The White Sox have signed reliever Dan Winkler to a minor league contract, according to an announcement from their Triple-A affiliate in Charlotte. He’ll step onto the Knights’ active roster in hopes of earning his way to the big leagues.
Winkler opted out of a minor league deal with the Rangers a couple weeks back. He’d spent the first two months of the season with Texas’ top farm team, working to a 3.50 ERA across 18 innings. Winkler punched out a stellar 32.1% of batters faced with a massive 18% swinging strike rate, but he struggled mightily with his control. The righty handed out free passes to 16% of opponents, and the Rangers elected to let him hit the open market rather than bring him to the major leagues.
If Winkler can make it onto the Sox’s active roster, he’d return to the city where he spent the 2020-21 campaigns. The 32-year-old pitched two seasons on the north side with the Cubs, tossing 58 innings across 65 appearances. Walks were similarly an issue during his most recent MLB run as they’ve been in Triple-A this year, and he posted a 5.22 ERA last season before being released in August. Winkler’s now a few years removed from his days as a high-leverage arm with the Braves, which included a 3.43 ERA showing back in 2018.
The White Sox’s bullpen ranks 21st with a 4.21 ERA, a mid-tier showing that registers as a disappointment considering how much the club has invested in that area of the roster. That’s partially a reflection of health issues, though, as Joe Kelly has already had a pair of injured list stints. Kelly is now back, but each of Aaron Bummer, Liam Hendriks and Kyle Crick have landed on the IL within the past seven days. Chicago backfills the organization with an experienced non-roster depth option in Winkler.