Ozzie Guillen talks about his future, Cubs vacancy

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The baseball world seems to have a love-hate relationship with White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen.  He’s honest, and we all like honesty.  Or, at least we pretend to like honesty.  But he’s also loud and somewhat egotistical, and maybe even a little crazy.

Guillen let loose on Saturday when asked about his future with the White Sox and whether he had any interest in heading to the north side of Chicago next season.  Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times has the goods.

“If [owner] Jerry [Reinsdorf] don’t want me, yes,” Guillen said. “My position was I would
never sign another place and leave the White Sox for the Cubs because of
the respect for Jerry. But if Jerry is leaving me? I not leaving them,
they are leaving me. Then, I have a choice to make. Everything is out
there.  As soon as you get divorced, you are free to do whatever you want.”

Guillen made sure to explain this his “first, second and third” choice would be to remain with the White Sox.  But he wants a commitment from the team and the speculation that he might be let go has clearly found its way under his skin.

The White Sox will miss the playoffs this year for a second consecutive season.  Still, our guess is that he stays.  Reinsdorf likes him, general manager Kenny Williams likes him, and players seem to enjoy playing for him.  Plus, it’s not like the White Sox were completely out of contention all year.  The Twins simply ran away with the division crown down the stretch.

Yankees acquire James Paxton from Mariners

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The Yankees announced that the club has acquired starter James Paxton from the Mariners in exchange for three prospects: pitcher Justus Sheffield, outfielder Dom Thompson-Williams, and pitcher Erik Swanson.

Paxton, 30, has been among the game’s better starters over the past few years. In 2018, he went 11-6 with a 3.76 ERA and a 208/42 K/BB ratio in 160 1/3 innings. The lefty has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining after earning $4.9 million this past season.

Sheffield, 22, is the headliner in the Mariners’ return. He made his major league debut in September for the Yankees, pitching 2 2/3 innings across three appearances. Two of those appearances were scoreless; in the third, he gave up a three-run home run to J.D. Martinez, certainly not an uncommon result among pitchers. MLB Pipeline rates Sheffield as the Yankees’ No. 1 prospect and No. 31 overall in baseball.

Thompson-Williams, 23, was selected by the Yankees in the fifth round of the 2016 draft. This past season, between Single-A Charleston and High-A Tampa, he hit .299/.363/.546 with 22 home runs, 74 RBI, 63 runs scored, and 20 stolen bases in 415 plate appearances. He was not among the Yankees’ top-30 prospects, per MLB Pipeline.

Swanson, 25, was selected by the Yankees in the eighth round of the 2014 draft. He spent most of his 2018 campaign between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Overall, he posted a 2.66 ERA with a 139/29 K/BB ratio in 121 2/3 innings. MLB Pipeline rated him No. 22 in the Yankees’ system.

This trade comes as no surprise as the Yankees clearly wanted to upgrade the starting rotation and the Mariners seemed motivated to trade Paxton this offseason. To the Mariners’ credit, they got a solid return for Paxton, as Sheffield likely becomes the organization’s No. 1 prospect. The only worries about this trade for the Yankees is how Paxton will fare in the more hitter-friendly confines of Yankee Stadium compared to the spacious Safeco Field, and Paxton’s durability. Paxton has made more than 20 starts in a season just twice in his career — the last two years (24 and 28). The Yankees are likely not done adding, however. Expect even more new faces before the start of spring training.