White Sox interest in Pierzynski has limits

870691.png

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.

Preview: White Sox open series with Royals Monday on CSN

Preview: White Sox open series with Royals Monday on CSN

The White Sox open a three-game set with the Kansas City Royals Monday, and you can catch all the action on CSN and live streaming on CSNChicago.com and the NBC Sports App.

Coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Tonight's starting pitching matchup: Jason Vargas (3-0, 0.44 ERA) vs. Miguel Gonzalez (2-0, 2.84 ERA)

Click here for more stats to make sure you’re ready for the action.  

— Channel finder: Make sure you know where to watch.

— Latest on the White Sox: All of the most recent news and notes.

White Sox snap skid by forcing, capitalizing on Indians' mistakes

White Sox snap skid by forcing, capitalizing on Indians' mistakes

White Sox force, capitalize on Indians' mistakes 

The White Sox haven't had many opportunities to capitalize on mistakes from their opponents lately because they haven't been in a position to force them. 

But in their 6-2 win over the Cleveland Indians Sunday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field, the White Sox put the pressure on the defending American League champions and reaped the results. 

Two plays stand out, both of which came in the sixth inning. After Omar Narvaez drew a leadoff walk, Jacob May put down a well-placed sacrifice bunt between the pitcher's mound and first base line. Indians first baseman Carlos Santana charged in and turned to underhand a toss to second baseman Michael Martinez, who was covering first. 

But the speedy May was hustling down the line, which forced Martinez to awkwardly stretch for the ball. He dropped it, allowing May to reach. 

"Anytime you you have players that are forcing defenses to complete plays you can put them in an awkward position," manager Rick Renteria said. "I don't know that that led to that in particular but he busted his rear end down the line."

That error paid off for the White Sox three batters later — after Tim Anderson and Tyler Saladino struck out — when Melky Cabrera singled to left. Narvaez was aggressively waved home by third base coach Nick Capra (a common practice with two out) but looked to be easily out at the plate on Brandon Guyer's throw. Again, though, forcing the issue paid off: Cleveland catcher Roberto Perez dropped Guyer's throw, allowing Narvaez to score. 

"That's kind of what we've been stressing in spring, play with your hair on fire," Anderson said. "That's definitely something that we've been working on and that's something we can control, that energy level and the way we hustle."

The White Sox were sparked by a three-run first inning, which ended a stretch of 23 consecutive innings without scoring a run. Anderson began with a double off Indians starter Danny Salazar and, after Saladino singled, scored on Cabrera's sacrifice fly. 

Jose Abreu followed with a line drive to right, which fell in front of outfielder Abraham Almonte and skipped past him for a two-base error, allowing Saladino to score. Leury Garcia later delivered a two-out single to score Abreu. 

"Everybody knows how good this Cleveland pitchers are, especially the first two games with (Carlos) Carrasco and (Corey) Kluber," Abreu said through an interpreter. "Our offense was silent. But today we had more life against Salazar. We know him and we did our job."

The White Sox cruised behind that three-run first inning and a solid start from left-hander Derek Holland, who allowed one run over six innings. Holland's only mistake was a third inning hanging curveball to Francisco Lindor, who launched it for a solo home run. But he came back two innings later and struck out Lindor with the bases loaded on another curveball, ending Cleveland's best scoring threat of the game. 

"Just because something happens you got to turn the page and not worry about those kind of things, and get ready for the next one," Holland said. "He may have got me that first time but I got him the second time. So those are the kind of things, you never let something take you away from your game."