NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The White Sox have one potential option for Thursday mornings Rule 5 draft, but not much else.
White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said he believes rule changes implemented with the last Collective Bargaining Agreement, which allows teams more control over their prospects, limits the crop of potential draftees. Hahns in favor of the change but believes there wont be much talent on the board by the time the White Sox are on the clock Thursday.
Qualified players who are not protected on teams 40-man roster are eligible to be selected by other clubs in the Rule 5 draft for 50,000. Players who were 18 or younger when they were signed and have been in an organization for five seasons or players 19 or older with four seasons must be protected or are exposed to the Rule 5 draft.
Its a different kind of draft now, Hahn said. Its not as fertile as it was before the added protection, which Im fine with. As an organization that has benefitted from being able to have an extra year of development for a player before we have to make that decision to protect them, Id rather have a better chance to get to know my own and protect the right guys than be able to potentially steal a diamond in the rough for 50,000 from another club. Were talking through one thing and well see if that happens.
As for their own?
Last month, the White Sox added five players to their 40-man roster and feel as if they have protected everyone who needs it. One team source said left-handed reliever Daniel Moskos -- the fourth overall pick of the 2007 draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates -- could be selected. Moskos struck out 32 batters in 34 13 innings at Triple-A last season.
You never know what tickles someone elses fancy but obviously a big part of a decision to put a guy on the 40 is the expectation he would get picked if you didnt not protect him, Hahn said. So well see. A year ago at this time we had a pretty decent sense that Terry Doyle was going to get selected by Minnesota, which he did, and ultimately got returned. This year I dont have that exact sense. Ive heard a couple of rumored names but well see.
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.