Diving into the depths: Chicago White Sox

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This is part of a 30-article series looking at each team’s depth chart headed into spring training.
Chicago White Sox
Rotation
1. Mark Buehrle
2. Jake Peavy
3. Gavin Floyd
4. John Danks
5. Freddy Garcia
6. Dan Hudson
7. Brandon Hynick
8. Carlos Torres
9. Lucas Harrell
10. Jeff Marquez
The rotation is set, assuming good health. Hudson seems like a better bet than Garcia to me, but it makes plenty of sense to hold him in reserve initially. After him, there isn’t very much depth in the organization. Hynick has pretty good command, but I think he’d struggle mightily with the home run ball if thrown into U.S. Cellular.
Bullpen
1. Bobby Jenks
2. Matt Thornton
3. J.J. Putz
4. Tony Pena
5. Scott Linebrink
6. Randy Williams
7. Carlos Torres
8. Freddy Dolsi
9. Sergio Santos
10. Brian Omogrosso
11. Daniel Cabrera
12. Dan Hudson
13. Jhonny Nunez
14. Jeff Marquez
15. Derek Rodriguez
16. Greg Aquino
17. Santo Luis
18. Clevelan Santeliz
The bullpen, on the other hand, has two open spots, though Williams would seem to be the clear favorite for one after being kept on the 40-man roster all winter. The White Sox would also be very open to dumping Linebrink’s contract if given the chance, but it’s doubtful that they’ll have the opportunity.
Santos, a converted shortstop, isn’t nearly ready to help, but he is out of options and the White Sox may keep him as their 12th pitcher if he impresses at all this spring.


Catcher
1. A.J. Pierzynski
2. Ramon Castro
3. Tyler Flowers
4. Cole Armstrong
5. Donny Lucy
First base
1. Paul Konerko
2. Mark Kotsay
3. Mark Teahen
Second base
1. Gordon Beckham
2. Jayson Nix
3. Omar Vizquel
4. Brent Lillibridge
Third base
1. Mark Teahen
2. Omar Vizquel
3. Jayson Nix
4. Dayan Viciedo
Shortstop
1. Alexei Ramirez
2. Omar Vizquel
3. Jayson Nix
I think Beckham does belong at second base, but the White Sox are going to have a weak defensive infield with this group. Ramirez is still iffy to last at shortstop, and Teahen is below average at third. Beckham, who was drafted as a shortstop, might be the best defender here if he can adapt quickly.
Left field
1. Carlos Quentin
2. Andruw Jones
3. Jordan Danks
4. Mark Kotsay
5. Stefan Gartrell
6. Josh Kroeger
Center field
1. Juan Pierre
2. Alex Rios
3. Mark Kotsay
4. Jordan Danks
5. Alejandro De Aza
Right field
1. Alex Rios
2. Andruw Jones
3. Mark Kotsay
4. Alejandro De Aza
5. Stefan Gartrell
6. Josh Kroeger
Designated hitter
1. Andruw Jones
2. Paul Konerko
3. Carlos Quentin
4. Mark Kotsay
5. Jason Botts
6. Tyler Flowers
Barring an addition, it looks like Jones could be the primary DH early on. Maybe Flowers will be a factor there at midseason, but he’ll probably start off as the catcher for Triple-A Charlotte. The bench spots will go to Kotsay, Vizquel, Castro and probably either Nix or De Aza.

Report: Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on Sonny Gray

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 06: Sonny Gray #54 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 6, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Jason O. Watson/Getty Images
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The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.

Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.

Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.

President Obama Welcomes the Cubs to the White House

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As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.

Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.

Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.