The White Sox have officially brought back free-agent righty Matt Albers, as Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (links to Twitter). Per the report, the SSG Baseball client will earn $2MM in 2016. The deal also includes a $3MM club option with a $250K buyout.
Albers, 32, has dealt with injuries at times in recent years — most notably, a lengthy struggle with shoulder issues that cost him most of 2014. And a freak broken finger also landed him on the DL last year.
But the most recent work on his record is quite impressive. He threw 37 1/3 innings of 1.21 ERA pitching last year for Chicago, with only 6.8 K/9 but a strong 2.2 BB/9 and 58.6% groundball rate to back his efforts. Truth be told, Albers has put up outstanding run-prevention numbers dating back to the start of the 2012 campaign. He’s posted a sterling 2.32 ERA over his 170 2/3 frames since that time.
While metrics don’t quite support that level of production, SIERA has viewed him as a mid-3.00 ERA performer or better for quite some time. Though his velocity dipped rather sharply last year, Albers tells MLB.com’s Scott Merkin that changes to his change-up helped him to end the year with 22 1/3 scoreless innings despite the lack of his typical ~93 mph heat.
Certainly, Chicago can make out on this signing even if Albers takes a fairly significant step back in terms of results. He’ll join a seemingly well-stocked pen that will be needed to ease the burden on a rotation that has some question marks at the back end.