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White Sox spring training headlines: Chris Sale extension talk surfaces, Paul Konerko a WBC possibility

Plus: John Danks and Matt Thornton have nothing unusual to report from their spring debuts


The White Sox have an off day today, but not Chris Sale, who will stay on schedule by throwing 60-70 pitches to White Sox minor leaguers this morning. That means it will likely be his second day in the headlines, as Dan Hayes reported on Tuesday that Sale and the White Sox have discussed a contract extension.

The revelation doesn't rock the Richter scale in and of itself. Name a high-profile White Sox starter of recent history, and the club has either extended him or been rebuffed in its efforts. Unless they have medical concerns they're not talking about, they shoud naturally want to pursue that end like they did with Gavin Floyd and John Danks. Likewise, there's a growing tendency among younger stars to secure "made it" status early and delay their open-market entrance by a year or three, and being a young husband and father, Sale wouldn't seem to be immune to this inclination.

So both sides should have an inherent interest in feeling each other out. But still, I believe it's the first acknowledgment by either side that discussions have taken place, and that is news. Scott Merkin recently wrote a story about the Sox's confidence in guiding Sale through repeat performances of 2012, and so you'd think they'd want to put their money where their mouth is, and more literally than usual.


Speaking of Danks, he reported that he was "sore in all the right places" following his first post-surgery start on Monday.

"So, it's good. I've already talked to [White Sox head athletic trainer] Herm [Schneider] this morning and was able to do all my shoulder weight lifting and everything. Things are looking up."

Elsewhere on the injury front, Matt Thornton threw a scoreless, painless spring debut, and Floyd's elbow passed the test during a breaking-ball-laden debut.


Paul Konerko turned 37 on Tuesday, and he celebrated it in style with a 3-for-3 day. Depending on how he feels about the World Baseball Classic, it might not have been all smiles.

Team USA manager Joe Torre floated Konerko's name as a possibility to replace Mark Teixeira, who strained a tendon in his forearm before Team USA's exhibition game against the White Sox on Tuesday. Konerko doesn't appear to be the first choice, as Torre would like a left-handed-hitting first baseman like Prince Fielder or Ryan Howard. Given the tournament's lack of popularity on the American side, it could be Konerko's decision, and Robin Ventura trusts the veteran's judgment.

Before leaving Konerko, Jeff Sullivan GIF'd all of Konerko's "infield hits" at FanGraphs. If you wanted to see how much they had to stretch the definition in order to give Konerko five of them, there you go.



*I talked about the White Sox Tuesday morning on 95.7 The Fan in Michiana.

*Conor Gillaspie talked to Merkin about his fascination with meteorology.

*On the same subject, the late-winter snowstorm pleases Roger Bossard.