10:17am: Albers will earn $1.5MM if he makes the Major League roster, reports Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter links). The White Sox were one of five clubs to make him an offer, Drellich adds.
10:05am: The White Sox and right-hander Matt Albers are in agreement on a minor league contract, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (Twitter link). The SSG Baseball client recently worked out for as many as 12 teams and hit 91 mph on the radar gun after missing nearly all of the 2014 season with shoulder issues.
The 32-year-old Albers has been excellent when healthy over the past three seasons. In that time, he owns a 2.63 ERA with 5.9 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 and a 59.4 percent ground-ball rate. That ground-ball rate likely appeals to the White Sox, who play their home games in a particularly homer-friendly environment.
White Sox relievers posted baseball’s third-worst ERA in 2014 (4.38), and GM Rick Hahn and his staff have made revamping the relief corps a priority this offseason. Adding David Robertson on a four-year, $46MM contract was the most significant move toward that effort, but the team has also added Zach Duke on a three-year, $15MM contract and brought back Jesse Crain on a minor league deal as well. In-house options to fill out the White Sox bullpen include righties Jake Petricka, Daniel Webb, Javy Guerra and Zach Putnam as well as lefties Dan Jennings and Eric Surkamp.