1:35PM: The White Sox have officially announced Cuthbert’s signing. It is a minor league deal, with an invitation to the team’s Major League Spring Training camp.
1:07PM: The White Sox have reached an agreement with free agent infielder Cheslor Cuthbert, according to reporter Robert Murray (Twitter link). Cuthbert hit the open market in early December after the Royals chose not to tender him a contract.
Cuthbert was projected to earn $1.8MM in his second year of arbitration eligibility, though Kansas City decided to move on in the wake of a season that saw Cuthbert hit .246/.294/.379 with nine homers over 330 PA. It was a performance almost exactly on par with the .250/.300/.378 slash line Cuthbert has posted over 1160 career plate appearances, all with the Royals from 2015-19.
Most of Cuthbert’s time in K.C. was spent as a third baseman, and he stepped into a virtual everyday role in 2016 when Mike Moustakas spent much of the season on the injured list. Despite posting some solid numbers that year, Cuthbert’s production badly tailed off in the subsequent three seasons and he became little more than a bench piece.
Aside from his work at the hot corner, Cuthbert also has played a lot of first base and a handful of games at second over his career. Second base could potentially be Cuthbert’s best path to playing time in Chicago, as while star rookie Nick Madrigal is expected to make his MLB debut at some point in 2020, the White Sox will need some kind of veteran stopgap until Madrigal is ready. Yolmer Sanchez was non-tendered, leaving rookie Danny Mendick as the current top choice for the Opening Day lineup. It seems likely that Cuthbert could be one of many veteran infielders brought into Chicago’s Spring Training camp to compete for the second base job, and Cuthbert’s versatility could give him a path to staying on the roster as a utility infielder once Madrigal is called up.