David Fung of Beyond the Box Score put together a handy graph of the White Sox window to win, looking at player control through 2017. Take a look at it, although remember than Dayan Viciedo is under team control for six more seasons and should hit arbitration in 2015.
It's a good representation of the team's building blocks for the future. John Danks certainly is one. Players without as much big league experience like Brent Morel, Chris Sale and Addison Reed certainly factor in. Alexei Ramirez is under control through 2016, though he could become an attractive trade target if the White Sox fall out of contention in any of the next few years.
Beyond that, there are plenty of question marks -- and plenty of money coming off the books. Adam Dunn and Alex Rios will probably be out after 2014. Paul Konerko's contract is up after 2013, along with Gavin Floyd, Matt Thornton (if his option is declined) and Jesse Crain.
But the White Sox don't have a stable of young prospects that could be busting down the door in a few years. They have plenty of question marks -- some with upside, like Trayce Thompson -- that could fill the void left by departing veterans.
If some or all of those guys -- Thompson, Tyler Saladino, Jake Petricka, Nestor Molina, Keenyn Walker and Jared Mitchell, to name a few -- don't pan out, the Sox will have to look elsewhere to fill those holes. The good news is that there will be money to spend.
The future of the White Sox isn't necessarily bleak. There are still plenty of things that could break in the organization's favor over the next few years. Having some good luck in 2012 would be a nice start.
Brett Lawrie and Avisail Garcia will both return to the White Sox in 2017.
The team announced it reached deals with both players shortly before Friday’s 7 p.m. CST nontender deadline. Lawrie will earn $3.5 million next season and Garcia received a one-year deal for $3 million.
The club didn’t tender a contract to right-handed pitcher Blake Smith, which leaves its 40-man roster at 38.
Acquired last December for a pair of minor leaguers, Lawrie hit .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs, 22 doubles and 36 RBIs in 94 games before he suffered a season-ending injury.
Lawrie produced 0.9 f-WAR when he suffered what then-manager Robin Ventura described a “tricky” injury on July 21. Despite numerous tests and a lengthy rehab, Lawrie never returned to the field and was frustrated by the experience. Last month, Lawrie tweeted that he believes the cause of his injury was wearing orthotics for the first time in his career.
He was projected to earn $5.1 million, according to MLBTraderumors.com and earned $4.125 million in 2016.
Garcia hit .245/.307/.385 with 12 homers and 51 RBIs in 453 plate appearances over 120 games. The projected salary for Garcia, arb-eligible for the first time, was $3.4 million.
The team also offered contracts to Miguel Gonzalez and Todd Frazier, who are eligible for free agency in 2018, first baseman Jose Abreu and relievers Dan Jennings, Zach Putnam and Jake Petricka, among others.
The White Sox have until mid-January to reach an agreement with their arbitration-eligible players. If they haven’t, both sides submit figures for arbitration cases, which are then heard throughout February.
Crain's Chicago Business released its latest 40 under 40 project and White Sox announcer Jason Benetti made this year's list.
The 33-year-old just finished his first season with the White Sox as play-by-play announcer, working the home games at U.S. Cellular Field (before it was renamed Guaranteed Rate Field last month) alongside Steve Stone as longtime broadcaster Hawk Harrelson saw his workload reduced to mostly road games.
Benetti quickly became a fan favorite among Chicagoans on CSN and other networks in 2016 and his cerebral palsy became more of a backstory, with his work alongside Stone and his affable sense of humor taking center stage instead.
Among other topics, Benetti discussed how he approaches his job of broadcasting for the team he grew up rooting for:
Law school taught me that there are always two sides of the argument. I see it from the Sox prism, but I can’t believe in my heart of hearts that, if the Sox lose, the world’s over anymore. That first game, I was like, “All right, it’s just a game.” And then Avi Garcia hits a homer late in the game against the Indians and I call it like I would call it with a little more. And as the ball cleared the fence, when it was rolling around, I got a slight tear in my eye. And I was like, “What’s that?”
Check out the entire interview with Benetti and the full list at ChicagoBusiness.com.