It was a somewhat unexpected evening for the White Sox in advance of the Monday night deadline to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players.
This afternoon we brought you the news of the White Sox buying out the last year of James McCann’s arbitration, with a $5.1 million contract (a $200,000 increase on his MLBTR arb estimate), as well as releasing Thyago Vieira, allowing him to sign a contract in Japan.
The White Sox offered contracts to all other arbitration-eligible players on the 40-man roster (MLBTR arb estimates in parenthesis):
Alex Colomé ($10,300,000)
Carlos Rodón ($4,500,000)
Leury García ($4,000,000)
Evan Marshall ($1,300,000)
So far, so good.
The White Sox did not double-back on their decision to part ways with Yolmer Sánchez, at least at his estimated $6.2 million arbitration price tag. Sánchez, who went unclaimed last week after being designated for assignment by the White Sox, has not formally been cut free from the team after Monday’s decline.
Now, for the curious part: rehabbing reliever Ryan Burr and Charlotte left-handed reliever Caleb Frare, two pitchers with uncertain futures who had nonetheless shown flashes of sticking in a major league pen, were not offered contracts.
While Burr wasn’t going to be healthy by Opening Day, but Frare was by all accounts the No. 3 southpaw relief option heading into spring training. Will that status now be accorded Jacob Lindgren, who is not even currently under contract with the White Sox? Frare’s release is great news for Kodi Medieros, who is now the top left-handed reliever in the White Sox system but is ill-prepared to jump from Double-A to the majors next March.
Presumably, Rick Hahn has something cooking with a left-handed arm via free agency or trade. Probably the latter, because the free agent pickings for southpaws are grim.
With the losses of Burr, Frare and Vieira, the 40-man roster is down to 36, which almost guarantees some offseason movement this week.
A front-line starter? A right fielder? A bullpen arm? All three? The intrigue abounds.