The White Sox signed Chad Kuhl to a minor league deal last week, as per the right-hander’s MLB.com profile page. The contract presumably includes an invitation to Chicago’s big league Spring Training camp.
Kuhl posted an 8.45 ERA over 38 1/3 innings with the Nationals last season, consisting of five starts and 11 bullpen appearances. Small sample size notwithstanding, Kuhl’s 15% walk rate and 16.6% strikeout rate were both the lowest of his seven-year MLB career, and batters continued to tee off on Kuhl’s sinker (one of his two primary pitches). Kuhl broke camp with Washington after signing a minor league deal with the Nats last winter, though he was designated for assignment and subsequently released in June.
A toe sprain sent Kuhl to the injured list for a few weeks in May, but his 2023 performance might’ve been understandably impacted by some far more importantly real-world concerns. Kuhl’s wife Amanda underwent chemotherapy treatments dealing with breast cancer, and Kuhl announced in July that had turned down other contract offers in order to spend the rest of the season with his family. This deal with the White Sox is a positive sign that things are well on the health front for Amanda, and her recent X postings revealed that she finished treatments in November.
The 31-year-old Kuhl has a 4.98 ERA over 615 career innings, with much of that time spent with the Pirates before landing with the Rockies in 2022 and the Nationals last year. Working mostly as a starter, he projects as a depth arm for the White Sox to evaluate this spring as the team considers its rotation options.
Dylan Cease continues to star in trade rumors, but for now, the righty continues to be ace of Chicago’s pitching staff. Michael Kopech and new signing Erick Fedde have two other rotation spots covered, while Michael Soroka, Jared Shuster, Touki Toussaint, Chris Flexen, and Jesse Scholtens will join Kuhl in battling for a job (or possibly a swingman role) in one of the two remaining spots. This isn’t the most inspiring group on paper, yet with the White Sox seemingly considering some level of rebuild, it seems possible the team is just looking for younger arms and candidates to eat innings in the event that Cease is dealt.