Bell excited for added workload with promotion to VPassistant GM

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Bell excited for added workload with promotion to VPassistant GM

Buddy Bells task load increased heavily on Friday with his promotion, but he doesnt foresee any problems.

The former player, manager and White Sox vice president of player development takes over as assistant general manager. Not only is Bell, who played 18 seasons in the majors and is in his 10th season with the franchise, in charge of player development, but he also is expected to assists with the major league roster and staffing decisions. Bell, 61, said hes also excited to continue his roll in amateur scouting and handling special assignments.

Player development is really a passion of mine, Bell said. Amateur scouting and special assignment are still going to be there. Theyre still going to take a lot of my time, which I like. I like being busy, so this particular title gives me a chance to do a lot of different things.

The biggest change for Bell will be his involvement with staffing and the major league roster. He knows the change will result in more time spent in Chicago as well as working with Rick Hahn, who was promoted from assistant GM to general manager last Friday.

Bell -- who managed for nine seasons with Detroit (1996-98), Colorado (2000-02) and Kansas City (2005-07) -- has worked closely with Hahn the past few seasons and said the two enjoy a good relationship.

There hasnt been any issues, Bell said. One of the great things about Rick is obviously hes very intelligent. Hes a great listener and that obviously helps when youre talking across the table from somebody and talking ideas. Ive had a great relationship from the very beginning. Obviously it changed a little bit because last season I got more involved at the major league end and Rick got more involved on the minor league end. Our front office is fairly inclusive anyway. It kind of makes it easy for relationship because everyone is fairly involved.

Bell returned to the White Sox in 2008 as the director of minor-league instruction, a post he held from 1991-93. He was elevated to director of player development in 2009 and held that position until he was promoted to vice president of player development last season.

A five-time All-Star who played for Cleveland, Texas, Cincinnati and Houston, Bell said hes excited he would retain his minor-league and scouting duties though he never thought hed find himself in this situation.

Ive loved that, Bell said. If youd have asked me 20 years ago if I would have enjoyed amateur scouting, we would went to something different else real quick. I really like doing that along with player development. Player development is really a passion of mine.

White Sox avoid arbitration with Todd Frazier, four pitchers

White Sox avoid arbitration with Todd Frazier, four pitchers

The White Sox agreed to one-year contracts with five players on Friday, including a $12-million deal for Todd Frazier.

Frazier established a franchise record for home runs by a third baseman in 2016 when he blasted 40 in his first season with the White Sox. A free agent after the 2017 season, Frazier hit .225/.302/.464 in 666 plate appearances, drove in a career high 98 runs and produced 2.4 Wins Above Replacement, according to fangraphs.com. 

Starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez is set to earn $5.9 million this season. The team also agreed to deals with relievers Dan Jennings ($1.4 million), Zach Putnam ($1.1175 million) and Jake Petricka ($825,000).

The White Sox acquired Frazier in a three-player trade from the Cincinnati Reds in December 2015. It's expected they would try to trade Frazier, who has hit 104 homers since 2014 and participated in the All-Star Game Home Run Derby three consecutive years, before the Aug 1 non-waiver trade deadline as part of the club's rebuilding efforts. 

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Gonzalez went 5-8 with a 3.73 ERA in 24 games (23 starts) after he was signed to a minor-league deal in early April. 

Jennings posted a 2.08 ERA in 60 2/3 innings. 

Putnam had a 2.30 ERA in 27 1/3 innings with 30 strikeouts before he had surgery to remove bone chips from his right elbow. 

Petricka was limited to nine appearances before his season was ended by hip surgery.

Both Petricka and Putnam are expected to be ready for spring training.

Top White Sox prospect Yoan Moncada impresses club at minicamp

Top White Sox prospect Yoan Moncada impresses club at minicamp

It was a limited look, but Yoan Moncada made a strong first impression on the White Sox this week.

Acquired from the Boston Red Sox last month in the Chris Sale trade, Moncada arrived in Glendale, Ariz., earlier this week with the franchise hopeful he'd offer a glimpse of the skills that earned him the designation as baseball's top prospect.

Moncada didn't disappoint, either, as he had White Sox evaluators excited throughout a three-day hitters camp. Whether it's his physicality, how he carried himself or his baseball IQ, White Sox staffers couldn't have been happier about their first experience with their new prized possession.

"(Moncada) looks like a linebacker, but he moves like a wide receiver," player development director Chris Getz said. "He's got good actions. He's obviously a switch hitter. He's got power. He can hit. He's got a good smile. He seems to be enjoying himself out here, he interacts well with his teammates.

"So far it has been very impressive, and we look forward to seeing more."

Hitting coach Todd Steverson said Moncada, 21, looked every bit the part when he first observed him from across the hall at the team's facility. Steverson spoke to friends in the scouting community and wasn't the least bit surprised when he encountered the 6-foot-2, 205-pound second baseman. Moncada was just as impressive on the field with his skills and effort, Steverson said.

"This is a large specimen right here," Steverson said. "He's put together pretty well.

"On defense it looks like he has some really good hands.

"He got in the box and he hadn't swung for a while. But still, you could tell he had good hands going through the zone, has a nice approach and wants to work real hard."

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Moncada's fancy tools have been well publicized since he received a $31.5-million signing bonus from the Red Sox in March 2015.

MLB.com graded Moncada's hit tool at 60 on the 20-80 scouting scale while his base running is 65 and arm is 60. Moncada's power received a 55 grade, and his fielding is 50. Moncada received an overall grade of 65, which suggests he has the ability to be a perennial All-Star and worth 4 Wins Above Replacement, according to fangraphs.com.

But the White Sox weren't just impressed with Moncada's physical ability.

One of manager Rick Renteria's top objectives for the camp was to emphasize fundamentals and what's important to the team. Renteria wanted to identify specific game situations and how players are expected to handle them so they're well prepared for the future. Moncada handled that area well, too.

"Yoan is a very knowledgeable baseball player who has experience on a multitude of levels," amateur scouting director Nick Hostetler said. "In the brief time we had with him this week, he showed a tremendous ability to drive the ball the opposite way as well as drive balls to the gap and out of the ball park from both sides of the plate. That ability will help him handle and any all situations that Ricky asks him to do at the plate. Defensively his hands and feet are very good and will have no problem there. He's a bright hard-working kid that is part of a bright future for the organization."