Today was the tendering deadline for all players eligible for arbitration so late this afternoon, the White Sox have announced their moves.
Avisail Garcia and Brett Lawrie were signed to contracts for the 2017 season.
Blake Smith, who is a pre-arbitration player, was not tendered a contract for 2017 and immediately becomes a free agent.
Todd Frazier, Dan Jennings, Miguel Gonzalez, Zach Putnam, Jake Petricka, and Jose Abreu have all been tendered contracts for 2017. The White Sox and the players have until mid-January to agree on new deals for 2017 to avoid arbitration.
Avisail Garcia, the leader in swinging strike percentage for batters with over 400 PA last season, agreed to a one-year, $3 million deal. Lawrie was signed to a $3.5 million deal which is over a half-million dollar pay cut from last season. MLBTR had estimated the pair to make $3.4 and $5.1 million respectively.
Both Garcia and Lawrie seemed to be strong candidates to be non-tendered, so the fact that they both settled for less than expected isn’t surprising. While removing them from the roster makes sense for a team that’s rebuilding, keeping them to fill holes left by other potential departures seems to make the most sense right now.
We barely got to know Blake Smith. He came to the Sox organization in a trade for Eric Surkamp in 2015. He was left unprotected for last season’s Rule 5 draft and ended up spending spring training with the Padres before being returned to the Sox. He had a decent season at Charlotte in 2016. He was called up by the Sox in September and got five appearances in September blowouts. Over 4⅓ innings with the Sox, he gave up a home run, struck a guy out, and gave up three runs for a 6.23 ERA and 6.38 FIP. He also had a 5.29 DRA for those of you who like fancy new stats.
With Blake Smith’s departure, the 40-man roster goes to 38. The Winter Meetings start this Sunday, Dec. 4. On Dec. 5, the Hall of Fame will announce the results of the Today’s Game committee vote, so we’ll hear whether Harold Baines or Albert Belle make it into the Hall of Fame. Finally, the Winter Meetings end with the Rule 5 draft on Thursday, Dec. 8.