Rick Hahn and the White Sox provided a slew of updates this morning, including an update on Lucas Giolito’s contract situation, Garrett Hook’s injury, the remaining roster from spring training, and more. !
Here’s a recap of everything you could have missed from a very busy morning for the White Sox.
White Sox and Lucas Giolito avoid refereeing
After trading Craig Kimbrel for AJ Pollock this morning, Lucas Giolito’s 2022 salary saga is finally over. The White Sox agreed to the terms of a $7.45 million contract for Giolito, avoiding arbitration.
As you will likely recall, the White Sox and Lucas Giolito were unable to reach an agreement by the initial arbitration deadline, which was rare for a team like the White Sox historically. The White Sox are generally not a team that arbitrates with their players. Reports later emerged that the White Sox had filed for $7.3 million, while Giolito had filed for $7.5 million, angering White Sox fans who were surprised that the team is ready to haggle their ace for just $200,000. Later, Rick Giolito (Lucas Giolito’s father) came out and told people the pre-offer difference was only $50,000 which enraged White Sox fans saying the team was willing to haggle over such a small amount of money. However, at the end of the day, the team was able to come to an agreement on a number much closer to Giolito’s initial deposit – and in fact appears to be the initial number requested by Giolito before seeking arbitration.
With that, the White Sox have avoided arbitration with all players heading into the 2022 season and can now focus all of their efforts on their World Series aspirations.
Garrett Hook likely needs Tommy John surgery, will miss 2022 season
With all the good news that arrived this morning, this news was a little harder to swallow. In his updates, Rick Hahn announced that Garrett Hook will likely need Tommy John Surgery – however, he’s going to get a second opinion. This injury happened in last night’s game against the Cincinnati Reds.
Unfortunately, there is no in-game video to show the injury. However, last night Hook retired the first batter of his appearance and was 3-1 on the next batter when he left the game. The Reds radio show gave us the most information we had: Hook apparently sent a ball past the plate and couldn’t move his left arm much as he exited the game.
Also, Garrett Hook is unfortunately not new to weaponry issues. You’ll remember his debut as a rookie in 2020, especially in Game 3 of the 2021 AL Wild Card against the Athletics. Hook was busy early, but also left this match early, due to elbow pain. Throughout the 2021 season, Hook will never hit the same speed readings of over 100 that we saw from him in 2020.
If Hook did indeed need Tommy John surgery, the White Sox now have an extra hole to fill in their bullpen on top of Kimbrel’s departure. Rick Hahn said the team wouldn’t necessarily be done adding, however, Bennett Sousa, Ryan Burr and Anderson Severino are three inside names to watch to fill the second-left role in the White Sox bullpen.
Hook would likely be out until mid-2023 if he were to have the Tommy John surgery, as that’s usually a 13-15 month recovery window.
The White Sox are cutting back on their spring training roster
As we near the end of spring training and the start of the regular season, the White Sox are continually trimming their roster to bring their team closer to the last 28 (for April) for Opening Day. This morning, the White Sox made 7 roster changes, including option Zack Collins and Jake Burger, among others, at AAA Charlotte. As of today’s spring training game, the White Sox will have 35 players remaining in Major League spring training camp.
None of these moves are incredibly surprising, but they do clarify a few positions:
- Romy Gonzalez is increasingly likely to earn a spot on the Opening Day roster.
- Assuming the White Sox don’t add anyone else, the backup receiver battle will be between Nick Ciuffo and Seby Zavala. Ciuffo was a minor league signing this offseason by the White Sox and is a former first-round pick.
Matt Foster, Adam Haseley and Jake Burger will continue to serve as useful depth if injured/ineffective, but AJ Pollock’s trade this morning left players on the fringes one less place to make the roster . The rest of the roster will begin to take shape in the coming days, with relief utility positions and a few bullpen spots still up for grabs.
We’ll continue to update you as the White Sox announce any further roster changes, or if the White Sox provide any further updates on Garrett Hook’s status.
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