White Sox may be serious bidders for Yoenis Cespedes

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Between this winter’s trades of closer Sergio Santos and outfielder Carlos Quentin, the White Sox have cut about $10 million in payroll. Could they be gearing up for something (or someone) special?

Perhaps. Maybe. Potentially.

Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago expects the White Sox to take part in the bidding for Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who is scheduled to become a major league free agent sometime in early January.

White Sox GM Kenny Williams did not shoot down that idea when speaking with reporters Saturday:

“What I will say is there are some doors that are now open for us that were not open yesterday because of the savings of dollars,” Williams said. “But which direction we are heading with that, [talking about it] I think would be counterproductive with us getting something done should we decide to go down that road.”

The White Sox are likely to have competition from the Cubs, Marlins, Yankees and Red Sox, but they have a good history with recruiting Cuban talent and would seem to have some available spending cash.

Cespedes, 26, batted .333/.424/.667 with 33 home runs and 99 RBI in 90 games this past year in Cuba.

Aaron Judge was involved in a weird play in the fourth inning

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge found himself front-and-center in a weird play in the bottom of the fourth inning during Game 4 of the ALCS on Tuesday evening. Judge drew a walk to lead off the frame. After Didi Gregorius lined out, Gary Sanchez flied out to shallow right-center.

Judge must have thought the ball had a high probability of falling in for a hit, so he was past the second base bag around the time he realized his mistake. He retraced his steps, running back to first base. Reddick’s throw hopped a couple of times but first base umpire Jerry Meals called Judge out on the tag-up play.

Manager Joe Girardi requested a review and the call was overturned: Judge was safe. However, Astros manager A.J. Hinch wanted to challenge that Judge did not re-touch second base on his way back. Rather than issuing a formal challenge, the Astros had to appeal the play by having starter Lance McCullers throw to second base, at which point second base umpire Jim Reynolds would issue a ruling. McCullers was a bit hasty, though, and made his appeal throw before Greg Bird stepped into the batter’s box. Reynolds told McCullers that he had to wait. So, McCullers again made his appeal throw.

This time, Judge was running and he was simply tagged out at second base for the final out of the inning. No need for a review.

As Ken Rosenthal explained on the FS1 broadcast, the Yankees were trying to “beat the police.” They knew Judge would have been ruled out — replays clearly showed he never re-touched the base — so they had nothing to lose by sending Judge. If he was safe, the Astros would no longer be able to appeal the play. If he’s out, then it’s the same outcome they would have had anyway.