With Manny Machado’s situation uncertain with each passing day, White Sox manager Rick Renteria remained focused on working with the tools he has now. That’s looking smart now that Machado has reportedly agreed to a 10-year contract with the Padres, passing on the chance to join the rebuild on the South Side.
“I can’t worry about who’s not here,” Renteria told reporters when asked about Machado, prior to reports of the infielder’s signing with San Diego. “I have been focused on the guys who are here. You make adjustments as those changes occur — if they occur. … We’re trying to make sense of how our roster will look with the guys we do have.”
Renteria practiced what he preached at his first full-squad workout on Monday, making a tweak in the infield. Yoan Moncada, who played second last season, worked exclusively at third during infield drills. Yolmer Sanchez took his place at second and Tim Anderson was at shortstop.
According to The Athletic, the Sox remained a “strong factor” in the race for Machado up until the end. The Phillies were viewed as another prime competitor, though they are reportedly offering Bryce Harper a larger deal than the Nationals pitched to him this season.
The biggest immediate impact from Machado’s decision looks to involve Moncada, whose position change has been in the works since the start of spring training. Our Daryl Van Schouwen laid it out in today’s story.
Takeaways from Tom Ricketts
Tom Ricketts held a news conference at Cubs spring training facility in Mesa, Arizona, on Monday and answered a wide range of questions stemming from his father’s leaked emails to the lack of spending this season. Here are some highlights:
On his Joe Ricketts’ racist email exchanges:
“Those aren’t the values our family was raised with. I’ve never heard my father say anything remotely racist.
“We know who my father is and we know that he’s not the person that those emails try to make him to be.”
On collusion among owners:
“I have no idea what’s going on with the free-agent market with respect to the [Bryce] Harper and [Manny] Machado situations, but I don’t think anybody’s colluding with anybody.”
On Cubs’ lack of spending this winter:
“That’s a pretty easy question to answer: We don’t have any more … Unfortunately, you can’t have a high-profile free agent every single year.”
Ricketts on the Cubs’ image:
“We set out almost 10 years ago now to be the best organization in sports, and to do what is right for our fans … And we’ve crushed it. We’ve absolutely executed against all three of those goals.”
JJ and MJ?
Newly acquired Sox outfielder Jon Jay is wearing No. 45 this season. Why?
Because he’s a die-hard Michael Jordan fan, according to NBC Sports Chicago.
Jay purposely picked his jersey number to match the one His Airness wore 25 years ago when Jordan attempted to make the switch career paths and become a Major League Baseball player.
Sights to See
- Doug Dascenso and Ryne Sandberg share a laugh on the stretching field at the Under Armour Performance Center, the Spring Training home of the Chicago Cubs, in Mesa, AZ. | John Antonoff/For the Sun-Times
- Chicago Cubs players stretch under a cloudy sky during a spring training baseball workout Monday, Feb. 18, 2019, in Mesa, Ariz. | Morry Gash/Associated Press
- Ken Williams, with manager Rick Renteria, talks with Rick Hahn at Camelback Ranch, the spring Training home of the Chicago White Sox, in Glendale, AZ. 02-13-2019 | John Antonoff/For the Sun-Times
- Chicago White Sox’s Carson Fulmer signs autographs during a spring training baseball workout Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. | Morry Gash/Associated Press
- Chicago White Sox’s Ivan Nova talks to Reynaldo Lopez during a spring training baseball workout Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. | Morry Gash/Associated Press
Pretty sure I detected a little mist in Jose Abreu’s eyes today when he was asked about this being last yr on contract. He sincerely loves being a White Sox.— Daryl Van Schouwen (@CST_soxvan) February 19, 2019
This just in: With Milwaukee's signing of Mike Moustakas, PECOTA has downgraded their projected win total for their projected last-place finish for the Cubs at 79.— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) February 18, 2019
Sox infield at work, Day 1— Daryl Van Schouwen (@CST_soxvan) February 18, 2019
3B Moncada, Rondon
SS Anderson, L Garcia
1B Abreu, Alonso pic.twitter.com/oN3cdyvTS6
Press box wag: "Do they have a formula to measure off-field distraction impact?" https://t.co/pGX9owsMbN— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) February 18, 2019