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SoxFest: cold open

As the weekend gets underway, the White Sox (and all of baseball) are suffering from a case of frozen wallets — but we’ve made a big signing!

MLB: Winter Meetings
If a free agent falls in the forest ... Ricky Renteria gonna get all kinds of Manny Machado questions this weekend.
Daniel Clark-USA TODAY Sports

On a cold and hazardous January day, with offseason inactivity threatening to devour us whole, comes ... SoxFest!

Unfortunately, the dark, Yonder Alonso-related, Jon Jay-befriended cloud hanging over the proceedings all weekend will be: What Would Manny Machado Do? Or, more generally, what the hell has happened to baseball’s free market system?

Thankfully, there will lines for autographs, Hall-of-Famers on stage, plenty of post-fest beer, and all that other stuff that makes a weekend like this so much fun — and so essential as the wind chill plummets.

And not to gloat, but South Side Sox has snagged a plum free agent of our own!

That’s right, just as South Side Sox might have been frozen out of SoxFest, a Cat crossed our path.

It’s a serious coup to have a writer with Cat’s credentials (The Athletic, MLB, Sun-Times, La Vida Baseball, FanGraphs, Baseball Prospectus) hopping on for not just SoxFest proceedings, but into the regular season.

The bum rush of our big free agent signing right before SoxFest prevents a more significant bio, yet — Cat hopping on comes as enough of a surprise that a fuller bio would have been riddled with typos and inaccuracies, as if the White Sox suddenly signed a shocker, like Aaron Judge — but for now, please offer a warm welcome to someone we should all be proud to have sit on our masthead.

You can check any of Cat’s tweets from SoxFest @TheBaseballGirl, and read her coverage of SoxFest here all weekend.

Meanwhile, here’s the full SoxFest details, for those of you going in cold. Or for those perhaps a touch warmer, but jealous to miss the festivities, a teaser:

If you’re going to SoxFest, please check in with all of us in the comments below.

Welcome, Cat!

(And sorry to upstage you with our big signing, White Sox.)