Earlier this week Buster Olney of ESPN reported that the White Sox told other teams that they’re “open for business” and willing to trade veteran players, and yesterday general manager Ken Williams basically admitted as much:
Some changes need to take place. I don’t know what and I don’t when but some changes need to take place. Things aren’t happening the way that we envisioned and when they don’t happen the way you envision you’ve got to make an adjustment.
I guess I’m not so much on my own time line as I am on other clubs’ time lines. It’s still the early part of June and a lot of clubs are trying to figure their situations out and determine whether they’re in it or not in it or what kind of money they have to spend. There are a lot of variables that go into the mix so even if I want to do something, it’s not always in my control. … It is what it is. I have to listen. It’s not that I want to, but I’m not blind.
Williams added that “other teams seem to want our players,” which certainly seems to indicate that he’s already been shopping various veterans around. Paul Konerko has been linked to the Angels following Kendy Morales’ broken ankle and last week A.J. Pierzynski said he’d be open to a trade, although Monday the catcher will have the service time needed to become a “10-and-5 player” with the ability to veto any deal.
Matt Thornton and to a lesser extent Bobby Jenks, J.J. Putz, and Scott Linebrink could be targeted by teams in need of bullpen help and perhaps Andruw Jones would be a fit on a contender’s bench, but with Jake Peavy’s contract already looking untradeable Williams seemingly doesn’t have a ton of other marketable pieces unless he wants to start unloading guys like Mark Buehrle or Carlos Quentin.
Given his history of bold moves I certainly wouldn’t put anything past Williams, especially considering the team’s 104-116 record since the start of 2009.
Pirates minor leaguers Gift Ngoepe and Dovydas Neverauskas (pictured) were arrested on Sunday morning in Toledo, Ohio after a bar brawl, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports, citing documents provided by the Toledo Municipal Court.
Ngoepe was charged with one count of simple assault and two counts of resisting arrest. Neverauskas was charged with two outs of resisting arrest and one count of misconduct. Tigers minor leaguer Warwick Saupold was involved as well and was arrested for simple assault.
Saupold allegedly punched Andrey Goncharuk (not a player for either teams’ affiliates) in the face outside of the Bronze Boar bar, which is across from the Toledo Mud Hens’ ballpark. Ngoepe allegedly wrapped his arms around the police officer who was attempting to arrest Saupold. Ngoepe allegedly twisted free from the officer and walked away. Neverauskas allegedly interfered with an officer and yelled, “What are you going to do, shoot me?” after being ordered to stand on the sidewalk.
Ngoepe, 26, is in his second season with Triple-A Indianapolis. The shortstop has put up a meager .644 OPS in 373 plate appearances.
Neverauskas, 23, was promoted to Indianapolis in mid-June. In 25 relief appearances, he posted a 3.60 ERA with a 24/11 K/BB ratio in 30 innings. The right-hander, who appeared in the 2016 Futures Game last month, is rated as the Pirates’ 25th-best prospect according to MLB Pipeline.
Saupold, 26, has appeared briefly in the majors for the Tigers this season, yielding eight runs on 17 hits and three walks with 10 strikeouts in 9 2/3 innings. He made five appearances from May 14 to 31 and one more on August 12 before returning to Triple-A Toledo.
Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball reports that Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig has been claimed on waivers by an as-yet unknown team. The Dodgers can now attempt to work out a trade with the claiming team, or simply give that team Puig. In that case, the claiming team would assume the responsibility for the remainder of Puig’s seven-year, $42 million contract, which has two years and $14 million left. The Dodgers can also pull him back from waivers if they can’t work out a deal, but that would mean Puig would be ineligible to be traded for the rest of the season.
August 31 is the deadline for teams to acquire players on waivers and still have them become eligible for the postseason roster.
Puig’s relationship with the Dodgers has hit the skids as of late. He’s had a letdown of a season both in terms of injuries and production. In 303 plate appearances, he has a .260/.320/.386 triple-slash line with seven home runs and 34 RBI.
The Dodgers demoted him to Triple-A Oklahoma City in early August. Shortly after arriving, Puig celebrated a win with his teammates that included some profane language and was broadcast on Snapchat. The Dodgers were not very happy about that. Since then, the Dodgers were reportedly “trying to give away Puig” but didn’t find a taker.