1. In the distant future, the effect of climate change have become an unavoidable amount of daily life, MLB players dread road trips to the seceded Republic of Texas and the bizarre and hard-to-acquire documentation needed to go out to the clubs in Houston after the game, the International Draft was instituted and it sucked.
"The White Sox are still considering adding an outfielder, but unclear if they're willing to spend or would seek a trade. For a trade, They are unwilling to part with Tim Anderson in a trade, who is reportedly responding well to cellular restoration therapy and may be able to resume play at age 83."
In the even more distant future, a great and awe-inspiring supernatural force revealed itself to Earth. Those who believed it be God returning to His people were among the first slaughtered in an ELE that wiped out 95% of humanity and blackened every inch of the planet's surface. The survivors are hurtling without direction through space on overpacked freighter, driven only by fear.
"The Orioles are still expected to sign Dexter Fowler, but the ChiSox could also be in play. Ian Desmond also remains unsigned, and perfectly cryogenically frozen, despite the draft pick penalty associated with his qualifying offer having expired 2300 years ago."
In the present day, the Eastern Cougar, declared officially extinct by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in June of last year, didn't live to see Trayce Thompson's breakout campaign, and thus, if revived at this moment, would be familiar with the Sox having a replacement-level or worse starter in place at right field since Alex Rios was traded in 2013. Or since no Eastern Cougars have actually been spotted since 1938, they would probably wonder what happened to the serviceable combination of Hank Steinbacher and Gee Walker. If they watched White Sox baseball, which would provide a decent explanation for their extinction.
2. The latest reporting behind the White Sox maddening long game with their roster construction comes from Jon Heyman...
...and Bruce Levine, who treats the Sox adding an outfielder by some means more as inevitable, while depicting Fowler's market as a neverending staredown to see who will give him a three-year deal. Such a holdup, while inexplicably long, at least makes sense, even if it's a jump the Sox should obviously be willing to make and risk given how their need has not dissipated but the market for full-season upgrades obviously has.
The Orioles officially signing Yovani Gallardo moved the Sox potential compensation pick up to the 27th, which also would boost their bonus pool, a relative pittance in the ledger of pros and cons to adding an outfielder to shore up the awful production the Sox are projected to pull in from right field, but since we're constantly at risk of repeating ourselves in this debate, does the begging of and ongoing Spring Training activity affect the Sox approach at all? Would the preference to have their whole lineup in place and working with their coaching staff, or assurance that a free agent target is working out in a major league camp? Probably little compared to the pursuit of the ultimate bargain, which has already dragged the Sox to this bizarre point of standing.
3. Adam LaRoche is in camp so it's time to get his take on why 2016 will be different. There's plenty of the typical ethereal explanations like 'uncomfortable with being a DH' or 'things went bad and I started pressing' neither which exactly jive with him being a productive member of society throughout May then just falling apart as pitchers challenged him without punishment for the rest of the year.
LaRoche is 36, so I'm banking on his knee problems reportedly being "healed with rest" as being the most significant factor in him bouncing back to old performance levels, at least in controlled spurts. He also said he started CrossFit over the season, so a late-career renaissance would be worth it not just for saving the Sox season, but for the sheer chaos of "Player X started CrossFit" becoming an offseason meme.
4. Alex Katz, the White Sox 27th round pick out of St. John's University in the 2015 Draft, did a Reddit AMA over the weekend and it was, an interesting insight into minor league life. Katz is a 5-foot, 10-inch fastball/slider lefty, who while doing very well, was still in Rookie Ball at the end of last season. It'd be understandable if he's not on anyone's radar just yet, but he still said he talks to Don Cooper on the phone once per week, lest their be any doubt on how significant Cooper's reach on the entire organization's approach is.
Katz also discussed trying to add a changeup, rubbing Red Hot on his arm before outings, a weird episode where a teammate threw at a guy in the on-deck circle, and stated unequivocally that a hot dog is not a sandwich. It was Reddit, after all.
5. I would strongly recommend Maury Brown's writeup of why MLB team sales go over their Forbes evaluations, while simultaneously arguing that team's leveraging TV and other media rights, or using bankruptcy courts or debt servicing to inflate the sale price is a feature, not a bug that makes the Forbes' estimation actually dead-on.
I would also strongly recommend my White Sox season preview I wrote for Razzball. It features, a curmudgeon who doesn't enjoy fantasy baseball, writing a fantasy baseball preview. Read it and cackle about how unhappy I must have been (It was actually fun).