Following up: White Sox minicamp opens, non-White Sox outfielders move

The first documented baseball activity of 2018 includes Luis Robert's first stateside BP and a Yolmer Sanchez sighting

Todd Steverson’s minicamp for White Sox hitters opened Monday with some pleasing sights and sounds. You can watch Luis Robert take his first stateside batting practice in the video above, or you can watch Eloy Jimenez dial it up here:

But of all the tweeting and Instagramming by the White Sox from Glendale, this one jumped out to me the most:

On Patreon, Sox Machine backer @ducksensualll asked:

How do you guys feel over Yolmer Sanchez going to the arbitration hearing? After hearing the difference between what the two parties want, does it make you feel uneasy over the appearance that the organization is still penny pinching?

It’s true that the difference between the price points filed by the White Sox ($2.1 million) and Sanchez ($2.35 million) is a relative pittance, whereas the gap between filed numbers is nearly $1 million in Avisail Garcia’s case.

But given that the White Sox have baseball’s second-longest streak without an arbitration hearing, I wouldn’t reach for any pejoratives about the front office in this area until the two sides actually face off for real. If the White Sox had the Orioles’ track record, I might assume that the team wasn’t above negging players for fun and profit. As it stands, I’m regarding the $250,000 difference in figures as the latest negotiation update.

I’d take Sanchez’s appearance at Steverson’s minicamp as a sign that negotiations are avoiding “blood feud” status. He wasn’t on Scott Merkin’s list of expected attendees, so I’d guess Sanchez wouldn’t come from off the board to show up to the most voluntary of offseason workouts if he had felt wronged by the organization over the past few weeks.

* * *

[dropcap]O[/dropcap]ver the winter, the Giants and the Blue Jays have sat in the same boat named “Rebuild or Reload?”. They both came off disappointing seasons and are staring down a roster reckoning, but they have enough on-hand talent and financial flexibility to try reversing the tide with their current cores.

Both teams also needed at least one outfielder, preferably one cheap enough to allow them to plug other holes. That made Avisail Garcia a popular name for those clubs among rosterbation enthusiasts. Garcia is coming off an All-Star season, has two years of arbitration-restricted salary, and teams might be able to haggle down due to a lack of a legitimate track record.

Nothing substantial ever materialized, though, and both teams found other solutions on Monday. The Giants traded young reliever Kyle Crick, outfield prospect Bryan Reynolds and $500,000 of international money to Pittsburgh for Andrew McCutchen and $2.5 million, and the Blue Jays signed Curtis Granderson for one year and $5 million.

The McCutchen trade takes care of the Giants’ most glaring need. The Blue Jays still have an outfield vacancy even with the Granderson signing, but we can at least reason that it doesn’t make a Toronto trade for Garcia any more likely.

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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Patrick Nolan

I think the stretch between now and the first spring training game is probably my least favorite point in the baseball calendar. It’s like stuff is happening but not really; it’s all a tease. Plus, usually all the offseason activity is done by now (so I guess there’s something of an exception this year).


Eloy, hands so still.

Robert, explosive.

Josh Nelson

Michael Kopech #3


What 3rd? Who could possibly top Kope- OH, Ohtani. Of course.

Patrick Nolan

I kinda reacted the same way. Forgot that Ohtani counts for all this stuff now.

Trooper Galactus

Whitley ahead of Kopech?  Really?


Sanchez is such a dummy to ask for less than the Sox are offering!   (Check your math there, chief.)

mechanical turk

Here’s a tip for all you home gamers out there: at some point early in the meal (maybe after ordering drinks/appetizers but before entrees) excuse yourself to go to the restroom.  Then find the host/hostess/whatever and let them know you’re paying for the table as a surprise for your friends.  Typically they can swipe your card then and just charge it after the meal is done.


I am easily the farthest thing from a hitting coach or scout, besides maybe your grandma.  But when just looking at the foot action of Eloy and Robert and thinking back to the Burger video a few days ago – wow!  What a difference.  Burger’s feet were all over the place – serious rollover on his plant foot and his back foot was sliding pretty drastically.  And then Eloy and Robert are so very stable in their base.

With that said, maybe this has nothing to do with anything but it seems a pretty big difference between advanced hitters and developing hitters.

And oh yeah, Robert is what, 18? 19?   Mercy!



From a purely baseball standpoint, hubba-hubba.


you know who had a back foot that dragged and moved all over the place? Frank Thomas.


To me Robert has a great fluid swing. I don’t care for Jimenez swing. Looks loopy and also like he could get locked up and long. Has a bad follow through. But whatever I suppose none of that stuff really matters if you hit it and it goes.


thanks!  Like I said, I know nothing.  With that said, what about the front plant foot?   I would think the way Burger rolls over his ankle he loses stability and power – kind of like in golf.      Or does that make little difference?

Patrick Nolan

I think this is most useful for assessing where the long-term holes are. If there’s guys here that you don’t buy as credible starters at their stated positions, that’s probably where the Sox should be focusing their energy in free agency (or via trades of depth)


So we’re just a Catcher, 1B, 3B, SS, and maybe DH away from having a strong 2021 roster! Beautiful.

Patrick Nolan

Don’t forget right fielder!

Josh Nelson

They didn’t consider current contracts, right?

Patrick Nolan

RE: Josh

It would appear they’re assuming that teams will re-sign significant current players. I don’t know why Abreu and Garcia are there; I’d think the exercise would be more interesting assuming only players under current team control are considered.

Josh Nelson

I agree.

RF – should be Micker Adolfo

DH – …Casey Gillaspie?


Right Size Wrong Shape

DH – Delmonico

Josh Nelson

Good call on Delmonico. He’s not a free agent til 2024.

Patrick Nolan

Yup. Delmonico would be the guy at DH. I think Rutherford still has dibs on RF over Adolfo, but that could change quickly.



Patrick Nolan

Didn’t realize you included SS at first — I still believe in Timmy.


Yeah, I didn’t have Anderson in my first pass, but I decided it wasn’t quite dour enough. In reality, I’m willing to give another shot to any player who had to go through what he did last year.

Greg Nix

Can we get a Miss Manners etiquette guide on crossover posting with SSS? Because Mike’s flow chart the other day was an interesting and comprehensive way to visualize the future roster.


I don’t see Jim lobbying heavily (as I would) to burn down the old village to resume growing this one.  I’d think all’s fair on the Internet.  (But Jim is the go-to guy for content.  He gets first eyeballs.  But the site has to become more user-friendly.)


What do you think?

Greg Nix

Not knowing the ins and outs of the site migration, I’m slightly concerned about causing Jim or Mike any trouble with the Vox overlords. But maybe that concern is unnecessary.


No need to spend money on free agents!  Awesome!

Patrick Nolan

Except Abreu and Avi!


Baseball America used to do this exercise every time they came out with the team’s prospect rankings.


? They still do.  That’s where this is from


oops. I see that now.  I’d like to blame drinking but I was just being ignorant.

Trooper Galactus

Burger and Sheets might very well be duking it out to be the first baseman of the future.


KBO league is plenty big enough for both of them.

Josh Nelson

Programming announcement:


Today Chris Getz said Robert could start in Kann, W-S or Birmingham. Birmingham seems a little too “old White Sox development strategy” for my liking. Where would you guys like to see go after Spring Training??


Patrick Nolan

lol Birmingham? If we’re gonna demoralize the kid by making him hit in that park against those pitchers, screw it, CF is wide open in Chicago.