What if the Sox don't trade Quentin?

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What if the Sox don't trade Quentin?

At the winter meetings earlier this month, it looked like a foregone conclusion that Kenny Williams would leave Dallas with Carlos Quentin no longer a member of the White Sox. Or, at least, it was speculated, because Quentin is the most expendable asset the White Sox have.

With Dayan Viciedo looking ready for a starting job, Alex Rios having an immovable contract and Alejandro De Aza playing his way into consideration for a starting role, the Sox outfield should be set without Quentin. There's still two months between now and spring training, but with more teams filling outfield holes the market for Quentin has shrunk.

And as we go on, the chances the Sox keep Quentin will increase. If they do, what could that mean?

1. Rios sees his playing time cut: It's not the easiest proposition for a first-time manager in Robin Ventura, but relegating Rios and his 12 million salary to a backup role could be beneficial to the team. In 2011, Rios was worth -0.7 WAR, making it two of the last three seasons he's been worth near or below replacement level. Of course, if Rios rebounds to his 3.7 WAR level of 2010, he'll be wasted on the bench.
2. De Aza is the backup: This would seem counter-intuitive, since he's the only player on the Sox who fits best at the No. 1 position in the lineup. If De Aza is put into a backup role, the Sox would probably have to count on Alexei Ramirez or a hopefully resurgent Gordon Beckham to lead off.

3. Viciedo sees his playing time cut: This is an even less-likely scenario, seeing as Viciedo has nothing left to prove in the minors. Maybe some sort of outfieldDH platoon could be worked out with Viciedo, Quentin and Adam Dunn, with Dunn seeing the least playing time. So maybe this title should be "Dunn sees his playing time cut."

4. The Sox aren't doing anything close to rebuilding: This point seemed to become clear when the Sox signed John Danks to a five-year extension, although they could still look to deal Gavin Floyd. But if the Sox don't trade their most trade-able asset, then no, this team isn't rebuilding at all.

After Chris Sale drama subsides, White Sox and Tigers suspended due to storms

After Chris Sale drama subsides, White Sox and Tigers suspended due to storms

Chris Sale’s stand against the White Sox 1976 throwback jerseys forced manager Robin Ventura to use his bullpen for an entire game. And the Johnny Wholestaff approach almost worked with the team’s ace left-hander sent home following that sensational pregame incident

The White Sox needed seven relievers to play the Detroit Tigers to a rain-shortened 3-3 tie after eight innings Saturday night in front of 32,527 at U.S. Cellular Field. The game was suspended and will be finished Sunday beginning at 1:10 p.m., with the day’s regularly-scheduled game beginning 30 minutes after the final out. 

The start of Saturday’s game was delayed for 10 minutes due to rain, and there was a 74-minute rain delay after the second inning due to a heavy thunderstorm. 

Of course, the literal storms paled in comparison to the figurative one that exploded out of the White Sox clubhouse Saturday evening. Sale was scratched from his start about 30 minutes before the scheduled first pitch, with a vague statement from general manager Rick Hahn mentioning a “non-physical” incident in the clubhouse that was under investigation by the team. 

Just as the second rain delay hit, though, a report surfaced — which was later confirmed by CSNChicago.com’s Dan Hayes — that Sale, who started for the American League All-Stars last week in San Diego, was so furious over having to wear the team’s 1976 throwback uniforms that he cut them up so they couldn’t be worn. Sale was sent home by the White Sox after the incident. 

Without anything close to ample time to shuttle a starting pitcher up from the minor leagues to replace Sale, the White Sox started right-hander Matt Albers despite the 33-year-old throwing an inning both Thursday and Friday against the Tigers. 

Albers allowed one run in two innings before the storm struck. After that hour-and-14-minute delay, left-hander Dan Jennings fired a pair of scoreless innings, striking out three — including a whiff of Miguel Cabrera with the bases loaded in the top of the third. 

Right-hander Tommy Kahnle allowed a solo home run to Justin Upton in the top of the sixth, which was the only damage he allowed in his two innings of work. Left-hander Zach Duke then tagged in and fired a scoreless seventh.

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Right-hander Nate Jones took the eighth but couldn’t hold the lead. His bobbling of a comebacker allowed Cameron Maybin to reach to lead off the inning, and the red-hot Tigers center fielder stole second before coming around to score on Nick Castellanos’ RBI single. 

With heavy storms approaching, David Robertson relieved Jones and struck out pinch-hitter Tyler Collins to end the top of the eighth.

Avisail Garcia’s RBI sacrifice fly in the second and solo home run — his sixth of the season and first since May 28 — in the fourth helped pace the White Sox offense. Dioner Navarro chipped in with an RBI double in the second as well. 

The White Sox only managed a two-out walk from Todd Frazier in the bottom of the eighth before the tarp was rolled out for the third and final time. 

Chris Sale scratched from start due to 'clubhouse incident'

Chris Sale scratched from start due to 'clubhouse incident'

Chris Sale has not been traded, but he was scratched from his scheduled start Saturday due to a "clubhouse incident."

White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said in a statement about 25 minutes before the scheduled start of Saturday's game against the Detroit Tigers that Sale was sent home from the park after a "non-physical" incident that is being investigated by the team. 

Here's Hahn's statement in full:

“Chris Sale has been scratched from tonight’s scheduled start and sent home from the ballpark by the White Sox due to a clubhouse incident before the game.  The incident, which was non-physical in nature, currently is under further investigation by the club.

“The White Sox will have no additional comment until the investigation is completed.”

Multiple reports, which CSNChicago.com's Dan Hayes confirmed, have the incident stemming from Sale not wanting to wear a 1976 throwback jersey for Saturday's game. The White Sox announced in March they would wear those uniforms on July 23, instead, the White Sox wore their 1983-style uniforms for Saturday's game. 

Matt Albers instead started for the White Sox on Saturday.

CSN Chicago's Chuck Garfien reported the incident started over something "stupid," while ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reported the incident wasn't with any of Sale's teammates. 

The news of Sale’s scratching set Twitter ablaze with questions about if this year’s American League All-Star starting pitcher was on the move. On Friday, rumors circulated that the Texas Rangers were pushing to acquire Sale, but the White Sox reportedly were asking for a hefty return. 

On Saturday, the Dallas Morning News’ Evan Grant reported the Rangers had moved on from talks with the White Sox and were focusing on acquiring a starting pitcher from the Tampa Bay Rays.

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MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported Saturday the cost to acquire Sale would be “five top prospects.”

Earlier this week, general manager Rick Hahn said the White Sox were open to anything (except acquiring a second-half rental) but added that it might be “extreme” to undergo a full rebuild with Sale and fellow All-Star left-hander Jose Quintana under team control through 2019 and 2020, respectively. 

“We certainly have desirable players that people would want to help them win a championship,” Hahn said Thursday.” But at the same time, we’re aware of the fact that we have a lot of high-quality talent under control for years beyond 2016.”

White Sox expect Brett Lawrie back soon, Alex Avila needs 2-4 more weeks

White Sox expect Brett Lawrie back soon, Alex Avila needs 2-4 more weeks

White Sox second baseman Brett Lawrie was out of the lineup for the second consecutive day with a tight left hamstring, and while he won’t require a stint on the 15-day disabled list, his injury has left manager Robin Ventura a little shorthanded. 

The White Sox are carrying 13 pitchers, so with Tyler Saladino filling in for Lawrie at second base, they’ve been left with only three players on the bench for this weekend’s series against the Detroit Tigers. Ventura said he expects Lawrie to be ready to return to the lineup in the next couple of days. 

Had outfielder Adam Eaton, who left Friday’s 7-5 loss after fouling a ball off his foot, needed to miss Saturday’s game, Ventura said the White Sox might’ve had to make a move to bring up another position player. Eaton is back leading off and playing right field on Saturday. 

“It's a little tight having enough players on the bench,” Ventura said.

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The White Sox position player depth has already been tested by injuries to outfielder Austin Jackson (knee) and catcher Alex Avila (hamstring), with both players unlikely to come off the disabled list for at least another month. 

Avila, who re-aggravated his strained right hamstring Wednesday during a rehab game with Triple-A Charlotte, said he probably tried to return too quickly the White Sox. The 29-year-old Avila leads White Sox regulars with a .362 on-base percentage and said he’ll need at least two to four weeks to heal up. 

“I probably tried to rush back a little too quick and wasn’t ready,” Avila said. “It's frustrating. I’d like to be back, but you have to let nature take its course."