The White Sox officially signed righty reliever Jesse Crain to a three-year, $13MM deal today. He'll earn $4MM in 2011 and $4.5MM per year in 2012-13, tweets MLB.com's Scott Merkin. Crain was rumored to be seeking a contract on par with Joaquin Benoit's, and Chicago has been looking for relief help all offseason. The Sox lost about half of their 2010 bullpen innings with the departures of Bobby Jenks, J.J. Putz, Scott Linebrink, and others.
Crain, 29, had the best season of his career in 2010, pitching to a 3.04 ERA, 8.2 K/9, 3.6 BB/9, 0.7 HR/9, and 39.2% groundball rate in 68 innings for the Twins. Crain missed most of the 2007 season due to shoulder surgery and then missed a few weeks with a shoulder strain in 2009. He doesn't have much of a platoon split, holding righties to a .239/.299/.359 batting line in his career compared to .238/.332/.366 for lefties.
With the White Sox deal Crain becomes the fourth reliever to sign a three-year contract this winter, joining Benoit, Scott Downs, and former teammate Matt Guerrier. He also drew interest from the Rockies and Red Sox. Crain is represented by SFX.
MLB.com's Peter Gammons and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reported on the deal as it developed.
Tim Dierkes contributed to this post.