White Sox morning roundup

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White Sox morning roundup

From the weekend:

Robin Ventura set his first lineup, complete with A.J. Pierzynski and Alex Rios batting in the second and third spots in the order, respectively. There's a good chance the lineup the Sox trot out against the Dodgers today is the one they'll go with against Texas on Opening Day -- which Hardball Talk's Matthew Pouliot sees as a disaster. White Sox Observer's James Fegan also looked at a few roster and lineup prognostications.

Chuck Garfien spoke to Brent Lillibridge, who thinks the Sox have a good chance to get off to a fast start. Hopefully he's right, since it seems like the Sox haven't had a really good start to a season in years.

Moe Berg might be the most awesome player in White Sox history. Via Chris Kamka's fantastic writeup: "He was a voracious reader of newspapers; upwards of ten a day. He considered each newspaper 'live' until he read it. If anyone touched his newspapers before they were read, they were pronounced 'dead' and he would have to buy it again."

The Sox had an intrasquad game Saturday and Dayan Viciedo hit a grand slam off Gavin Floyd, moving the team's spring record to .500. Oh, and Chris Sale looked good, and Brent Morel's feeling good.

A little clerical item: The Sox agreed to contracts with 24 players, meaning the team's payroll will be 102.5 million this season. And here are photos of some of those players.

Gavin Floyd trade rumors: Will. Not. Die. In similarly frustratingdisappointing news, Alexei Ramirez wants his gold medal from the 2004 Summer Olympics back.

If MLB's new playoff system was in place dating back to 1995, which teams would've benefited the most? Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. But the White Sox would've made the postseason in 2006 and would've been part of a hilarious play-in-game mess in 1996.

Around the division: Recaps, box scores and notes from Sunday's spring training games played by Detroit, Minnesota, Kansas City and Cleveland -- and Joel Zumaya's going to have Tommy John surgery after all.

White Sox agree to one-year deals with Brett Lawrie, Avisail Garcia

White Sox agree to one-year deals with Brett Lawrie, Avisail Garcia

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.

White Sox announcer Jason Benetti cracks Crain's 40 under 40

White Sox announcer Jason Benetti cracks Crain's 40 under 40

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.