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Ian Desmond is in a tough place. He received a qualifying offer mostly because of who he was before 2015, with the knowledge that he wouldn't accept it because he could easily be that guy again going forward. Now, though, it's mid-February, and Desmond is still a free agent, one with few, if any, serious suitors. The White Sox declined Alexei Ramirez's option then let him walk earlier this winter, however, and are reportedly considering Desmond to take over at short after remodeling their infield with Brett Lawrie and Todd Frazier.
Signing Desmond would cost Chicago the first-round compensation pick they earned for the loss of free agent Jeff Samardzija to the Giants. White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf is no stranger to lowering the costs of his team's drafts, however -- you can blame him for the current budget system in place, if you're feeling blame-y -- so don't be surprised if the Sox have no issue giving it up. They haven't done quite enough this winter to be a serious threat in the AL Central, so adding Desmond and his glove to the mix would help. If he also returns to form at the plate, bonus.
The White Sox could be good without Desmond, of course, after adding Lawrie, Frazier, and Mat Latos -- who pitching coach Don Cooper is sure to fix up in a hurry, as he has done so often in his career. With the Tigers revamped and the Royals looking like worthy defenders to their championship crown, though, adding more where the White Sox can makes sense. Desmond might not be a perfect fit, but Justin Upton, Yoenis Cespedes and others are all long gone at this point.
- Why are some Kansas ghost towns named after 19th century baseball players?
- The Angels' farm system is a garbage heap and the garbage heap is on fire with no sign of going out, but they aren't going to trade Mike Trout.
- MLB.tv's lawsuit settlement means cheaper MLB.tv and Extra Innings packages for you, the consumer. Well, once all the little legal bits are sorted out, anyway.
- Rays pitchers are varying the pitch speeds of specific pitches in order to increase their repertoire without having to add an entirely new pitch.
- Five winters ago, the Red Sox traded for Adrian Gonzalez, giving the Padres a prospect package including Anthony Rizzo. The deal has worked out for both Boston and then-Padres' GM Jed Hoyer, but not quite in the way anyone involved expected it to.
- Keith Law released his top-100 prospects list on Thursday. "Just" four of them were Red Sox, however, 13 of the 100 are older than Red Sox major leaguers Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts, who have over 500 combined games in the bigs already. Also, 22 of them are older than Eduardo Rodriguez. The Sox are doing OK in the youth department.
- The Pirates are going for another reclamation project in Cory Luebke, as they signed him to a minor-league deal with a spring training invite. Luebke was very good as a starter for the Padres between 2010 and 2012, but has spent the intervening years recovering from multiple Tommy John surgeries. Sounds like the kind of guy the sort-of-rebuilding Padres should keep around, but sure, let the contending team take the risk, San Diego.
- Australia has made it to their World Baseball Classic qualifier final after taking down South Africa in their second game of the mini-tourney. New Zealand scored a mercy ruling against the now 0-2 Philippines, in large part thanks to former minor leaguer Boss Moanaroa, whose name you needed to know exists.