Tim Anderson

Getty Images

Report: Jimmy Rollins is contemplating retirement

4 Comments

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that former Giants’ shortstop Jimmy Rollins is considering retirement after being released by the team on Friday. The veteran infielder batted .125/.222/.250 with the Giants this spring and was told earlier in the week that he would not make the club’s Opening Day roster.

Rollins, 38, could hang up his cleats after 17 seasons in the big leagues. He spent the bulk of his career in Philadelphia, contributing 49.3 fWAR from 2000 through 2014 with three All-Star bids, four Gold Gloves, one Silver Slugger and top honors as the 2007 NL MVP to boot.

Per FanGraphs, the veteran’s value hasn’t exceeded 0.3 fWAR in a single season since his last hurrah with the Phillies in 2014. He’s bounced around the league during the last two years, landing with the Dodgers in 2015 and latching onto the White Sox during the first half of the 2016 season. Rollins cracked the Opening Day roster in Chicago and batted just .221/.295/.329 with two home runs before the team DFA’d him to make room for 23-year-old prospect Tim Anderson in June. While he may not want to consider retirement just yet, as Giants’ outfielder Denard Span mentioned on Friday, his age and poor showing this spring might leave him without much of a choice.

2017 Preview: Chicago White Sox

Getty Images
11 Comments

Between now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2017 season. Next up: The Chicago White Sox.

After a couple of years of an all-in approach with a core of Chris Sale, Jose Abreu, Melky Cabrera, Todd Frazier, Adam Eaton and friends, Rick Hahn and the White Sox finally decided to tear it all down. And they tore it all down pretty productively, actually, dealing Sale and Eaton for a boatload of prospects, leading with Yoan Moncada, who has hit .287/.395/.480 with 23 home runs, 100 RBI and 94 stolen bases in 187 minor league games.

They also picked up righthander Michael Kopech who hits triple digits on the regular, one-time top prospect and still-promising Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and 2016 first-round pick Dane Dunning. They all join existing young talent like Tim Anderson, Carlos Rodon, Zack Collins, Carson Fulmer and Alec Hansen. The system, she is stocked.

In addition to all that new talent, the Sox have a new manager in Rick Renteria. What he’ll have to work with at the big league level is somewhat spotty, however, and could change pretty radically as the season wears on.

Still in house: Jose Quintana, Frazier, Cabrera and David Robertson, all of who are likely on the trading block (we know Quintana is). Hahn will entertain offers for anything not nailed down which, in this case, means anyone over the age of 25 or so. We could give a blow-by-blow of the offense, the pitching and the defense like we normally do here, but if you’re an obsessive White Sox fan you know that stuff already and if you’re not, all you really need to know is that between those inevitable departures and the loss of their ace in Sale and their best position player in Eaton, last year’s 78-wins are gonna seem like a distant memory.

Beyond trading stars for prospects, the White Sox have signaled that they’re in non-compete mode in other ways as well. New in the fold: Derek Holland, Peter Bourjos and Geovany Soto. Veterans who do a task or two well, go about their business and, if they have a super nice year, can get dealt at the deadline. In short, the lifeblood of a rebuild, not the stuff of greatness. There’s nobility in fulfilling that role even if there aren’t a lot of wins to be found in it.

Where are some wins to be found? Jose Abreu had a down year in 2016 and could be better this year. Both Holland and James Shields are capable of better years than they had last year. Indeed, it’d be close to impossible for Shields to be worse. They’ll have Carlos Rodon, who took a step forward last year and could be poised for a breakout. Quintana and company will be around until July most likely before they’re traded and before Hahn begins to call young dudes up for second half cups of coffee.

And that’s what this season is about, really. The cups of coffee. Seeing what the Sox have in their young talent, particularly Moncada, who has little left to prove in the minors, even if he spends some more time there and Rodon, who is already a key part of the big club. They may lose just as many games or more than they lost the past couple of seasons, but they’ll do it with more interesting players who fans can imagine being better in a White Sox uniform one day. And, heck, if someone develops a bit more quickly than expected, it could actually lead to good baseball. At least here and there.

Prediction: Fourth place, American League Central.

Report: White Sox, Tim Anderson agree to a six-year extension

Getty Images
18 Comments

White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson has played only one season in the big leagues. It was a good season, though, as the rookie hit .283/.306/.432 (OPS+ 102) with nine homers and ten stolen bases in 99 games.

As Bill mentioned last night, he and the White Sox were reported to be in talks about a long term deal. A few minutes ago Ken Rosenthal reported that a deal had been struck:

UPDATE: Bob Nightengale reports that the deal is six-years, $25 million. That is close to the record for a contract given to a player with less than a year of service time. Chris Archer received a $25.5 million deal after the 2013 season, though it had some contingencies in it regarding his Super Two status that could’ve brought it down lower. This may be the largest guaranteed deal for a player with such little service time.

The White Sox selected Anderson in the first round — 17th overall — in the 2013 draft. He was a consensus top-100 prospect going into the 2015 season and was a consensus top-50 heading into last season, even earning a No. 19 overall ranking from Baseball Prospectus.