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It might prove costly, but the Chicago White Sox may not be able to avoid keeping Andrew Vaughn on the Opening Day roster.
Vaughn, 22, has only played Class A ball so far. But he has been tearing it up in springing training, mostly as the primary designated hitter.
So what’s the problem? Well, Vaughn is seeking a long-term contract. The White Sox are clearly apprehensive about giving him one, given that he’s never even played so much as Double-A baseball.
All of this was a conundrum first mentioned by Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY. Nightengale asked White Sox vice president Ken Williams if Vaughn will indeed make the Opening Day roster.
“We’d like to have that message coming from the manager,’’ Williams responded, “and not me through USA TODAY.’’
That manager would be no less than Tony La Russa, who is now beginning his first year of his second stint with the organization. And all La Russa knows about Vaughn is that everyone around the White Six is high on the youngster.
“They all raved him about him,’’ La Russa said, “and now I’m raving about him. I know he’s never played higher than whatever it is (high Class A Winston-Salem), but boy he takes great at-bats, makes great adjustments. He’s got all of the qualities.
“He does things that really good hitters do. He can handle pitches, he really competes, never throws an at-bat away, uses the whole field. And he’s got thump.”
So from the sounds of things, the White Sox do want Vaughn on the team for Opening Day. All they have to do between now and then, it also seems, is talk money.