Word on the Street: Sox looking to trade Floyd?

Word on the Street: Sox looking to trade Floyd?

Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010
CSNChicago.com

Floyd on the block

Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Gavin Floyd is reportedly on the trading block as the MLB GMs meet in Orlando, Fla., this week.

Floyd has a contract through the 2012 season with a club option for 2013, but the 27-year-old starter may still be dealt nonetheless. He had a 4.08 ERA last year with the Sox and according to Scot Gregor of the Daily Herald, the South Siders may deal Floyd to the Rockies for 25-year-old third baseman Ian Stewart, who hit 18 homers in 121 games last year. Floyd would likely be a good fit in Colorado, posting a career-best 49.9 percent groundball rate in the '10 season.

Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors, however, believes the Brewers, Yankees, Rangers, Marlins, Nationals, Astros, Pirates, Diamondbacks and Dodgers are also expected to have interest in Floyd besides the Rockies. (MLB Trade Rumors, Daily Herald)

Cubs close to a trade?

Not to be outdone by their Chicago counterparts, the Cubs are reportedly close to a deal with the Texas Rangers. 25-year-old first baseman Chris Davis is the main component of the deal, as the Cubs are wanting to diminish their gaudy payroll, not add to it, which means a trade would help fit that bill rather than signing an expensive free agent. The Rangers are also in need of a catcher and the Cubs have two talented catchers in the minor leagues in Welington Castillo and Robinson Chirinos.

Davis is a power-hitting left-handed bat, exactly the type of player the Cubs have expressed interest in. He only hit .192 with 1 HR in 45 games last year, but hit 21 homers just two short years ago. (Cubbies Crib, SB Nation Dallas)

Four Bulls on All Star Ballot

Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah highlighted the Bulls' representatives on the NBA All Star Ballot. Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer are also on the list. Voting began Thursday at bulls.comvotebulls or at NBA Arenas and extends through Jan. 23.

The All Star game starters will be announced Jan. 27. (Chicago Tribune)

Sox keying in on Olivo

With A.J. Pierzynski filing for free agency, the White Sox need somebody to fill the hole at catcher and rumor has it they might be turning to Miguel Olivo, who began his Major League career with Chicago in 2002.

Pierzynski was a clubhouse leader, but only threw out 26.5 percent of would-be base stealers last year. Olivo, on the other hand, threw out 42.3 percent of runners, second only to Yadier Molina (48.5) in the Majors. Olivo also provided some offense, smacking 14 homers in '09. (Chicago Tribune)

Yankees extend invite to Piniella

Former Cubs manager Lou Piniella has been invited to Old Timers' Day at Yankee Stadium next year. Piniella played outfield for the Yankees for most of his career, and was part of the World Series champion 1977-78 teams. He also managed the Bronx Bombers after his playing career was over.

Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner said Piniella will "always be a consultant for me." (Chicago Tribune)

Bears somehow avoiding injury bug

It has been a truly crazy year in the NFL, including on the injury format. Alex Marvez on FoxSports.com breaks down how the injury bug has hit the league, as 311 players have been placed on the injured reserve list through 10 weeks, 34 more than last season (277). The Bears fall in the "Fit as a Fiddle" category, as they've been relatively unscatched this year. The only notable IR player is Hunter Hillenmeyer.

The Vikings are in what Marvez calls the "Stable Condition" category while Green Bay falls under "Intensive Care" and the Lions are in the worst shape, falling under the "On Life Support". (FoxSports.com)

David Robertson, Nate Jones return to White Sox after WBC victory

David Robertson, Nate Jones return to White Sox after WBC victory

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Having experienced a playoff-like atmosphere at the World Baseball Classic, David Robertson and Nate Jones already feel prepared for the regular season. 

The two relievers returned to White Sox camp on Friday morning bearing gold medals from a Team USA WBC title run that concluded on Wednesday night with an 8-0 victory over Puerto Rico at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Robertson, who recorded the final three outs of the clinching victory, said he's glad to be back and won't need much of a tune-up to be ready for the April 3 season opener.

"Back up to speed?" Robertson said. "More like slow down and get ready for the season. I'll probably play catch (Friday). I didn't throw (Thursday), I spent the day traveling. Probably play catch today, and be ready to throw (Saturday). If I needed to throw today, I could. I feel like I'm season ready right now."

"It feels good to be back. It's been a long trip doing this WBC, so it's good to be back and relax a little bit. Have a couple days before we start the season."

Both Jones and Robertson appeared four times each for Team USA with similar results. Each allowed a solo home run but nothing else. Jones said he brought his gold medal back to camp because he isn't yet ready to put it in his safety deposit box. His favorite moments of the tournament were brought on by raucous crowds.

"Once you get a crowd chanting USA that was a pretty cool moment," Jones said. "You're proud of representing your country, and once they did that, it all kind of set in, like, ‘Wow, this is happening.'

"It's just pure excitement, everybody going crazy."

Jones and Robertson said they're pleased to have returned to the relative tranquility of White Sox camp after they lived out of a suitcase for the previous 18 days. Both were set to meet with pitching coach Don Cooper and manager Rick Renteria to discuss their upcoming schedule. Jones said he expected to throw a side session on Friday in front of Cooper to have his mechanics reviewed. Robertson last pitched on Wednesday and didn't know when he'd throw again.

"They've been busy, obviously, with Robbie finishing up the last game," Renteria said. "We'll see how the schedule lines up in terms of their usage for the remaining 9-10 days."

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Robertson is pretty sure he won't need much work. Whereas the team's closer normally waits until the first week of March to appear in a game, Robertson has pitched in plenty this spring. Each of the last four has had a ton more intensity than any normal Cactus League work.

"It felt like playoff baseball really early in the year," Robertson said. "Just coming from Miami, trying to win a couple days in there was really hard. Fans were really loud. That place was a very intense environment, and it didn't feel like you were the home team at all.

"It felt like (a home game) when we were in San Diego We were the home team there, and when we got to L.A., same thing. Although, I will say that when we were playing the Japanese, it erupted a couple times when they had some big moments in their game. It was just a lot of fun to play in this whole event. It was definitely more than I expected."

Jose Quintana gets the Opening Day start for White Sox

Jose Quintana gets the Opening Day start for White Sox

 

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Jose Quintana has been named the Opening Day starter — for the White Sox.

While many are surprised he still hasn't been traded, few should be shocked by the news manager Rick Renteria delivered on Friday, when he announced Quintana would pitch the April 3 opener.

With Chris Sale gone to Boston, Quintana, a first-time All-Star in 2016, has been the odds-on favorite to take over as the team's ace. The only question seemed to be whether or not he'd still be in a White Sox uniform when the season began. But the club made it clear Friday that Quintana is their guy and he'll face the Detroit Tigers in the first game of 2017. The only one who seemed a little taken aback about the news is Quintana.

"I was surprised," Quintana said. "I knew I may get the ball for that day, but they didn't say nothing, so you didn't know. I just kept going and doing my workouts and all my stuff. I'm really, really happy with this opportunity. It's huge for me. I can't wait for that day to come.

"I'm excited to have this opportunity. It's a huge honor for me to have the ball for Opening Day the first time in my life. And I think it's a once-in-a-life opportunity."

Asked about the announcement earlier in the week, Renteria said he needed more time. Many speculated that it meant the White Sox were continuing to listen to offers for Quintana, who has drawn constant interest since the team began its rebuild in December.

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Quintana, who went 13-12 with a 3.20 ERA and 181 strikeouts in 208 innings last season, has looked fantastic all spring. Pitching in front of more than a dozen scouts on Thursday, Quintana made his first Cactus League appearance in a month and allowed two hits over seven scoreless innings. The left-hander also put on a brilliant performance for Colombia in the World Baseball Classic on March 10 as he retired the first 17 Team USA hitters he faced before allowing a hit.

"He's very happy about it," Renteria said. "He has obviously earned it.

"I don't know if he was surprised as much as he was elated and proud to be given the opportunity to be the Opening Day starter. It's a privilege."

Quintana's resume of consistency made him a clear-cut choice for the nod. He heads into 2017 having pitched at least 200 innings in each of the past four seasons. In that span, he's produced a 3.32 ERA and 18.1 Wins Above Replacement, according to fangraphs.com. That figure represents the seventh-highest WAR total among all big league pitchers in that span.

Even though he's viewed as the staff ace, Quintana — who potentially has four years and $36.85 million left on his current contract — said he was surprised by the news because the club hadn't yet informed him of the honor.

"It means a lot for me, especially after last year when you make the All-Star team and this year the opportunity to play in the WBC and now you have the opportunity to pitch on Opening Day," Quintana said. "That's a lot of things happening for me now and I'm happy. And really blessed. You just try to do all my things every time.

"Maybe they don't know what it means for me, but it's a big thing."