Following up: White Sox wait to make international signings official

Whether it’s coaching staff decisions, spring training invitees, minor league assignments, postseason rosters, and even postseason lineups, the White Sox are no strangers to making everybody wait for the official announcement.

You can add Jan. 15 signings to that list. While plenty of other teams rolled out their new additions with the typical proud photos, the White Sox made neither of their pending seven-figure signings — Oscar Colás and Erick Hernandez — official. James Fegan said he wasn’t expecting the White Sox to issue the release until next week, and Cuban reporter Francys Romero narrowed it down to Monday.

Fegan did include one encouraging note: Colás is expected to play stateside during the 2022 season. That wasn’t a given, since other advanced Cuban prospects like Yolbert Sánchez and Norge Vera spent their first season overwhelming the competition in the Dominican Summer League for tax purposes. Colás would be flirting with spending three straight years of his physical prime idle, or close to it. With MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez confirming the bonus amounts — $2.7 million for Colás, and $1 million for Hernandez — perhaps the White Sox gave him enough of a cushion to lessen the chunk of change lost.

There may be a third name when the White Sox get around to certifying the first two, as James Fox said the White Sox have an agreement with Dominican righty Angel Cruz.

* * * * * * * * *

Then again, Jake Burger is proof that missing three years of your physical prime, while suboptimal, can be overcome. an say that missing three years of your physical prime. Burger missed all of the 2018 and 2019 seasons due to a pair of Achilles ruptures, followed by the pandemic’s erasure of 2020. Despite the inactivity, Burger responded to an ambitious assignment at Triple-A with a wildly successful 2021 season, including an impressive 15-game cup of coffee with the White Sox.

Burger will enter the 2022 season with a decent chance of breaking camp on an Opening Day roster. At age 26, that probably puts him about two years behind where he would’ve been had he remained healthy. He stared down the barrel of a far worse fate, and that might inform his perspective about everything he’s had to deal with to this point.

Following up on his online announcement about the development of a multi-pronged media entity that focuses on mental health …

he elaborated on his aspirations to Fegan:

Burger has a close friend who works in marketing and helped him shoehorn his five-pillar routine into the Burger B.O.M.B.S. acronym he touted. He has a girlfriend who works in tech helping him develop his website at JakeBurger30.com. A fan who appreciated his initial message of trying to destigmatize discussion of mental health issues submitted the graphics he’s revealed thus far. […]

The only potential way this site would ever make money is by selling merchandise, and even that would just be a flag to fly for others, to get people talking.

“I want to build up a community that’s like a place that you can come to if you’re struggling and, we’re gonna accept you with open arms,” Burger said. “There’s so many stressors out there, so much out there that’s causing anxiety for a lot of people. And I just want to have a safe space where people can feel a part of something, but also create friendships and create trust with a lot of other people.”

Burger is working on recording the content now and dispersing it over the calendar year, because he figures to have plenty else on his table. Perhaps this is one of the weird benefits of the lockout. Perhaps Burger has mastered finding a way to make catastrophes productive.

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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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GrinnellSteve

I love Jake Burger. I hope he fulfills the promise of his draft slot, and I hope he does it with the Sox. He’s gone through so much, and he deserves success.