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Baseball America top 100, Sox-Brewers rumors, and other reading

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Prospects, trade rumors, and Picks to Click!

SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game
Baseball America’s #11 prospect
Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images

Baseball America released its long awaited list of the top 100 prospects for 2018 on Monday. We already discussed BA’s White Sox top 10 list, but now we know that they place five of those players in the top 100.

4. Eloy Jimenez
11. Michael Kopech
57. Alec Hansen
58. Luis Robert
82. Dane Dunning

It’s a nice surprise to see Dunning firmly on this list, and Robert could be a quick riser if the hype from the hitters’ mini-camp carries over into the season. Here’s the full list for your perusing; maybe just don’t look at number 9.

Brewers ready to make noise; White Sox in the conversation

With things still slow around baseball just a few weeks before Spring Training, the Brewers became Newsmakers of the Day by default Sunday when they got involved in a couple rumors.

Step 1: Connect yourselves to the market’s top free agent.

The Brewers are basically what the White Sox hope to be a year from now. Build up your farm system, graduate some talented young players, and surprise everybody by being more competitive than expected. Then, come free agency, it’s easier to justify making a big splash to catapult into serious contention. Yu Darvish might not make the Brew Crew NL Central favorites, but yoink-ing him away from the Cubs would certainly change the complexion of the division.

Step 2: Talk trades a little bit, and... WHOA, does that say White Sox?

Well, I guess this does involve us after all! Maybe. I mean, it’s a name drop from a reliable source, so you can bet the White Sox and/or Brewers have at least kicked the tires on one of the others’ players. Whether that’s totally minor and insignificant or something huge is just going to have to remain in the realm of the imagination until if and when we get more information.

Or we could speculate. I mean, we certainly shouldn’t wildly speculate, but it’s January and nothing’s going on. Just a teensy little bit of speculation?

Step 3: We speculate.

I have a hard time seeing how the Sox and Brewers line up in a one-on-one trade, given that they’re teams with similar paths and similar goals on slightly different timelines. Milwaukee is on the move, getting ready to pounce on the window that opens in the next year or so. Chicago is entering the “See how it comes together” phase.

The Brewers have a glut of outfielders, with Ryan Braun, Keon Broxton, Brett Phillips, and Domingo Santana, plus top prospect Lewis Brinson, so they’re certainly not after Avisail Garcia. It’s unlikely they’d cut off Eric Thames just to install Jose Abreu at first. They already have a strong bullpen with Corey Knebel at the back end. So just what could the Brewers be after?

The more I think about it, the more I think that if an actual trade came out of these rumored talks, it would be a relatively small one. However, we already know Rick Hahn is the master of the three-way (see: Jake Peavy, Adam Eaton, Joakim Soria/Luis Avilan, etc.). It’s not out of the question that the White Sox would want to serve as the middle man to get the Brewers what they want, which is pretty obviously rotation help.

Other possibilities:

  • The Sox take on Braun’s contract to help fund said Darvish offer in exchange for prospects.
  • The Sox Get Their Man in Simeon High School and ACE alum Corey Ray, while the Brewers sell low on a free-falling first-rounder.
  • The Sox acquire Bernie the Brewer and a slide to be named later to upgrade the Guaranteed Rate Field Xfinity Fundamentals Deck.
  • The Sox go after Eric Sogard to help their marketability.
  • Rahm Emanuel trades the White Sox to Milwaukee in a three-way deal. The Brewers go to Indianapolis, and Chicago gets Amazon HQ2.

Anyway, here’s your reading from around baseball.

Picks to Click

  • There’s still time to submit your ballot in the 2018 South Side Sox Hall of Fame vote. Balloting will close tomorrow at 9:00 pm CST.
  • On whitesox.com, Jesse Sanchez profiles Luis Robert and how he bonded with Yoan Moncada during the hitters’ mini-camp. They do have a lot in common—Cuban emigrants, supremely talented, and big signing bonuses at age 19. Rick Hahn also has some words on the young phenoms.
  • Craig Edwards at Fangraphs has a new piece analyzing the aging curve. This is obviously a really important factor when starting to think about free agency, and it concludes that players in the 30-33 range haven’t been declining all that much, but it’s a pretty steep drop after that.
  • Ichiro Suzuki is considering returning to Japan because of how little interest he’s gotten around MLB. I know he was a replacement-level fourth outfielder last year, but dammit, this seems like a terrible crime. Ichiro should be allowed to play until he’s 60 if he wants to. The White Sox should stash him on the bench for sheer entertainment factor, and because it’s been a while since the Japanese media came to the South Side.
  • There’s apparently a site called hot-dog.org, and they’ve got an exhaustive list of everything that vaguely resembles a hot dog or sausage at every MLB ballpark. This is great if you’re a fan of cased meat, or if you dream to visit all 30 stadiums, or both.