White Sox staff shake-up coming?


White Sox staff shake-up coming?

MILWAUKEE -- The White Sox starting rotation as you know it could be in line for a major overhaul in 2012.

That is if the Sox decide to go that route. If they do, those sharks Kenny Williams spoke about on Tuesday are ready and willing to take a large bite out of his staff.

Youd think that we had a team out there that actually got into the playoffs from the interest level that people are showing our players, particularly our pitchers, Williams said Wednesday. But you dont know what you ultimately will be able to get back until you really start drawing some lines in the sand, and theres no need for that right now.

Two of his most valuable pieces are starters John Danks and Gavin Floyd. Is it feasible that the White Sox would trade both of them?

That remains to be seen, Williams said. It depends on what you can ultimately get back if you do decide to move them. That hasnt been decided yet. Im not ruling anything out.

Meanwhile, free agent pitcher Mark Buehrle now reportedly has 13 teams interested in signing him. It sounds like it was a very busy and productive GM meetings for his agent Jeff Berry, who left Milwaukee on Wednesday morning. One team said to be in the hunt for Buehrle is the Arizona Diamondbacks, whose general manager Kevin Towers was quite coy when I asked him about his interest in Buehrle.

I dont want to really get into details, showing my hand on who we have interest in, but wed like to add another veteran starter, Towers said. Weve got a lot of depth with young pitchers, but another established starter would make our staff that much better.

He then added with a smile, There are some pitchers in Chicago that are pretty decent.

Whoever is starting for the White Sox next season will mainly be throwing to catcher AJ Pierzynski, whos under contract for one more year at 6 million. Back-up catcher Tyler Flowers showed promise at the end of the last season, but Williams would not concede how much playing time he might receive in 2012.

I think thats a question that leads me down a road I dont want to go down right now because thats disrespectful to Robin Ventura. Robin makes the lineup out and its too early because we dont know what the club is going to look like right now.

What Williams does know is that with some different GMs in place throughout the league, theres a different feel to the meetings this year.

I will say that the tone of these meetings is more serious and people are getting to the point a little sooner than usual, so I dont know if its a byproduct of this being a different group of guys because theres a lot of new guys around, or just the seriousness of the individual situations, that they want to get some things crossed off their list.

Apparently adding starting pitching is one of them.

White Sox avoid arbitration with Todd Frazier, four pitchers

White Sox avoid arbitration with Todd Frazier, four pitchers

The White Sox agreed to one-year contracts with five players on Friday, including a $12-million deal for Todd Frazier.

Frazier established a franchise record for home runs by a third baseman in 2016 when he blasted 40 in his first season with the White Sox. A free agent after the 2017 season, Frazier hit .225/.302/.464 in 666 plate appearances, drove in a career high 98 runs and produced 2.4 Wins Above Replacement, according to fangraphs.com. 

Starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez is set to earn $5.9 million this season. The team also agreed to deals with relievers Dan Jennings ($1.4 million), Zach Putnam ($1.1175 million) and Jake Petricka ($825,000).

The White Sox acquired Frazier in a three-player trade from the Cincinnati Reds in December 2015. It's expected they would try to trade Frazier, who has hit 104 homers since 2014 and participated in the All-Star Game Home Run Derby three consecutive years, before the Aug 1 non-waiver trade deadline as part of the club's rebuilding efforts. 

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Gonzalez went 5-8 with a 3.73 ERA in 24 games (23 starts) after he was signed to a minor-league deal in early April. 

Jennings posted a 2.08 ERA in 60 2/3 innings. 

Putnam had a 2.30 ERA in 27 1/3 innings with 30 strikeouts before he had surgery to remove bone chips from his right elbow. 

Petricka was limited to nine appearances before his season was ended by hip surgery.

Both Petricka and Putnam are expected to be ready for spring training.

Top White Sox prospect Yoan Moncada impresses club at minicamp

Top White Sox prospect Yoan Moncada impresses club at minicamp

It was a limited look, but Yoan Moncada made a strong first impression on the White Sox this week.

Acquired from the Boston Red Sox last month in the Chris Sale trade, Moncada arrived in Glendale, Ariz., earlier this week with the franchise hopeful he'd offer a glimpse of the skills that earned him the designation as baseball's top prospect.

Moncada didn't disappoint, either, as he had White Sox evaluators excited throughout a three-day hitters camp. Whether it's his physicality, how he carried himself or his baseball IQ, White Sox staffers couldn't have been happier about their first experience with their new prized possession.

"(Moncada) looks like a linebacker, but he moves like a wide receiver," player development director Chris Getz said. "He's got good actions. He's obviously a switch hitter. He's got power. He can hit. He's got a good smile. He seems to be enjoying himself out here, he interacts well with his teammates.

"So far it has been very impressive, and we look forward to seeing more."

Hitting coach Todd Steverson said Moncada, 21, looked every bit the part when he first observed him from across the hall at the team's facility. Steverson spoke to friends in the scouting community and wasn't the least bit surprised when he encountered the 6-foot-2, 205-pound second baseman. Moncada was just as impressive on the field with his skills and effort, Steverson said.

"This is a large specimen right here," Steverson said. "He's put together pretty well.

"On defense it looks like he has some really good hands.

"He got in the box and he hadn't swung for a while. But still, you could tell he had good hands going through the zone, has a nice approach and wants to work real hard."

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Moncada's fancy tools have been well publicized since he received a $31.5-million signing bonus from the Red Sox in March 2015.

MLB.com graded Moncada's hit tool at 60 on the 20-80 scouting scale while his base running is 65 and arm is 60. Moncada's power received a 55 grade, and his fielding is 50. Moncada received an overall grade of 65, which suggests he has the ability to be a perennial All-Star and worth 4 Wins Above Replacement, according to fangraphs.com.

But the White Sox weren't just impressed with Moncada's physical ability.

One of manager Rick Renteria's top objectives for the camp was to emphasize fundamentals and what's important to the team. Renteria wanted to identify specific game situations and how players are expected to handle them so they're well prepared for the future. Moncada handled that area well, too.

"Yoan is a very knowledgeable baseball player who has experience on a multitude of levels," amateur scouting director Nick Hostetler said. "In the brief time we had with him this week, he showed a tremendous ability to drive the ball the opposite way as well as drive balls to the gap and out of the ball park from both sides of the plate. That ability will help him handle and any all situations that Ricky asks him to do at the plate. Defensively his hands and feet are very good and will have no problem there. He's a bright hard-working kid that is part of a bright future for the organization."