Every Monday throughout the regular season, we'll be ranking all 30 MLB teams.
Take a look and offer up your thoughts in the comments or to us on twitter @CubsTalkCSN or @WhiteSoxTalkCSN.
Previous rankings: Preseason Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8
JJ Comments 1
Tony: Can't deny them the top spot still.
JJ: Continue to re-load by adding Oswalt.
Tony: Kemp's injury will "hamstring" this team as some point.
JJ: Harper deserves love, but so does Gio Gonzalez.
Tony: Bryce Harper is the man, you guys.
JJ: Until they cool off, they deserve to be this high.
Tony: Longoria's coming back, but will Zobrist turn things around?
JJ: Slipping, and don't look now, but the Giants are right there.
Tony: Man are they hot. This is a legit playoff team.
JJ: This year, they have the pitching to win the division. 6
Tony: 20 years ago, they drafted Derek Jeter. He's still got it.
JJ: They'll move up when Longoria gets back.
Tony: Still may favorite to win the NL Central.
JJ: Hoo boy, do they need a starter. Matt Garza, anyone?
Tony: Are they starting to come back to earth?
JJ: Quietly, pitching has been outstanding.
Tony: Giancarlo, Big Z leading the charge.
JJ: Speaking of outstanding pitching...
Tony: Great week includes Johan no-no, Dickey CG SHO.
JJ: If Lincecum gets going, they could really challenge LA.
Tony: They're really starting to show their true colors.
JJ: Like his team, Pujols not all the way back, but getting there.
Tony: Don't look now, but they're withing spitting distance of first.
JJ: They're finally looking like the Orioles. Can they rebound?
Tony: Lost three straight series to AL Central opponents.
JJ: They're better than this, and will eventually show it.
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.