Prized White Sox prospect Andrew Vaughn has made the team’s Opening Day roster. He isn’t on Chicago’s 40-man, so the team will need to select him.
The White Sox could have gained an extra year of service time by keeping Vaughn down for the first few weeks of the season, but executive vice president Ken Williams said last week that wouldn’t be a motivating factor in their decision. The team was true to its word. If Vaughn doesn’t return to the minors, he’ll be controllable through 2026 and eligible for arbitration after 2023, though the White Sox could certainly extend him before then, as they’ve done on multiple occasions in recent years with offensive building blocks such as Yoan Moncada, Tim Anderson, Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert.
General manager Rick Hahn stated Tuesday (via James Fegan of The Athletic), “Having Andrew around will be a positive for this offense.” The White Sox expect Vaughn to factor in at designated hitter, first base and left field, according to Hahn.
It became easier to envision Vaughn making Chicago’s season-opening roster when the club received the devastating news of Jimenez’s ruptured pectoral tendon last week. Jimenez underwent surgery Tuesday and remains likely to miss at least five to six months, Hahn said. The hope is that Vaughn will help fill Jimenez’s enormous offensive void.
Now 22 years old, Vaughn is a former University of California standout whom the White Sox drafted third overall in 2019 and then signed to a $7.2MM-plus bonus. Vaughn hasn’t gotten above High-A ball since then, but he has held his own in the minors, having slashed .278/.384/.449 in 245 plate appearances. He has also looked ready for prime time this spring with a .279/.375/.459 line and six extra-base hits (three doubles, two home runs and a triple) in 61 at-bats.
Along with Vaughn’s addition, the White Sox made a handful of other roster moves Tuesday. They optioned infielder Danny Mendick to their alternate site and reassigned fellow infielders Tim Beckham, Zach Remillard and Matt Reynolds, outfielder Nick Williams, and right-hander Ryan Burr. The club also made the previously reported release of catcher Jonathan Lucroy official.