clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

White Sox rumors: Picking up where they left off -- with Todd Frazier

New, 172 comments

Top outfielders on market continue to draw suspiciously little activity, and not just from Sox

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It was a surprisingly sleepy weekend for the hot stove after an action-packed end of the week, so I don't think the rumor mill needed an "in case you missed it" feature.

That said, Jon Heyman provided such a service by reiterating the White Sox' interest in Cincinnati third baseman Todd Frazier, and adding a couple other teams to the mix as well:

Trade talks are starting to percolate with Todd Frazier as Cincinnati continues to talk to teams about the star third baseman.

The White Sox and Indians were thought to be among the teams most heavily involved at last week's Winter Meetings, with the Nationals, Royals, Dodgers, Rangers and Angels among teams believed to have some involvement or interest.

This rumor has something for everybody -- optimists can see an infield overhaul that brings more dingers, while skeptics can wonder what else it means:

Heyman reports their primary competition for the All-Star third baseman are the Indians, which is a telling moment of what financial tier of teams are desperate to deal in talent rather than money.

The good news is that the outfield market still hasn't materialized yet, even after the Cubs landed Jason Heyward. Instead, we're starting to see teams reducing their own odds, if anything. The Cardinals were supposed to be a suitor for Alex Gordon after Heyward went to their rivals, but now?

The Cardinals, for example, don’t see free-agent Alex Gordon as an alternative for Heyward just as they didn’t rush into the sweepstakes for Zack Greinke when Price chose Boston. The Cardinals’ interest in Price and Heyward — their "willingness to reach," chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. called it — was specific to those two players.

Then you have the Orioles, who were tied to Justin Upton at the start of free agency. They still might be, but in the meantime, they're the first team to have a reported offer to Korean outfielder Hyun-soo Kim.

The Giants needed help in their outfield and their rotation, and they've invested heavily in the latter, following up the signing of pitch-tipping Jeff Samardzija with a six-year, $130 million agreement with Johnny Cueto. The writers who talked to San Francisco GM Bobby Evans thought this knocked the Giants out of the running for a top-tier outfielder:

Although during a radio interview on KNBR afterward, Evans left it more open:

"There's a number of things that are still very attractive out there in the outfield market, and time will tell ultimately where we land, but I think there's enough options out there that we can explore various levels of guys and various scenarios that ultimately help us."

That counts as an enthusiastic pursuit in an offseason that makes it seem like executives have watched Dave Stewart defying baseball protocol by gushing about players he didn't land or can't talk about, and decided to deploy the "neg" strategy instead.

Which is to say that nobody's intentions can really be taken at face value at this point, and the hope is that the White Sox' lack of connections means as little as the on-the-record comments from others.