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Terrerobytes: Notes from notes from SoxFest

White Sox add to crowded outfield picture with Peter Bourjos, plus observations from the dawning of a new era

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Jose Quintana is still here.
Jose Quintana is still here.
@SouthSidelarry on Twitter

Rick Hahn always gets his man.

Remember back when the Cardinals hacked into the Astros' database and some of the trade discussion documents leaked onto Deadspin? The White Sox made a couple of appearances, including one in which they gauged Houston's interest in Jason Castro using a center fielder they did not yet have:

[Rick Hahn] asked [Jeff Luhnow] if Hector Santiago would entice us. JL said that was not enough for Castro. RH came back later in the day and asked if [Peter] Bourjos (from LAA) would entice us in a Castro context?

The White Sox now have Peter Bourjos, as Colleen Kane broke the minor-league signing on Friday.

Bourjos, who will turn 30 just before Opening Day, peaked early. He's been a fourth outfielder in the National League the last three years, and he's posted an OBP between .290 and .294 in those three seasons. He used to be able to get away with it when he could cover a lot of ground in center field, but he only made 10 appearances there for the Phillies in 2016, as opposed to 115 in right field. The metrics suggest he's a slightly above-average outfielder now.

He's worth a flier, but his best fit is the most difficult one to accommodate -- Charlie Tilson's backup/right-handed caddy in center field. The Sox would have to clear a spot on the already-crowded 40-man roster for him, and based on his slide, he might not be worth the effort when Leury Garcia is around. But he'd be better in Chicago than Charlote, where some combination of Adam Engel, Jacob May, Willy Garcia and Rymer Liriano needs the reps.

Bourjos' role might be helping prevent a depth chart meltdown in spring training should Tilson experience a setback in his return from that awful hamstring injury. Tilson, for his part, says he's healthy, cramming three idioms into one quote.

"I'm just ready to play baseball," he said, "just move past my leg. I've crossed my "t's" and dotted my "i's" with that. I like to think setback is a setup for a comeback."


It was pretty much a given that Jose Quintana would be pitching for Colombia in the World Baseball Classic based on the lack of competition. Other rosters are just now starting to fill out, and he'll have some company with Miguel Gonzalez (Mexico), Nate Jones and David Robertson (U.S.).

The headline is a little misleading, since Harrelson originally picked four years in order weeks ago to extend his all-important "parts of decades" count to eight.

Harrelson started his minor-league career in the Kansas City Athletics system in 1959. His last major-league season was with the Indians in 1971. He began his broadcasting career in the mid-70s, with a brief intermission as the Sox general manager in 1986.

"I want that for myself too, but mainly for the grandkids," Harrelson said. "They will have a granddad who was in a very exclusive club of professional baseball for parts of eight decades."

Larry already mentioned the headline fodder in his report from SoxFest on Friday, but later in this notebook is a Todd Frazier update, which is a little too "Jeff Keppinger's broken leg" for my liking.

Todd Frazier reaggravated his left index finger lifting weights this offseason but insists he’ll be ready for spring training, saying the finger looks worse than it is. Frazier injured the finger during a swing during the last week of 2016 and had a second MRI.

"No tear,’’ Frazier said. "I’m just worried about swinging. There might be a slow process at the beginning but I’ll get going here a couple weeks in.’’

Let's keep talking about Keppinger. Back in 2014, when the White Sox suddenly designated him for assignment with almost two full years left on his contract, I noted the lack of reverberation in the White Sox clubhouse. A couple people told me afterward that he wasn't going to be missed.

Anyway, that came to mind while reading Jon Greenberg's observations about the departed Sox.

With a lot of new faces at SoxFest, there wasn’t a ton of nostalgia for Sale, and almost none for Eaton.

Given the occasional jabs at Eaton over the last couple years, I'm guessing there is a little something to this. However, I also imagine a rebuilding is less daunting for younger players, for whom it means a more forgiving chance at extended playing time. Otherwise, we'd have to account for this just the same: