JANUARY 2: The White Sox have officially announced the signing of Downs (Twitter link).
DECEMBER 19, 12:37pm: Downs' deal is worth $3.75MM with a $250K buyout on year two, making it $4MM guaranteed, tweets Bruce Levine of 670thescore.com. The vesting option for 2015 is worth $4.25MM.
11:04am: The White Sox are set to sign lefty reliever Scott Downs, according to M. Blake Harrison (on Twitter). The two sides are in agreement on a one-year, $4MM contract that is pending a physical, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter links). Downs' deal contains a vesting option that could bring the deal to two years and roughly $8MM, he adds. According to Rosenthal, the option will vest if Downs pitches a normal workload.
The 37-year-old Downs posted a 2.49 ERA with 7.7 K/9, 3.9 BB/9 and a 64.3 percent ground-ball rate in 43 1/3 innings between the Angels and Braves in 2013. This past season represented the final year of a three-year, $15MM pact between the Angels and Downs. The Halos traded him to Atlanta in July in exchange for right-hander Cory Rasmus.
Though Downs was typically strong against both right- and left-handed hitters into his mid-30s, he's developed a notable platoon split over the past two seasons. From 2012-13, right-handed batters have hit Downs at a .285/.371/.416 clip.
The White Sox have seen their bullpen depth depleted greatly over the past six months. The team traded Matt Thornton to the Red Sox in July and saw him sign with the Yankees as a free agent. Jesse Crain was traded to the Rays and is now a free agent, and they also traded closer Addison Reed to the Diamondbacks in exchange for top third base prospect Matt Davidson.
Rosenthal's colleague, Jon Paul Morosi, reported earlier this morning that the two sides were nearing a deal.