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Winter Meetings: Day 2

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White Sox break the ice with a “freebie” acquisition of Iván Nova

Pittsburgh Pirates v Chicago White Sox
Brick House: At 6´5´´, 250, Nova may well be Chicago’s third coming of Bartolo Colón.
Photo by David Banks/Getty Images

Update, 9:43 p.m.

Because, why shouldn’t the White Sox be linked to every major free agent of significance?

Update, 9:17 p.m.

Not exactly transactional, but noteworthy:

Update, 6:38 p.m.

I find the White Sox being linked to Michael Brantley rather curious, but, here it is:

The Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta Braves and White Sox seem to be the leaders in the Brantley race, per Twitter.

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.

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 ...

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:

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.

Washington Nationals v Chicago White Sox
With the Yankees and Nationals peeling off of Bryce Harper, is it down to the White Sox and Phillies?
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

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:

  1. Washington Nationals management made its 10-year, $300 million offer to Harper, and says that’s as high as they can go.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Teams like the St. Louis Cardinals, thought to be sort-of suitors, are begging out.
  5. 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.
  6. Teams easing off of Harper means the Machado sweepstakes may end up hotter, and too hot for the White Sox to handle. But, then ...
  7. 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.
  8. 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.