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GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 23: Tim Anderson #7 of the Chicago White Sox poses on Chicago White Sox Photo Day during Spring Taining on February 23, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Cubs, White Sox Tuesday spring-training report

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We have spent a lot of time here the last couple of weeks trying to figure out if the White Sox are truly in a rebuilding mode. The jury remains out as to whether their “rebuilding” is really a smokescreen for dumping two players — Chris Sale and Adam Eaton — who wore out their welcomes with the front office.

But there is promising news today.

Signing shortstop Tim Anderson to a record six-year, $25 million extensionshows the White Sox have something resembling a plan.

Why is this relatively meager contract a record? It’s the most lucrative package in baseball history given to a player with less than one year’s service. Two option years could make the entire package worth $51.5 million and tie up Anderson until he’s 31. Keep in mind, Anderson wouldn’t have been eligible for salary arbitration until at least 2020 and wouldn’t have been a free agent until after the 2022 season.

Smart move by the White Sox.

Tim Anderson’s major-league stats from <a href="http://www.baseball-reference.com" rel="nofollow">http://www.baseball-reference.com</a>

Tim Anderson’s major-league stats from http://www.baseball-reference.com

It’s the first time the Sox have made such a statement since signing Sale to a five-year, $32.5 million extension — a deal that included two options — during spring training in 2013. Sale was three years into his career at the time.

The next spring training, they signed Jose Quintana to a five-year, $21 million extension. He’s currently the most discussed trading chip in the majors.

During spring training in 2015, Eaton signed five-year, $23.5 million extension with two option seasons.

Which brings us back to the question of where the Sox are headed.

As our Daryl Van Schouwen pointed out in his post this morning: “The affordable extensions heightened Sale’s and Eaton’s trade value in December, and it’s doing the same for Quintana, who could be dealt as the Sox rebuild for the future.”

So when do the Sox stop signing their talent at discounts only to trade them a few years later? It seems to be a revolving door, without a single trip to the postseason. At some point, you need that core to stay put as you build around your plan.

Anderson could be the start of that — or more of the same.

FUTURE WATCHSpeaking of the future and the White Sox, Van Schouwen takes a close look at hard-throwing first-rounder Zack Burdi.

Burdi — the 26th overall pick in the 2016 draft — is clearly on a fast track to the majors, jumping quickly from Class A to Class AA and Class AAA in his first pro season. The 22-year-old from Downers Grove is trying to keep it all in perspective.

“I’m not too worried about where I start off or end up,’’ Burdi told Van Schouwen. “It’s a process. You have to just keep growing day by day and not let all the outside noise affect you. It’s easy to let that happen when there is so much hype around the young group here. All the guys have done a good job blocking it out and going about their business.’’

Check out Daryl’s post.

GO, ROSS, GO

After a Skyped-in pep talk from Anthony Rizzo and Jake Arrieta, David Ross was ready to strut his stuff Monday night on his debut episode of “Dancing With the Stars.”

He didn’t strike out, according to our resident expert, Miriam Di Nunzio.

“Dancing across the ballroom to the strains of ‘Go, Cubs, Go,’ Ross showed plenty of style and charisma and flashed that endearing smile of his as his ballroom audience, many wearing Cubs caps and waving Cubs pennant, went wild,” Miriam wrote.

Ross and partner Lindsay Carson earned a respectable 28out of 40.

Meanwhile,an upcoming book penned by Ross is set to become a movie about the 2016 Cubs and that amazing Game 7. Check out the details here.

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Since the 2015 postseason, we regularly get emails from Cubs fans offering their poems or songs dedicated to their favorite team. Some are better than others, but most aren’t worth mentioning.

Then there was the note I received from Rob Sarwark on Monday telling me about his grandfather.

Pasquale “PJ” Panico.

Pasquale “PJ” Panico.

Pasquale “PJ” Panico was a Chicago musician, a Marine during World War II and a Cubs fan who grew up in the Little Italy neighborhood. He died last October at 95.

Shortly before “PJ” died, Rob found an old 78-RPM record in Panico’s home. On the record, Rob saw the words “Cubs Song” written on it, along with the name of another Chicago musician, Paul Geallis. The song’s title? “Come Out to Wrigley Field.”

“The first time that I heard the recording, however, was a few months later, at my grandfather’s wake,” Rob wrote. “We played it and a few other recordings of him singing and playing the accordion to honor his memory. It was then that we realized the song’s notability.

“I am writing to you because I know that this song, “Come Out to Wrigley Field,” is likely of interest and sentimental value to many Cubs fans and Chicagoland residents in general. Furthermore, it could potentially add to the strong emotions of history, Chicago pride and good sportsmanship that go along so perfectly with the Cubs experience, especially now that they are world champions.”

Rob believes the 78 is the only copy because it is a demo recording. He estimates it was written in the late 1950s or early 1960s. He has reached out to the Geallis family to properly register the tune and offers a low-fi version on YouTube.

Enjoy.


Who knew. Turns out Conan O’Brien and comedian Jeff Garlin were roommates who shared a place back in the day right by Wrigley Field.

“We lived so close, that whenever there was a home run, we could look out our window and see theball skiddle down the street,” O’Brien said. “That’s how close we lived.”

Garlin was a guest Monday night on the “Conan” show and discussed the back story to him givinga pregame speechbefore Game 4 of the World Series. Check out the clip from our friends at TBS here.

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