MLB offseason about to heat up


MLB offseason about to heat up

While football -- both NCAA and NFL -- has dominated the attention of the sports world of late, the baseball offseason is quietly heating up.

MLB free agency has been active for a few weeks now, and neither Chicago baseball team has made much of a ripple, with the Cubs inking Scott Baker and Dioner Navarro to deals and the White Sox retaining the services of Jake Peavy and Gavin Floyd.

The main winter event -- the MLB Winter Meetings -- kicks off next week, starting Dec. 3 and extending until Dec. 6. On the final day of the Winter Meetings, the Rule 5 Draft will take place, allowing teams to select players who are not protected on 40-man rosters.

Here's how the rest of the MLB offseason will play out (ht to MLBTR for the breakdown):

--Nov. 30: Deadline for teams to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players (explanation)
--Dec. 3-6: MLB Winter Meetings
--Dec. 6: Rule 5 Draft
--Jan. 18: Teams and players exchange arbitration figures
--Feb. 1-21: Arbitration hearings held in Phoenix
--Mar. 2-11: Teams can renew contracts of unsigned pre-arbitration eligible players

Comcast SportsNet will have you covered all winter with Chicago Baseball Hot Stove, running every Tuesday at 5 p.m. The first episode airs this week.

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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