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Yasmani Grandal Jersey White Sox

The Chicago White Sox have agreed to terms on a four-year, $73 million contract with free-agent All-Star catcher Yasmani Grandal, the team announced Thursday.

“He’s such a quality guy,” White Sox president Ken Williams said of Grandal. “And for him to understand our messaging, our goals, our path, and to say, ‘I want to be a part of that and I’m going to commit to it early so we can move on to the next thing heading into the winter meetings,’ [it] just shows what kind of character we’re talking about.”

It is the biggest contract in the history of the White Sox franchise. Grandal, 31, will receive $18.25 million per season through 2023.

“There’s a lot of young talent,” Grandal said. “The way I looked at it, this team could be a dark horse in the next year or so.”

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White Sox take big step toward contending by signing Yasmani Grandal

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Last offseason, Grandal turned down a $17.9 million qualifying offer from the Los Angeles Dodgers and reportedly declined a four-year, $60 million offer from the New York Mets.

He bet on himself to have a big year. It paid off.

After signing a one-year, $18.25 million contract with the Milwaukee Brewers, the switch-hitting Grandal posted career highs in homers (28) and RBIs (77) and earned his second All-Star appearance. He walked over 100 times to post a .380 OBP, which ranked first among major league catchers.

He also led all catchers in games played (153) and was second in extra-base hits (56), total bases (240) and RBIs.

Grandal declined to exercise his part of a $16 million mutual option with the Brewers for 2020, with a $2.25 million buyout, so he could again become a free agent.

“Unlike last year around this time, where the market was kind of completely nonexistent, this year was just slightly different,” Grandal said. “It seemed like there were several teams that were working hard within their limits to be able to compete. There were several teams that were really interested. The one thing that kind of stood out the most for me is the White Sox. I love their professionalism, their preparation and the direction of the program.”

General manager Rick Hahn said he met with Grandal at the general managers meetings in Arizona last week and reached an agreement on Wednesday night.

“Exciting day for us around here, being able to add one of the elite talents at a premium position,” Hahn said.

The White Sox went 72-89 in their seventh straight losing season and missed the playoffs for the 13th time in 14 years since the 2005 team won the World Series.

James McCann, 29, was the White Sox’s starting catcher last season and was an All-Star for the first time, hitting .273 with 18 home runs and 60 RBIs. He is signed for the 2020 season with a contract that carries a base salary of $4.9 million.

Hahn said either could be used at designated hitter, with Grandal also getting time at first base.

“Having too many guys who are quality big leaguers is a good thing,” Hahn said. “Not something that we necessarily view as a problem.”

With young players establishing themselves in the majors and promising prospects in the minors, the White Sox think they are setting themselves up to make a big jump.

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“This was all planned, going back five years ago when we started this and started thinking about [rebuilding],” Williams said. “We get ourselves in position with our young core and we could augment it with guys like this.

“… Clearly, we’re trying to put ourselves in a window that could very well start next year but extend to the next five to seven years.”

Led by right-hander Lucas Giolito, the White Sox could have a solid rotation in 2020 if Michael Kopech bounces back from Tommy John surgery and Dylan Cease develops as the team has envisioned.

Offensely, Tim Anderson led the majors with a .335 batting average, and Yoan Moncada had a breakthrough season, hitting .315 with 25 homers and 79 RBIs. Eloy Jimenez showed pop as a rookie, with a .267 average, 31 homers and 79 RBIs.

Prized outfielder Luis Robert figures to debut next spring, and promising second baseman Nick Madrigal also is in the pipeline.

“I’m not going to prognosticate how this plays or how people should interpret it or what this means in terms of what we’re going to do next,” Hahn said. “Generally, in my experience, people don’t want to hear about the labor; they want to see the baby. We had a boy today, I guess. … My point being the impact this has on future deals, we’ll talk about after there’s future deals.”

Grandal, who leads all major league catchers with 117 homers since 2015, has a career .241 batting average with 141 home runs, 416 RBIs and 374 runs scored over eight seasons with the Brewers, Dodgers and San Diego Padres.

White Sox manager Rick Renteria was the bench coach for the Padres while Grandal was with San Diego.

To make room on the roster for Grandal, the White Sox designated outfielder Daniel Palka for assignment.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Bernardo Flores Jersey White Sox

The White Sox made some important decisions Wednesday, protecting seven players from selection in next month’s Rule 5 draft by moving them to the 40-man roster.

Dane Dunning, Blake Rutherford, Jimmy Lambert, Zack Burdi, Bernardo Flores, Yermin Mercedes and Matt Foster were moved to the 40-man roster, making them unable to be plucked away by other teams in the Rule 5 draft Dec. 12 during the Winter Meetings.

That’s obviously good news for the White Sox, who will hang onto those prized prospects regardless of what happens next month. But the team opted to leave plenty of other players open to selection, including Alec Hansen, Zach Thompson, Spencer Adams and Kyle Kubat.

The 40-man roster is now full at the maximum 40 players, meaning any offseason additions made from here on out will require a player being removed from the 40-man roster.

Dunning is ranked as the No. 5 prospect in the organization and despite undergoing Tommy John surgery earlier this season still has a bright future as a potential member of the White Sox rotation. In fact, he was moving along so positively in 2018 that general manager Rick Hahn said if not for the injury Dunning could have been part of the team’s Opening Day rotation in 2019. He last pitched in 2018, turning in a stellar 2.71 ERA and striking out 100 batters in 15 starts between Class A Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham.

Rutherford remains ranked as the No. 9 prospect in the organization but finds himself one of many outfield prospects who had disappointing 2019 campaigns. He saw significant statistical dips playing at Birmingham from the numbers he put up in 2018 at Winston-Salem. In 2019, he slashed .265/.319/.365 in 118 games. He failed to do much of anything in the Arizona Fall League, either, slashing .179/.281/.385 in 21 games.

Lambert is ranked as the No. 18 prospect in the organization and, like Dunning, underwent Tommy John surgery earlier this year. If not for the injury, he might have factored into the big league starting staff by the end of the 2019 campaign. He followed up a strong 2018 season (3.67 ERA in 18 starts between Winston-Salem and Birmingham) with a 4.55 ERA in 11 starts at Birmingham in 2019.

Burdi is still ranked as the No. 23 prospect in the organization despite an injury-plagued last couple of seasons. A knee injury ended his 2019 season early, this after missing almost the entirety of the 2018 season (just a few appearances in Rookie ball) while recovering from Tommy John surgery. A first-round pick in 2016, Burdi struggled before the knee injury, with a 6.75 ERA in 22.2 innings between Birmingham and Class A Kannapolis.

Flores is ranked as the No. 28 prospect in the organization. He had a mighty promising 2018 season at Winston-Salem and Birmingham, with a 2.65 ERA in 25 starts. Those numbers jumped up in 2019, with Flores finishing with a 3.33 ERA in 15 starts at Birmingham.

Mercedes was one of the bright spots of the White Sox farm system in 2019, slashing .317/.388/.581 with 23 homers splitting time between Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte. Many fans hoped he would have gotten a September call-up. He didn’t, but Hahn mentioned him as a potential part of the catching mix when the team heads to spring training in February.

Foster had a solid 2019 season, finishing with a 3.20 ERA in 43 relief appearances at Birmingham and Charlotte.

As for those who are exposed to selection in the Rule 5 draft, Hansen was once one of the highest ranked pitching prospects in the organization, thanks to a phenomenal 2017 campaign, when he had a 2.80 ERA and 191 strikeouts pitching at three different levels. But a 2018 forearm injury derailed everything. That year, he didn’t even make his first appearance until mid June and finished with a 6.31 ERA and an outrageous 59 walks compared to just 55 strikeouts. In 2019, he didn’t fare much better, with a 4.64 ERA and 44 more walks (compared with 66 strikeouts). He’s still ranked as the organization’s No. 27 prospect.

Thompson was excellent in 2018, with a 1.55 ERA in 43 relief appearances at Winston-Salem and Birmingham. A year later, he was pummeled to the tune of a 5.23 ERA in 45 relief appearances, most coming at Charlotte.

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Dane Dunning Jersey White Sox

It’s non-tender deadline day, perhaps more often greeted by the casual observer with a question mark as opposed to an exclamation point, but an important day on baseball’s offseason calendar, nonetheless.

The White Sox, along with their 29 major league compatriots, have until Monday night to tender contract offers to their arbitration-eligible players or to decide not to, sending them to free agency. The White Sox have decisions to make on six players: Alex Colome, James McCann, Leury Garcia, Carlos Rodon, Yolmer Sanchez and Evan Marshall.

Here’s what to expect.

Yolmer Sanchez

Sanchez has been the most discussed of this group, and indeed his time with the White Sox already appears to be over. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported last week that the team placed its Gold Glove second baseman on outright waivers and that Sanchez cleared those waivers and will head to free agency. Sanchez, who had repeatedly said he wanted to stay with the only organization he’s ever known, followed with a social-media post or two indicating he was going to try to make the best of a less-than-ideal situation. The team, aside from a comment from manager Rick Renteria, has not officially announced anything involving Sanchez’s status.

Certainly the White Sox moving on from Sanchez wasn’t difficult to foresee. Nick Madrigal, the team’s first-round pick in the 2018 draft, is on the doorstep of the major leagues and is expected to be the starting second baseman on the South Side for the bulk of the 2020 campaign. While Sanchez plays some exceptional defense, he can’t match what Madrigal — a top-40 prospect in baseball who has also been touted as an elite defender — can do with the bat. Sanchez slashed just .252/.318/.321 in 2019, while Madrigal tore up the minors to the tune of .311/.377/.414 and struck out only 16 times in 120 games. In the end, Sanchez would have been an expensive reserve infielder, projected to make $6.2 million in arbitration.

Alex Colome

There are certain corners of the White Sox internet that look at Colome’s second-half splits and lack of strikeouts and see doom coming around the bend. Indeed, Colome did fare much worse after the All-Star break than he did before it, with a 3.91 ERA and a frightening .265/.347/.422 slash line against in the second half after posting a 2.02 ERA and holding hitters to a .127/.194/.288 line in the first half. Is that worth a projected $10.3 million? That’s the decision the White Sox face.

But Colome has been one of the more productive ninth-inning men in baseball in recent seasons, even if the second half of 2019 didn’t look so good. Since the start of the 2016 season, he’s posted a 2.78 ERA and saved 126 games, a total that would be significantly higher if not for his playing setup man for the majority of 2018.

In a 2019 season featuring plenty of problems from the rotation and lineup, the bullpen was a reliable unit for the White Sox, with a 4.31 ERA that ranked seventh in the American League, behind only the five playoff teams and the Cleveland Indians, who narrowly missed the postseason. Stability at the back end with Colome and Aaron Bummer is a good thing to head into 2020 with, especially with so many other holes that need filling on the roster. The White Sox likely don’t want to add potentially expensive bullpen help to their offseason to-do list.

James McCann

The White Sox tendering McCann a contract is a no-brainer, but he’s been talked about an awful lot since the team inked free-agent catcher Yasmani Grandal to the richest contract it’s ever given out a couple weeks ago. McCann doesn’t figure to go anywhere, even with another All-Star backstop now ahead of him on the depth chart. McCann was a heck of a find by Rick Hahn last offseason, and having two good catchers is better than having one, especially considering the lineup permutations Rick Renteria might be forced to come up with if the White Sox front office opts for a DH rotation of Grandal, McCann, Jose Abreu and Zack Collins.

But McCann will be talked about on a variety of levels as the offseason goes on, too. If the White Sox could sell high on a guy who made the All-Star team last season — but who also batted just .226/.281/.413 in the second half — would they take that opportunity? Or will McCann stay on and serve as a personal catcher of sorts for Lucas Giolito after the duo had such incredible success in 2019? The White Sox have options, but no matter which path they end up traveling down with McCann, they’ll almost surely do so after tendering him a contract Monday.

Leury Garcia

Another seeming no-brainer, Garcia is likely destined for the role of utility man on the 2020 roster after playing in 140 games in 2019 and starting in 135 of them. His projected $4 million is less than Sanchez’s projected $6.2 million, and he can play all three outfield positions in addition to the three positions on the infield Sanchez can play. His .310 on-base percentage and relative light-hitting ways might not have been what some fans wanted to see from an everyday player last season, but as a guy off the bench once Luis Robert and Madrigal reach the major leagues, Garcia figures to be an asset for Renteria and the White Sox.

Evan Marshall

Marshall is also a seeming lock to get a contract tendered Monday after he was a key member of the White Sox late-inning corps in 2019. They picked him up as a minor league free agent, and he turned in a 2.49 ERA in 50.2 relief innings. Hahn is always reminding us about the volatility of relief pitching, so it’s difficult to say we should expect a repeat performance from Marshall. But he’s slated to hold a key bullpen position in 2020, as well, making him well worth a projected $1.3 million.

Carlos Rodon

The White Sox only have two years of team control remaining with Rodon before he’s slated to hit free agency. Between the contract situation and all the significant arm injuries he’s suffered in recent seasons, it’s not at all easy to project him as a long-term member of the rotation. That being said, it would be shocking to see him non-tendered Monday. The team has suggested all along that he’s still very much part of their plans. The White Sox are still hoping that even after a long layoff while recovering from Tommy John surgery that he can become the pitcher they envisioned he’d be when they took him with the No. 3 pick in the 2014 draft. That has been a bit of a challenge for Rodon, who’s shown flashes of strikeout-heavy brilliance, as well as frustrating bouts of ineffectiveness. Prior to having the surgery this year, he had a 5.19 ERA in seven starts.

But the White Sox figure to crave all the starting pitching they can muster in 2020. On the hunt for a couple offseason additions, they also have plans to limit Michael Kopech — who’s returning from his own Tommy John surgery — and can’t be 100-percent certain what they’ll get out of still-promising youngsters Dylan Cease and Reynaldo Lopez. The contributions of pitching prospects Dane Dunning and Jimmy Lambert remain mysteries, too, as they return from Tommy John in the middle of the season.

Bottom line: Whatever the White Sox can get out of Rodon in 2020, they’ll happily take, making the projected $4.5 million seem plenty doable.

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Zack Burdi Jersey White Sox

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — The White Sox have arrived at the point in their rebuild where they should improve their roster significantly, take the next step and play to win.

The time has come when general manager Rick Hahn and executive vice president Ken Williams should be feeling more than a little pressure after seven consecutive losing seasons.

This offseason calls for boldness, fearlessness and shrewd risk-taking. Read into it what you will, but Williams was in a good mood after checking in Monday at the Omni Resorts, the site of the annual general managers meetings.

‘‘We’re here to do business as usual,’’ Williams said. ‘‘Well, not usual. More than usual.’’

Let’s hope so. These meetings set in motion preliminary talks and texts among GMs and with agents, laying the groundwork for offseason plans. And while you will hear the Sox linked to most, if not all, of the free agents — including Scott Boras clients Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg — we won’t know how serious their intentions are until offers are made, then accepted or rejected.

With little in the way of bad contracts on the books and minimal payroll obligations for 2020, think of the possibilities. The Sox have cash to spend and no reason to stash it any longer.

‘‘We do have some economic flexibility,’’ Hahn said in September. ‘‘That was part of the plan from the start.’’

Hahn, the face and voice of the rebuild, had yet to arrive because his flight was delayed in snowy Chicago. He will address media Tuesday and Wednesday to share his first formal thoughts about the offseason. Expect him to play things closer to the vest he did than last offseason, when he made his intentions to pursue free agents Manny Machado and Bryce Harper clear.

Remember how that worked out?

The Sox will sign free agents, but they will make trades, too. And because you never know whether a player such as Kyle Schwarber or Kris Bryant can be pried away from a Cubs team looking to retool under a first-year manager, something off the map shouldn’t be ruled out.

Four years into their rebuild, the Sox figured their farm system would be deep enough now to use prospects to add established or major-league-ready players to their roster. But their ample supply of minor-league outfielders, as a whole, stalled in 2019. Injuries were a factor, as they also were with pitchers such as Michael Kopech, Alec Hansen, Dane Dunning, Zack Burdi and Jimmy Lambert. So Hahn’s pool of prospect pieces is limited.

If that means taking a chance by doing the nearly unthinkable and trading, say, shortstop Tim Anderson or third baseman Yoan Moncada in a two- or three-for-one blockbuster that brings them closer to winning a World Series sooner than later, the Sox should pull the trigger. And perhaps pony up and sign Rendon to play third while they’re at it.

Moncada and Anderson are building blocks and potential future All-Stars being brought along in a young group that also includes outfielder Eloy Jimenez and right-hander Lucas Giolito. But the Sox’ offseason motto should be ‘‘Whatever it takes,’’ even if it hurts a little.

Of course, the Sox rather would see Moncada and Kopech flourish and make the Chris Sale trade — already a winner for the Red Sox because the left-hander helped them win the World Series in 2018 — a victory for both sides. They want to see Anderson, their first-round draft choice in 2013 and the reigning American League batting champion, take the next step defensively and show the baseball world they can draft and develop. They want Jimenez and right-hander Dylan Cease to give them a decided victory over the Cubs in the Jose Quintana trade.

Here’s to seeing those things happen. More important, Sox fans say, here’s to winning again. The pressure is on Hahn and Williams to make that happen in 2020.

Carlos Rodon Jersey White Sox

Yolmer Sanchez’s tenure on the South Side is officially over.

After it was reported last week that the White Sox put the Gold Glove second baseman on outright waivers and that he was slated to become a free agent, the team announced they decided not to tender Sanchez a contract for the 2020 season. They announced the same decision for relievers Ryan Burr and Caleb Frare, while saying they tendered contracts to all other unsigned players, including arbitration-eligible guys Alex Colome, Evan Marshall, Leury Garcia and Carlos Rodon.

Certainly the White Sox moving on from Sanchez wasn’t difficult to foresee. Nick Madrigal, the team’s first-round pick in the 2018 draft, is on the doorstep of the major leagues and is expected to be the starting second baseman on the South Side for the bulk of the 2020 campaign. While Sanchez plays some exceptional defense, he can’t match what Madrigal — a top-40 prospect in baseball who has also been touted as an elite defender — can do with the bat. Sanchez slashed just .252/.318/.321 in 2019, while Madrigal tore up the minors to the tune of .311/.377/.414 and struck out only 16 times in 120 games. In the end, Sanchez would have been an expensive reserve infielder, projected to make $6.2 million in arbitration.

Despite some potential red flags given the first- and second-half splits, the White Sox made the expected decision to stick with Colome in 2020. Though opposing hitters slashed .265/.347/.422 against him after the All-Star break in 2019 — and he’s projected to received $10.3 million through the arbitration process — Colome has been one of the more productive ninth-inning men in baseball in recent seasons, with a 2.78 ERA and 126 saves since the start of the 2016 campaign. His remaining at the back end of the bullpen gives the White Sox stability and prevents another potentially expensive item from being added to Rick Hahn’s offseason to-do list.

Marshall was also a key member of the White Sox late-inning corps in 2019, with a 2.49 ERA in 50.2 relief innings. Hahn is always reminding us about the volatility of relief pitching, so it’s difficult to say we should expect a repeat performance from Marshall. But he’s slated to hold a key bullpen position in 2020, as well.

Garcia is likely destined for the role of utility man on the 2020 roster after playing in 140 games in 2019 and starting in 135 of them. He can play all three outfield positions in addition to three positions on the infield Sanchez can play, providing versatility off the bench — once Madrigal and Luis Robert arrive from the minors — for Renteria and the White Sox.

The White Sox are still hoping that even after a long layoff while recovering from Tommy John surgery that Rodon can become the pitcher they envisioned he’d be when they took him with the No. 3 pick in the 2014 draft. That has been a bit of a challenge for Rodon, who’s shown flashes of strikeout-heavy brilliance, as well as frustrating bouts of ineffectiveness. Prior to having the surgery this year, he had a 5.19 ERA in seven starts. But the White Sox figure to crave all the starting pitching they can muster in 2020. On the hunt for a couple offseason additions, they also have plans to limit Michael Kopech — who’s returning from his own Tommy John surgery — and can’t be 100-percent certain what they’ll get out of still-promising youngsters Dylan Cease and Reynaldo Lopez. The contributions of pitching prospects Dane Dunning and Jimmy Lambert remain mysteries, too, as they return from Tommy John in the middle of the season, making Rodon a valuable piece of depth, if nothing else.

Burr and Frare were, at a time, part of a group of young relief pitchers who might’ve made some impact in the White Sox bullpen. Burr had a 4.58 ERA in 19.2 innings before his 2019 season ended in Tommy John surgery. Frare was knocked around in limited big league action in 2019, tagged for a 10.13 ERA in just 2.2 innings over five different appearances. In 27 appearance at three different minor league levels, he had a 6.35 ERA in 28.1 innings.

The White Sox also announced they released relief pitcher Thyago Vieira in order for him to pursue an opportunity in Japan. Earlier Monday, they announced a one-year, $5.4 million deal for All-Star catcher James McCann.

Got all that?

The White Sox 40-man roster now stands at 36, allowing the White Sox to continue their aggressive pursuits this offseason without further trimming. Two starting pitchers and a right fielder — and possibly a DH and more relief help — remain on Hahn’s to-do list, and he has four open spots to work with a week out from the Winter Meetings.

It’s not outside the realm of possibility that any of the three players non-tendered Monday could return to the White Sox organization in one form or another. But they are free agents now.

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Michael Kopech Jersey White Sox

The Chicago White Sox made a huge trade that sent their organization back by design so they can move forward. This was three years ago today.
The Chicago White Sox will forever see December 6th, 2016 as the day that the rebuild began for the organization. They were a mediocre team for the first half of the decade and they had finally had enough. They started off the 2016 season on a high note but fell way off as the season went on so they decided to make a bunch of changes.

It started by sending their superstar pitcher Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox. December 6th, 2019 is the three year anniversary of this transaction that sent Sale to Boston for Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech. This trade has done wonders for the organization and is a symbol of what they have built and are currently building.

From that moment on they were embracing the idea of trading everyone away and being bad. They were pretty bad over three years but now they are looking up. Yoan Moncada has emerged as not only one of the best players in the organization but one of the best players in the league. He came in third place in the American League batting title race which shows how impactful he can be.

The Red Sox ended up winning the World Series in 2018 with Sale as their ace. He also threw the last strike that earned the victory. You can never say that Boston lost the trade for that face and they have Sale locked up for a long time. He didn’t really have a great year in 2019 while Moncada was tearing it up but that doesn’t mean he can’t bounce back in 2020.

Michael Kopech got his call up at the end of the 2018 season and was really good. He was shut down for the end of that season after a few starts and all of the 2019 season to recover from Tommy John surgery. This was a bit of a setback but there is no doubt that he can go on and be a top of the rotation level pitcher. That would make the White Sox really happy with how this trade worked out. They are already happy with having one of the best third basemen in the league with Moncada but a great starter in Kopech is even sweeter.

The White Sox made this trade and put all of their faith in Rick Hahn to break down the roster to nothing and build it back up. That has now happened as they believe that they are going to be a great team in 2020. It all started three years ago today when they pulled the trigger to send Sale to Boston.

Micker Adolfo Jersey White Sox

Come mid-April, an interesting thing will happen in the White Sox organization. The majority of attention will turn from the farm system to the major league team. With Dylan Cease, Michael Kopech, Luis Robert, Nick Madrigal and Eloy Jimenez in the big leagues, the farm system will not be the main attraction of the organization for the first time since the rebuild began.

This does not mean there will be nothing to watch for on the farm. There are still plenty of prospects that will be looking to make their mark on the next contending White Sox team before it’s all said and done. Let’s take a look at some of the names to watch as the White Sox rebuild begins to slowly transition into what the team hopes is its competitive stage.

The biggest name for fans to watch in the system this year will be Andrew Vaughn. The Golden Spikes Award winner and third overall pick figures to fly through the Sox system much like Madrigal did. If Vaughn follows the Madrigal path, he will likely start the season at a low-level affiliate and finish the season in Charlotte.

The White Sox hope Vaughn cements himself as the heir apparent to Jose Abreu at first base and can showcase his plus power and plus hit tool at every level in 2020. If all goes according to plan, Vaughn should be in a position to break camp with the team in 2021 or be called up shortly after the service deadline in April.

Beyond Vaughn, the White Sox system offers plenty of intrigue. Dane Dunning and Jonathan Stiever highlight the next wave of pitching prospects who the Sox hope will be making major league contributions sooner rather than later.

Dunning appeared on the fast track to the bigs in 2018, striking out 100 batters in 86.1 innings across two leagues, but Tommy John surgery sidelined the promising pitcher in 2019. He posted his first bullpen video since the surgery on Monday, and a return to the mound in 2020 seems on track. The White Sox hope Dunning returns to his pre-injury form quickly and reestablishes himself as the next talented starter to join the big-league rotation.

Stiever presents another potential middle-of-the-rotation starter for the Sox and their fans to monitor in 2020. While Stiever has only pitched in high-A for the White Sox, his promising numbers across 12 starts are worth monitoring, and he could potentially position himself as the top pitching prospect in the entire system by season’s end. Stiever is likely at least a year away from reaching the majors, but he is a name to watch in 2020 as fans look for the next wave of premier Sox pitching prospects.

In the field, the Sox farm system offers a crowded outfield picture that should begin to clear up in 2020. Steele Walker, the team’s second round pick in 2018, had an impressive campaign in 2019 and established himself as possibly the premier outfielder not from Cuba in the Sox system.

Walker may open the season in Birmingham and potentially knock on the door of the major league team towards the end of the year. He has a plus hit tool and strong intangibles which make him an intriguing prospect to watch closely in 2020. Walker has experience primarily in center, but has shown the versatility and instincts to play right field and his flexibility is something the team will consider when evaluating the 5’11, 195-pound left-handed hitter.

Behind Walker is a crowded outfield group featuring Luis Alexander Basabe, Blake Rutherford, Luis Gonzalez and Micker Adolfo. Rutherford is the outfielder in this group with the highest pedigree, being a former first round pick and crown jewel of the David Robertson Yankees trade in 2017.

However, Rutherford’s inability to unlock his natural power has caused him to lose his status as the most promising lower level outfielder in the system. Turning 22 in May, Rutherford still has time to translate to a big league talent, but at this point his future may lie as a trade piece around the deadline.

Basabe was the lottery ticket prospect acquired for Chris Sale, and has shown some promise since being acquired. The 23-year-old figures to be knocking on the door of the big-league club as soon as late 2020 and could find some time in the field at any of the three outfield positions for the White Sox. During an injury ridden season, Basabe slashed .246/.324/.336 in 69 games in Birmingham.

Adolfo, meanwhile, who signed as an international free agent in 2013, had his development set back by two elbow surgeries last year. But the 255-pound corner outfielder is still a name worth watching. His plus power has enticed the Sox since they signed him and will continue to allow him an opportunity at some of the organization’s higher level affiliates.

Luis Gonzalez, despite some promising numbers and positional versatility, finds himself the odd man out of the equation. With average tools, the 2017 draft pick offers some intrigue from the left side of the plate.

While he won’t likely be fighting anyone for at bats this season, Gonzalez needs to take another step from the plate to compliment his ability to play all three outfield positions. Otherwise, Gonzalez likely slots as trade bait for organizational depth. But, he has shown some flashes of being an intriguing prospect and will have a say in the results of the outfield logjam in 2020.

So, while there is no doubt it’s time for fans to turn their attention back to the big-league club, the farm system is still as healthy as ever, and will be worth watching to see who emerges as the next top prospects in the organization.

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Danny Mendick Jersey White Sox

CHICAGO –- José Abreu, Tim Anderson, Lucas Giolito, Yasmani Grandal, Eloy Jiménez, James McCann and Yoán Moncada headline a list of 14 current White Sox players scheduled to appear at McCormick Place West on January 24-25 for SoxFest 2020 – presented by Beggars Pizza, Guaranteed Rate, Old Dominion Freight Line, Securian Financial and Wintrust.

White Sox Manager Rick Renteria and members of the coaching staff are also scheduled to join players Aaron Bummer, Dylan Cease, Zack Collins, Leury García, Michael Kopech, Evan Marshall and Danny Mendick, as well as prospects Micker Adolfo, Dane Dunning, Luis González, Tyler Johnson, Nick Madrigal, Luis Robert, Blake Rutherford, Andrew Vaughn and Steele Walker.

Additional special guests scheduled to attend the event will be announced in early January.

SoxFest two-day and single passes are available at whitesox.com/SoxFest. Fans are encouraged to purchase early for the 28th annual fan fest in its first year spanning the 100,000-square-foot McCormick Place West showroom floor.

With more opportunities for autographs and player interactions, SoxFest 2020 builds upon the family-friendly programming fans have come to know and love. This year’s experience includes a new mini-field, offering clinics for kids from White Sox youth instructors, a batting cage and speed pitch area, video gaming stations, face painting, balloon artists and more.

For the latest information about the event, including the full list of scheduled appearances at SoxFest, please visit whitesox.com/SoxFest.

Jose Abreu Jersey White Sox

Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox is a fan favorite, power hitting first baseman. That sounds awfully similar to another first baseman in Chicago.
Less than a month into the 2019-20 offseason, the Chicago White Sox signed veteran first baseman Jose Abreu to a 3-year, $50 million extension.

Abreu had already accepted the one-year, $17.8 million qualifying offer from the team. With that in mind, the 3-year extension is essentially a 2-year, $32.2 million deal through 2022. He’ll become an unrestricted free agent after the 2022 season.

We’ve already talked about the similarities between the Chicago Cubs and White Sox rebuilds, and the clubs’ first basemen are quite similar.

Abreu and Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo have many things in common, from their game to their personalities.

As for their style of play, both are power-hitting first basemen. While Abreu’s HR% is an impressive 4.6%, Rizzo isn’t far behind with a solid 4.2%.

Though it’s true that Rizzo is better at getting on base while Abreu is yet to log under 100 strikeouts in his career, they’re still solid power hitters who can get on base at the top of the order, typically at the three-spot.

Their fielding is similar as well, although Rizzo has an edge over Abreu. Nonetheless, both guys come in at single-digit errors on average each season. Rizzo’s .995 fielding percentage is just .003 higher than Abreu’s .992. Though Rizzo is a bit flashier and has two Gold Gloves to his resume, their range factor per game (calculated by put outs and assists divided by games) is an astoundingly equal 8.82.

For those wondering how they compare in the wins above replacement, they’re also strikingly similar. After six major league seasons, Abreu checks in at 21.2. In that same span of Rizzo’s first six years in the league, he totaled 21.8 WAR.

Just look at Abreu’s and Rizzo’s projections for 2020 according to Baseball-Reference:

Jose Abreu: .276/.330/.501, 28 HR, 94 RBI, 77 runs scored
Anthony Rizzo: .277/.380/.494, 24 HR, 87 RBI, 76 runs scored
There are…not many differences there.

Even their personalities are quite similar. Both players are three-time All-Star first basemen who are excellent leaders in the clubhouse and respected around the league. They’re solid centerpieces to center a rebuild and championship team around, especially in terms of their leadership and work ethic.

Thanks to all of their similarities, Rizzo and Abreu earned very similar paydays for the next couple of seasons. Each year, they’ll both earn between $16-18 million (though Abreu will receive a bit under that in 2020).

Both organizations are fortunate to have such talented fan-favorites at first base, and they’re both great for the game in many ways.

But don’t get us started on Anthony Rizzo’s pitching abilities. Abreu could only dream of such a stellar pitching record.

Seby Zavala Jersey White Sox

The Chicago White Sox acquisition of Yasmani Grandal is a big deal for the franchise. The move does leave James McCann‘s future with the team in question, though.

Currently, the team has five catchers on the 40-man roster. Aside from McCann and Grandal, the team also has Zack Collins, Yermin Mercedes, and Seby Zavala.

McCann, 29, had the best offensive season of his career in 2019 in which he hit .273/.328/.460 with 18 home runs and 60 RBI to give himself a 109 OPS+. He also made his first career All-Star game.

The White Sox have been very active this offseason and with more moves to be made, it remains to be seen what the acquisition of Yasmani Grandal will actually mean for McCann and his future with the team.

As of now, McCann has one more year of team control before he would become a free agent after the 2020 season.

This will be his last season of arbitration, although, he will hit the open market for the second time in his career.

After the 2018 season, the Detroit Tigers non-tender McCann which resulted in the White Sox signing him to a one-year. $2.5 million contract to start at catcher for them in 2019.

I believe that the White Sox have three legitimate options to consider when it comes to McCann going forward this offseason.