STEPPING UP: Yes, the White Sox made a splash when they signed Abreu. But they also believe other moves they made could also pay dividends. They have a new leadoff man and center fielder in Adam Eaton after acquiring him from Arizona in a three-team trade that included the Los Angeles Angels, and a promising talent in Davidson. They get a full season with outfielder Avisail Garcia after acquiring him from Detroit in the midseason trade that sent Jake Peavy to Boston. The 22-year-old batted .304 in 42 games with Chicago. It's also an important season for second baseman Gordon Beckham, who has shown star potential at times since he debuted in 2009 but was slowed by a broken left wrist last year.
NO DEFENSE: The White Sox's defense was as spotty as their hitting last season. Chicago went from first to 29th in the majors in fielding percentage a year ago and committed more errors than all but one team — Houston.
SAYING GOODBYE: Paul Konerko didn't want things to end on a sour note, so the veteran slugger re-signed for one season rather than retire or play elsewhere. Consider this a season-long victory lap. The White Sox are not banking on him putting up the sort of numbers that made him one of the most successful hitters in franchise history. Instead, they see him as a mentor for the younger players who will also fill in at first base and designated hitter when needed.
"I'm very blessed and gifted for him to come back in my first year here," Eaton said. "I'm going to soak it up like a sponge and hopefully learn as much as I can."
For Konerko, it's a chance to go out on a better note after a season in which the team struggled in a big way and so did he, batting .244 with 12 homers as he struggled through a back issue.
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