Raines gets Hall's call in final year on ballot

Prolific leadoff man racked up 808 steals in 23-year career

Raines gets Hall's call in final year on ballot

CHICAGO -- Tim Raines played a part in the White Sox 2005 World Series championship as a first-base and baserunning coach, returning to the team for which he played from 1991-95.

That accomplishment was all about the team, quite possibly the greatest moment in franchise history. But Wednesday was all about Raines, the individual, as the switch-hitting outfielder who played 23 big league seasons joined Jeff Bagwell and Ivan Rodriguez as part of the class of 2017 elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

White Sox rebuild bit different than others

Club still has plenty of talent after trading Sale, Eaton

White Sox rebuild bit different than others

CHICAGO -- Tanking? That is not a word that has been used in reference to the current White Sox rebuild. This rebuild looks a little bit different in terms of the remaining talent on the Major League roster than other teams that in recent years have rebuilt in full.

"I'm not anticipating this to be a 62- or 63-win team," said White Sox director of amateur scouting Nick Hostetler, referring to the 2017 season. "Right now, the way that the team is constructed, we are going to compete in games, battle."

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kopech hits 110 mph in offseason workout

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Kopech hits 110 mph in offseason workout

When the White Sox acquired Michael Kopech as part of the package for Chris Sale, they knew they were getting a pitcher with a blazing fastball. According to MLB Pipeline, Kopech sits at 96-98 mph and can even hit triple digits. 

They probably weren't expecting 110 mph, though. 

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Many forces at play in GM's Quintana plans

Relenting from lofty demands could still yield impressive return before camp

Many forces at play in GM's Quintana plans

CHICAGO -- Greed is good.

We learned that lesson courtesy of Michael Douglas/Gordon Gekko in 1987.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hawk alarm clock headlines Sox '17 promotions

Hawk alarm clock headlines Sox '17 promotions

CHICAGO -- It's 6 a.m. on a cold Chicago morning and it's time to get up for work or school.

Your alarm goes off, but instead of hearing a buzzer or music, the following sentence reaches your ears.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

The end of Raines' career was noteworthy, too

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The end of Raines' career was noteworthy, too

By now, you probably know all the reasons why Tim Raines deserves to be in the Hall of Fame: He was arguably the greatest leadoff hitter this side of Rickey Henderson. He stole over 800 bases at an absurd 85 percent success rate. And, while he came 400 hits shy of 3,000, he has nearly the same on-base percentage as first-ballot Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn.

Beyond being a walk machine and a constant threat to steal bases -- like Henderson -- Raines' career went well into his 40s and included a tour through the independent leagues -- also like Henderson.

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Healthy Tilson should boost hometown White Sox

Trade Deadline acquisition played one game in 2016 before getting injured

Healthy Tilson should boost hometown White Sox

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- It took Charlie Tilson exactly one at-bat to pick up his first Major League hit during his White Sox debut at Comerica Park on Aug. 2 last season.

Two innings after that single to center off of Anibal Sanchez and the requisite talk at first base with Miguel Cabrera, Tilson's rookie campaign was finished when he sustained a torn left hamstring chasing Cabrera's double in right-center.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Frazier, 4 others agree with Sox on 1-year deals

Frazier, 4 others agree with Sox on 1-year deals

CHICAGO -- The White Sox announced one-year contracts agreed upon with five players on Friday, avoiding arbitration with all five. The White Sox have no remaining arbitration-eligible players and have not gone to an arbitration hearing since 2001, with reliever Keith Foulke.

Infielder Todd Frazier ($12 million), right-handed starter Miguel Gonzalez ($5.9 million), left-handed reliever Dan Jennings ($1.4 million), right-handed reliever Jake Petricka ($825,000) and right-handed reliever Zach Putnam ($1,117,500) were the five who came to terms.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

White Sox trio among top RHP prospects

Reyes overtakes Giolito for top spot, Glasnow remains at No. 2

White Sox trio among top RHP prospects

MLBPipeline.com will unveil its 2017 Top 100 Prospects list on Saturday, Jan. 28, with a one-hour show on MLB Network at 8 p.m. ET. Leading up to the release, we look at baseball's top 10 prospects at each position.

Lucas Giolito headlined last year's list of the Top 10 right-handed pitching prospects, followed by Tyler Glasnow and Alex Reyes, respectively. That same trio checks in at the top of this year's list, too, only in a different order.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Minicamp serves distinct purpose for White Sox

Hitting coach Steverson: Organization's identity being 'instilled in our young players'

Minicamp serves distinct purpose for White Sox

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- At the conclusion of a three-day White Sox hitters minicamp Wednesday afternoon, following hitting coach Todd Steverson's upbeat summation to the 16 players at Camelback Ranch, manager Rick Renteria added in his parting words.

"Don't be afraid to have fun," Renteria said while wrapping up the pre-Spring Training get-together.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Steverson evaluates 4 young Sox hitters

Hitting coach had chance to work with players at minicamp

Steverson evaluates 4 young Sox hitters

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- White Sox hitting coach Todd Steverson had a chance to work with 16 hitters during a minicamp from Monday through Wednesday at Camelback Ranch. He took some time after its completion to provide analysis on four young hitters.

Yoan Moncada, INF, No. 1 prospect in organization
"He's a strong guy. He's a strong kid. I keep forgetting that he's [21] years old. Right now, on first look, obviously he's very athletic. He's got some good hands on him. [I] watched him on defense, and he looks like he can field the ball well. Just in general from my side of the bargain, he uses the whole field, switch-hitter, which is always a positive for me. He has a good swing from both sides. He needs to play more baseball and get into it."

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sox see Collins becoming 'very good catcher'

No. 10 pick in '16 Draft cites Pilates for flexibility behind plate

Sox see Collins becoming 'very good catcher'

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- John Orton didn't know a great deal about Zack Collins when the White Sox selected the left-handed-hitting catcher with the 10th overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft.

So the White Sox Minor League catching coordinator studied some of Collins' work as he played for the University of Miami in the College World Series. Orton immediately liked what he saw.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Moncada shows off skills at White Sox camp

Cuban infielder displays power bat during first workout

Moncada shows off skills at White Sox camp

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- If fans were allowed into the White Sox hitters' minicamp, taking place through Thursday at Camelback Ranch, then Yoan Moncada probably would have received the first standing ovation as part of his new team.

It only wound up as a Tuesday batting practice session, but even this workout looked impressive for the 21-year-old switch-hitter from Cuba built like an NFL defensive back. Hitting left-handed, Moncada laced a couple of pitches into left field. He followed with a blast over the center-field fence on a back field at the team's complex, which will host Spring Training in a little over five weeks.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sox could deal Quintana to boost farm system

Sox could deal Quintana to boost farm system

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The White Sox, as a practice, don't comment on trade rumors.

That philosophy has served the South Siders well this offseason as they start their rebuild -- and considering that there seems to be more information floating around than days on the calendar. But confirmation from general manager Rick Hahn isn't necessary to predict boldly that Jose Quintana could be traded before White Sox pitchers and catchers report to Camelback Ranch on Feb. 14.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Spring is in the air: First workout dates announced

Spring is in the air: First workout dates announced

Despite the frigid temperatures throughout many big league cities, Major League Baseball's announcement Tuesday of the first workout dates of Spring Training should be enough to warm the hearts of baseball fans everywhere.

The following are the first Spring Training workout dates, subject to change, both for pitchers and catchers and full squads of the 30 Major League clubs. 

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Former Sox pitching coach Brown dies at 73

'Oklahoma Curveballer' played for Senators, Rangers, Indians and Expos

Former Sox pitching coach Brown dies at 73

ARLINGTON -- Former Rangers pitcher Jackie Brown, who was known as the "Oklahoma Curveballer" and later became a Major League pitching coach for three organizations, has passed away after a long illness. He was 73.

Brown pitched for the Washington Senators in 1970-71, the Rangers in '73-'75, the Indians in '75-'76 and the Expos in '77. He had a career record of 47-53 with a 4.18 ERA in 214 games, including 105 starts.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Anderson to prospects: 'Let your abilities work'

Former top picks give advice to future White Sox stars

Anderson to prospects: 'Let your abilities work'

CHICAGO -- The stage was set for Brian Anderson's Major League arrival in 2006.

As the White Sox top pick in the 2003 MLB Draft and 15th selection overall in the first round, Anderson had already logged 35 plate appearances for the '05 World Series champions. That total included two home runs off of Felix Hernandez on Aug. 26 in Seattle.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

White Sox claim OF Garcia; Coats DFA'd

White Sox claim OF Garcia; Coats DFA'd

The White Sox claimed outfielder Willy Garcia off waivers from the Pirates on Friday and designated outfielder Jason Coats for assignment.

Garcia was designated for assignment by the Pirates on Dec. 31 after spending all season at Triple-A Indianapolis, where the 24-year-old hit .245 with 30 doubles, six home runs and 43 RBIs.

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Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Zaleski finding 'joy' as Class A pitching coach

Right-hander spent 11 seasons in White Sox Minor League system

Zaleski finding 'joy' as Class A pitching coach

CHICAGO -- Matt Zaleski has a wonderful life, thanks to baseball. But some might look at Zaleski's career trajectory and think otherwise.

Zaleski was selected out of Indiana State by the White Sox in the 30th round of the 2004 MLB Draft and spent the next 11 seasons pitching in the Minors. Zaleski made 316 appearances, of which 110 were starts, for Rookie-level Great Falls, Class A Kannapolis, Class A Advanced Winston-Salem, Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte. He also spent parts of six seasons with the Knights as part of the International League.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

On mend, Putnam eyes shutdown middle-relief role

On mend, Putnam eyes shutdown middle-relief role

CHICAGO -- The current White Sox bullpen alignment doesn't feature Zach Putnam in the closer's role, although he pitched the ninth successfully during parts of a 2014 breakout campaign.

But anyone who watched the most recent postseason, specifically Andrew Miller and the American League champion Indians, understands the last three outs aren't always the tensest or even the most crucial for a bullpen crew in securing a victory.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Will Sox hang on to Frazier, Abreu?

Beat reporter Scott Merkin answers questions from fans

Inbox: Will Sox hang on to Frazier, Abreu?

CHICAGO -- A belated Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to everyone. And remember, only 40 days until White Sox pitchers and catchers report. Let's get to the questions.

Young teams benefit from some veteran presence. Do you foresee the White Sox extending Todd Frazier and keeping Jose Abreu through the rebuild?
-- David, Denver, @david_e_larson

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Moncada, Giolito in the mix for top prospect and hurler

In survey, Benintendi edges Moncada, Reyes runs away with top-hurler tag

Moncada, Giolito in the mix for top prospect and hurler

A year ago, MLBPipeline.com introduced the Pipeline Poll, where general managers and scouting executives were asked to choose the game's top prospects. In that edition, Corey Seager was the clear-cut winner as the overwhelming choice for top overall prospect, and that seemed to work out pretty well.

The 22-year-old was an All-Star, won the National League Rookie of the Year Award, finished third in the NL Most Valuable Player Award voting and set a slew of franchise records, including most homers, hits, doubles and total bases by a Dodgers rookie shortstop.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

With eye on long term, White Sox build for 2017

Offseason makeover has set South Siders on different course

With eye on long term, White Sox build for 2017

CHICAGO -- The White Sox have a long-term goal of contending for, and hopefully winning, numerous World Series championships.

In order to reach that goal, they will be taking a new approach during the 2017 season. The South Siders started what many believed to be a long overdue rebuild by trading Chris Sale, one of the game's top starting pitchers, to Boston, and by trading multi-threat outfielder Adam Eaton to Washington during the Winter Meetings.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

White Sox look to focus on positives in 2016

With some top prospects acquired in trades, club starts rebuilding phase in '17

White Sox look to focus on positives in 2016

CHICAGO -- A number of positive results transpired for the White Sox during the 2016 season.

Jose Quintana became an All-Star for the first time in his steady career, often bordering on spectacular, while the southpaw also notched a career-best 13 wins, a 3.20 ERA and 181 strikeouts over 208 innings.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Source: Robertson not part of Yanks/Sox talks

Source: Robertson not part of Yanks/Sox talks

The Hot Stove started to buzz on Tuesday when a report circulated that the Yankees and White Sox have discussed a trade that would send left-hander Jose Quintana and closer David Robertson to New York. However, a source told MLB.com that those talks have not really progressed and that the report is overstating the seriousness of the discussions.

USA Today reported Tuesday morning that New York was interested in acquiring both Quintana and Robertson from the White Sox, who would eat a portion of the $25 million remaining on Robertson's deal. The New York Post later reported that the Yankees have not discussed acquiring both players. The clubs have not commented on the reports.

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Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Most amazing American League games of 2016

Most amazing American League games of 2016

The Indians came thisclose to bringing a World Series title home to their fans and to the American League after an amazing 2016 season. Taking the Chicago Cubs to the 10th inning of the seventh game of the Fall Classic was just about as memorable as it gets.

But the Indians were one of 15 teams in the AL, and each one had its own Game of the Year. In consultation with the MLB.com beat reporters for every team, here are the best individual games for each AL club during another fantastic year in Major League Baseball:

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Righty White Sox prospect Hansen 'special'

Righty White Sox prospect Hansen 'special'

CHICAGO -- One word described the impression made by Alec Hansen during his debut in the White Sox organization last season.

"Special. He's special," said Matt Zaleski, who was Hansen's pitching coach at Great Falls of the Rookie level Pioneer League during the 2016 campaign. "His stuff is pretty much off the charts."

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

White Sox scout creates 'Miracles' for kids

Tumminia's non-profit organization introduces baseball to children across globe

White Sox scout creates 'Miracles' for kids

CHICAGO -- Following the 2018 season, when John Tumminia will be 66 years of age, the longtime White Sox scout plans to retire.

A logical jump would be for Tumminia to move full time into Baseball Miracles, the labor of love and non-profit charitable endeavor he began about five years ago. But here's the only problem with that logic: Tumminia already delivers a full-time commitment to Baseball Miracles while working for the White Sox.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.