Update, 9:43 p.m.
Because, why shouldn’t the White Sox be linked to every major free agent of significance?
Rays, Twins, Chisox and a couple others (Astros were linked earlier) are in on Nelson Cruz, who leads MLB with 338 HR over last decade and is the only player with at least 35 HR each of the last 5 years.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 12, 2018
Update, 9:17 p.m.
Not exactly transactional, but noteworthy:
Manager Rick Renteria said that Yoan Moncada playing at least some third base is part of the White Sox plan this spring.— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) December 12, 2018
Update, 6:38 p.m.
I find the White Sox being linked to Michael Brantley rather curious, but, here it is:
Will Andrew McCutchen’s signing clarify the market for Michael Brantley? A new wrinkle on that front: The #WhiteSox have checked in on Brantley— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) December 12, 2018
Update, 6:28 p.m.
Now, I wouldn’t take much of Jim Bowden’s output to heart, but MLBTR picked up a tweet that said the Colorado Rockies were on the prowl for first basemen. Among the candidates they’re kicking the tires on:
- Cleveland’s Edwin Encarnacion
- Our very own José Abreu
- San Diego’s Wil Myers
- Seattle’s Carlos Santana
Of course, this was his tweet ... who is this etc guy? OK, sorry, “possibly including,” lord, dumb update. My bad.
#Rockies focusing on 1B trade candidates possibly including: Santana, Encarnacion, Abreu, Myers....etc— Jim Bowden (@JimBowdenGM) December 11, 2018
This is how desperate we are for White Sox news.
Update, 6:12 p.m.
I sort of blew off updating this today, but the Toronto Blue Jays made the bold choice to release Troy Tulowitzki and eat the $38 million remaining on his contract. Given that Tulowitzki is purportedly in great health and ready to play in 2019, it’s a curious move.
With Toronto paring payroll, are the White Sox a good fit to grab Russell Martin on the cheap? He’s owed $20 million, of which the Blue Jays would presumably eat at least half. Martin basically gives you Welington Castillo production, with framing skills that still seem to make Baseball Prospectus grow weak in the knees.
Of course, if the White Sox can strike for Yasmani Grandal, cool. But Martin could be an intriguing one-year rental, now that Rick Hahn has made it clear the White Sox aren’t counting on Seby Zavala or Zack Collins any time before 2020.
Update, 3:37 p.m.
And on the Machado side of the ledger ...
Yanks, White Sox and Phillies are 3 teams that will meet with Manny Machado. The 3 alleged mystery teams remain so.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 11, 2018
Update, 2:49 p.m.
Cutch deal, three years/$50 million to Philadelphia, is now official.
Also getting a little heat building out there about the White Sox’s interest in Yasmani Grandal.
Grandal, Harper/Machado, Eloy, a few other tweaks, the White Sox are contending in a weak ALC. Who says no?
Update, 1:26 p.m.
The pieces continue to fall into place for the White Sox and Bryce Harper, as Jim Salisbury, one of the few remaining Comcast beat writers, is now reporting that the Philadelphia Phillies are looking to add Andrew McCutchen:
Phillies looking to add an outfielder. They have significant interest in free agent Andrew McCutchen https://t.co/HBSjCEAiQ5— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyNBCS) December 11, 2018
Ken Rosenthal, et. al, are reporting that adding Cutch will not prevent the Phillies from signing Harper, but, c’mon.
Update, 12:47 p.m.
Hey, the White Sox made a trade! Ivan Nova is now our No. 3 starter. Not sure it’s gonna reel in Bryce Harper, but it can’t hurt, either.
The White Sox take on $9 million in salary in the deal, leaving them with plenty of room to add Harper and, what the hell, Manny Machado.
Day 2, same drill, please post news nuggets as they come. I’ll be updating all day with whatever little tidbits pop up, so hit refresh once in a while, as well.
Of course, if today is as quiet as Monday, well, we’ll just resort to debating the Harold Baines HOF election some more, or licking our chops in anticipation of the Rule 5 draft on Thursday.
What seemed at first improbable — the Chicago White Sox snagging either Manny Machado or Bryce Harper this offseason — is looking slightly less impossible, as the meetings wear on. A few factors brightening our South Side corners these days:
- Washington Nationals management made its 10-year, $300 million offer to Harper, and says that’s as high as they can go.
- New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman, when not trying to toss Sonny Gray in a dumpster, pretty much said there’s no way Harper is coming to New York.
- The Los Angeles Dodgers are said to still be players, but as pointed out last week, L.A. has like 8,000 outfielders and a payroll, while theoretically limitless, currently unable to add a $30-40 million per year player.
- Teams like the St. Louis Cardinals, thought to be sort-of suitors, are begging out.
- Purportedly a “mystery team” flew in to see Harper. With Scott Boras calling the plays, that team could be the Yomiuri Giants, for all we know.
- Teams easing off of Harper means the Machado sweepstakes may end up hotter, and too hot for the White Sox to handle. But, then ...
- Ken Williams emerges from his Las Vegas suite to give a halftime football speech about how the time for the White Sox to be aggressive is now, with a distinct nod to the uniqueness (read: guys like Harper and Machado are available, long-term and at the perfect ages) of this offseason.
- So it seems the lead suitors for Harper, at least, are the White Sox and Philadelphia Phillies. A 50/50 shot at signing Bryce Harper — and, dude, Chicago is not Philadelphia, so I’m sorry, I’m thumbing the scale to break the White Sox north of 50% on this — is unbelievable.
Arguably, the White Sox are now the team to beat in the Bryce Harper sweepstakes.
Coming out of a day of no news and general Hot Stove malaise? That’s not a bad outcome at all.