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.
Nathan Eovaldi hasn’t pitched in a month due to right elbow inflammation, but he told Chad Jennings of the Journal News today that he expects to pitch out of the bullpen if the Yankees advance to the ALDS against the Royals.
Eovaldi was originally expected to throw a 35-pitch bullpen session today, but the Yankees moved up his timetable after the news that CC Sabathia was checking into alcohol rehab. Instead, he threw 10 pitches in a bullpen session before facing hitters for the first time since his injury.
There isn’t enough time for Eovaldi to get stretched out to start during the ALDS, but he could still play an important role for the Yankees, especially with Adam Warren looking like the most likely option to replace Sabathia in the rotation.
Yadier Molina suffered a mild ligament tear in his left thumb on September 20, but the Cardinals announced Monday that they remain “optimistic” he’ll be on the roster for the upcoming NLDS.
Molina visited a hand specialist Monday and Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that he’ll have a custom splint built in hopes that he’ll be able to hit and catch. He’s still not 100 percent, but even a limited Molina could be better than the alternative. That would be Tony Cruz in this case.
The Cardinals will meet the winner of Wednesday’s Wild Card game between the Cubs and the Pirates. Game 1 of the NLDS will take place Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET in St. Louis.