Reliever Kelvin Herrera was designated for assignment to create 40-man and active roster space. He was in the second season of a two-year, $17MM deal.
Madrigal, the fourth overall pick in the 2018 draft, will not have a chance to accrue a full season of MLB service. He will, however, be on track to ultimately qualify for arbitration after the 2022 season as a Super Two player.
It’ll certainly be fun to watch the 23-year-old in the majors. He has quite an unusual skillset, with negligible power but otherworldly contact ability and plate discipline.
A consensus top-50 prospect leaguewide, Madrigal have to keep hitting and walking at a tremendous rate to be an above-average MLB hitter. Last year, over the three highest levels of the minors, he logged 532 plate appearances of .311/.377/.414 hitting. Though he managed only four home runs, Madrigal amazingly struck out only 16 times while drawing 44 walks.
As exciting as it is for the Sox to welcome Madrigal, bidding adieu to Herrera represents an acknowledgement of a disappointment. The 30-year-old signed his contract after recovering from a major foot procedure but just hasn’t returned to form.
As MLBTR’s Connor Byrne examined in depth recently, the once-excellent reliever has struggled mightily in Chicago. He limped to a 6.14 ERA in 51 1/3 innings in 2019 and was shelled for four earned runs over his first two outings in 2020. Worst still, his typically upper-nineties fastball velocity has drooped to about 94 mph thus far this season.
With the decision, the White Sox will owe Herrera the remainder of the pro-rated portion of his $8.5MM salary this year. They’ll also still have to pay him a $1MM buyout on a 2020 vesting/club option.