Chicago White Sox: Dick Allen

Rumor mill liking the White Sox

December, 8, 2014
12/08/14
7:51
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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SAN DIEGO – On the first day of baseball's annual winter meetings, it was the Chicago White Sox who stood tall among the juiciest rumors in the game.

Reports on Monday had the White Sox linked to both top free-agent closer David Robertson and starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija, in a revival of a previous development. There was even a report from CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman that linked the White Sox with closer Francisco Rodriguez.

The White Sox also just missed on placing Billy Pierce, Dick Allen and Minnie Minoso in the Hall of Fame, while executive vice president Kenny Williams revealed he has no issue with chairman Jerry Reinsdorf denying his chance to interview with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Plenty has been made of the White Sox having money to spend after contracts such as those signed by Jake Peavy, Alex Rios, Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn have come off the books in recent seasons. The question for general manager Rick Hahn and the rest of the front office is whether this is the best time to spend big -- or should the team start handing out big bucks when it has fewer roster holes to contend with?

“We’ve got a lot of conversations ongoing on multiple fronts right now,” Hahn said. “Some are frankly a little farther along than others, and we are in a couple of scenarios where we could get within a phone call or two of getting something done.

“That said, we’ve been in that position before and will be again where you get really close but it doesn’t quite come to fruition. I think it’s important we stay diligent and aggressive on numerous fronts until we get to the point that we’re able to convert on one of our higher-priority targets.”

[+] EnlargeDavid Robertson
Jim McIsaac/Getty ImagesDavid Robertson, the top closer on the free-agent market, is among the names linked to the White Sox.
The White Sox do need bullpen help, and Robertson would be the biggest fish in that pond, but does the front office want to venture into multiyear, high-dollar waters again when it was that kind of situation that coincided with the need to rebuild? Would it be smarter to wait to add those kind of players?

The White Sox have been targeting this offseason for a while knowing they would be free of a number of major financial commitments. The discussions about it have become familiar ones.

“Do we spend more for free agents? Do we try to acquire some high-priced talent via trade? And how is the best and most prudent way to put that club together?” Hahn said, ticking off the checklist the White Sox have been dealing with for some time now.

“When we make a large commitment, whether it’s a guy like [Jose] Abreu or [Chris] Sale or the next free agent we sign, it’s not with the eye that we’re going to necessarily have dead money on the back end of it. Does it happen? Yeah. It’s part of the cost of doing business, and none of us in this industry are smart enough to identify on the way in where it’s going to be. We sort of know, in our mind, that that’s going to happen, but as a result we don’t shy away from deals that have a reasonable chance to make us better for an extended period of time.”

As for the idea of trading for Samardzija, how much would the White Sox be willing to give up in a potential deal with the Oakland Athletics knowing the right-hander is determined to test free agency next offseason?

Hahn was asked about the chance of acquiring a right-hander, not necessarily Samardzija, via trade.

“It’s absolutely possible,” he said. “There’s a fair amount of free agents still out there as well, so we’re not committed to either path just yet, still talking to other clubs as well as agents. We haven’t really ruled out any avenue on any lead just yet. If a couple of these free-agent names come off the board in the coming days, then yeah, we may have to refocus on trades.”

Hahn, of course, isn’t giving out any names, and the fact that Robertson, Samardzija and Rodriguez have been linked to the White Sox hasn’t made business any easier.

“Selfishly, it makes it real hard, real hard,” Hahn said. “When stuff gets out, you then are subject to other clubs potentially jumping in and bidding up a price on a free agent conceivably or accelerating their timetables, whether it be on that target or on backup targets, because they’re worried they’re going to lose that person. You could have other clubs jumping into trade talks.

“Over the years it has proven much more beneficial for us to keep things out of the light of day. I get why it happens. It’s part of the business, and if I weren’t wearing my White Sox hat I’d be following it all and excited just like everybody else.”

With so many holes to fill, though, and money available to spend, staying out of the rumor mill was going to be tough for the White Sox. But the front office thinks the team can contend sooner rather than later, so it is exploring all options to see if it can speed up the timetable.

“I would like to think that if Adam Eaton, Nate Jones, Avi Garcia -- I’m just mentioning a few of the guys who went down and went down early for us -- I would like to think if they all played together, there weren’t very many occasions where we had the top of our lineup playing together,” executive vice president Williams said. “From that standpoint alone, you could find some optimism.

“The starting staff, at the top of the rotation, I think we are as good as anybody. We could use another right-handed arm, and we are here to try to find one. We are here to try to find some bullpen help. So we’ll see. But yes, I am optimistic.”

Reinsdorf 'disappointed' over HOF vote

December, 8, 2014
12/08/14
4:19
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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SAN DIEGO -- Chicago White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf expressed disappointment Monday that former team greats Minnie Minoso and Billy Pierce were not granted admission into the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Golden Era Committee of voters.

Minoso and Pierce were among 10 candidates being considered by the committee of 16 members. Also under consideration was former White Sox standout Dick Allen, who fell just one vote short of induction, as did Tony Oliva.

Each player needed 12 votes to gain a permanent spot at Cooperstown.

Reinsdorf said he has been on Hall of Fame voting committees in the past and has enjoyed the process, knowing first-hand how much work goes into the task. But that doesn’t make him understanding to the results this time.

“Having said that, I’m very disappointed Minnie and Billy didn’t get in because they clearly deserve to get in,” said Reinsdorf, who attended the announcement in downtown San Diego. “I don’t know what player out of the era of the 1950s and early ’60s would be more deserving than Minnie.

“You look at the stats and the only people that did better than Minnie did in every category are already in the Hall of Fame. But having said that, I know these people are very sincere in their voting. I know they took it very seriously.”

Reinsdorf said he was understanding to Allen’s exclusion, even though Allen was the former White Sox player that came closest to induction.

“Dick Allen had kind of a checkered career,” Reinsdorf said. “If I had been on the committee, I wouldn’t have voted for him. He only really had six really good years. I don’t think he would rise to the standard of the others, in my opinion. But when he was with the White Sox he certainly had Hall of Fame years.”

Minoso not only delivered production on the field, he was a trailblazer by becoming the first player in White Sox history to break the color barrier and the ninth in baseball history.

After retiring after the 1964 season, Minoso returned to the major leagues on two occasions: 1976 and 1980. He was far from an impact player by then, but his five combined games in those returns made him the only player to ever see action in five decades.

In an ironic twist, Reinsdorf believes the gimmick actually hurt Minoso’s standing in the game instead of helping it.

“Yes, I think definitely because now he’s being considered by people that really didn’t see him play,” Reinsdorf said. “Not everybody saw him play (at his best) and I think coming back hurt his chances.”

Series preview: White Sox at Twins

September, 2, 2014
9/02/14
12:55
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
By the end of a brief two-game series that starts Tuesday night against the Minnesota Twins, there is a chance that Chicago White Sox rookie Jose Abreu could stand alone as the only player in the major leagues with 100 RBIs.

Abreu leads the American League with 99 RBIs, and is tied with the Miami Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton for the overall lead in baseball.

With his next RBI, Abreu will become just the fourth White Sox rookie to reach the 100 mark. Smead Jolley had 114 RBIs as a rookie in 1930, Zeke Bonura had 110 in 1934, and Ron Kittle was the last to do it when he had exactly 100 RBIs in his rookie season of 1983.

The milestone will also add Abreu to an elite list of players who managed to collect at least 30 doubles, 30 home runs and 100 RBIs in their rookie season. Hal Troskey did it in 1934, Ted Williams managed it in 1939 and Albert Pujols was the last to do it in 2001.

Abreu will enter play Tuesday at Minnesota with 32 doubles and 33 home runs, along with his 99 RBIs. Abreu is three off the home run lead in the American League, behind the Orioles' Nelson Cruz as he tries to become just the third White Sox player to lead the AL in HRs along with Bill Melton (1971) and Dick Allen (1972, 1974).

Abreu also appears to be a lock to win the AL Rookie of the Year award, which will make him the sixth White Sox player to do so and the first since Ozzie Guillen in 1985.

HEAD TO HEAD


Players on the White Sox roster are a combined 8-for-45 (.178) against Twins starter Tommy Milone with no RBIs. Tyler Flowers is 0-for-8 against the left-hander. ... Twins starter Trevor May has never faced the White Sox. ... Twins batters have a combined 65 at-bats against White Sox starter Hector Noesei, with Eduardo Escobar delivering three RBIs against the right-hander and the rest of the roster delivering a combined four. ... The 12 losses White Sox starter John Danks has against the Twins are his most against any team. He also has a 5.35 ERA against them, his worst against any AL Central club.

NOTES


Even with a four-game series split against the Tigers this past weekend, the White Sox are just 3-10 over their last 13 games. ... Rookie second baseman Carlos Sanchez has a hit in nine of his last 10 games and is batting .317 (13-for-41) over that stretch. ... Conor Gillaspie, whose batting average dipped under .300 for the first time Saturday, ended a 12 at-bat hitless streak Sunday with an RBI single in the first inning. ... Flowers has three extra-base hits over his last three games. ... Since July 10, a stretch that includes a stint on the disabled list, Adam Eaton has seven games where he has delivered three or more hits. ... Paul Konerko needs one home run to tie Jason Giambi (440) for 41st place on the all-time list, while Alexei Ramirez needs two runs scored for 500. ... Abreu has driven in 15 runs in the 14 games played against the Twins. ... The Twins lead the season series 8-6 and have won five of the eight games at Target Field this year.

PITCHING MATCHUPS


Tuesday: White Sox RH Hector Noesi (8-9, 4.75 ERA) vs. Twins LH Tommy Milone (6-4, 4.08), 7:10 p.m. CST
Wednesday: White Sox LH John Danks (9-9, 4.88) vs. Twins RH Trevor May (0-3, 8.79), 7:10 p.m. CST

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Chris Sale
WINS ERA SO IP
12 2.17 208 174
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Abreu .317
HRJ. Abreu 36
RBIJ. Abreu 107
RA. Ramirez 82
OPSJ. Abreu .964
ERAC. Sale 2.17
SOC. Sale 208