Ventura not paying attention to rumors


Ventura not paying attention to rumors

The White Sox have been identified Saturday as one of three teams in pursuit of Boston Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis, according to multiple reports.

ESPNs Jim Bowden reports the Red Sox hope to trade the veteran by Saturday to the White Sox, Cleveland Indians or Los Angeles Dodgers. A three-time All-Star and career .286 hitter, Youkilis missed significant time earlier this season with lower back issues and has lost playing time to rookie Will Middlebrooks.

Youkilis is hitting .225 with four home runs in 142 at-bats.

White Sox manager Robin Ventura acknowledged he has heard some rumblings, but didnt get into specifics other than to say he would address a trade only if it were to happen.

You hear (rumors) and guys will sit there and talk about stuff, Ventura said. But its just like being a player: you cant react to them or respond to them unless they become true. Then you react to them. For me theres no sense of looking at it any other way until something happens with somebody. Then you react. I havent talked to my sources today. You talk about different things and, especially the last week, weve had guys go on the DL and with (Kosuke Fukudome) being designated. The other stuff, you wait and react to when it happens.

Youkilis could provide relief for a lineup which has struggled to produce against left-handed pitchers.

The White Sox are hitting .233 against left-handed pitching this season with 22 homers in 592 at-bats. The teams OPS versus lefties is .700 compared with a .735 against right-handers, against whom the White Sox are hitting .259 with 63 homers in 1,791 at-bats.

Youkilis has a career .299 average against lefties with a .928 OPS compared with .282 average and .853 OPS against right-handed pitchers.

Four top prospects among 19 players invited to White Sox big league camp

Four top prospects among 19 players invited to White Sox big league camp

Four of the team's top-10 prospects and a former All-Star are among the 19 nonroster invitees to White Sox big league camp this spring.

The team announced Monday that prospects Michael Kopech, Zack Collins, Zack Burdi and Spencer Adams have all been invited to camp next month. Everth Cabrera, an All-Star in 2013 for the San Diego Padres, Cody Asche, Cory Luebke and Geovany Soto are among the eight minor league free agents who also received an invitation. Pitchers and catchers report to camp in Glendale, Ariz. on Feb. 14 while the team holds its first full-squad workout on Feb. 18.

Kopech was acquired in the Chris Sale trade in December while Collins and Burdi were both selected in the 2016 amateur draft. Adams was drafted in 2014.

Signed earlier this month, Soto is expected to earn a spot on the 25-man roster. Soto, who played for the White Sox in 2015, finished last season with four home runs and an .809 OPS in 86 plate appearances for the Los Angeles Angels.

Cabrera, who produced 4.6 Wins Above Replacement between 2012-13, hasn't played in the majors since he appeared in 29 games for the Baltimore Orioles in 2015. Luebke, who has twice had reconstructive elbow surgery, finished with a 9.35 ERA in nine games for the Pittsburgh Pirates last season. Asche blasted 31 homers with a .240/.298/.385 slash line in 1,287 plate appearances since 2013 with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Other minor league free agents include: left-handed pitcher David Holmberg, right-handers Blake Smith and Anthony Swarzak, and catcher Roberto Pena.

White Sox minor leaguer pitchers Aaron Bummer, Brian Clark, Jace Fry and Matt Purke, infielders Nicky Delmonico and Danny Hayes, and outfielder Courtney Hawkins also have been invited to camp.

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