At the winter meetings earlier this month, it looked like a foregone conclusion that Kenny Williams would leave Dallas with Carlos Quentin no longer a member of the White Sox. Or, at least, it was speculated, because Quentin is the most expendable asset the White Sox have.
With Dayan Viciedo looking ready for a starting job, Alex Rios having an immovable contract and Alejandro De Aza playing his way into consideration for a starting role, the Sox outfield should be set without Quentin. There's still two months between now and spring training, but with more teams filling outfield holes the market for Quentin has shrunk.
And as we go on, the chances the Sox keep Quentin will increase. If they do, what could that mean?
1. Rios sees his playing time cut: It's not the easiest proposition for a first-time manager in Robin Ventura, but relegating Rios and his 12 million salary to a backup role could be beneficial to the team. In 2011, Rios was worth -0.7 WAR, making it two of the last three seasons he's been worth near or below replacement level. Of course, if Rios rebounds to his 3.7 WAR level of 2010, he'll be wasted on the bench.
2. De Aza is the backup: This would seem counter-intuitive, since he's the only player on the Sox who fits best at the No. 1 position in the lineup. If De Aza is put into a backup role, the Sox would probably have to count on Alexei Ramirez or a hopefully resurgent Gordon Beckham to lead off.
3. Viciedo sees his playing time cut: This is an even less-likely scenario, seeing as Viciedo has nothing left to prove in the minors. Maybe some sort of outfieldDH platoon could be worked out with Viciedo, Quentin and Adam Dunn, with Dunn seeing the least playing time. So maybe this title should be "Dunn sees his playing time cut."
4. The Sox aren't doing anything close to rebuilding: This point seemed to become clear when the Sox signed John Danks to a five-year extension, although they could still look to deal Gavin Floyd. But if the Sox don't trade their most trade-able asset, then no, this team isn't rebuilding at all.
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Brett Lawrie isn't sore, he's just not yet correctly aligned.
Until that happens, the White Sox second baseman doesn't want to risk playing at full speed, which for him is nearly the equivalent of hyperdrive on the Millennium Falcon.
Lawrie said Sunday he has been pleased with the progress made in returning from a series of leg injuries that wiped out the final 2 1/2 months of last season. But he also isn't quite ready and doesn't want to risk re-injuring himself until he feels total confidence.
"I've been very happy and I haven't really gone backwards and that's been key for me," Lawrie said. "I guess the biggest thing is being able to trust myself when I get out on the field and not have to worry about my body and just worry about the game. If I can't do that then I'm not going to go out there and do that. S once I can clear that stuff up, and it's in the near future.
"I just need to keep being positive and keep putting the work in every single day and I'll be OK."
Lawrie and Rick Renteria said the veteran has been his normal hyper since he reported to camp eight days ago. He'd been a full participant leading up to Saturday when he told Renteria he still didn't feel completely right. But Lawrie said he's just working out the "end kinks" to a trying period. Even though he's had a few tough days of late, Lawrie is trying to stay upbeat and power through.
"It's nothing that's grabbing at me or anything like that," Lawrie said. "I think it's just how everything is sitting and needs to be aligned, that's all.
"Not completely where I want to be and I want to be right where I want to be in order to get out on the field. This last part has just been tough but I'm just continuing to push through and I want to be out on the field and be 100 percent and just have to worry about baseball and not have to worry about this. Before I get out there I just want to make sure that everything is cleared up."
GLENDALE, Ariz. — The White Sox held Brett Lawrie out Saturday after he reported discomfort in the same left leg that sidelined him for the final 2 1/2 months of 2016.
The second baseman has been a full participant the entire spring until he informed manager Rick Renteria what he was experiencing Saturday.
"We're going to reevaluate him tomorrow and see where he's at," Renteria said. "He didn't feel quite right, and so he was in there earlier today getting treatment. We'll reevaluate tomorrow and make a determination where we're at in terms of trying to set some parameters for how we move forward."
A confusing, tricky series of injuries that Lawrie blamed on wearing orthotics limited him to 94 games last season. He hit the disabled list on July 22 and didn't discover the cause until after the season ended. But Lawrie reported to camp feeling healthy once again and has participated at 100 percent until this point, Renteria said.
"It's been good," Renteria said. "Everything has been clean. There have been no notifications anything had been amiss. He just woke up this morning and felt it. So we're going to be very cautious, take it a day at a time, reevaluate it and see where we're at."