The White Sox are not expected to be a player for the big name free agents this offseason. Here are a few names that they may be targeting
The Chicago White Sox signing of Welington Castillo last month definitely surprised many. Free agency is not a path they plan on using much this year. However, they will be looking at some under the radar pitchers to add some depth to the rotation.
As the Sox currently sit, they have five guys they hope to be in the rotation come Opening Day. James Shields, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Carson Fulmer are incumbents from the end of last year. With Carlos Rodon‘s health still an issue, the Sox will look to add depth to the staff. However, Miguel Gonzalez was signed on Thursday to a one-year contract.
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With the signing of Gonzalez, the Sox could still look at other pitchers similar to last years free agent signing of Derek Holland. There are quite a few that may fit that description. Some are looking to come back from injury and others are looking to re-establish their previous forms. Let’s take a look at some of those names.
Looking to come back from injury, Kris Medlen was a part of the Kansas City Royals staff during their championship run. He has had two Tommy John surgeries since 2014. He did not pitch in the majors last year as he was a member of the Braves farm system. If the Sox did sign him, it would be a minor league contract only with lots of incentives.
Also coming off of injury is Henderson Alvarez. Alvarez is a 2014 All-Star with a no-hitter in his resume as well. Injuries have limited him to 37 innings pitched since 2015. However, in three starts with the Phillies late last year, he pitched to a respectable 4.30 ERA. Alvarez, as a left-handed pitcher, would fill a definite need for the rotation.
While Injuries haven’t plagued him the past few years, Hector Santiago has certainly seen a decline in his effectiveness. Santiago has gone from an All-Star 2015 season with a 3.59 ERA to an ERA of 5.63 in just two short years. A reunion with pitching coach Don Cooper could be just what Santiago needs. He’s also a lefty and is familiar with the White Sox as he was originally drafted by them back in 2006.
Finally, there is Travis Wood. He has shuffled from starter to reliever throughout his career and could find a nice role as either with the Sox. His 2017 season was a disaster, sporting a 6.91 ERA in 31 appearances with the Royals. He is a prime candidate for someone with something to prove this upcoming season and may be willing to sign an incentive-based one-year deal.
There are other names out there as well that Rick Hahn is probably looking at. The Sox, like many teams, are waiting out the bigger free agent moves. Once they do, expect Hahn and the Sox to act on their targets.