1. The Boston Red Sox agreed with former White Sox farmhand Chris Young to a two-year deal according to multiple reports. After initial alarmist concerns that this hinted at a trade from the Red Sox outfield group of Mookie Betts, Rusney Castillo, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Brock Holt...until more sober voices suggested that Young was more likely a platoon bat/competent major league quality insurance for when one or more of those previously named falls flat on their face in an everyday role. Which is likely.
Which reminds me of Trayce Thompson, who above all things he did in 2015, demonstrated that he can defend his position in the outfield and is better against lefties. Not only does that put him in a similar position to naturally soak up plate appearances when Avisail Garcia falls flat or Melky Cabrera continues to struggle or just has to cover DH for a washed-up Adam LaRoche. Trayce is competent insurance, or at least is hoped to be, since Chris Young as a prospect was basically Trayce Thompson with more refinement and far better minor league production.
2. Employing Kenny Williams, Chris Sale and Alex Avila at the same time might be overkill in terms of publicly displayed bravado.
The Tigers do have a lot of right-handers and what good is Avila if he doesn't know how that organization pitches to people? It seems like an odd source for trash talk, but being a rah-rah guy is actually a good way for a bench player to provide a lift to the team. And Avila's comments in a media conference call make it clear that he understands he was brought in to split time with Tyler Flowers.
Let's set the expectations for Avila at matching Flowers' batting line and not single-handedly derailing the development of any pitching prospects.
3. So, Alexei Ramirez has been passing the time peacefully since getting put on the free agent market.
Despite not having that extra $9 million guaranteed for 2016 just yet, Ramirez dropped $25,000 to customize his car to change paint colors depending on the temperature, which...sounds like something police will make illegal soon.
My only disappointment with this story is how long it took me to think of the "His car changes colors with the temperature, just like his hitting!" joke. It was nearly 40 minutes. The offseason has surely begun.
4. Sometimes the White Sox hitting coach tandem can seem like stacking as many competent people as possible together and hoping a solution shakes out, but it sure seems a lot more measured than making your current guy just go work alongside Barry Bonds!
Bonds was an incredibly intelligent hitter at the plate in his heyday, and the idea of him being a good instructor is hardly absurd, it just comes across that way when it's the Marlins just lopping on marquee names without a coherent plan and trying to pair an all-time ego into a timeshare with an incumbent org soldier coach like Frank Menechino. I'm fascinated to see how this will work out, especially since it won't be playing out with the White Sox.
5. Read Matt Cassidy's personal recollection of following former Sox farmhand Dan Remenowsky's run from statistically dominant relief prospect in the lower minors to org washout at Triple-A. It's an excellent personal story about the growth of a prospect writer, that doubles as a reminder of why scouting is so much more than monitoring minor league stat lines.