9:17pm: A tweet from Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports reveals that Cedeno’s contract comes with a spring training invite, as one may have expected. He stands to earn $1.05MM if he breaks camp with the big league club.
The 31-year-old Cedeno has pitched at the major-league level in each of the past seven seasons. After he missed nearly all of 2017 due to a forearm injury suffered in April, the Rays elected to non-tender Cedeno rather than pay him a 2018 arbitration salary (he made $1.3MM in 2017). That’s hardly surprising considering Tampa Bay’s interest in trimming payroll this winter.
For his career, the southpaw owns a 3.98 ERA out of the bullpens of the Astros, Nationals and Rays. While he’s been a below average major-leaguer in terms of WPA (-0.85), his career 8.85 K/9 and 3.39 BB/9 suggest he could be a viable bullpen piece for his new club. That outlook only gets brighter when considering he’s a respectable lefty specialist; Cedeno has faced a left-handed hitter 320 times over the course of his MLB tenure, and they’ve batted a paltry .220/.286/.299 against him.
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It seems likely that the Puerto Rican native can earn himself a role in the White Sox bullpen. Outside of the recently-acquired Luis Avilan, the Southsiders don’t have much in the way of viable left-handed options for their relief corps.
Cedeno was originally a 31st-round selection of the Rockies back in 2004. He pitched exclusively as a starter up through the end of the 2008 season, when he reached the Double-A level for the first time. However, following a demotion to the Rockies’ High-A affiliate, Cedeno transitioned to a relief role. Though the Astros tried giving him another chance to start in 2011, his performance at the Double-A level that season wasn’t good enough to warrant a permanent shift back to the rotation. He’s pitched exclusively as a reliever since his MLB debut with Houston later that year.