially acquiring Chicago White Sox outfielder Alejandro De Aza.

The Giants had been “kicking the tires” on the idea of trading for De Aza, said a person with knowledge of the team’s plans. Instead, the Giants acquired former White Sox prospect Michael Morse on Thursday.

(Read full post)

Meetings help White Sox make progress

December, 11, 2013
12/11/13
5:57
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Maybe the Chicago White Sox haven’t owned the winter meetings, but they sure have made their mark during the first three days of the annual negotiation fest.

[+] EnlargeRick Hahn, Jerry Dipoto, Kevin Towers
AP Photo/Phelan M. EbenhackGMs Rick Hahn (White Sox), Jerry Dipoto (Angels) and Kevin Towers (Diamondbacks) got the ball rolling at the winter meetings with their three-team trade.
Wednesday's action was tame by comparison, but Monday they signed right-handed pitcher Felipe Paulino and Tuesday they acquired center fielder and leadoff man Adam Eaton. In between, they were able to renew their love and dedication for Chris Sale when he inexplicably became involved in rumors that he might be available in a trade.

Add the fact that broadcaster Ken “Hawk” Harrelson was a finalist in voting for the Ford C. Frick Award (the honor went to the Texas Rangers’ Eric Nadel) and there seems have been a constant South Side presence this week in the shadow of Cinderella’s castle.

The curious part in all of it was a statement general manager Rick Hahn made Monday that the concept of the winter meetings was a bit outdated. Hahn’s point was that in the current technological climate there no longer has to be a gathering of baseball’s power brokers in one building to make business deals happen.

Not to ruin anything, but that photograph making the rounds of Hahn, Angels GM Jerry Dipoto and Arizona Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers putting the finishing touches on a three-team trade was more staged than reality.

“I don’t want to take away from the majesty of the photo capturing the moment the deal was consummated but I think we could have got that thing done by phone,” Hahn said Wednesday. “But look, there was so much activity prior to getting here that it seems like there hasn’t been as much as normal at the winter meetings, so I was happy we were able to contribute to that.”

Despite the work the White Sox were able to get done, Hahn said he is still waiting for that traditional flourish toward the end of the meetings as GMs try to make deals happen before they head home. By no means have the White Sox closed up shop after acquiring Eaton and Paulino.

“There’s been a lot of different ideas floating around, both direct deals and three-way possibilities as well,” Hahn said. “Historically, I always felt on Wednesday of winter meetings,we got close to doing something and got excited, we all go to sleep and wake up prior to the Rule 5 draft that it all fell apart. We haven’t gotten to that portion of the meetings yet, but there certainly are things we’re considering.”

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Sox join Diamondbacks-Angels rumor

December, 10, 2013
12/10/13
12:37
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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EatonAP Photo/Marcio Jose SanchezAdam Eaton was slowed by an elbow injury last season.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Chicago White Sox are continuing to try to get younger, judging by one of the hottest trade rumors of the winter meetings.

The White Sox have apparently become a third party in the Arizona Diamondbacks' efforts to pry slugger Mark Trumbo from the Los Angeles Angels.

As reported by ESPN.com's Keith Law, the White Sox would send left-hander Hector Santiago to the Angels, while getting highly touted outfielder Adam Eaton from the Diamondbacks. Eaton is a left-handed-hitting leadoff type who plays a hard-nosed style similar to that of Aaron Rowand.

The Diamondbacks would get Trumbo, and the Angels also would receive left-hander Tyler Skaggs, if the rumored deal comes to fruition.

Eaton would presumably take over in center field, flanked by Avisail Garcia in right. If Dayan Viciedo remains the left fielder, Alejandro De Aza could be traded or become the fourth outfielder.

Not a plus defender when it comes to getting jumps on fly balls, or for his route-taking, Eaton can make up for some deficiencies with his foot speed. He batted .381 with a .995 OPS at Triple-A Reno in 2012. His year with the Diamondbacks last season was slowed by an elbow injury.

Santiago has become the White Sox's default left-handed pitching trade chip. The starting rotation is overloaded with four left-handers but three of them don't figure to be dealt. Chris Sale is the staff ace and isn't going anywhere; the asking price on Quintana is huge; and nobody is expected to take on John Danks' contract in a deal.

The White Sox showed in their trades during the 2013 season that they will do everything possible to not pick up any salary for players leaving the team.

Santiago is well aware of trade possibilities, saying last month that it has been on his mind, especially because the White Sox have so many lefty starters.

"We talked about that the other day at [Matt] Lindstrom's wedding, me and [Addison] Reed and Donnie Veal and Lindstrom," Santiago said. "You're going to hear stuff and you don't know what's true and what's not. You don't know what to expect but just be ready for whether it's here or somewhere else."

By trading Santiago, the White Sox would open a rotation spot for right-hander Felipe Paulino, who was signed to a one-year deal Monday with an option for a second year. The final rotation spot after Sale, Quintana, Danks and Paulino could go to either Erik Johnson or Andre Rienzo. The right-handers both made their major league debuts last season.

Sale chatter dominates Day 1 of meetings

December, 9, 2013
12/09/13
5:38
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- With Chris Sale trade rumors starting to take a life of their own Monday, Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn moved to put them into proper perspective.

The crux of the rumors during the first day of the annual winter meetings is that the White Sox are willing to listen to talk on Sale, and that with a lack of quality starting pitching available this winter, the return could be colossal.

But if the news is that the White Sox will listen, the concept is a bit flawed because the club has always said it will at least be receptive to offers from other clubs on anybody just in case an offer they can’t refuse falls into their laps.

“I’m not doing my job, this room isn’t doing what we are here to do if we don’t at least listen when people have ideas and evaluate ideas,” Hahn said during his first gathering with reporters at the meetings. “At the same time, we know the value of what we have here and the importance to us going forward. You can take that for what it’s worth.

“For me, this strikes me as a bit of a dog-bites-man story. We are here to listen. That’s our job.”

(Read full post)

Santiago ponders trade possibilities

November, 19, 2013
11/19/13
7:55
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- With the uncertainty of trade talk looming above him and many other Chicago White Sox players, Hector Santiago has decided to not sit around to learn his fate.

The 25-year-old, who would be one of four left-handed starters if the White Sox left their rotation unchanged, has not only left his New Jersey roots to relocate permanently to Arizona, he already started throwing in preparation for next season.

Staying active is perhaps the best way to avoid thinking about roster uncertainty that surrounds the White Sox. As the club tries to retool a roster that underachieved in most areas last season, only a handful of players are untouchable.

It is believed only Chris Sale, Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia are off the board when it comes to potential deals, and prying Jose Quintana away would take a deal that knocks the socks off the front office.

"I don't take anything too serious," Santiago said about trade rumors. "You're going to hear stuff and you don't know what's true and what's not. You don't know what to expect but just be ready for whether it's here or somewhere else."

Santiago said he met up recently with teammates Matt Lindstrom, Addison Reed and Donnie Veal at Lindstrom's wedding and trade rumors were a topic of conversation. Also discussed was the left-handed heavy rotation.

"I thought about that a bunch and I was like, 'Are they actually going to go with four left-handed pitchers?' " Santiago said. "I think they can. I think they can sit back and say there are four left-handed pitchers, but they are strong enough that they can get out right-handers because for the most part I think everybody gets out right-handers pretty well and we do a good job against lefties as well."

It isn't the way he would he would plan it, but Hahn claims he wouldn't object to starting four lefties next year.

"Ideally there's a little bit more balance, but we don't feel pressure to make a move to create that balance," Hahn said. "We've got some high-quality starting pitching here. It just happens a lot of it is left-handed."

Santiago says he expects to be one of those lefty starters and a telling sign seemed to come at the start of September, when pitching coach Don Cooper nixed the idea of winter ball.

Santiago pitched during the winter last season, but the White Sox felt his career-best 149 innings in 2013 were plenty.

"I think them shutting me down is leading to signs that they are saving my arm so hopefully I can get to 200 innings next year," Santiago said.

White Sox remain open to long-shot deal

November, 12, 2013
11/12/13
8:38
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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Not only have the Chicago White Sox not ruled out a potential trade this week at the general managers' meetings, they aren't ruling out using some starting pitching to make it happen.

The GM meetings, taking place in Orlando, Fla., are typically a place where the groundwork is laid for moves later in the winter, but deals this early in the offseason are not unheard of. Regardless, it would be a long shot for the White Sox to fill a need this early.

"Other clubs are starting to get a lot me more specific about who they are targeting and what they are willing to give up to make it happen," general manager Rick Hahn said from the meetings Tuesday. "I think this is going to be productive from a standpoint more of fact gathering and laying the groundwork for deals as opposed to having any deal come to fruition this week but you never know.

"Teams are getting fairly substantive so there is a decent chance that something can happen. But I think it's more likely than not more groundwork."

The bulk of the action around baseball is expected to come at the Dec. 9-12 winter meetings, which also will take place in Orlando. Potential White Sox moves are to make upgrades at third base and/or catcher, as well as to add a late-inning left-hander for the bullpen.

The White Sox's farm system is not considered to be in the upper half of baseball when it comes to prospects so to strengthen the roster, the club will have to be creative with deals.

While the White Sox's clear-cut strength at the major league level is starting pitching, Hahn is open to either adding arms or using those on hand to make a deal that fits the team's needs.

"Even though we feel that [pitching] is a strength, and one that we may have to potentially use to address other needs, it is something we would look at in terms of adding pitching potentially," Hahn said.

The White Sox could move a starter to add to the offense this season, or keep the rotation intact and look to add a bat in 2014 the way they did at the non-waiver trade deadline when Jake Peavy was used to land outfielder Avisail Garcia.

"It's better to be really good at something, no doubt, and if we can be really good at run prevention we're probably closer to that than in terms of run scoring," Hahn said. "But we were so far below where we needed to be from a run-scoring standpoint that it is really the bulk of or focus in terms of needs.

"Obviously tightening up the defense is part of that which helps run prevention, but being at the bottom of the league in runs scored, on base [percentage] and toward the bottom in slugging, that's not really a recipe to help us win long term."

ESPNChicago.com's Jesse Rogers contributed to this report.

Abreu's presence narrows trade focus

November, 12, 2013
11/12/13
12:27
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO -- As Rick Hahn hunts around this week's general manager's meetings in Orlando searching for future trade bargains, he does so knowing that he has potentially improved a number of positions already.

Sure there was last year's three-team trade that brought aboard outfielder Avisail Garcia, and the offseason move to sign first baseman Jose Abreu. But two spots on the left side of the field also figure to see significant improvement.

With Abreu aboard having defected from Cuba, his presence also figures to provide an emotional boost to fellow Cuba natives Alexei Ramirez at shortstop and Dayan Viciedo in left field.

Critics of the Abreu signing at six years and $68 million, say that the White Sox overpaid for an unproven talent. But Abreu had greater value to the White Sox than he did to most teams because of the support group the team would be building in the clubhouse.

First and foremost will be Abreu's ability to make a smooth transition with Ramirez and Viciedo there to not only show their new teams the ins and outs of Major League Baseball, but also the city of Chicago.

(Read full post)

Options aplenty with versatile Santiago

August, 14, 2013
8/14/13
12:54
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
SantiagoNuccio DiNuzzo/Getty ImagesHector Santiago's versatility makes him a valuable part of the Sox's pitching staff.
CHICAGO -- Because of his versatility as a pitcher, debate still rages as to what is the best role for Hector Santiago moving forward, especially when considering the Chicago White Sox's offseason needs.

What's not in debate, though, is his willingness to stand up for the team. The left-hander put that on display Tuesday night when he pitched despite feeling weak from an infected root canal that kept him bed for most of the previous 24 hours and caused severe swelling on the right side of his face.

"I almost felt bad letting him go out there the way he was looking and probably feeling," manager Robin Ventura said. "That was more my fault. For him to gut through it, he's a tough kid and he was ready to go out there."

Looking toward next season, there are plenty of options when it comes to Santiago. He's showed he can be a viable starter moving forward and all of this year's experience should only help to make him even better in the future.

(Read full post)

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jose Abreu
BA HR RBI R
.321 33 98 71
OTHER LEADERS
HRJ. Abreu 33
RBIJ. Abreu 98
RJ. Abreu 71
OPSJ. Abreu .985
WC. Sale 11
ERAC. Sale 2.11
SOC. Sale 178