1. The first two years of Todd Steverson's beginning of the year hitting minicamp have featured the first look at Jose Abreu, Adam Eaton, and also MLB camp cameos for Marcus Semien and Trayce Thompson. It does not have nearly the stigma of "pounds of muscle" or "Camp Cora" in terms of false pre-Spring White Sox hope. The fact that Matt Davidson has now attended every single one of these minicamps, or that Courtney Hawkins is just cycling through answers about how now he really feels relaxed at the plate has more to do with them than the chronic inability for this little camp to produce a positive result.
It's nice that they do this. Todd Steverson and Greg Sparks working with the team's top prospects (a list that now includes Trey Michalczewski due to his ascension and organizational attrition) can only be a good thing. Look, there are pictures, both of their hitting coaches were there! Double the coaching!
But other teams do this as well, and expecting some major advantage or surge in the progress of Tim Anderson because he spent this extra week in Glendale is only slightly more advanced from the school of thought that involves tweeting "WHY AREN'T YOU IN A BATTING CAGE" at Gordon Beckham after he's shared a picture of his backyard firepit. But it's the first week of January. They're doing something. If you think this is lean, get a load of the other items I'm mulling over in this post.
2. Speaking of which
How does a person working on social media in 2016 not understand how to properly use #squadgoals in a tweet? There's only been over two years for them to solve this riddle of "find a picture of a social group doing something indulgent or enviable and slap the hashtag on it" to get in on the joke. And what's the #squadgoal here? These are two guys literally on a squad, standing together. If Tyler Saladino's #squadgoal is "Pose for picture at a voluntary but kinda must-attend work instructional seminar during my would-be vacation with the guy who is going to steal my job" then he is a far more bleak individual than I would have ever imagined.
3. Erik Johnson insurance has been one of the most regularly identified possible areas of need after right field, but I defy anyone to browse the list of free agent starters and find someone who is not in the tier above what they are shooting for (Wei-Yin Chen, Yovani Gallardo, Ian Kennedy [QO]), and also isn't needing to physically prove they are even capable of starting games in 2016 (Bronson Arroyo, Mark Buehrle, Cliff Lee, Josh Johnson, Brandon Beachy, Chad Billingsley) or isn't just a tomato can (Shaun Marcum, Jerome Williams, Justin Masterson).
Aaron Harang and Kyle Lohse were both reliable innings eaters up until last season, but Lohse is 37 and the younger of the two, so they could very easily just be washed up. Matt Latos might really be one of the most promising options, and he's a clubhouse problem who got DFA'd by a team that dealt for him last year.
Seeing as the Sox have Danks and Johnson, they might be well-served just rolling with them and letting one of the NL bottom-feeders (Brewers, Reds, Braves, Rockies, Marlins, Padres) deal them whatever rotation lottery ticket is going good for them halfway through the season.
4. Not having a vote, I haven't put a great deal of thought into a theoretical Hall of Fame ballot, not even enough to doggedly comment "This ballot is correct" or "this ballot is incorrect" behind every public announcement of a vote. But since the results are coming and I have nothing else to add:
Bonds, Clemens, Griffey, Schilling, Bagwell, Raines, Walker, Mussina, Piazza, Martinez.
You can leave a request for my address so that you can come murder me in the comments.
5. Our fifth item today is just this photo of Michael Jordan and Ken Griffey Jr. Griffey is holding a bottle of...of...of...Yoohoo? A glass bottle Gatorade? A Bartles & Jaymes pina colada cooler?
Thank you for this gift of a photo, Mauricio.
6. UPDATE: Crap.
Gordon is probably the least exciting of three remaining big-time outfielders available, but thinning the herd of who is available (especially since the Sox have already been detached from Justin Upton) combined with an extension of the Royals prime run is uh, very bad.
Editor's Update: The rumor is that the deal is 4-years, $72 million although that is awaiting confirmation. If true, that would be bigger than any contract the White Sox have ever signed in the history of Earth.