Add another name into the back-end of the rotation/bullpen mix: Manny Bañuelos. The Chicago White Sox picked him up on Thursday, in exchange for Justin Yurchak.
The White Sox release:
WHITE SOX ACQUIRE MANNY BAÑUELOS FROM LOS ANGELES-NL IN EXCHANGE FOR JUSTIN YURCHAK
CHICAGO – The Chicago White Sox have acquired left-handed pitcher Manny Bañuelos (ban-WAY-los) from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for minor-league infielder Justin Yurchak.
Bañuelos spent the entire 2018 season with Class AAA Oklahoma City in the Dodgers organization, going 9-7 with a 3.73 ERA (45 ER/108.2 IP) and 127 strikeouts (10.6 per 9.0 IP) over 31 games (18 starts) to earn a spot on the Pacific Coast League mid and postseason All-Star teams. He was 8-5 with a 3.55 ERA (36 ER/91.1 IP) and 109 strikeouts over his 18 starts.
Bañuelos, 5-foot-10 and 215 pounds, was signed by the Dodgers as a free agent on November 14, 2017 and received a non-roster invite to spring training.
He has gone 41-42 with a 3.56 ERA (311 ER/787.0 IP) and 774 strikeouts in 213 games (153 starts) over 10 minor-league seasons in the Yankees, Atlanta and Angels and Dodgers organizations. Bañuelos also made seven appearances (six starts) with the Braves in 2015, going 1-4 with a 5.13 ERA (15 ER/26.1 IP) and 19 strikeouts in his only major-league season.
A native of Durango, Mexico, Bañuelos originally was signed by the Yankees as a free agent on March 30, 2008.
Yurchak, 22, batted .256 (80-313) with one home run, 36 RBI and 44 runs scored over 95 games last season with Class A Kannapolis. Yurchak originally was selected by the White Sox in the 12th round of the 2017 First-Year Player Draft out of SUNY Binghamton.
After purchasing the contract of Bañuelos, the White Sox 40-man roster increases to 35.
At the moment, the White Sox enter spring training giving Bañuelos a shot at a rotation spot, along with the likes of Jordan Stephens, Dylan Covey and Jordan Guerrero. One advantage Bañuelos may have in the competition vs. Covey would be that Carlos Rodón is currently the only southpaw lock for the rotation, and ideally Chicago would want to run at least two lefty starters.
More likely, Bañuelos is a lock to be a lefty arm in the pen, joining Jace Fry and Caleb Frare.
Either way, Bañuelos getting immediate placement on the 40-man would be a pretty strong vote of confidence that he’ll be seeing action in a White Sox uniform next season.
Yurchak is still young (22), but appears to be an easily-duplicated or found corner bat. He lit up the Pioneer League after being drafted in 2017, but took a fair step back (stats above) in his first year of full season ball in 2018.
Yurchak was voted South Side Sox’s 32nd-best prospect in 2018, but failed to crack our 50 Most Essential Players.
Interesting that the White Sox release fails to mention Bañuelos is still just 27 years old. Maybe it’s prospect fatigue, but most of baseball seems to think the once-super hyped hurler is closer to 37. His still retains rookie status, and is under team control for another five seasons.
And no offense, but Bañuelos must be built like a brick shithouse if he is 5´10´´, 210. Damn.