TCS Morning 5: White Sox rumors are pretty much where you left them last week

1. White Sox news mostly stayed in a holding pattern all weekend, as did pretty much any and all updates on the corner outfield market. The Sox left the Winter Meetings with Rick Hahn saying he wasn't done improving the offense, and explicitly stating "There's still room in the payroll to improve the club."

It was a moving moment. Justin Upton might very well have spent three minutes skimming a BuzzFeed listicle on deep dish pizza in excited preparation.

But there's been no smoke since. Upton has been reported to be in conversations with the Angels, who were in the periphery of the Jason Heyward bidding, and the Orioles, who are currently bidding against themselves for Chris Davis. There's also the Giants, who actually have a lot of money and are pretty scary.

But again, nothing has really perked up in a few days. Maybe GMs really do take weekends off from time to time.

There's no rush to do something stupid to make the news, but as Richard Justice writes, the fallout of the Heyward sweepstakes might close a window to make a move on Upton, as a slate of deep-pocketed suitors now urgently move on to their secondary targets.

The Cardinals, Nationals and Giants all can outbid the Sox for Upton, and have the distinction of actually be linked be to him by real reporters.

Forgive the obsession, but the larger point of focusing on Upton is his representation of a pure offensive injection, a sure boost to their run production, and insurance against underperformance from other positions that securing average-ish to above-average plugs for their holes will not. 

2. The White Sox do remain in on the Todd Frazier talks, according to Jon Heyman on Monday morning. Heyman reports their primary competition for the All-Star third baseman are the Indians, which is a telling moment of what financial tier of teams are desperate to deal in talent rather than money. Heyman also notes that the ongoing Aroldis Chapman fiasco might make the Reds extra focused on getting a prospect like Tim Anderson back for Frazier.

As I've said before, mentioning Upton alongside Frazier is crucial, because it's a lot easier to buy losing Tim Anderson as part of intense effort to max out the next two years of this team than as part of the slower build of the farm system that's been going on since their draft and IFA returns began to recover.

3. In the meantime, Alex Gordon could be the bellwether of the entire Royals offseason. Dayton Moore has already gone on record about possibly giving Jarrod Dyson a full-time shot, but Sam Mellinger's column on the Royals hoping for the Gordon market to fall below expectations suggests that their spending level should not be expected to change much from Opening Day 2015, and their long-term plan is built around extensions for Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar and Salvador Perez, which...

...Well, far be it for us to question the Royals' logic ever again, or at least for the next 10 years, but they are really not doing too much to show they're going to lock down the AL Central and throw away the key.

4. Jose Abreu and Alexei Ramirez are headed to Cuba this week as part of the MLB's Goodwill tour on the island. Hopefully Abreu hits a dozen dingers in a week, all of variety so majestic and glorious that he encourages a wave of player defections to sign below-market deals with the Sox that Reinsdorf will actually authorize, or better yet, encourages broadsweeping political reforms simply from the pure joy that his opposite-field power brings.

Or maybe he can just stay healthy.

Yahoo has a whole dedicated Cuba page up full of in-depth features. I speculate there will be some attention paid to this.

5. Oh, look, it's the greatest tweet of all-time.