Veteran outfielder Michael Saunders has signed a minor league contract with the White Sox, according to an announcement from the team’s Triple-A affiliate in Charlotte. He’s on the active roster for today’s game. Saunders, who recently opted out of a minor league pact with the Orioles, is represented by Meister Sports Management.
Saunders, 31, had a tough time with Baltimore’s top affiliate, logging a paltry .161/.291/.253 batting line with a homer, three doubles, a triple and two steals in 103 plate appearances. He struck out 23 times while playing with Norfolk though did still show a decent recognition of the strike zone, drawing 16 walks as well.
It’s been a steep decline for Saunders, a 2016 All-Star with the Blue Jays. The Canadian-born outfielder wore down in the second half of that season and endured similar struggles with the 2017 Phillies after signing a one-year deal as a free agent.
Saunders was a top prospect with the Mariners and, in addition to his terrific first half in 2016 showed strong potential in Seattle on multiple occasions. Injuries, however, have been an ongoing issue throughout his career. Most recently, he missed the majority of the 2015 season after suffering a torn meniscus in Spring Training that required surgery. Saunders has also dealt with shoulder injuries and missed time due to an oblique issue in the Majors as well. He’ll look to get back on track with a White Sox club that recently saw Nicky Delmonico land on the disabled list and is also without right fielder Avisail Garcia, which could eventually lead to some opportunities at the MLB level if he performs well with the Knights.