Top prospects Happ and Covey dominated in the Arizona Fall League finale

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The Arizona Fall League concluded its 2016 run on Saturday with a 6-1 championship win by the Mesa Solar Sox over the Surprise Saguaros. The Solar Sox featured prospects from the Cubs, Indians, Marlins, Athletics, and Blue Jays’ farm systems, while the Saguaros displayed top talent from the Red Sox, Royals, Twins, Pirates, and Rangers’ rosters.

Leading the charge in the Solar Sox’ championship win was Cubs’ top prospect Ian Happ, who fueled the team’s offensive drive with a base hit, double, and two home runs in four at-bats. Happ was ranked No. 1 within the Cubs’ farm system in 2016 and made the jump to Double-A Tennessee in mid-June after slashing .296/.410/.475 through 293 PA with High-A Myrtle Beach.

Happ’s efforts at the plate were boosted by a knockout performance from Athletics’ right-hander Dylan Covey. Covey carried a perfect game through four innings and finished his last start of the year with a hit, a run, a walk, and three strikeouts over five innings. He was backed by four scoreless innings and another six strikeouts from fellow A’s right-hander Frankie Montas and Cubs’ righty James Farris in the Solar Sox’ win.

While Happ and Covey were the clear standouts of the afternoon, league MVP honors went to 19-year-old shortstop Gleyber Torres before the championship game kicked off. Ranked No. 2 in the Yankees’ system, Torres turned heads in the AFL, leading all batters with a .403 average, .513 on-base percentage and 1.15 OPS. He became the youngest AFL player to receive the Edge Pro Batting Title Award and his smooth transition to second base helped solidify an MVP run over two months with the Scottsdale Scorpions.

Report: Mike Clevinger agrees to 1-year deal with White Sox

Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
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CHICAGO — The Chicago White Sox bolstered their rotation, agreeing to a one-year contract with right-hander Mike Clevinger, a person familiar with the agreement told The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was subject to a successful physical.

The 31-year-old Clevinger went 7-7 with a 4.33 ERA in 23 games, including 22 starts, for San Diego this year. He missed the 2021 season after he had Tommy John surgery.

Chicago is looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2022 season, when it went 81-81 and finished 11 games back of surprising AL Central champion Cleveland. Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa stepped down in October and Pedro Grifol was hired on Nov. 1.

The White Sox got a big lift from Johnny Cueto this year, but the 36-year-old right-hander is a free agent after going 8-10 with a 3.35 ERA in 25 appearances. Clevinger slots into a rotation that likely will include Dylan Cease, Lance Lynn, Lucas Giolito and Michael Kopech.

The move puts the 6-foot-4 Clevinger back in the AL Central after he made his major league debut with Cleveland in 2016. He went 42-22 with a 3.20 ERA in four-plus seasons with Cleveland before he was traded to San Diego in a multiplayer deal in August 2020.

Clevinger was selected by the Los Angeles Angels in the fourth round of the 2011 amateur draft. He was traded to Cleveland in 2014.

Clevinger is 51-30 with a 3.39 ERA in 128 career big league games. He also has 694 strikeouts in 656 2/3 innings.