7:30 PM EST, Sat January 31, 2015
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South Side Sox 12 hours ago

Terrerobytes: More about the White Sox's fateful dinner

Plus: A look at Cuba on the verge of change, the strike zone's downward expansion, and updates on old friends If the PECOTA projections bummed you out (and they shouldn't), Albert Chen at Sports Illustrated has the antidote with a look into the White Sox's productive offseason. The anecdote at the center of it -- the dinner in San Diego during which Rick Hahn finalized the Jeff Samardzija trade and David Robertson signing -- had already been detailed by Chuck Garfien, but Chen's account offers a little more of Jerry Reinsdorf's perspective: Rewind to a few days after the conclusion of the...
South Side Sox Jan 30, 2015

Keith Law likes the White Sox (more than PECOTA does, anyway)

Farm system breaks into the top half, but the 2015 team is still projected to finish under .500 For White Sox fans who can't help but look into the future, there's some good news and some bad news. Starting with the former, ESPN.com's Keith Law ranked the White Sox farm system the 12th-best in baseball: They've added four players within the top-120 range of prospects in the past 24 months, via the draft and one trade, and they didn't give up any of those premium guys to add Jeff Samardzija this offseason. Although the system still isn't deep in average prospects, it is in the best ...
South Side Sox Jan 29, 2015

What else is returning with Gordon Beckham?

Baggage from five disappointing seasons with the White Sox make dissatisfaction easy to envision If Gordon Beckham were somebody else's first-round pick ... if his promise had mysteriously fizzled with another organization ... if another city saw him devolve from a sweet-swinging third baseman to a glove-first utility infielder ... there would be nothing wrong with the White Sox bringing him into the fold for $2 million as a potential complement to the infield. As it stands, it's kinda irritating. The White Sox were soooooo clooooose to achieving the cleanest reboot possible. Adam Dunn...
South Side Sox Jan 28, 2015

The unlikely return of Gordon Beckham's unfortunate offseason tradition

He might have changed franchises for a bit, but the story remains the same From a South Side Sox post two years ago: As the new old saying goes, it's not January on the South Side of Chicago until Gordon Beckham tries to explain what went wrong the previous season. If nothing else, by signing Beckham to a one-year, $2 million deal today, the White Sox kept my writing timeless. This year's version shows up with three-plus days left in the month, via Doug Padilla: "I would say that I’m in a much better place than I was in August of last year," Beckham said. "Getting away was good for me...
South Side Sox Jan 28, 2015

White Sox sign Gordan Beckham; designate Dayan Viciedo for assignment

The White Sox add a familiar face to the bench and end one of the strangest offseason stories in a while. In a move that had been hoped for by Soxfest attendees, the White Sox have signed Gordon Beckham to a one-year, $2 million deal.  To make room for Beckham on the 40-man roster, the White Sox have designated outfielder Dayan Viciedo for assignment. During sessions this past weekend, Rick Hahn did mention that they were still looking to add a right-handed utility infielder.  Based on today's comments from Rick Hahn, Beckham does seem to be destined for a utility role. Adding Gordon...
South Side Sox Jan 28, 2015

Do White Sox uniforms need another color?

It's been 24 years since the last major uniform overhaul on the South Side, so let's discuss whether change would be welcome Throughout the offseasons, I've kept a running Evernote file of evergreen post ideas -- things that can be written at any point over the winter. If I were a Rockies blogger, I'd probably be tapped out by now, but thanks to all the offseason activity from the White Sox front office, I really haven't had to dip into the reserves. I can cross one off the list thanks to a valid comment on the South Side Sox Facebook page, in response to the Tuesday morning post about...
South Side Sox Jan 27, 2015

White Sox marketing waits for White Sox baseball to cooperate

Previous efforts made moot by down years, but "one more ticket" may be an easier sale in 2015 Since riding the World Series title to a franchise-record attendance in 2006, the White Sox have seen their attendance drop in each of the last eight years. They drew 1.65 million fans in 2014, which is just 56 percent of the 2.96 million they drew during the championship afterglow season. ESPNChicago's Jon Greenberg says Brooks Boyer is hellbent on reversing the trend this season, with several internal initiatives in play to capitalize on the offseason excitement that has helped increase season...
South Side Sox Jan 26, 2015

Podcast: MLB pace of play problem

Welcome to Season 2 of the podcast, as we try to grasp what new MLB Commissioner, Rob Manfred, wants the game to evolve to attract the YPOS crowd. Welcome to season 2 of the South Side Sox podcast. Can't believe its been a year already since our first foray in this medium. Again, can't stress enough how grateful we are that you listen to the show every time we produce it. Moving that aside, here is the rundown for this week's show: Jim and I discuss the Commissioner's top priorities to better the game of baseball: pace of play and "inject additional offense into the game." We discuss...
South Side Sox Jan 26, 2015

Following up: Inside Toronto's failed pursuit of Kenny Williams

Plus: Avisail Garcia agrees about his need to shed weight, and Conor Gillaspie adds pounds Just as the winter meetings opened last month, word surfaced that the Toronto Blue Jays wanted to hire Kenny Williams to replace Paul Beeston as the club's president. It was a strange story for a few reasons, and beyond the inconvenient timing. It was hard to understand the timeline, as Williams' reaction to a seemingly fresh story was, "That ship has sailed." And based on how you interpreted Williams' compliments of Toronto against the news that Reinsdorf denied the Blue Jays permission to interview...
South Side Sox Jan 25, 2015

Emptying the SoxFest notebook

White Sox quotes from Robin Ventura, Rick Hahn, Don Cooper, David Robertson and more. Robin Ventura: Plan is for Adam LaRoche to get the majority of the playing time at DH. Maybe someone else against lefties. He'll play once or twice a week at first base, but Jose Abreu is the long-term first baseman. Second base is an open competition with Carlos Sanchez, Micah Johnson and Emilio Bonifacio. The third baseman is Conor Gillaspie. "If five left-handed starters have the best stuff, we'll start five lefties." "Eaton has the green light [to run]". Rick Hahn: LaRoche is a Gold Glove-caliber...
South Side Sox Jan 24, 2015

Rick Hahn, Conquering Hero

In stark contrast to the his first two years in the chair, Sox fans treated GM Rick Hahn with uniform praise. No questions about why Tyler Flowers was the catcher and not A.J. Pierzynski. No rambling lectures on the fundamentals of baseball. The sharpened knives of the past turned into roses thrown at his feet. The closest thing to a complaint came in the form of a fan disappointed that Matt Davidson probably wasn't going to be on the opening day roster and thus the opening day third baseman would not be a power hitter. Heck, even the signing of Brian Anderson was seen as a feather in his...
South Side Sox Jan 23, 2015

Avisail Garcia slimming down to speed up

Rick Hahn says White Sox right fielder got too big for his own good last year Last year at SoxFest, Avisail Garcia was the one player who struck me as larger than he looked on TV. He's not the tallest or heaviest of the White Sox, but even standing among guys like Jose Abreu and Adam Dunn, he more closely resembled a speed-rushing defensive end than a right fielder. Apparently, that wasn't supposed to happen. Rick Hahn, talking to Matt Spiegel and Barry Rozner on 670 The Score this morning, touched on this topic during a wide-ranging interview before this year's SoxFest. Rozner told Hahn...
South Side Sox Jan 23, 2015

Tyler Flowers on the low strike

Catcher made midseason adjustments to improve pitch-framing performance Prior to last season, many questioned whether Tyler Flowers should even be on the White Sox roster -- let alone as the starting catcher -- and were incredulous that he was essentially gifted the starting job. A productive 2014 campaign, however, largely erased the bad taste left by his poor and injury-riddled 2013 season. While there will be a fight behind him for the back-up spot, once again, Flowers enters spring training the undisputed starter. While most focused on his near-league average offensive line of...
South Side Sox Jan 23, 2015

Who's who among White Sox non-roster spring training invitees in 2015

Carlos Rodon headlines the list of prospects, while Geovany Soto is overqualified for the list of veterans Given the White Sox's problems with depth last season, it's a little surprising that only one non-roster invitee cracked the 25-man roster at any point. Consider it trading quantity for quality, because that one player is Zach Putnam. He posted a 1.98 ERA over 49 games and figures to be a big part of the 2015 bullpen, so he made the most of his climb. Besides Putnam, Chris Bassitt, Scott Snodgress and Andy Wilkins logged service time as September call-ups, but there are usually at...
South Side Sox Jan 22, 2015

White Sox sign Geovany Soto to minor league contract

Catcher is more than qualified to back up Tyler Flowers if he can stay healthy through spring training Geovany Soto isn't yet a member of the White Sox's 40-man roster after signing a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training, but you can pretty much pencil him in the 25-man roster as long as he makes it out of Camelback Ranch in one piece. The 32-year-old Soto might not be the catcher he was with the Cubs in his 20s, but he's a clear cut above the current glut of candidates that includes Rob Brantly, George Kottaras, Kevan Smith and Adrian Nieto. He hit .247/.320/.432 over...
South Side Sox Jan 22, 2015

White Sox opting for more contact in 2015

Retooled roster projected to cut down on strikeouts by a significant margin After the Houston Astros acquired yet another swing-and-miss type by signing Colby Rasmus to a one-year deal, Jeff Sullivan stacked up the projections and confirmed the hunch that they're likely to be the whiffingest team in baseball, and by a large margin to boot. The Astros led the American League in strikeout rate last year, and they're willing to surrender to that flaw for at least one more year. However, their nearest neighbor charted the opposite course this winter. The White Sox were a comfortable second --...
South Side Sox Jan 21, 2015

Reminder: White Sox still have a bargain with Chris Sale

Max Scherzer's contract latest to underscore value of buying out free agency years The seven-year, $210 million contract Max Scherzer signed with the Washington Nationals isn't quite as impressive as it sounds due to the deferred money. Then again, the deferrals are somewhat staggering in their own right. That $210 million will be paid out in equal installments over 14 years -- or, as Dave Cameron put it, Scherzer signed two seven-year, $105 million contracts, but he only has to pitch for D.C. during the first one. There are a couple reasons why the Nationals found it palatable: No. 1:...
South Side Sox Jan 20, 2015

On Robin Ventura's bunting philosophy

The White Sox skipper has called for fewer sacrifice attempts than any other manager during his tenure A sizable contingent of White Sox fans spent years bemoaning Ozzie Guillen’s obsession with the bunt. As it turns out, the guy the Sox hired to replace him is Guillen’s polar opposite in that respect. Three seasons in, it’s quite clear that Robin Ventura isn't all that crazy about bunting. When Ventura first took the helm in 2012, it was pretty uncertain what his stance would be on sacrifice bunts, as he was described as an old-school guy with an openness to incorporating sabermetric...
South Side Sox Jan 19, 2015

White Sox won't be sad to see Max Scherzer go

Longtime tormentor heads to Nationals, but will Tigers find a replacement? If you were operating under the assumption that Max Scherzer would return to the Tigers, your baseball brain should feel a few pounds lighter today. Scherzer got his money, and from a surprising source -- the Washington Nationals, who signed Scherzer to a seven-year deal worth more than $180 million and have built a possible superteam in the process -- unless they have to subtract from their depth of high-quality players (Jordan Zimmerman? Doug Fister?) to make their books work. That contract vindicates Scherzer, who...
South Side Sox Jan 18, 2015

Sizing up seven free agent corner outfielder signings

White Sox paid a significant sum for Melky Cabrera, but three-year contract looks reasonable when compared to peers Now that Nori Aoki has landed with the San Francisco Giants, all of the most desirable corner outfielders are off the free-agent market. The White Sox invested heavily in this department with Melky Cabrera, offering the third-largest contract in terms of total dollars, and the second-largest in annual salary. At least you can see where the money is going when stacking them up with their Steamer projections for 2015: Team Contract Projected WAR Nelson...

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