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CHICAGO (AP) — With or without Manny Machado or Bryce Harper Alex Gordon Jersey , the Chicago White Sox envision better days ahead.They head to spring training believing they are setting themselves up to turn the corner after six straight losing seasons, even if they don’t sign a superstar slugger to speed up the process.That’s because of the promising players they have on their roster and in the pipeline.“We’re trying to build something that’s going to win 95 (games) on an annual basis,” general manager Rick Hahn said. “The win total this year we expect to improve. Whether it’s 80 or 80-plus or under 80, it’s going to be almost more important how we get to that total. If the guys carrying the water are guys who are veterans in their free agent year and they’re the ones putting up big numbers and helping us win ballgames, (it might) make for an enjoyable summer. But it means a little bit less toward our long-term health than if it’s the young guys taking a step forward and putting themselves in a position to be part of that core we’re building.”The young core was a big part of the pitch as the White Sox wooed Machado and Harper. They tried to sell both players on being part of something big with a building team.Chicago went 62-100 last year and posted its highest loss total since the 1970 team dropped a franchise-record 106. The White Sox also struck out more times than any other team in major league history.But infielder Yoan Moncada and pitchers such as Lucas Giolito and Michael Kopech have shown potential. One of baseball’s top hitting prospects, Eloy Jimenez, could debut early this season. And Dylan Cease might get called up to join the rotation at some point this year.The first workout for pitchers and catchers in Arizona is set for Feb. 13 and the first full squad workout is Feb. 18.NEW LOOKMachado would at least have some friends on the team if he signed with Chicago. The White Sox acquired his brother-in-law, Yonder Alonso, in a trade from Cleveland and signed good friend Jon Jay. Chicago added pitching, getting starter Ivan Nova and reliever Alex Colome in trades. The White Sox also signed two-time All-Star Kelvin Herrera, who was part of a dominant bullpen that helped Kansas City win back-to-back pennants and the 2015 World Series.ROOKIES TO WATCHJimenez might start the season at Triple-A Charlotte and possibly stay there long enough to give the White Sox another year of contractual control. But even if he doesn’t break camp with Chicago, he probably won’t be in the minors for long. The 22-year-old Jimenez batted .317 with 10 homers and 42 RBIs for Double-A Birmingham before getting promoted to Triple-A. He then hit .355 with 12 homers and 33 RBIs in 55 games for Charlotte.Cease is another one to watch after the 23-year-old right-hander dominated at Class A and Double-A last year, going a combined 12-2 with a 2.40 ERA and 160 strikeouts over 124 innings.Something else to keep an eye on: Kopech’s recovery. He had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow and will miss the season after making four starts for Chicago last year.THEY’RE SETJose Abreu made his second All-Star team last season, though he missed most of the final six weeks because of surgery to repair a testicular torsion and then an infection in his right thigh shortly after returning. He and Alonso figure to share time at first base and designated hitter. The White Sox also have the makings of a solid rotation with Carlos Rodon http://www.royalsfanproshop.com/authentic-ryan-goins-jersey , Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez in the majors and Cease working his way up.THEY’RE NOTThere are plenty of question marks surrounding the White Sox because they are relying on the development of their young players. One immediate goal would be for Moncada to cut down on the strikeouts after he led the majors with 217.ON DECKThe White Sox open at Kansas City on March 28 and play their first home game April 4 against Seattle. NEW YORK (AP) — Didi Gregorius was quick when asked if he had a date in mind for his return from a torn elbow ligament.“April,” he blurted.Then he smiled, laughed and added: “We all know that’s not going to happen, but that’s what I want to do. It’s a wait and see ’til everything is cleared, everything is ready to go.”The New York Yankees shortstop tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow while making a throw from left field after a ball bounced off Fenway Park’s Green Monster during Game 2 of the AL Division Series last Oct. 6. He had surgery 11 days later and had a checkup this week.Yankees general manager Brian Cashman says he expects Gregorius back sometime in the summer but has not been more specific.New York added DJ LeMahieu and Troy Tulowitzki to shore up its infield, moves Gregorius thinks improved the roster. Gregorius wasn’t concerned the Yankees would sign a high-priced free agent such as Manny Machado, who plays shortstop and third.“If he comes over, he makes the team better,” Gregorius said Wednesday.Gregorius spoke before the annual Thurman Munson Awards dinner, also attended by Yankees manager Aaron Boone and third baseman Miguel Andujar. Boone doesn’t expect any more moves before the team reports to spring training on Feb. 13.“He’s such a dynamic player for us on both sides of the ball, such a reliable player for us at such an important position,” Boone said, “but hopefully we’ll do our best to hold serve and then look forward to getting a really good player back at some point in the summer.”Gregorius turns 29 on Feb. 18, when he will be at spring training in Tampa Mike Moustakas Jersey , Florida, and thinks “hopefully next week I start doing some throwing exercises.”He has no intention of returning as a designated hitter if he can hit before the elbow is ready for a return to the field.“I want to be back completely,” he said. “I just want to make sure everything’s all right before I go out there. I haven’t even thought about hitting before everything.”Gregorius immediately realized the severity of the injury, saying he instantly spoke up: “I think my arm is done.'”Still, he finished the series, which Boston won in four games.“If you have a strong mind, I think you can play through anything,” he said. “I know I didn’t have much strength left, so I played the best that I could.”Andujar also said he would be happy for New York to add Machado. Andujar’s defense was rated 14 runs below average last season by Fangraphs, worst among the 19 players who appeared most often in the major leagues at third base last year,“There’s room for improvement and the team asked me to focus on that area, which I did this offseason, so I feel really good about where I’m going to be at defensively this year,” Andujar said through a translator. “A lot of agility and coordination drills and a lot of drills focused on first step.”Boone played down comments of Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge Salvador Perez Jersey , who jocularly told TMZ he would be willing to shift positions if the Yankees signed Bryce Harper, a move New York has shown no interest in. Boone said adding Harper wasn’t realistic.“I think that was Judgy just having some fun at the Super Bowl,” Boone said. “Judgy would do a lot of things for the team.”Boone had not expected Harper and Machado to remain unsigned this close to spring training.“If you would have asked me to start, I probably would have thought they’d landed at some point before now, but you never know the twists and turns that an offseason takes,” he said.Boone envisions Tulowitzki, injured much of the past two years, will play shortstop regularly but will need days off. Second baseman Gleyber Torres can shift to shortstop on those days and LeMahieu could start at second.“It allows us to really have kind of a 10-, 11-man rotation for nine spots,” he said.Catcher Gary Sanchez, recovering from left shoulder surgery on Nov. 8, hit in a batting cage Wednesday at Tampa and is likely to be hitting on the field when workouts begin Feb. 14.“We may slow play him a little bit the first week of Grapefruit League games,” Boone said.


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