12/11/2013 9:32 P.M. ET
White Sox extend contracts with three affiliates
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Lost in the hoopla of the White Sox trade for Adam Eaton on Tuesday was the agreement on a six-year player development extension with Triple-A Charlotte and four-year extensions with Class A Kannapolis and Advanced Rookie Great Falls.
Charlotte (International League) remains a White Sox affiliate through the 2020 season, while the deals for Kannapolis (South Atlantic League) and Great Falls (Pioneer League) run through 2018.
"This is a good day for us," said White Sox assistant general manager Buddy Bell after the deals were announced. "It's really important that we keep that continuity.
"It was really important to [White Sox chairman] Jerry [Reinsdorf] that we keep it that way. The extensions are important to keep that going."
Charlotte, which has been affiliated with the White Sox since 1999, is moving into the new BB & T Ballpark in the downtown Charlotte area. Great Falls has reached the playoffs six straight years and eight times in 11 seasons as a White Sox affiliate, while Kannapolis has sent 45 players to the Major Leagues during its 12-year-run with the White Sox.
"All our facilities are great, and the logistics of it works out really well for us," Bell said. "It's important that we keep that together. We are excited about all of it. The people that we work with, the front offices, the ownerships, we can't ask for anything better."
A White Sox affiliated team will be added in the Arizona League (Rookie), but they no longer will be associated with Bristol in the Appalachian League (Rookie).
"We liked our situation there, but just didn't have enough good players," Bell said. "We would have liked to have added a club, but, like I said, I just don't think we have enough good players."
Third to first
• During his Winter Meetings media session Wednesday at the Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn was asked if he had been in contact with free agents and former team members such as Gavin Floyd and Jesse Crain. He also was asked about interest in possible comeback candidates such as left-handed hurlers Mark Mulder and Johan Santana.
Hahn wouldn't go into great detail but certainly indicated every avenue for improvement is being explored.
"We've checked on a bunch of guys," Hahn said. "We're always looking, sure. We have scouts in a lot of different workouts. Sometimes the phone rings with someone excited about something they saw. We're not going to close out avenues."
• Micah Johnson won't be limited at all during Spring Training, per Bell, after recovering from offseason surgery to reposition a nerve in his right elbow. The second baseman topped all Minor Leaguers last year with 84 stolen bases.
• Hahn envisions 17 to 22 non-roster invites and between 57 and 62 players in camp for the White Sox in Arizona this February.
• A picture of Hahn, Kevin Towers and Jerry Dipoto made its way around social media, showing them together and apparently finishing Tuesday's three-team deal.
"I don't want to take away from the majesty of the photo capturing the moment the deal was consummated," said a smiling Hahn. "But I think we could have got that thing done by phone."