With the first Spring Training game in the books and an off day today, it’s time to take a look back through this week’s news. Here’s a roundup of the main storylines you may have missed.
White Sox Finalize Deal with 2B Josh Harrison
This week, the White Sox finalized their deal with 2B Josh Harrison (1-year, $5.5M w/2023 option). According to Rick Hahn, the White Sox are likely done adding at 2B with this move, and it’s quite possible that Harrison will be the Opening Day 2B over Leury Garcia.
For a more in-depth breakdown of this signing, check out our article below!
New White Sox Harrison, Velasquez Speak to Media; Graveman Clears Air
As Spring Training really got started this week, White Sox media availability began for the players. New White Sox Josh Harrison and Vince Velasquez spoke to the media (seen below).
In addition, Kendall Graveman, Tony La Russa, and Jose Abreu got a chance to talk and clear the air regarding Graveman’s HB of Abreu back in Game 4 of the 2021 ALDS. All appears well, as Graveman apologized for the incident, while La Russa admitted that the heat of the moment led him to assume ill intent. All is well that ends well.
Kopech, Kimbrel Ready to Put Up-and-Down 2021 Behind Them
Michael Kopech came back in 2021 after a few years away from the game, and in the first half of the season, looked every bit as good as advertised. While he struggled to end the season, he is absolutely looking forward to being a starter: “I think I’m kind of built more for a starter; I’m more routine-based” (via James Fegan’s article below).
As for Craig Kimbrel, part of him still appears to be shocked he’s with the White Sox. While it’s clear he prefers to close, he’s appreciated the White Sox’ transparency throughout this process, and is ready to do whatever it takes to compete and win. Here’s hoping Kimbrel gets back to his HOF-status self in 2022, whether with the White Sox or elsewhere.
Anderson Discusses His White Sox Future – and Has a New Video Coming
Back in 2017, Tim Anderson signed a 6-year/$25M contract extension with the White Sox with two club options that could take his time with the team through 2024. While it seems incredibly obvious that the White Sox would pick up Anderson’s 2023 and 2024 options, Anderson has his eyes looking forward still to his time past this current contract. The best part is that Anderson has made it clear that he wants to stay on the South Side until he retires – even as he realizes he’s far outplayed the contract he signed:
“I want to be here until I’m done. I definitely think about that a lot. I feel like I’m at a point now where I kind of outplayed the last deal, and that’s OK. You won’t hear me complain. … I know the ultimate goal here. My loyalty lies here, and I feel like they are loyal to me as well. But at the end of the day, I understand the business” (via Scott Merkin’s article below).
The White Sox also put out a tweet this morning, teasing a video to come out on March 22 that will be featuring the face of the franchise in Anderson. Stay tuned for more on that!
Jose Abreu’s Future Uncertain; To Discuss Following 2022 Season
Before Abreu signed his most recent 3-year contract with the White Sox, he made his intentions well-known: “I’ll sign myself.” This time, Abreu is striking a bit of a different tone, likely due to his deeper consideration of retirement this time around.
“Let’s see how the season goes and let’s see if we accomplish all the things we want to accomplish, see how I feel after the season. I’m pretty sure I’m going to consult with my family, see how I’m feeling, see how they’re feeling and we are going to make a decision afterward. Right now, the focus is just to enjoy this season and have fun” (via James Fegan article below).
Abreu’s teammates appear to be well-aware of the fact that Abreu’s career is coming to an end, and as Tim Anderson has put it – “Hopefully we can keep pushing and reward him with something dope” (via Vinnie Duber article below).
Andrew Vaughn Feeling Good Following First Spring Training Game
Andrew Vaughn finds himself in a very important position for the 2022 White Sox. Barring any additions to the roster, Vaughn finds himself as either the Opening Day RF or DH for the team on April 8. The highly-touted and newly versatile Vaughn hit .235/.309/.396 in 2021, and Vaughn knows he has plenty of room to improve. He feels he has taken steps this offseason to get stronger, as back tightness became more of an issue for him towards the end of the 2021 season.
Here’s hoping that Vaughn an establish himself at the major league level in 2022. He’s already done a great job, homering to start his campaign in Thursday’s Spring Training Opener.
White Sox To Appear on Sunday Night Baseball on May 22
This week, ESPN released their “Sunday Night Baseball” schedule for first two months of the 2022 season. The White Sox will be one of 12 teams featured in the first half, making their appearance on May 22 against the Yankees.
For a full schedule of “Sunday Night Baseball” games early in the season, see below!
Random Photos, Videos, and Stories From Around Camp
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Featured Image: White Sox / Twitter