Welcome to the latest edition of our News and Notes, covering the White Sox minor leagues. During the season this article runs weekly, but from October through February it will be closer to monthly. This article covers all the news and updates from roughly November 28th through January 7th.
There may not be anyone playing right now, but that doesn't mean there is no news to cover. The Sox made a few moves around the Rule 5 draft and signed a few other players, non-tendering and releasing others. They even made a trade. Oh, and, the choice of photo with this article is not random.
Thank You! Yes, you!
2017 was our biggest year here at FutureSox by nearly any measure. We could thank the rebuild, but more directly, we have you - our readers - to credit more than anything else. So thank you, sincerely, for reading and following us this past year. We really appreciate it.
You can expect us to do basically everything in 2018 that we did in 2017, plus a bunch more. We've got a few surprises already lined up. So stay tuned!
Rule 5 Draft
The annual Rule 5 Draft was held in early December. The White Sox drafted two players, one of which (outfielder Carlos Tocci) they promptly traded away for cash. The other, catcher Yermin Mercedes (taken in the minor league phase), was kept. For more detail on both of those players and how things unfolded, you can read our coverage of the events here.
The Sox did not lose anyone.
A low-level 3-team trade and not much else on the Hot Stove
The White Sox have been mentioned in any number of rumors swirling around the tepid stove this offseason, but little action has occurred. There were stories of the Sox being the top dog on offer for Manny Machado, but Baltimore was apparently underwhelmed by the bids. Various stories cropped up about Jose Abreu, Avisail Garcia, and others, but again... just nibbles, no bites.
Just a few days ago, the team did execute a trade, a 3-team deal even. But what appeared at first to be a Big Deal, turned out to be a side order, albeit a complicated one.
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) January 4, 2018
— Michael J. Duarte (@michaeljduarte) January 4, 2018
Nearly everyone on #WhiteSox Twitter, aware of Kenny Williams' previous desire to land Kemp, assumed this was going to be HahnCo buying prospects by taking on an albatross contract along with some key minor league talent. But it was not meant to be.
Infielder Jake Peter is going from the #WhiteSox to the #Dodgers as part of 3-team trade with #Royals. Peter is a former 7th round pick out of Creighton. He's a .282 hitter over four minor-league seasons.
— Jerry Crasnick(@jcrasnick) January 5, 2018
In the end, the deal was:
- To White Sox: RHP Joakim Soria (from Royals), LHP Luis Avilan (from Dodgers), $2M from Dodgers, and $1M from Royals
- To Dodgers: LHP Scott Alexander (from Royals), INF Jake Peter (from White Sox)
- To Royals: RHP Trevor Oaks (from Dodgers), INF Erick Mejia (from Dodgers)
It's hard not to smile at what GM Rick Hahn pulled off here, even if it wasn't a blockbuster. He sent away a fringy utility infield prospect who sat somewhere near the back of the team's top thirty, and got back a 2-punch shot in the arm for a decimated MLB bullpen and $3M to offset the cost to boot. With Peter being buried behind Yoan Moncada, Tim Anderson, and Carlos Sanchez, and competing with Nicky Delmonico, Tyler Saladino and Leury Garcia for a bench role, he didn't have much of a home in Chicago in 2018 anyway. He may fit better in LA's near-term plans and 40-man roster.
Beyond the Rule 5 and the 3-way trade, the South Siders made a handful of other moves, some of which effect the MLB roster picture for 2018.
- Catcher Welington Castillo to a 2-year, $15M contract with a third year option at $8M. He'll be the starting backstop for the MLB club.
- RHP Rob Scahill, Villa Park native and Bradley University product, for bullpen depth
- 1B Matt Skole, adding to the pool of power-hitting first baseman at the MLB/AAA levels
- LHP T.J. House and RHP Matt Tomshaw, who will compete for bullpen jobs in Chicago
- RHP Jose Ruiz, a flame-throwing reliever, was claimed off waivers from the Padres. He likely opens 2018 at AA Birmingham.
- RHP Brad Goldberg was assigned to AAA Charlotte
News and Links, to get you caught up
- The White Sox announced that potential Hall of Famer Omar Vizquel will manage the High-A Winston-Salem Dash in 2018.
- Actor Will Smith is beginning production on a new film covering the brief baseball career of some AA wash-out outfielder named Michael Jordan. Look for the Birmingham Barons to be front and center in the new movie.
- Kim Contreras spent some time around the Arizona Fall League in 2017, and she pulled together some quotes and videos of a pair of White Sox prospects into two feature articles that you should read if you haven't already. Get to know infielder Danny Mendick (here) and catcher Seby Zavala (here) a little better.
- Outfielder Alex Call may have fallen off the radar for some after missing much of 2017 to injury, but don't count him out. Our Ken Sawilchik wrote this focus piece on Call, which includes some quotes from the player on his past, future and 2018 outlook.
- Friend of the site John Calvagno of Scouting the Sally did an early preview of the 2018 Kannapolis Intimidators, with an assist from FS Editor Matt Cassidy. Read all about the projected talent heading to the Piedmont in 2018.
- The minor league affiliates have been busy filling front office roles. We won't list all of them here, but a few worth noting especially if you listen to any of their games:
- Joe Weil is now the lead broadcaster for the Winston-Salem Dash. He takes over for Brian Boesch, who moved on to IMG.
- Trevor Wilt is the new radio man for the Kannapolis Intimidators. He takes over for Josh Feldman, who has moved on to the Greensboro Hoppers.
- Speaking of the Intimidators, one of their press releases stated that the team hopes their new downtown Kannapolis ballpark will be ready for Opening Day of 2020. The White Sox PDC with Kannapolis is currently through the 2020 season.
- Chuck Garfein of NBC Sports (formerly referred to as Comcast SportsNet) had MLB Pipeline prospect guru (and Chicago area resident) Jim Callis on their podcast recently, and they covered quite a breadth of different prospects. if you're a podcast enthusiast, this is definitely worth a listen.
- James Fegan of The Athletic did a Q&A with White Sox Scouting Director (and friend of FutureS0x) Nick Hostetler, wherein you can get some hints on where the Sox are looking to go in the 2018 draft.
- The Charlotte Knights are privileged to have a very talented photographer, Laura Wolff. We've used her images (with her permission) on the site before. The blog Sox on 35th posted a sort of highlight reel of some of her best work, and it's an impressive portfolio.
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Filed under: News and notes
Tags: Al Alburquerque, Alen Hanson, Brad Golderg, Jacob Petricka, Jake Peter, Joakim Soria, Joe Weil, Jose Ruiz, Kannapolis Intimidators, Laura Wolff, Leonardo De La Cruz, Luis Avilan, Matt Skole, Matt Tomshaw, Michael Jordan, Nick Hostetler, Omar Vizquel, Rob Scahill, TJ House, Trevor Wilt, Wellington Castillo, Yermin Mercedes, Zach Putnam