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White Sox get the message on Robin Ventura’s “big-boy pants” comment

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BALTIMORE — Robin Ventura doesn’t speak out a lot so Adam Eaton knows when he does he should listen.

So when the White Sox manager said his team, losers of five straight, need to put on their “big-boy pants” after Monday’s loss, Eaton understands. The White Sox aren’t playing a particularly bad brand of baseball — far from 2013 levels, in fact. But they need more after losing every game on this road trip by a combined total of seven runs, Eaton said.

“He says stuff for a purpose,” Eaton said. “He doesn’t say anything, he doesn’t say anything and then when he does say something people listen. I think it’s definitely for a purpose and to get us fired up and I think we’re going to take that, play with a purpose (Tuesday) and hopefully continue to do so.”

Following Monday’s 6-4 loss on a walk-off, three-run homer, Ventura was displeased with his club. He doesn’t like how they have found several ways to lose some very winnable games on their road trip.

“Baseball’s tough,” Ventura said. “You’ve got to put your big-boy pants on and go out there and win a game. That’s a fact.”

[MORE: Sox make a switch in rotation, stand by Belisario]

Second baseman Gordon Beckham knows where Ventura’s coming from. If it were a blowout, the White Sox would be more prone to letting go of their losses easier knowing they had been beat, Beckham said.

But that’s not the case at all and that’s why Beckham figures Ventura sent the missive in Monday’s postgame comments.

“I feel like we really haven’t gotten beat,” Beckham said. “Obviously we’re losing games but we’re kind of beating ourselves in terms of not finding a way to win.

“We just need to find a way to get a win here and break up this skid we’re on. We’ve played hard, we just haven’t found a way to win. I think his point is we just need to get over the hump here. We’re in these games and if we’re in these games we need to find a way to win one or two of them. It’s never fun to go through it, but this season is too long, this game is too tough to ride the low or ride the high too much. You’ve just got to go out there and play and grind it out.”

Orioles acquire Mark Trumbo from Mariners for Steve Clevenger

Mark Trumbo
AP Photo/Joe Nicholson
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As first reported by Bob Dutton of the Tacoma Tribune and now confirmed by CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the Mariners have traded first baseman and corner outfielder Mark Trumbo to the Orioles in exchange for catcher and first baseman Steve Clevenger. More to come.

Cardinals finished runner-up to Red Sox in David Price sweepstakes

David Price
AP Photo/Orlin Wagner

These kind of after-the-ink-has-dried reports have to be taken with a grain of salt for a variety of reasons, but they’re fantastic conversation-starters …

Bob Nightengale of USA Today says the Cardinals “finished runner-up” to the Red Sox in the bidding for free agent left-hander David Price, who signed with Boston on Monday for a record seven years and $217 million.

There were reports early on that the Red Sox were going to have to overpay on Price because he wanted to either stay in Toronto or make the move to the more pitcher-friendly National League. And maybe they did go significantly above and beyond the next-best offer to land him.

But the report from Nightengale serves as an indication that the Cardinals are ready and willing to spend big money ahead of next week’s Winter Meetings in Nashville. Does that chunk of change now get directed toward Jason Heyward? Or might the Cardinals pounce one of the falling dominos in this still-loaded starting pitching market? What about both?

St. Louis lost Lance Lynn to Tommy John surgery last month and both Carlos Martinez and Michael Wacha carry some injury concerns into 2016. There’s money to spend there with a new billion-dollar local television deal about ready to kick in.

Pirates expressing interest in Justin Masterson

Justin Masterson
AP Photo/Ben Margot
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Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage has become the king of the reclamation project. And it sounds like he’s about to take on another big one …

Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that the Pirates have expressed interest in free agent Justin Masterson. The expectation is that it will be a one-year deal with the goal of rebuilding the right-hander’s value in an environment where many other struggling veteran pitchers have executed significant career turnarounds.

Masterson earned his first (and only) All-Star nod in 2013 when he registered a 3.45 ERA, 195 strikeouts, and three shutouts in 32 appearances with the Indians. But he had a 5.88 ERA in 128 2/3 innings between Cleveland and St. Louis in 2014 and he continued struggling to the tune of a 5.61 ERA with the Red Sox in 2015.

It’s not clear whether the Bucs would try him as a starter or reliever.

Zack Greinke deal “could come soon,” Dodgers and Giants lead the bidding

Zack Greinke
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Jordan Zimmermann signed with the Tigers on Sunday for five years, $110 million. David Price signed with the Red Sox on Tuesday for seven years, $217 million.

Two big dominos have fallen in this loaded free agent market for starting pitchers, and another big one is about to go …

FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal says a deal for Zack Greinke “could come soon” and it’s currently “Dodgers vs. Giants” at the top of the bidding ladder.

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick confirms that both the Dodgers and Giants are looking for an answer from Greinke, adding that the 32-year-old right-hander seeks a five- or six-year deal with a greater average annual value (AAV) than what Price just secured from Boston. That number would be $31 million, so we’re talking something close to $32 million through 2020-2021.

Greinke opted out of the remaining three years and $71 million contract with Los Angeles in October after posting a 1.66 ERA and 0.84 WHIP across 222 2/3 regular-season innings in 2015. He finished second to the Cubs’ Jake Arrieta in the National League Cy Young Award balloting.