Chicago White Sox

White Sox interest in Pierzynski has limits

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White Sox interest in Pierzynski has limits

Hours before Kevin Youkilis signed with the New York Yankees on Tuesday a report surfaced that the Texas Rangers have interest in A.J. Pierzynski.

And while the White Sox have stated repeatedly this offseason that they wanted to retain both free agents, the teams interest has always been at their own limit.

In other words: wed like you back, but only at this price.

On Tuesday, Youkilis signed a one-year, 12-million deal with the Yankees.

The White Sox had constant dialogue with Youkilis agent, Joe Bick, through the winter meetings last week when they signed Jeff Keppinger to a three-year deal for 12 million.

But even though general manager Rick Hahn had several discussions with Bick and parameters were discussed, the two sides never came close to a deal, according to a baseball source. The White Sox knew where Youkilis stood and Bick was aware what the club had in mind. No further negotiations took place after the White Sox informed Bick they intended to go to their backup plan.

With Tyler Flowers in place and limited payroll available, the White Sox have clearly demonstrated to Pierzynskis agent, Steve Hilliard, theyre prepared to move forward without the veteran.

After Keppingers deal and between 7-8 million in raises due to Gordon Beckham, Alejandro De Aza and Dayan Viciedo, the team is closing in fast on last seasons 109 million payroll.

The White Sox would dearly miss Pierzynskis left-handed bat and likely would need to replace him. They also would miss the certainty of a catcher who has averaged 133 12 games the past eight seasons.

But Flowers has 20-homer potential, is a better defender and comes at a cheaper price.

Though Hahn said the White Sox have had very open and honest talks with Hilliard, the likelihood is the discussion is similar to those of Youkilis: heres our offer, take it or leave it.

After he took a discounted salary the last time he was a free agent, Pierzynski wants a fair deal in what could be his last contract. Even though interest in Pierzynski this offseason hasnt been overwhelming, his projected salary, especially after he hit a career-high 27 home runs last season, is far more than the White Sox likely want to pay with Flowers in the fold.

Though theres interest in Pierzynskis return, it might not be long before a report surfaces about the catchers departure.

Hawk Harrelson believes John Lackey is 'full of shit'

Hawk Harrelson believes John Lackey is 'full of shit'

Hawk Harrelson isn't buying John Lackey's explanation of innocence.

The Cubs right-hander plunked four White Sox batters in Tuesday's Crosstown throwdown at Wrigley Field, earning the on-air ire of the White Sox longtime broadcaster. Lackey said after the game that he did it on accident but understood the White Sox later retaliation.

Wednesday, a day after all those HBPs, Harrelson stuck to his guns, not believing the veteran pitcher for a second.

"He's full of shit, and you can print that," Harrerlson told the Tribune's Colleen Kane. "He's full of it. He always has been."

OK then.

"I was hoping that they would drill his ass big time because he's an idiot," Harrelson told Kane. "At that point, the game was not the issue. It was Lackey. He's in the pennant race. This is a big-boy game. There's no bullshit here. He's putting (Kris) Bryant and (Anthony) Rizzo in jeopardy."

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Harrelson, of course, is known for getting heated in the booth and historically has had little issue with expressing his anger on air. You'll remember past rants directed at umpires Mark Wegner and Joe West.

Lackey stirred up plenty of controversy with his four hit batsmen in Tuesday's White Sox loss, plunking Jose Abreu twice as well as Matt Davidson and Yoan Moncada. Harrelson made his displeasure known during the broadcast and implied there would be retaliation. Chris Beck hit Ian Happ with a pitch after Lackey pegged three White Sox in the fifth inning.

Lackey's an old-school type himself, much like Harrelson, so it makes sense the two would be right in the middle of such a situation involving baseball's unwritten rules.

In midst of breakout season, Avisail Garcia sent to DL with right thumb strain

In midst of breakout season, Avisail Garcia sent to DL with right thumb strain

Avisail Garcia may need a guard to protect two fingers on his right hand, but he won’t need anything besides rest to heal them.

An MRI taken Wednesday revealed that the White Sox outfielder has a ligament strain. Garcia, who three hits in his previous 22 plate appearances, is headed for the 10-day disabled list. Though frustrated, the All-Star knows rest is important given how much the injury affected the way he has handled the bat.

“I’ve just got to give it some time, let it heal and let’s see how I feel in the next couple days,” Garcia said. “No surgery. It’s not too serious. I’ve just got inflammation. It’s bad because I grab my bat like this and the inflammation is right here (Garcia pointed to the inside of his thumb). So that’s why it hurts. It’s nothing serious. I thank God for that.”

Garcia had been in the original White Sox lineup for Wednesday but was scratched after visiting a team doctor, general manager Rick Hahn said. Prior to the All-Star break, Garcia dealt with inflammation on his right middle finger. That finger still hasn’t recovered the outfielder said. Both cases are the result of getting jammed by pitches, Garcia said. Garcia also strained his knee last month and was sidelined for several days.

Garcia said he had felt some tenderness prior to Tuesday’s loss, but didn’t think too much about it. But Hahn said Garcia’s injury worsened Tuesday when he went 0-for-5, which prompted Wednesday’s visit.

“I feel a big difference,” Garcia said. “That’s why I decided to go to the doctor today because I couldn’t swing the same way that I have to swing. You could see yesterday, 0-for-5. I’ve been swinging too much with my shoulders. Trying to force it. I don’t have to force it. If something’s wrong I have to stop because I want to help my team. I don’t want this to happen. But it happened. That’s baseball. Anything can happen so I’ve just got to take care of this and be back and ready.”

The White Sox weren’t ready to announced Garcia’s replacement, though one is expected to arrive for Thursday’s series finale against the Cubs.

The White Sox also announced that utility man Leury Garcia is ready to start his rehab assignment in Arizona. Hahn also said outfielder Ryan Cordell, acquired for Anthony Swarzak on Tuesday, would visit team doctors in Chicago. Cordell is on the DL with a back strain and Hahn suggested it could take several more weeks.

“There’s a chance that we don’t see him in action till closer to instructional league,” Hahn said. “But in terms of long-term prognosis, this injury should be a non-factor in his development, and we look forward to having him in action.”