Ureña was cut loose from a minor league pact with the Nationals last week. Chicago is his third organization of the season. He began the year with the Rockies after re-signing on a $3.5MM free agent contract. He was blitzed for 22 runs in 18 1/3 innings over his first five starts, however, and the Rox quickly moved on.
Things didn’t go much better in the Nats’ system. Ureña picked up 15 starts for their top affiliate in Rochester but managed a 6.31 ERA over 67 frames. His 8.4% walk percentage there was fine, but he struggled with home runs and only punched out 18.2% of opposing hitters.
While his 2023 performance has been below-average, Ureña adds some experience to the upper minors of the Sox’s system. He’s a veteran of nine major league campaigns, working mostly as a starter over that time. Ureña had back-to-back sub-4.00 ERA showings for the Marlins in 2017-18. He’s allowed more than five earned runs per nine in each of the five seasons since then, though he still throws fairly hard. Ureña averaged north of 95 MPH on both his four-seam and sinker during his early-season big league stint with the Rox.
Colorado is on the hook for Ureña’s $3MM salary and a $500K buyout on a 2024 option. If the Sox called him up at any point in the season’s final couple months, they’d pay him only the prorated portion of the $720K minimum rate. Ureña will head back to free agency at the start of the offseason whether he earns a big league call or not. He’ll offer some injury insurance in the interim as the White Sox play out a disappointing season.