While baseball’s offseason deprives us of games, it doesn’t mean there’s not a lot of action over the winter.
We’ve already skated through awards season, but there’s a lot of other business to take care of here at South Side Sox.
This Friday at 7 p.m. CT is the deadline for teams to place players who are eligible for the Rule 5 draft on the 40-man roster.
Who’s vulnerable? A player who signed a pro contract at age 18 or younger must be added to the 40-man within five seasons. Players who signed at 19 or older must be on the 40-man within four seasons after signing.
This year’s White Sox who could fall into the Rule 5 hopper are 1B Gavin Sheets, 3B Jake Burger, RHRP Tyler Johnson, SS Lenyn Sosa, OF Luis Mieses and RHRP Will Kincanon.
At first glance, no White Sox seem in particular danger of Rule 5 selection, as players selected must remain on a big-league roster for all of 2021.
Next Wednesday is the non-tender deadline, when the White Sox have to make decisions on their controlled, 40-man roster players: Nomar Mazara, Adam Engel, Carlos Rodón, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo López, Evan Marshall and Jace Fry. Mazara seems a no-brainer drop, Rodón up in the air, and everyone else seems a lock to come back.
Another nod to this crazy year is that baseball’s Winter Meetings will not be held as scheduled at the Omni Hotel in Dallas, but become a remote, Zoom sort of affair. A weird year just keeps getting weirder.
On or around this date, we’ll begin our Top Prospect Poll at SSS, from 1-50, with your votes on the Top 50 helping us fill out our White Sox Top 100 Prospects.
On or around this date, we’ll profile White Sox Prospect No. 100, as we begin a countdown of 2021’s top prospects that will end with No. 1 announced near Opening Day.
Right before the end of the year, we’ll have our second annual Veterans Hall of Fame election — and first at South Side Sox. Last year, over at South Side Hit Pen, we enshrined Minnie Miñoso in the Hall of Fame, with 78% of the vote. Other players polling at greater than 50% were Tommy John, Dick Allen and Lou Whitaker.
This is a two-phase ballot. First, we pare the candidates down from 30 to 10 in an election that goes from December 30 through January 5. The final ballot of 10 players will be announced on January 5, with the Veterans election held January 5-11.
Final results for the Veterans ballot will be announced on January 12.
The third Friday in January, at noon CT, is the arbitration deadline, when teams must come to terms with arb-eligible players or end up in a hearing. Mazara, Engel, Rodón, Giolito, López, Marshall and Fry are Chicago players eligible for arbitration, with Giolito certain to garner the biggest contract of the bunch.
Jan. 18, 2021
Our Hall of Fame Class of 2021 ballot will be released at this time, with voting open January 18-21 and results announced on January 22. Mark Buehrle graces the ballot for the first time. Derek Jeter and Larry Walker were elected in last year’s vote, over at SSHP. With Curt Schilling making the strongest return to the ballot (but at just 58% support from readers), there’s a chance no one makes the cut in 2021.
Sox Fest, like the Winter Meetings now cancelled due to coronavirus, was scheduled to take place the following weekend, at McCormick Place for the second year. It seems, and let’s hope the White Sox agree, some sort of virtual/video offering to fans — seminars or Q&As that would have happened in-person — is in the works.
We will release our fourth South Side Sox White Sox Hall of Fame ballot, after a record five White Sox were elected in our SSHP vote for 2020: Harold Baines, Ed Walsh, Joe Jackson, Carlton Fisk and Paul Konerko. Ted Lyons has the inside track to the Class of 2021. Voting takes place January 25-28, with results announced on January 29.
We don’t know yet whether Spring Training will start on time or be played at all, but this is the date the White Sox have given for all pitchers and catchers (and, informally, most players) to report to Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Ariz.
This is the deadline for players to report to Camelback Ranch.
The White Sox are scheduled to open their Cactus League schedule hosting the Milwaukee Brewers at Camelback Ranch.
In a departure from the norm, the White Sox open their season in Anaheim vs. the Angels, part of a seven-day, seven-game trip with no days off. The home opener is on April 8 vs. the Royals.