- Robin Ventura is on the hot seat with the White Sox, Heyman writes (adding more detail here). A team source tells him that there’s a feeling that “patience has been shown” and a change could benefit the team. Bench coach Rick Renteria, who formerly managed the Cubs, could succeed Ventura. Not that it’s particularly surprising, but Heyman adds that former skipper Ozzie Guillen wouldn’t be a candidate to return to his old post.
JUNE 16: The White Sox announced today that they’ve requested waivers for the purpose of granting Latos his unconditional release. Assuming no team claims the remainder of his salary, he’ll officially be a free agent once he clears in 48 hours.
JUNE 9: The White Sox have designated right-hander Mat Latos for assignment, according to Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago (Twitter link). Hayes tweets that Latos’ roster spot will go to 2013 second-round pick Tyler Danish — a 21-year-old right-hander with a 4.42 ERA, 5.6 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9 in 75 1/3 innings (12 starts) for Double-A Birmingham this season.
Latos, 28, has been in the Chicago rotation since Opening Day after signing a one-year, $3MM contract this offseason. However, after a brilliant start to his 2016 campaign, he’s fallen into a prolonged slump, thus prompting today’s DFA. Over his first four starts to the season, Latos worked to a pristine 0.74 ERA in 24 1/3 innings. That production, though, was propped up by a clearly unsustainable .167 BABIP and 97 percent strand rate. Beyond that, Latos was sporting a meager 13-to-7 K/BB ratio through that four start run while displaying the lowest average fastball velocity of his career.
Regression for Latos wasn’t exactly difficult to see, though the extent of his decline was nonetheless fairly surprising. Dating back to April 30, Latos has a 7.25 ERA with nearly as many walks (18) as strikeouts (19). His deteriorated heater and diminished ability to miss bats (which are likely related) rendered Latos ineffective for much of the 2015 season, and that looks to have carried over into the 2016 campaign as well.
The Sox will have 10 days to trade Latos, outright him or release him, though even if he clears outright waivers he’d be able to reject an outright assignment and retain the remainder of his $3MM salary (approximately $1.89MM) in favor of testing the waters of free agency.
As for Danish, he entered the season ranked as Baseball America’s No. 9 prospect in the White Sox’ system. Danish was the youngest pitcher in the Double-A Southern League last season and, per BA, has the best changeup in Chicago’s minor league system. BA added that he gets “ferocious” sink on his fastball and projects as a back-of-the-rotation arm that can generate plenty of ground-balls.
White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf made clear that his ballclub has every intention of continuing to add to its major league roster this summer, Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago reports. Levine had posited recently that the team could buy now and sell in July if things don’t pan out, but the owner shot down that theory.
Though the report doesn’t contain any direct quotes, Levine says that Reinsdorf offered that “he had no plans for anything but a full-out attack on helping his front office find a way to win now.” In short, it seems that Chicago could continue to be one of the most active buyers over the coming weeks.
I recently examined that very subject, focusing on the areas that the South Siders could target for improvement. An outfield addition seems paramount, but it’s also possible to imagine moves behind the plate or in the staff, with both the rotation and pen seemingly susceptible of improvement. We also listed many of the top trade candidates in a post earlier today.
The Sox have fizzled of late after a blistering start to the year, but they’re still hovering around .500 and are right in the thick of things in a four-way AL Central race. It remains to be seen how much cash the club is willing to commit to bolster the roster after opening the year with about $114.5MM on the books. Of course, that figure doesn’t include the $13MM that would have been owed to Adam LaRoche had he not retired this spring.
Chicago already took on about $27MM for this season and the two to come by adding James Shields, as well as another $1MM for the signing of Justin Morneau. But it stands to reason that the organization could still take on more salary, which may help reduce the need to part with young talent while adding major league pieces.
JUNE 15: Chicago has placed Rollins on release waivers, Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune reports on Twitter.
JUNE 10: The White Sox announced today that they have promoted top shortstop prospect Tim Anderson to the Majors and designated struggling veteran Jimmy Rollins for assignment in order to clear space on the roster. Anderson entered the season rated as the game’s No. 42 prospect in the eyes of Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com, and he rated 45th on the Top 100 prospect lists penned by Baseball America and Keith Law of ESPN.com.
Anderson, a first-round pick of the White Sox in 2013 (No. 17 overall), is batting .304/.325/.409 with four homers and 11 steals through his first 55 games at the Triple-A level this season. He’ll presumably get a chance to replace Rollins as the team’s everyday shortstop, with defensive standout Tyler Saladino representing a fallback option in the event that Anderson is overmatched by Major League pitching.
The scouting reports on Anderson offer mixed reviews on his work at shortstop, with MLB.com noting that he has plenty of arm strength but lacks soft hands and has erratic footwork. His tools profile in center field if he can’t handle short, per MLB.com, though BA and Law are a bit more optimistic on his chances to stick at short. BA notes that he has a penchant for highlight-reel plays but sometimes doesn’t play the right hop and doesn’t consistently make good throws from the hole. Law notes that he made improvements in his actions at shortstop in 2015 as well. What all of the reports do agree on is that Anderson is a plus-plus runner with the contact skills to hit between .280 and .300 in the Majors even if it comes with a pedestrian on-base percentage. However, as Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago points out (on Twitter), Anderson has cut his strikeout rate dramatically as his first Triple-A season has worn on; the 23-year-old whiffed 29 times in his first 103 PAs with Charlotte (28.1 percent), but it took him another 158 PAs to punch out another 29 times (18.8 percent).
By delaying his promotion until June 10, the White Sox have almost certainly prevented Anderson from reaching Super Two designation, which would allow him to be arbitration eligible four times instead of three. The largest amount of service time he could accrue at this stage of the season would be 114 days, and the lowest Super Two cutoff in recent years has been two years, 122 days (in both 2013 and 2010). If he’s in the Majors for good, Anderson would project to be eligible for free agency following the 2022 season and would not be eligible for arbitration until the completion of the 2019 campaign.
Rollins, 37, is of course a Phillies icon due to his storied and excellent career with Philadelphia, where he batted .267/.327/.424 across parts of 15 Major League seasons. With the Phils, Rollins was a three-time All-Star, a four-time Gold Glover and the 2007 National League MVP in a season that saw him bat .296/.344/.531 with 30 homers and 41 stolen bases. (He won a Silver Slugger that season as well.) However, since being traded to the Dodgers prior to the 2015 campaign (Philadelphia picked up right-hander Zach Eflin and lefty Tom Windle in the swap), Rollins’ offensive numbers have flatlined. He batted a mere .224/.285/.358 in his lone season wearing Dodger Blue, and his production with the South Siders hasn’t been any better. He’s produced a sub-par .221/.295/.329 slash in 166 trips to the plate this season.
Dave Williams of Barstool Sports first reported the Anderson promotion (via Twitter).
Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
This post addresses a fairly straightforward subject: next moves for the White Sox. Yet I’ve re-written it about three times since I started, since the club keeps changing its roster.
Just look at some of the notable moves from the last ten days:
- Acquire SP James Shields
- Designate 1B/OF Jerry Sands
- Designate SP Mat Latos
- Sign 1B Justin Morneau
- Promote SS Tim Anderson
- Designate SS Jimmy Rollins
- OF Austin Jackson to DL for at least 6 weeks
- RPs Daniel Webb, Jake Petricka out for season
Okay, yes, I broke up some of those combined transactions for effect. But for mid-June, that’s a lot of action! Latos and Rollins were both important buy-low, fill-in pieces that Chicago hoped would bolster a top-heavy roster. Those experiments ended early, with pricier (Shields) and glitzier (Anderson) replacements brought in. Sands was also sent out, and the club suffered three notable injuries. Oh, and Chicago finally added that Adam LaRoche replacement … except that it’s largely unknown when Morneau will suit up.
Despite all the movement, it’s not clear that the organization is really much better situated than it was ten days back. There’s a nice step up from Latos to Shields — despite the latter’s immense struggles through two outings — and some worthwhile rolls of the dice, but the injury hit likely saps any gains and there’s risk aplenty.
That creates a bit of a dilemma for GM Rick Hahn and his staff. None of the recent changes have been too terribly dramatic, but they are a bit committing. Chicago will reportedly owe Shields $27MM, which ain’t nothing, and gave up Erik Johnson to get him — taking away the team’s most plausible “next starter up.” And going with Anderson leaves Chicago exposed to the variance of young talent; if he isn’t quite ready, Rollins won’t be around to step back in.
Having started the acquisition process in early June, with the club hovering around .500, there’s still time to reverse out at the deadline if things really go south. But the first round of moves still begs for a counterpart — another addition or two that ramp this up from a minor makeover to a reasonably substantial renovation of the parts of the roster that are most in need. The division is still there for the taking, with a Wild Card berth an achievable consolation prize in a tightly-bunched American League.
Moving on the market at this stage means picking from among a few highly-motivated selling organizations. In all likelihood, not all of the players mentioned in my recent post ranking the ten top trade candidates are available yet. That results in a fairly limited field and likely would require the White Sox to be aggressive in its offers.
So, what areas could Chicago target?
True, the addition of Morneau supplies the left-handed first base/DH option that LaRoche once was. But he’s not providing plate appearances right now and there’s no time to lose. Plus, with Jackson down for at least six weeks, and not performing terribly well anyway, there’s still a need in the outfield.
Without Jackson around, the South Siders are reduced to shifting Adam Eaton back to center and utilizing defensively-deficient regulars Melky Cabrera and Avisail Garcia at the corners. It’s certainly not an optimal mix, at least from a fielding perspective, and there isn’t much promise among the organization’s internal options.
Adding a center-field capable player, who could either share time with Jackson down the line or operate as a frequent fourth outfielder, would seem optimal. It’s not often that there’s a readily-available fit this time of year, but Jon Jay of the Padres may be just what’s needed. He is solid with the glove and with the bat, would create some additional platoon options with Jackson (though the latter doesn’t generally carry significant platoon splits), and he’s a reasonably-priced rental. Jay would add real value now — while Jackson and Morneau remain unavailable — and be useful once they return.
Some might tab Jay Bruce of the Reds here: he’s eminently available and is slugging again. But he’d have made more sense before the addition of Morneau, since he’s best suited as a DH given his abysmal fielding metrics. Adding Bruce now would boost the offense some, but wouldn’t do much for run prevention.
It’s also arguable that the team should wait in this area. Players like Josh Reddick and Carlos Gonzalez could be made available later, but probably aren’t realistic options in the near term. And if the team is willing to look at right-handed hitters, Ryan Braun could be in consideration. But these players will come with a higher acquisition cost, aren’t options in center, and likely won’t solve the immediate need.
A middle-ground approach could involve making a run at Carl Crawford. He isn’t an option in center at this stage of his career, but he’s been a solid-enough hitter and fielder who adds value with his legs. Plus, he can be employed for the league minimum. Crawford would provide a near-term solution — at least, a reasoanble upgrade over the likes of Sands and J.B. Shuck — while leaving the club free to assess and act accordingly over the next six weeks.
Chicago reportedly has interest in a pen lefty, and odds are a marginal upgrade wouldn’t be considered. The White Sox have three relief southpaws at present; all are useful, but none represent true set-up options. Zach Duke has basically been a LOOGY this year, dominating same-handed hitters while struggling mightily against righties. Dan Jennings has lost velocity and his whiff rate is down, to go with an already-troubling propensity for the free pass, even if the results are good so far. And Matt Purke, a reclamation project, has been surprisingly solid, but it’s hard to count on him for much.
In short, there’s no need for a solid southpaw, because Chicago has those. But an impact arm that would could slot into a set-up role in front of closer David Robertson would be intriguing. At present, it’s not entirely clear who that might be, however. Will Smith of the Brewers and Sean Doolittle of the Athletics would qualify, but their extended control would make for steep asking prices. Perhaps there’s an argument to be made that Fernando Abad is good enough to push for an early strike, but it’s hard to see that kind of addition moving the needle too forcefully.
The unfortunate realization that Petricka and Webb aren’t coming back this year also opens some additional need and opportunity in the pen. Petricka, in particular, has given the ChiSox a lot of solid frames in recent years, and the club could respond by bolstering its right-handed unit. Nate Jones, Matt Albers, and Zach Putnam are useful set-up options, so there isn’t a pressing need here, but this is probably the easiest area for a team to add depth throughout the year.
This may be a low likelihood area to make a change, but it’s hard to ignore the fact that Dioner Navarro and Alex Avila have combined to underwhelm both with the bat and behind the plate. Both are playing on one-year contracts, too, and there’s long-term uncertainty at the position.
The backstop ranks are fairly thin all around baseball, and the Sox don’t need another solid second catcher type. They have that on hand already. If the team is going to look at this position, it’d be looking for a significant upgrade.
Jonathan Lucroy remains the top dog on our list of the biggest trade chips, and he’d be a great target. Lucroy has been at the top of his game in all regards, remains cheap this year and next, and could also see action at first or DH. Trouble is, other organizations surely see him the same way, and the Brewers are said to be asking for a lot.
There are some other possibilities, but it’s not clear that they represent enough of a bump over Navarro and Avila to warrant the outlay that would be required. Derek Norris of the Padres and Welington Castillo of the Diamondbacks are, however, at least worth considering — though it’s unknown whether and when the latter will be made available.
Yes, the team just added Shields. But with their new righty struggling, Carlos Rodon still looking more like a wild card than a playoff starter, and Miguel Gonzalez more serviceable than sensational, there’s still a conceivable need here.
Plus, there may be a little bit of a two-for-one possibility at play. It may or may not be something the team would ever consider, but adding a rotation piece could allow it to put Rodon into the back of the pen, where he could be a force. He’d still offer rotation depth, provide a long-relief option, and might well dominate — all while clearing the way for a starter who is perhaps better able to contribute every fifth day right now.
Regardless of whether that concept holds water, and despite already checking this box, picking up a real rotation upgrade still holds appeal. That could take many forms: a sturdy rental (Jeremy Hellickson?), a play for the top short-term arm available (Rich Hill, arguably, at least once he returns), another Shields-like gambit (Ervin Santana, perhaps?), or a higher-performing, controllable piece (Julio Teheran?).
Of course, acquiring a more impactful starter would raise the possibility of parting with a significant return. And that would likely implicate Carson Fulmer, last year’s top draft pick. A decent portion of his draft stock was tied up in the belief that he’d make it to the majors quickly, but he has encountered some bumps in the road at Double-A. Rather than hoping for a sudden ascension, perhaps it’s time to cash Fulmer in.
All those areas to improve arguably point to quite a different conclusion, though. The White Sox aren’t playing all that well and aren’t projected to do much more. They have lots of needs. And without significant prospect capital to work with, they’re faced with the options of clearing out the farm and/or taking on some major future salary commitments.
It’s certainly arguable that this just isn’t the time to go for it. A densely-packed division provides opportunity, but also means there are a lot of teams to outperform. Chicago could position itself as the top seller, depending upon who it’d be willing to spin off, were it to make a beeline back to port after charting a course for contention in rough seas. It’s also possible that the team could hold that out as a back-up plan even if it does seek additional early strikes via trade.
The one path that seems least desirable, perhaps, is a half-hearted buying effort that harms the future without really boosting the team’s chances at present. Hahn has said that he believes strongly in the core of this roster, so perhaps it’s time to act boldly to surround it with a few more strong pieces. Without a mix of new blood (some solid fill-ins and/or a significant addition or two), the Sox may be in need of some breaks to remain in the hunt in the AL Central.
The White Sox announced today that they’ve placed center fielder Austin Jackson on the 15-day disabled list with a medial meniscus tear in his left knee. Jackson will undergo surgery to repair the injury and will miss a minimum of six weeks, GM Rick Hahn told reporters, including Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago (Twitter link). Beyond that, Hayes tweets that Hahn informed the media that relievers Jake Petricka and Daniel Webb have undergone season-ending surgery. Webb had Tommy John surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament, while Petricka required surgery to repair an impingement in his right hip. Outfielder Jason Coats has been recalled from Triple-A Charlotte to take Jackson’s spot on the roster.
The loss of Jackson won’t subtract an overly productive bat from the club’s everyday lineup — Jackson is hitting .254/.318/.343 through 204 plate appearances — but it will thin the team’s outfield depth and deprive the Sox of their primary center fielder. Adam Eaton shifted over to center field for tonight’s contest and could very well take the reins at the position he frequented for the first four seasons of his big league career. Jackson had posted below-average defensive metrics in center this season, but Eaton rated as arguably the best defender in all of baseball while playing right field, so moving him off that position could be a detriment to the club’s overall outfield defense even if his work in center is a small step up from that of Jackson. Eaton, after all, also carries below-average Defensive Runs Saved and Ultimate Zone Rating marks in center field for his career.
Petricka, 28, is a particularly big loss for the Chicago bullpen. While he’s hardly a shutdown reliever, the former second-round pick tallied 144 1/3 innings of 3.24 ERA ball across the 2013-15 seasons for the ChiSox and had averaged 64.5 appearances over the past two seasons. He’s been limited to eight innings this year, however, as a result of the hip injury that ultimately required surgery. Webb, meanwhile, opened the season in Triple-A and pitched just one inning in late April before landing on the disabled list with right flexor inflammation. While he struggled through the 2015 campaign (6.30 ERA in 30 innings), Webb was better in 2013-14, pitching to a 3.87 ERA in a combined 79 innings out of the bullpen. The hard-thrower averaged nearly 96 mph on his fastball in that 2013-14 span, but his heater was sitting at 92 mph in his lone big league appearance of the 2016 season (though he still managed to strike out the side).
While the Sox can stick with Coats and Avisail Garcia and cover right field internally, the team has shown a very proactive approach in attempting to right the ship after a hot start disintegrated into a .500 record. The South Siders have already picked up James Shields in a trade and designated Mat Latos for assignment, and earlier today the team promoted top shortstop prospect Tim Anderson from Triple-A and designated veteran Jimmy Rollins for assignment. The Sox have already been connected to both left-handed bats and bullpen help, so it’s reason to believe that these significant hits to their depth could push Hahn and his staff into further action on the trade market. Jay Bruce and, to a lesser extent, Carlos Gonzalez stand out as reasonable options on that would satisfy Chicago’s desire for a left-handed bat and fill the right field void left by Eaton. Alternatively, they could pursue a left-handed bat with center field experience such as San Diego’s Jon Jay. Petricka and Webb, while neither are exactly cornerstone relievers for the Sox, further deplete the organizational depth and could lead the Sox to pursue any of the considerable amount of relievers that are currently available or could become available on the trade market.
UPDATE: There no formal agreement between the two sides in place as of yet, Murray tweets, retracting his initial report.
10:19am: The White Sox have agreed to terms with first-round pick Zack Collins, per Baseball Essential’s Robert Murray (links to Twitter). The University of Miami catcher was selected with the 10th overall pick, which came with a slot value of $3,380,600. SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo tweets that Collins signed for slot value.
Collins entered the draft ranked 14th on the Top 200 prospects list from Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis of MLB.com, ranked 16th by Baseball America and ranked 18th by ESPN’s Keith Law. Mayo and Callis note that Collins was a top 100 draft prospect back in 2013 but slid to the Reds in the 27th round due to his strong commitment to Miami. All three scouting reports agree that Collins is a bat-first catcher that may not be able to stay behind the plate, as Law notes that a move to first base or DH is likely. The other two give him more of a chance to remain at catcher, noting that he’s improved his throwing. BA writes that he’ll never be an above-average backstop but has a chance to stay there thanks to the improved throwing.
Collins addressed those perceived defensive shortcomings in an interview with MLBTR contributor Chuck Wasserstrom earlier this spring, telling Wasserstrom: “Obviously, I’m an offensive catcher, but I’m working on my defense a lot lately. I think I’ve gotten a lot better defensively … I’ve worked a lot on my blocking and receiving and throwing and footwork – all that kind of stuff. We actually have a new catching coach down here in Miami (Norberto Lopez), and he’s helped me a ton.” Collins also talked about his extremely patient approach at the plate and the importance of recognizing that it’s best for the team to take a walk when he’s not presented with pitches to hit as opposed expanding the zone to try to put a ball in the seats.
In his junior season at Miami, Collins batted an impressive .358/.534/.631 with 13 homers and nine doubles in 176 at-bats. He drew 69 walks against just 48 strikeouts as well, and that display of power and a discerning eye at the plate led MLB.com to peg him as a potential 20-homer bat on a year-to-year basis. Collins is the first player from this year’s first round to reportedly agree to terms with a club, and we at MLBTR will be continually updating our list of first-round and list of compensation/competitive balance round A picks with numbers as the players begin to sign. The White Sox had a draft pool of $9.354MM, so with Collins signing for slot value, they have $5.973MM remaining to spend on their other selections before exceeding their pool (and $6.441MM to spend before incurring the loss of future draft picks for exceeding said pool by more than five percent).
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
The White Sox have signed veteran first baseman Justin Morneau, the club announced. It’s a one-year, $1MM contract.
Morneau will head straight onto the 15-day DL as he continues to work back to form after undergoing elbow surgery. His timeline remains unclear at present, but perhaps the club will have a chance to evaluate him before weighing other moves at the trade deadline.
The 34-year-old figures to play a role roughly analogous to what the team had expected from Adam LaRoche, who was a heavily-used DH and also spelled Jose Abreu at first. When LaRoche shocked the baseball world with his sudden retirement this spring, the club saved a boatload of money but also lost a source of left-handed pop (although he had disppointed to that point).
Morneau will step into that void once he’s ready to be activated. While he doesn’t come with the same kind of power ceiling that LaRoche carried — Morneau hasn’t hit more than twenty home runs since 2009 — he’s arguably a better overall hitter and certainly had better results last year.
Though Coors Field certainly provides a boost, Morneau’s .310/.363/.458 slash over 182 plate apperaances last year went for an above-average 109 OPS+. And he was even better the season prior, leading the league in batting average and hitting at a strong .319/.364/.496 clip.
It remains to be seen how much action Morneau will receive in the field, but it doesn’t hurt that he remains well-regarded with the glove. The team will also see how he holds up with a long history of medical concerns even before his recent procedure.
Chicago has been the most aggressive team in the league thus far in making mid-season additions. It already added James Shields, knocking pre-2016 free agent Mat Latos out of the rotation. And now the organization has moved on the free agent market to fill its need for a left-handed bat.
It’ll certainly be interesting to see whether GM Rick Hahn has more acquisitions in mind. There’s been chatter that the South Siders could look at a left-handed reliever, and there are several other positions that are probably susceptible of an upgrade.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
- The White Sox aren’t planning to simply sit back idly after acquiring James Shields from the Padres, writes Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago. The amount of money that San Diego kicked in to cover the cost of Shields’ contract has the White Sox positioned to add “at least two more important cogs for a playoff push,” per Levine. Chief among the Sox’ needs at this point are a left-handed bat and a left-handed setup man for the bullpen. Levine lists Jay Bruce as a player of interest, though he notes that when the Sox spoke to the Reds about Bruce in Spring Training, Cincinnati was “adamant” that the Sox would have to cover at least $11MM of the $12.5MM that Bruce is earning in 2016. Beyond that, Levine writes that the chances of the South Siders parting with top prospects Tim Anderson and Carson Fulmer in any trade this season, regardless of target, are “close to zero.” For those interested in some names that could be available as targets for the Sox, MLBTR’s Jeff Todd penned an updated list of the game’s top trade candidates earlier today.
- In other White Sox news, the team will skip the next start of left-hander Carlos Rodon due to discomfort in his neck which eventually extended into his arm, per CSN Chicago’s Dan Hayes (links to Twitter). The Sox had Rodon undergo an MRI as a precaution, but the test revealed no problems. GM Rick Hahn tells Hayes that Rodon wasn’t happy to be skipped, and Hayes notes that the problem appears to be short term in nature, as Rodon has been cleared to return to the mound. Miguel Gonzalez will start in his place on Thursday, and Rodon will rejoin the rotation following that.
The White Sox have designated first baseman/outfielder Jerry Sands for assignment, per a club announcement. The DFA of Sands clears a spot on the 25-man roster for James Shields to be officially added. Beyond that, the Sox have also optioned outfielder Jason Coats to Triple-A Charlotte and reinstated Melky Cabrera from the family emergency leave list.
Sands, 28, has batted .236/.276/.291 through 58 plate appearances with the ChiSox this season and has struggled versus left-handed pitching despite a strong track record when holding the platoon advantage. The right-handed slugger owns a lifetime .285/.335/.477 line against southpaws but has just a .522 OPS this season, albeit in a limited sample of 20 plate appearances. With the exception of the 2013 season, Sands has spent time in the Majors each year dating back to 2011. He’s a career .238/.306/.367 hitter in 464 trips to the plate at the Major League level and has been a thorn in the side of Triple-A pitchers, against whom he’s mashed at a .268/.357/.492 clip over the life of 439 games.
Sands is no stranger to DFA limbo, as this is the fourth time he’s been designated for assignment since the beginning of the 2015 season. (Cleveland designated him on three occasions before he was ultimately claimed off waivers by the Sox.) Chicago will have 10 days to trade, outright or release Sands, though even if he clears outright waivers, he’d have the option of rejecting the assignment in favor of free agency, as is the right of any player that has been previously outrighted.