Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

November 2011 Archives

Sox name Paddy to head Latin America operation

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Looking to upgrade their straggling scouting operation in Latin America, the White Sox on Wednesday named Marco Paddy as special assistant to the general manager - international operations.

Paddy, 47, spent the last five seasons as director of Latin America operations with the Toronto Blue Jays. He will oversee Sox scouting in Latin America, with an emphasis on international signings.

The Sox presence in Latin America has been weak in the aftermath of a scandal involving former senior director of player personnel David Wilder, who was fired in 2008 after a Commissioner's office investigation into whether he skimmed bonus money from players. Wilder pled guilty to one count of mail fraud in the case in February.

While Paddy was with Toronto, the Jays signed pitcher Henderson Alvarez, a two-time All-Star Futures Game participant who made his major-league debut in 2011, and infielder Adeiny Hechavarria, a former member of the Cuban Junior National Team.

Paddy, a native of Panama, spent 14 seasons with the Atlanta Braves, as an area scout from 1993-2002, assistant director of player development in 2002-03 and director of Latin America operations in 2004-06.

Former Bulls general manager Jerry Krause became the Sox director of international scouting in May, 2010. He resigned in April to join the Arizona Diamondbacks as special assistant to executive vice president of scouting and player development Jerry DiPoto.

White Sox offer arbitration to Buehrle, not Pierre

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The White Sox offered salary arbitration to free agent Mark Buehrle on Wednesday.

By offering arbitration to the 32-year-old left-hander, the Sox will get a draft pick as compensation should he sign with another team. He has until next Wednesday to accept or decline. Buehrle is not expected to accept, but he may still negotiate with the Sox.

The Sox declined to offer arbitration to free-agent outfielder Juan Pierre.

The decisions on Buehrle and Pierre were expected.

The Sox are free to negotiate with any of their remaining free agents, regardless of whether arbitration was offered. Catcher Ramon Castro and infielder Omar Vizquel are free agents.

White Sox spring training dates

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The White Sox will host the Cubs on March 9 in Glendale, Ariz., according to the team's home spring training schedule posted on its web site.

The Sox report to camp on Feb. 22 and play their first spring training game under new manager Robin Ventura on March 5 against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Camelback Ranch in Glendale. They play their final spring game in Glendal against the Brewers on April 2.

The Sox travel to Houston's Minute Maid Park to play the Astros for exhibition games on April 3 at 7:05 p.m. and April 4 at 1:05 p.m. The Sox open the regular season on April 6 at the Texas Rangers.

The home opener is Friday, April 13 against the AL Central champion Detroit Tigers.

Buehrle meeting with Nationals

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Free agent Mark Buehrle is meeting on Monday with the Washington Nationals, who reportedly have made the Sox left-hander their No. 1 offseason target.

Buehrle, 32, has already met with the Miami Marlins of the National League East, and will continue making the free-agent rounds as he goes through the process for the first time in his career. Buehrle and C.J. Wilson are the top lefties on the market.

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo will visit Buehrle at Buehrle's home in Missouri, according to the Washington Post.

White Sox protect pitching prospects Leesman, Heath

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The White Sox added left-hander Charlie Leesman from AA Birmingham and right-hander Deunte Heath from AAA Charlotte to the 40-man roster on Friday, moves that expanded their 40-man roster to 36 and protects those two from the Rule 5 Draft on Dec. 8.

Heath was 4-7 with a 4.73 ERA at Charlotte, where he averaged 10.3 strikeouts per 9.0 innings. Following the season, he pitched for Aragua in the Venezuelan Winter League, going 2-2 with a 2.37 ERA and 29 strikeouts in six starts.

Heath is 25-31 with a 4.25 ERA in 153 games over five minor-league seasons. Drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 19th round of the draft in 2006, Heath was signed by the Sox as a free agent in 2010.

Leesman, a non-roster invitee to spring training in 2011, has posted a 37-18 record and 3.63 ERA in 85 games in the Sox minor-league system. He was 10-7, 4.03 at Birmingham this past season and was named to the Southern League midseason All-Star team. He was selected in the 11th round of the 2008 draft.

Leesman, 24, and Heat, 26, would have been eligible for the Rule 5 Draft because they have been in the Sox farm system for at least four years and were 19 when they signed.

Among the prospects not protected by the Sox are outfielders Jordan Danks, Brandon Short and right-hander Terry Doyle. Doyle was 4-0 with a 1.98 ERA in eight starts in the Arizona Fall League. Short hit four home runs in the AFL.

Sox receive Commissioner's Award for Volunteer Corps

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From White Sox Media Relations


Major League Baseball and Commissioner Bud Selig have named the White Sox as the 2011 recipients of the Commissioner's Award for Philanthropic Excellence, which was created in 2010 to recognize outstanding community efforts of an MLB Club. The White Sox are being acknowledged for the "White Sox Volunteer Corps" program, a unique initiative designed to activate the Club's fan base to help give back to the greater Chicago community through service. The White Sox will receive a $10,000 grant from Major League Baseball for this recognition.

"The Chicago White Sox have made an outstanding commitment to giving back to their community, epitomized by their innovative White Sox Volunteer Corps program," Selig said. "Their creative approach to galvanizing community members by having them work side by side with players, coaches and Club executives has made an indelible impact on the city of Chicago. As Major League Baseball honors the White Sox today, I congratulate the extensive efforts of all 30 of our Clubs, who help our game fulfill its important social responsibilities and make all of us in Baseball proud."

The mission of the White Sox Volunteer Corps is to harness the passion of its fans to serve those most in need in the city of Chicago and to create a community of concerned citizens who are dedicated to serving others. The White Sox Volunteer Corps has mobilized nearly 5,000 volunteers and 116 White Sox employees, including players, coaching staff and Club executives who have performed more than 17,000 hours of community service. Service events have included facility improvement, remodeling and renovation projects at Chicago Public Schools and local Boys & Girls Clubs, food repacking and mobile pantry events at the Greater Chicago Food Depository, and blood drives conducted in conjunction with the American Red Cross.

"We are incredibly humbled to receive this prestigious award," said White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. "The true recipients of this honor are the thousands of White Sox fans who donate their time and hard work as members of the White Sox Volunteer Corps. The work they have accomplished is an inspiration to all of us and to all of Chicago. We hope the recognition that comes along with the Commissioner's Award for Philanthropic Excellence inspires everyone to give back to a community which has given each of us so much."

Launched in 2009, the White Sox Volunteer Corps has contributed labor valued at more than $380,000 through volunteer hours. The Corps is also responsible for the donation of more than $510,000 to non-profit partners to help with the planning and execution of service events, also covering the cost of materials and volunteer services. For more information or to sign up for service events, please visit www.whiteSox.com/volunteercorps.

The Boston Red Sox were the recipients of the inaugural Commissioner's Award for Philanthropic Excellence in 2010 for their "Red Sox Scholars" program, which is administered by the Red Sox Foundation and creates educational opportunities for inner-city youth.

Williams: Trading Danks and Floyd not out of question

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MILWAUKEE -- Even though it's quite possible the White Sox Sox will lose left-hander Mark Buehrle in free agency, general manager Ken Williams did not rule out a scenario of trading both lefty John Danks and right-hander Gavin Floyd, which would mean more than half the starting rotation could be new next season.

"Is that feasible? Remains to be seen,'' Williams said after another day at the general managers meetings at the Pfister Hotel. "It depends on what you can ultimately get back if you do decide to move them. That hasn't been decided. I haven't ruled anything out.''

Williams said interest in his players is strong.

"You'd think we had a team out there that actually got in the playoffs, from the interest people are showing in our players, -- particularly our pitchers,'' Williams said before dinner on Wednesday. "Again, you don't know what you are ultimately going to get back until you draw some lines in the sand and there is no need for that now.''

That will come at the winter meetings in Dallas on Dec. 4-8, although these GM meetings seem less laid back than usual. GMs are talking now with more urgency

"I will say that the tone of these meetings is more serious,'' Williams said from the lobby of the Pfister Hotel.

Buehrle becoming a sore subject for White Sox GM Williams

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MILWAUKEE -- On Monday, Ken Williams talked about Mark Buehrle in pessimistic terms. On Tuesday, he didn't want to talk about him any more.

"Listen, I know you guys have to ask the question about Mark Buehrle,'' Williams told reporters at baseball's general managers meetings at the Pfister Hotel. "I think I've answered it, and I've answered it the same way consistently every time I've been asked. Look at the notes. It is what it is."

"I'm not talking about it anymore."

One reporter tried to change his mind by asking about a Buehrle time table.

"It's the same answer to an old question," Williams said.

Buehrle, who will be 33 when the 2012 season opens, is only two years older than C.J. Wilson, the other upper-echelon lefty available on the free-agent market. The popular White Sox, solid citizen and dependable starter (11 straight seasons of 10-plus wins, 200-plus innings and 30 or more starts), has played his entire career on the South Side. He has talked about possibly retiring, but the money might be too good to pass. There is speculation his next contract could mirror his last deal with the Sox -- $56 million for four years.

The demand for Buehrle's services is big, and there are big spenders in pursuit. His agent, Jeff Berry, heard from the Marlins again on Tuesday. And -- brace yourselves for the sting of this possible scenario, Sox fans -- the Cubs met with Berry for the second time on Tuesday.

Also interested: the deep-pocket Yankees and Red Sox, as well as the Blue Jays, Nationals, Diamondbacks, Royals and Angels.

And the White Sox, of course.

"Listen, it's no secret that he's been sought after so he has options. And I don't have the details just yet what those options are, but he has options," Williams said Monday.

"He has been as consistent of a performer as you'd ever want over the time he's been here. What I will miss more than that is the person he is. And you guys know what I'm talking about.

"When you talk about teammates, good teammates, supportive teammates, guys who have fun in the game, know when to be serious, know when to check somebody but know when to make somebody laugh, this is the guy you want. There's much more that we're going to miss than just every-fifth-day from Mark."

Dunn a big X factor in White Sox planning process

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MILWAUKEE - Adam Dunn is a large man with a very large contract who presents a huge problem in the White Sox planning process for 2012.

His $56 million, four-year contract, which has three years left on it, is too big to be moved. A sad reminder of last season's "all-in" campaign gone all wrong, it stands in the way of the Sox going all young next season.

As bad as his .159 batting average and 11 home runs stunk up U.S. Cellular Field, Dunn's Ruthian streak of seven consecutive seasons with 38 home runs or more is too staggering to dismiss. The Sox hope the time he is taking off now, playing golf, playing with his kids at home in Texas and watching his Longhorns play football on Saturday afternoons is clearing his head and preparing him to arrive at spring training a new man.

Having a new hitting coach, Jeff Manto, can't hurt. And Dunn will arrive, for the first time in his career, general manager Ken Williams said at the general managers meeting here this week, with offseason at-bats under his belt.

"He does work out but he did not swing the bat,'' Williams said of Dunn's past offseason idea of work. "That's expected to change.''

Dunn is a feel hitter who typically finds his swing during the last week or so of spring training. That scenario unfolded during his first spring with the Sox this past season, and Dunn hit one out of the park in Cleveland on Opening Day. It looked like he was on his way to making the hefty investment in him look sound.

But things quickly went south. An appendectomy took him out of his groove, and a slump followed that would not end. Theories as to why Dunn had one of the worst years ever by a major leaguer outnumbered answers about 12-0.

"I don't know,'' Williams said with more than a trace of annoyance in his voice at the question. "If I could tell you the answer to that we would have done that in June in July. It has to come from within, it has to come from him. It doesn't disappear overnight.

"We're talking about a guy with a long track record of success. I'm hopeful he clears his head and comes back ready to go. He started the season - before he had that surgery - and looked like he was going to have a big year. It may be as simple as that tripped him up at the beginning of the season. Maybe it's something as simple as that, getting him in a rhythm, in a little bit better shape where maybe he can play the field a little bit more. And we'll see what we got.''

... Williams' plan of action, which will come into focus at the winter meetings in a couple of weeks, will likely be a "retooling" plan that leaves the Sox somewhat younger with a somewhat lower payroll and the flexibility to go one of two directions when the trade deadline rolls around in July - cut more payroll if the team is out of contention or, if Dunn rediscovers his swing and puts them in it - add.

That's putting a lot on Dunn's big shoulders. But that's he signed on for -- life in the big city.


Williams makes it official: Sale a starter

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MILWAUKEE -- General manager Ken Williams confirmed on Tuesday that left-hander Chris Sale will be a starting pitcher next season.

Shortly after the season, pitching coach Don Cooper said that Sale's status would not be determined until the team's organization meetings which took place last week. The move was not unexpected, but there were a few voices in the Sox camp that promoted the idea of Sale staying in the bullpen -- veteran reliever Jesse Crain among them -- because of Sale's ability to close games or shut down left-handed hitters if needed in the seventh of eighth. There is also some concern -- although not great -- about whether Sale's slight build will be suited for a starting role.

The bottom line is, Sale is more than a two-pitch pitcher and has too much talent to not be given more innings. If free agent Mark Buehrle -- who has been offered a contract by the Miami Marlins and whose agent, Jeff Berry, spoke with the Marlins again on Tuesday -- leaves for another club, Sale would fill a void.

Sale's departure in the pen still leaves the Sox with two left-handed relievers, Matt Thornton and Will Ohman.

De Aza looks like White Sox leadoff man

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MILWAUKEE -- Finding a leadoff man to replace Juan Pierre is not one of general manager Ken Williams' top priorities this off-season. As far as he's concerned, the White Sox have their guy.

"Alejandro De Aza played his tail off as far as I'm concerned,'' Williams said at the general managers meetings on Tuesday. "Did you watch him? He's pretty good.''

De Aza played a solid center field, and often looked better than starter Alex Rios, who also struggled at the plate. When asked if De Aza could be the everyday center fielder, Williams said no jobs are secure except for Paul Konerko's [and probably Alexei Ramirez at shortstop and Brent Morel at third.

"Well, listen, there is going to be a fight for some jobs,'' Williams said. "And we'll all watch that together and see how that unfolds.''

De Aza is not a prototypical leadoff man but there are fewer of them out there to be had. He does provide speed at the top of the order and certainly more power than Pierre.

"I don't make the lineup out. If I was making the lineup out [De Aza] would be my leadoff hitter,'' Williams said. "But Robin Ventura makes the lineup out and I have to respect that. He will be given a suggestion though as to the Opening Day lineup."

From GM meetings: Williams on 2012, Buehrle

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MILWAUKEE -- White Sox general manager Ken Williams walked into the GM meetings at the Pfister Hotel with a little less swagger than usual. A 79-83 record will take the bounce out of a guy's step.

Echoing what many White Sox fans said all season long -- that the underachieving 2011 team was extremely difficult to watch at times -- Williams begins preparing for 2012 not knowing exactly where it's headed. A lot will depend on whether trading his movable pieces (Carlos Quentin, John Danks, Gavin Floyd, Matt Thornton) would bring enough in return to satisfy him. It all depends on the plan, whatever that is.

"Word has gotten out that we were disappointed in last season and not exactly sure, as we sit here today, what direction we're going to go,'' Williams told a handful of reporters Monday night. "If there is sincere, genuine interest I will hear about it at these meetings and we will go from there.

"Generally I have Plan A, B and C. And sometimes D, E and F. And you chart a course and have conversations that lead you down one of those courses. I'm not so sure that there are that many options on the table at this point for all the reasons I've spoken to you about before.''

This November certainly feels different for Williams, who has a new manager (Robin Ventura) and many new faces on his coaching staff.

"It's different because it's been, what did we have, two sub-.500 seasons in the last 12? It takes more to bounce back. This is a different situation because you still have the talent that you believed in just one year ago in place. The difficult part as I have tried to explain, is OK, what will that manifest itself into being? Is that going to be the guys who had tough years (Adam Dunn, Alex Rios, Gordon Beckham) reverting back to their career norms? Will that be a step forward for some of the younger guys. If I have to move players here and there will the players that come in havel enough impact to help us win in 2012? Or are they more projected to be more helpful in 2013? I don't know because we haven't had those conversations. Now I can sit here today and tell you and pinpoint exactly who I would like to acquire, whether it be through trade or any other way? Absolutely. But that happens very rarely.''

Williams said it is not out of the question that the payroll stays near the $127 million mark. He'll know more by the time the winter meetings take place in Dallas during the first week of December.

"Who's to say we're going to lose money and who's to say we're not going to win? We still have the talent in place to win. Now, when I say that, that means we have to have some bounce-back years from some guys. Can I give you some logical, sensible reasons why I would expect that? No more so that I would have thought that some of the guys that had tough years would bounce back in the second half of last year. So that would just be blowing smoke up your [butt] and I won't do that. I don't know.''

While not ruling it out, Williams did not sound optimistic about re-signing free agent Mark Buehrle, who has played his entire career in a Sox uniform.

"Listen, it's professional sports,'' Williams said. "There's a time for everyone to come. There's a time for everyone to go. I don't know if this is his time to go, and unless... He's one of the ... and I don't want this to come out the wrong way because he has been as consistent of a performer as you'd ever want over the time he's been here. What I will miss more than that is the person he is.

"We have not chartered our course yet. There is a course of direction that it doesn't make sense. There is one, that if you...I don't want to get too far into it. Because there's no reason to. In a few short weeks, we'll have all the information.''

White Sox player development instructors

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White Sox Player Development Instructors

Buddy Bell - Director of Player Development

Nick Capra - Field Coordinator

Kirk Champion, Curt Hasler - Pitching Coordinators

Tim Laker - Hitting Coordinator

Daryl Boston - Outfield Instructor

Ever Magallanes - Infield Instructor

John Orton - Catching Instructor

Devon White - Baserunning Instructor

Dale Torborg - Conditioning Coordinator

Scott Takao - Minor League Medical/Rehab. Coordinator

Geronimo Mendoza - Latin Culture Coordinator

Coaching Assistants - Robbie Cummings, Jerry Hairston, Chet DiEmidio

Skinner, Thigpen join White Sox minor league staffs

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Joel Skinner was named manager of the White Sox' AAA affiliate in Charlotte on Monday. Skinner, a former Sox catcher who spent last season as Oakland's bench coach, also spent nine seasons as the Cleveland Indians' third base coach (2001-05, '07-09) with stints as interim manager and bench coach

The Sox also named Brandon Moore hitting coach at Class AA Birmingham, Tim Laker as minor league hitting instructor, Andy Tomberlin as hitting coach at Charlotte and former Sox reliever Bobby Thigpen pitching coach at Birmingham.

Moore spent the last seven seasons in Pittsburgh's farm system as hitting coach at various levels. He was hitting coach at Advanced Rookie Bristol (2001-02) and Class A Kannapolis (2003-04) in his first tour of duty with the Sox.

Laker replaces Jeff Manto as the organization's minor-league hitting instructor. Manto was named Sox hitting coach at the major league level earlier this month.

Report: Marlins make offer to Buehrle

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The Miami Marlins have wasted no time in their pursuit of lefthander Mark Buehrle.

According to SI.com's Jon Heyman, the Marlins have made a contract offer to the White Sox free agent, who visited Miami earlier this week and toured the team's new ballpark. The Marlins will be managed by former Sox field boss Ozzie Guillen.

The Marlins have money to spend in hopes of filling their new park. They reportedly have also made offers to free agents Albert Pujols and Jose Reyes.

Buehrle, 32, played out his four-year, $56 million contract this season and is a free agent for the first time. He is expected to hear offers from several other teams. The Sox were expected to follow the same path they took when Paul Konerko was a free agent last season, gauging the interest from other teams and then making their move during the winter meetings in early December.

Buehrle is one of the Sox top pitchers of all time and is one of their most popular players. Buehrle, Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski are the only holdovers from the Sox' 2005 World Series championship team.

White Sox announce details of Minoso Hall of Fame forum

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From White Sox Media Relations


Panelists Include Historians, Statistical Experts, Hall-of-Famers and Former Teammates


WHAT: The White Sox announced details of the "Minnie Minoso Hall of Fame Forum" on Thursday, November 17 at U.S. Cellular Field. The forum will celebrate Minoso's legendary career and promote his election to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The forum, which will be hosted by ESPN's Pedro Gomez, includes panels comprised of historians, statistical experts, former teammates and opponents of Minoso and current and potential Hall-of-Fame players.

Panels include:

Role as a Trailblazer: Author and professor Adrian Burgos Jr. discusses Minoso in the context of Cuban baseball, his Negro League experience and his role as the "Jackie Robinson of Latino players."

Historical Context: Journalist and author Bob Vandenberg, historian Rich Lindberg and New York Times writer Stuart Miller examine Minoso's career and Hall-of-Fame case in a historical context.

Statistical Analysis: Don Zminda of Stats LLC, Ben Jedlovec of Baseball Info Solutions and Vince Gennaro, author and president of the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR), talk about Minoso's case for Cooperstown from a statistical perspective.

On the Field: Former teammates Billy Pierce, Jim Landis and Jim Rivera talk about playing with Minoso.

Impact on Other Players: Tony Pérez, a seven-time All-Star, 2000 Hall-of-Fame inductee and Cuba native, and Luis Tiant, a three-time All-Star, Cuba native and fellow candidate on the Golden Era ballot, explain how they looked up to Minoso and the opportunities he created for them.

"Mr. White Sox": The man of the hour, Minnie Minoso, talks to Pedro Gomez and reflects on his illustrious baseball career.

Minoso was named a candidate for baseball's Hall of Fame Class of 2012 and will be considered for enshrinement by the 16-member Golden Era Committee. The committee will vote on the 10 candidates at the Winter Meetings in Dallas on December 5. The Golden Era Committee's 16 members consist of Hall of Famers, executives, historians and media members. A candidate must receive 75% support (12 votes) for induction.

The forum will be streamed live on whitesox.com. To learn about Minoso and his case for the Hall of Fame, visit whitesox.com/minnie. The site includes testimonials, career highlights, archival audio and video clips, photographs, a biography and an interview with Minoso.

WHEN: Thursday, November 17

· Noon - 1:00 p.m.: Luncheon

· 1:00 p.m.: Forum Begins

WHERE: U.S. Cellular Field

Conference and Learning Center

Chicago, Ill.

White Sox agree to terms with minor-league free agent pitchers

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The White Sox agreed to terms with free agent left-handers Donnie Veal and Jose Quintana.

Veal, a 27-year-old second-round draft pick by the Cubs in 2005, pitched at four levels in the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system in 2011, combining to go 0-2 with a 4.22 ERA with 31 strikeouts over 32 innings. He had Tommy John surgery performed on June 4, 2010.

Quintana, 22, was 10-2 with a 2.91 ERA over 102 innings for Class A Tampa in the New York Yankees system this season, limiting opponents to a .236 average. Over five minor league seasons with the Mets and Yankees, Quintana is 18-8 with a 2.76 ERA.

Quintana's fastball is in the 89-91 mph range. He also throws a curveball and changeup, and according to one scouting report, "throws with some deception.'' He struck out 88 last season.

The Sox last week re-signed corner infielder Dallas McPherson, who played most of this past season at AAA Charlotte.

Buehrle visits Ozzie's Marlins

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With money to spend and pitching to pursue, the Florida Marlins made a pitch to free agent Mark Buehrle on Tuesday, giving the Sox-fan favorite a tour of their new ballpark and the city of Miami.

Buehrle, 32, is one of the top free-agent pitchers on the market. The Marlins, who'll be managed for former Sox field boss Ozzie Guillen, are making a big push for Buehrle. Miami doesn't seem like a comfortable fit for Buehrle, a family guy whose top two choices are probably the Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals from his hometown state. But it makes sense for the first-time free agent to make the rounds and see what's out there.

Buehrle won 13 games and posted a 3.59 ERA in 2011. The four-time All-Star has a 161-119 career record and 3.83 career ERA, won his third Gold Glove this season and has a World Series title on his resume. He is probably in line to sign for three or possibly even four years at $15-16 million per season, which might be more than the Sox are willing to spend. Buehrle made $56 million over his last four seasons in Chicago.

Buehrle's agent, Jeff Berry, also talked to the Yankees on Tuesday, but the Yankees would not appear to be serious contenders for Buehrle's services.

Buehrle's strikeouts and velocity have declined but he has continued to be effective.

"People say he doesn't have No. 1 ace type stuff. What they're really saying his that he doesn't throw as hard as some aces," Berry said last week. "He never has. He's been doing the same thing - and winning - his whole career."

White Sox legend Minoso on Hall of Fame ballot for 2012

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From White Sox media relations

White Sox legend Minnie Minoso has been named a candidate for baseball's Hall of Fame Class of 2012 and will be considered for enshrinement by the 16-member Golden Era Committee.

The Hall of Fame's Historical Overview Committee announced the Golden Era ballot today, and the committee will vote on the 10 candidates at the Winter Meetings in Dallas on December 5. The Golden Era Committee's 16 members consist of Hall of Famers, executives, historians and media members. A candidate must receive 75% support (12 votes) for induction.

Minoso was named to this year's ballot after a five-decade career, with his greatest contributions coming during baseball's Golden Era, a timeframe defined as 1947-1972. This is Minoso's third time (2003, 2005 and 2007) on the final ballot since the previously-named Veterans Committee was restructured in 2001.

Minoso played 17 seasons in the major leagues, including 12 with the White Sox. He broke the Sox color barrier in 1951 and is one of just two players in major-league history to appear in a game in five different decades. He was selected to nine American League All-Star Teams, won three Rawlings Gold Glove Awards®, was named the 1951 Sporting News Rookie of the Year and finished in the top four of the AL Most Valuable Player voting four times.

If Minoso is not chosen for induction, he will not be eligible for consideration for three years, when the committee again will chose candidates from the Golden Era.

Other finalists on the ballot include Buzzie Bavasi, Ken Boyer, Charlie Finley, Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Tony Oliva, Allie Reynolds, Ron Santo and Luis Tiant.

La Russa: White Sox probably don't need me

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To hear Tony La Russa tell it, the former Cardinals manager won't be joining the White White Sox as an adviser any time soon.

On ESPN 1000-AM's "Waddle and Silvy Show" Thursday morning, La Russa said the Sox are in good hands and that he might prefer lending an assist where he's needed more.

"I think they're really set up," La Russa said. "And I think that's the problem. I think they really are. They got their steps in place. [General manager] Kenny [Williams] does a good job. They got [assistant GM] Rick Hahn.''

La Russa was fired by the Sox in 1986, a decision chairman Jerry Reinsdorf regrets to this day. Reinsdorf has remained close to La Russa and attended La Russa's last game, a Game 7 triumph for La Russa's Cardinals against the Texas Rangers.

On Monday, La Russa suggested he would work for an owner such as Reinsdorf or the Haas family in Oakland, for whom he has managed in the past.

"I think it would have to be for an owner I know, like Reinsdorf, the Haas family, the people [in St. Louis],'' La Russa said. "Those are the owners I've known, the ones I'd want to make happy.''

But on Thursday, La Russa said the Sox are already in good hands.

"They're really set up,'' he said. "I think I can get back into baseball somewhere, but you don't want to go into some place where they already got it figured out."

"I like responsibility. I like to wake up in the morning with something to do. So if I think there's somewhere hopefully you get an opportunity, then you really prove you're really willing to work and have something to contribute."

Buehrle can begin listening to offers

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Teams were free to submit offers to free-agent Mark Buehrle at midnight Wednesday. As a Type B free agent, Buehrle won't cost another team a high draft pick if they sign the 32-year-old left-hander.

With CC Sabathia re-signed by the New York Yankees, Buehrle and the Rangers' C.J. Wilson are the top two lefties on the open market.

A five-day period in which free agents were allowed to negotiate only with their most recent team ended Wednesday night. The Sox plan to wait and see what kind of offers Buehrle receives before making a possible pitch at bringing him back. A similar scenario unfolded last year for Paul Konerko when he signed during the winter meetings after weighing an offer from the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Buehlre, who made $56 million over the last four seasons with the Sox, is one of the Sox most popular players of all time. He has pitched 10 consecutive seasons with at least 200 innings, 30 starts and 10 victories. He won his third consecutive Gold Glove Award on Tuesday as the American League's best fielding pitcher.

Buehrle grew up a St. Louis Cardinals fan and lives in Missouri. It's always been speculated that would be his next landing place, although the World Series champions are fairly set with their starting rotation. Among other teams that might have interest are the Royals, Yankees and Marlins.

White Sox 3B coach McEwing to interview with Cardinals

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Joe McEwing, who was named the White Sox third-base coach on Monday, will interview for the St. Louis Cardinals managerial job, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

A popular Cardinals player, McEwing was a favorite of retired manager Tony La Russa, so much so that LaRussa asked the infielder for an autographed pair of spikes after he was traded to the Mets in 1999. McEwing has climbed the coaching and managing ranks in the Sox system. He coached the Sox AAA Nashville team this past season.

Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak plans to interview Ryne Sandberg, Terry Francona, Cardinals third base coach Jose Oquendo, Cardinals AAA Memphis manager Chris Maloney, Cardinals minor league instructor Mike Matheny and McEwing.

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