The first documented baseball activity of 2018 includes Luis Robert's first stateside BP and a Yolmer Sanchez sighting
Todd Steverson’s minicamp for White Sox hitters opened Monday with some pleasing sights and sounds. You can watch Luis Robert take his first stateside batting practice in the video above, or you can watch Eloy Jimenez dial it up here:
Eloy Jiménez hizo hoy algunos swings en el cage, en el primer día de nuestro minicampamento para bateadores pic.twitter.com/BpFeveOfkz
— Los White Sox (@loswhitesox) January 15, 2018
But of all the tweeting and Instagramming by the White Sox from Glendale, this one jumped out to me the most:
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) January 15, 2018
How do you guys feel over Yolmer Sanchez going to the arbitration hearing? After hearing the difference between what the two parties want, does it make you feel uneasy over the appearance that the organization is still penny pinching?
It’s true that the difference between the price points filed by the White Sox ($2.1 million) and Sanchez ($2.35 million) is a relative pittance, whereas the gap between filed numbers is nearly $1 million in Avisail Garcia’s case.
But given that the White Sox have baseball’s second-longest streak without an arbitration hearing, I wouldn’t reach for any pejoratives about the front office in this area until the two sides actually face off for real. If the White Sox had the Orioles’ track record, I might assume that the team wasn’t above negging players for fun and profit. As it stands, I’m regarding the $250,000 difference in figures as the latest negotiation update.
I’d take Sanchez’s appearance at Steverson’s minicamp as a sign that negotiations are avoiding “blood feud” status. He wasn’t on Scott Merkin’s list of expected attendees, so I’d guess Sanchez wouldn’t come from off the board to show up to the most voluntary of offseason workouts if he had felt wronged by the organization over the past few weeks.
* * *Over the winter, the Giants and the Blue Jays have sat in the same boat named “Rebuild or Reload?”. They both came off disappointing seasons and are staring down a roster reckoning, but they have enough on-hand talent and financial flexibility to try reversing the tide with their current cores.
Both teams also needed at least one outfielder, preferably one cheap enough to allow them to plug other holes. That made Avisail Garcia a popular name for those clubs among rosterbation enthusiasts. Garcia is coming off an All-Star season, has two years of arbitration-restricted salary, and teams might be able to haggle down due to a lack of a legitimate track record.
Nothing substantial ever materialized, though, and both teams found other solutions on Monday. The Giants traded young reliever Kyle Crick, outfield prospect Bryan Reynolds and $500,000 of international money to Pittsburgh for Andrew McCutchen and $2.5 million, and the Blue Jays signed Curtis Granderson for one year and $5 million.
The McCutchen trade takes care of the Giants’ most glaring need. The Blue Jays still have an outfield vacancy even with the Granderson signing, but we can at least reason that it doesn’t make a Toronto trade for Garcia any more likely.
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