Bears draft 'core' could allow trading down, other options

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Bears draft 'core' could allow trading down, other options

Depending on the fine-tuning of their prospects list in the final days before Thursdays start of the 2012 draft, the Bears could well be positioned for a trade down from No. 19 and still landing an impact player to come in and start as a rookie.The key is in the number of players deemed both worthy of the pick involved, in this case one in the difficult mid range of the draft, and who might be available at a later point in the first round in particular.I would say right now, were working on a core of about seven players, said Bearsgeneral managerPhil Emery on Monday.That core will have players ranked according to the Bears standards of measure,including players who will be gone by No. 19 and could alsoshrink as the day approaches.Emery agreed that 2012 is good for wide receivers, defensive ends and tackles, in addition to tackles who could be moved into guard in the NFL.Since defensive end has been established as a priority, this points to a desirable situation in which a target area also happens to be one deep in quality players.That also shapes up as a scenario in which the Bears could deal down, depending upon how many of their core targets are still available when their turn comes at No. 19.Witha tiny handful of core players, the pressure could increase for trading up to get one.If the Bears consider a core of seven players to be of sufficient quality for No. 19, those become even better bargains if they could deal back a couple of picks and get one of their core.But that requires precise measuring.When you move back, you have to have a list of players that you feel good enough about, and a number of players, that the worst case, Emery said.The doomsday thing is you move back four spots. OK. If you were in that slot and you move back you get the fourth or fifth player in that sequence; you better feel good about that player.Because all those guys can be taken; every one of them. And I have been in a trade situation that the third one out of three that we had -- the first guy got taken where we moved out of, the second went and then we got the third one. You have to feel really good about that third player on that list because that could be the one you end up with.With a core of seven, the Bears are in a potentially very good position to feel good when they are on the clock Thursday.

White Sox offense can't stay hot in loss to A's

White Sox offense can't stay hot in loss to A's

A day after having quite the offensive party, the White Sox didn’t save any production for Friday.

The White Sox couldn’t muster any offense in a 3-0 loss to the Oakland Athletics in their series opener at Guaranteed Rate Field in front of 25,370 fans.

After recording 18 hits in Thursday’s game against the Minnesota Twins, the White Sox were held to just seven on Friday, but it felt like fewer. They went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.

Mike Pelfrey, who fell to 3-6 on the season, took a step back after delivering a strong performance in his last outing against the Toronto Blue Jays.

The 33-year-old struggled with his command against the A’s all night. He pitched 4 2/3 innings and issued five walks. Pelfrey also allowed all three runs on four hits and two homers.

The A’s got on the board early with a two-run shot to center field by Khris Davis. In the fifth, Pelfrey allowed another homer, a solo shot, to Matt Joyce to make it 3-0.

The White Sox bullpen staved off any further production and combined for 4 1/3 shutout innings between four relievers. But they weren’t able to generate any of their own.

Not even ejections from Tim Anderson and Rick Renteria could spark a cold offense.

The White Sox best chance came in the bottom of the ninth, where Melky Cabrera and Jose Abreu opened with back-to-back singles. After an Avisail Garcia flyout, Todd Frazier popped one over A’s first baseman Yonder Alonso, but Abreu was thrown out at second. Matt Davidson flew out to center field at the warning track to end the game.

Friday marked the start of a season-long 10-game homestand, somewhere the White Sox were happy to be after playing 15 of their last 19 on the road.

Together again: Toews, Saad expect chemistry to return quickly

Together again: Toews, Saad expect chemistry to return quickly

Brandon Saad talked to plenty of people after he was traded back to the Blackhawks. Some were now ex-teammates from the Columbus Blue Jackets. Others, soon-to-be-teammates again from the Blackhawks.

One of the first people he talked to on Friday? Jonathan Toews.

“He’s someone I talked to shortly after it happened. He’s a guy I’ve always kept in touch with, great friend,” Saad said. “To be reunited, getting that chance to play with him again, he’s an incredible player and his resume speaks for itself. I look forward to trying to rekindle that.”

The two didn’t lose touch the past two years. Now that they’ll be reunited on the ice, they hope they didn’t lose the chemistry either. Saad and Toews formed a great combination a few years ago, a steadiness that’s been missing from the top line, especially at left wing, ever since. With Saad’s return, however, the Blackhawks are looking to get that top line consistent again.

[MORE: Blackhawks trade back, select Henri Jokiharju at No. 29

Toews was at the NHL Draft on Friday night, announcing the Blackhawks’ first-round pick with Patrick Kane. The thought of getting Saad back on his left wing was appealing.

“Well there’s no doubt getting an old teammate, an old friend back, another guy who shared that same bond, friendship and having the experience of winning a Cup together with Saader. I guess there’s some reconciliation because you know what you’re getting,” Toews said. “You know what type of guy he is and how he’s going to fit into the locker room and what he’s going to bring.”

Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said via conference call today that, while Toews and Saad had great chemistry the first time around, Saad could fit with others. It all depends on what works best.

“That’s up to Joel [Quenneville] on where he wants to use him,” Bowman said. “No doubt they had tremendous chemistry; he found a home on Jonathan’s left wing. But the one thing I’m trying to stress to everyone, even internally, is we don’t want to look backward and replicate some old formula. He’s had great success with Jonathan and if they go back to that, great.”

Toews and Saad found their niche together pretty quickly the first time around. It’s only been two years since Saad departed, so finding that chemistry again shouldn’t take long at all.

“I don’t think so,” Toews said of chemistry taking long to rekindle. “You play at that caliber you just worry about your own game. Go out there and have fun. be prepared, be ready to roll and it shouldn’t take long for things to happen out there.”