Midnight marks the transition between the offseason and the preseason, as White Sox pitchers and catchers report on Tuesday.
The White Sox are blurring that line by having Rick Renteria meet with the media in Arizona today. Then again, the White Sox haven’t made a major-league move since signing Derek Holland on Dec. 14, so SoxFest was really the only obstacle to starting spring training a month early. That and the non-roster invitees, I suppose, although Sox could’ve just told their agents, “You know where to find us.”
There’s still a chance a deal or two can be made in the spring, which is longer than usual due to the World Baseball Classic. Bob Nightengale echoed Ken Rosenthal’s report of Washington’s interest in David Robertson, although without the scathing assessment of Nationals ownership included. He even advanced the likelihood a little bit.
The Nationals tried to include [Robertson] in their deal for White Sox center fielder Adam Eaton last winter and looked like they were close to sealing the deal last week, but there’s still no trade.
The White Sox remain optimistic a trade will be consummated. But a high-ranking Nationals official, speaking on condition of anonymity because talks are ongoing, says the two sides have hit a stalemate and no trade is imminent.
It might just be a matter of who blinks first.
Between the supposed talks about Robertson and Jose Quintana, these staring contests are starting to take on a first-iteration Conan O’Brien level of absurdity, and we’re all waiting for the Robot on the Toilet.
It isn’t going to be until this second wave of moves that Rick Hahn starts getting his “critical mass” of young talent that ensures a successful rebuilding. There are varying levels of efficiency, of course. The Cubs took just about the straightest line possible, while the Royals almost toppled over, but both systems had a depth chart that was simply too deep to deny. The White Sox are probably two to three good trades and two decent drafts from getting there, especially if their international talent hauls continue to stall in A-ball.
We’ve had to restate this premise repeatedly to prevent the White Sox rumor mill’s low hum from turning into white noise. Thankfully, we’ll have dubious-quality Twitter photos of baseball players doing baseball things in sun and warmth to shove the persistent rumors the backburner they deserve.
In the meantime, enjoy this Herm Schneider interview from FanGraphs’ Travis Sawchik, who also pulls from Josh’s interview with the venerable trainer from July 2015.