Jimmy Rollins to end up being one of the bigger free agent signings of the White Sox offseason

A few days into March and a couple split squad games is as long as the White Sox could sustain the suspense of a position battle at shortstop. Bruce Levine reported Wednesday that Robin Ventura admitted Jimmy Rollins is a near lock to make the White Sox roster, and gave this telling quote to Dan Hayes.

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Let's learn stuff about some of the White Sox NRIs

It's that always exciting time of baseball preseason's preseason when we get to learn about all the players who have received non-roster invitations to Spring Training!

The list, as always, consists of prospects not yet on the 40-man roster who the team wants to get a closer look at, as well as some retreads and guys who are desperately hanging on to their major league dream.

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White Sox Re-Sign RHP Matt Albers

According to Ken Rosenthal, the White Sox have re-signed RHP Matt Albers to a 1-year, $2 million deal with a team option for $3 million or a $250K buyout in 2016. Albers was very good in 37.1 IP with the White Sox in 2015, posting a minuscule 1.21 ERA with a 6.75 K/9 and a small 2.17 BB/9.

While this deal has minimal risk and stabilizes the bullpen, Yoenis Cespedes isn't a White Sox yet (and is being linked heavily to the Nationals, who apparently are willing to go five years), so who really cares anyway. 

Ethan Spalding is a statistics major at UW-Madison and lifelong White Sox fan. Follow him at @SpaldingBalls

White Sox acquire reliever Kahnle from Rockies

While we all continue to stare at the massive void that is the increasing likelihood that the White Sox will make no more than a series of minor moves this offseason, the team itself began that process on Tuesday when it acquired righthander Tommy Kahnle from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for minor league pitcher Yency Almonte.

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If not Alexei, then who?

The White Sox declined the $10 million option on Alexei Ramirez on Wednesday, a somewhat surprising move that seems to create another black hole on an offense that already has question marks at second base, third base, catcher and right field.

Of course, it’s entirely possible we still see Ramirez in a White Sox uniform in 2016. The White Sox had to act on his option by Wednesday, and with teams able to come to terms with free agents starting on Saturday, they may still come to terms on a deal before everything is said and done.

Ramirez had the worst season of his career in 2015 and, as essentially a replacement-level player who will be 34 for basically the duration of the 2016 season. He’s also only a year removed from being an All-Star caliber shortstop and, quite frankly, there aren’t a ton of appealing options outside of Ramirez should the White Sox choose to go in another direction.

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Filling the voids in the White Sox lineup

Going into the season, one thing many pundits noted about the White Sox was the holes in the roster. 

Through 31 games, it seems those fears were quite warranted. Between catcher, third base, and second base, White Sox players have combined for a grand total of 0.0 WAR, ranking in the bottom seven teams in baseball for production at each position. 

As a team teetering on the brink of contention with a 5.5 game deficit, such holes are too big to not work to fill them. Micah Johnson being replaced by Carlos Sanchez won’t do that; neither will any potential in-house replacement for Conor Gillaspie at third. 

Though Tyler Flowers is likely the White Sox’ man at catcher, Gillaspie and Sanchez can probably be replaced in a trade. Though the trade market has yet to develop this season, the White Sox may have a few options soon, which I assessed and sorted into relatively arbitrary categories. 

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White Sox roster edges closer to completion

The official White Sox 25-man Opening Day, World Series-bound roster is not to be announced until Thursday, but they're eeking ever closer to full resolution, while also completely holding off on any decision of who is getting booted off the 40-man roster. The story of the Sox roster is akin to Harry Potter, but only in the sense that it's hesitant to decisively purge any significant characters.

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What is the White Sox roster doing?


So a full-month of goofy-time exhibition ball has not proven Micah Johnson to be verifiable whole wins better than Carlos Sanchez, and 40-man roster space has become a concern. Wonder if a self-aggrandizing blogger predicted such chaos. He'd be a billionaire about now...

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Sale injury doesn't move the needle on Rodon

As we prepare for his Spring debut, Carlos Rodon's likelihood for beginning the season in Triple-A is one of the profoundly unfun elements of modern efficiency-obsessed and cost-conscious major sports. The White Sox have the temptation of an extra season of paying Rodon a suppressed salary, all they have to do is stumble for a few months pretending both Hector Noesi and John Danks are better, or good bets to outperform him during the first part of 2015; a year in which they're said to be competing for a championship.

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