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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The White Sox were neither buyers nor sellers, and that's OK

The trade deadline passed and the White Sox did … nothing.

Unless you’re one to get worked up over the acquisition of a minor league infielder, all the rumors that have been bantered about over the past several weeks resulted in nothing. 

And you know what? That’s OK.

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TCS Trade Deadline roundtable

We’re just a few days away from the non-waiver trade deadline, and the White Sox have yet to make any significant moves (unless you count Conor, sorry James), nor have they tipped their hand on whether they will be sellers or not. Yesterday’s report that they would wait until after the current series against the Red Sox to determine their trade deadline fate has us all anxiously waiting to see if something, anything, is done between now and Friday.

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The Blue Jays should trade for Jeff Samardzija

After the White Sox beat the Cardinals 7-1 on Wednesday, I did as I often do and went to ESPN.com's MLB standings page to check out where certain teams stand in the run differential department.

Sure enough, the White Sox are still the second worst in baseball, although significantly #BetterThanThePhillies.

What I was surprised by is the fact that the Cardinals, who even after two straight defeats against the White Sox are 25 games over .500, no longer have the best run differential in baseball. That title now belongs to the 42-38 Toronto Blue Jays.

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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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Off-day timewaster: Weighing a Carlos Quentin reunion

It was bad enough that the Braves just automatically dumped Carlos Quentin like he was empty contract, like he was friggin' Theo Ratliff, but they announced dumping him as the third entry in a roster move tweet that talks about Josh Outman and Brandon Cunniff?! Why don't they just dump his corpse into pauper's grave while they're at it? 

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The Butterfly Effect: Yu Darvish and Adrian Beltre

Yu Darvish is going to get Tommy John surgery on Tuesday. As Michael Baumann noted, this is a tragedy on multiple levels and the Rangers look like they may be just as snakebitten by injuries this year as they were last. Despite the fact that almost every team in the AL has reason to hope this year, with the loss of Darvish and Profar, the Rangers are probably looking at another year in last place. Meanwhile, Adrian Beltre is out there at 3B, in the midst of a mid-to-late 30s second peak that is nudging him closer and closer to legitimate Hall of Fame candidacy. And the White Sox need a third baseman...

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Trade Rumor: Ben Zobrist to Chicago.

A few weeks ago I briefly mused on Twitter that if Ben Zobrist is on the market, the White Sox should make an attempt to add him. Then, at the end of December, the Rays signed Asdrubal Cabrera which lead to the inference that Zobrist was going to be traded, and possibly to the White Sox. Zobrist is owed $7.5 million for 2015, what will be his age-35 season, after which he will be a free agent. Primarily a second baseman, Zobrist is famous for his versatility, playing all three outfield spots and even some shortstop last year. His offensive profile is also of the Little Bit Of Everything variety, being a switch hitter with doubles power, decent average, and walks. With the acquisitions of Melky Cabrera, Jeff Samardzija, David Robertson, Adam LaRoche, and Zach Duke, the White Sox are clearly trying to compete in 2015. Zobrist would address a position of weakness while providing depth virtually everywhere on the diamond. Should they do it?

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State of the Central: Detroit Tigers Status Update

Despite the fact that the Royals squeaked past Oakland in the Wild Card game and then rode their elite bullpen into the World Series, the 2014 Tigers were objectively the best team in the division. Detroit would win the division and boasted a run differential of +52 as opposed to Kansas City's +27. In fact, they have won the AL Central every year since 2010. Their core has gotten older and slipped some, Dombrowski finally messed up a major trade last offseason, and the window looks like it may be closing. But, like the White Sox, they have had a very busy winter so far. How do they look at the moment?

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The Dayan dream deferred

Trading Dayan Viciedo to the Mariners never made much sense, even in the thick of 2014. Viciedo was in the middle of a career-worst season, and was revealing himself to be a power-only right-handed clod, who would potentially play in a park that absorbs right-handed power and erases any trace of its existence.

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The Pros and Cons of Shark and Robertson

Please let me know if you also think this would be a great title for a children's book. Regarding baseball, apparently while I slept the White Sox made two rather huge additions (and possibly some significant subtractions) in trading Marcus Semien, Chris Bassitt, and a third, unknown player for Jeff Samardzija from Oakland and signing David Robertson from the Yankees. Here are my initial reactions:

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White Sox search for left fielder stretches on

We enter Day 35 of the offseason, and the days themselves have become drops in an unceasing ocean that does not so much meet the horizon as it fades into the sky, until they are one. The Winter Meetings are said to be drawing near, but they are not visible through the fog, and nothing stirs to disperse the haze

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Alexei Ramirez For Sale

While Rick Hahn has made it clear he's not eager to part with shortstop Alexei Ramirez, speculation persist, as recently the Los Angeles Dodgers joined the New York Yankees and New York Mets as a team rumored to have interest in acquiring the shortstop who has been a stalwart for the Sox for the last seven seasons.

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