Rule 5 draftee familiar to White Sox

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Rule 5 draftee familiar to White Sox

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The White Sox believe immediate help is on the way after they selected infielder Angel Sanchez in the Rule 5 draft on Thursday morning.

With 628 major league plate appearances, Sanchez is far more experienced than most of the players normally taken in the Rule 5 draft, which allows teams to draft unprotected players off other organizational rosters as long as the player remains in the majors all season.

A shortstop by trade, Sanchez signed a minor-league deal with the Los Angeles Angels earlier this offseason but wasnt placed on the teams 40-man roster.

The White Sox made Sanchez their first Rule 5 draft selection since Jason Grilli in 2003. Sanchez, who played 110 games for the Houston Astros in 2011, will compete for the White Sox open backup infield job next season.

He was a guy that we talked about even before that list came out, White Sox assistant general manager Buddy Bell said on Thursday before he and the team traveled home from the winter meetings. This is a lot different than finding a guy that is throwing 95 or 100, then you can just hope you can hide on your roster somewhere. This guy here, we think if it works out, it can really help our club from Opening Day beyond that.

Sanchez hit .320 last season for the Houston Astros Triple-A Oklahoma City club. Sanchez, of his 924 defensive appearances in the minor leagues, 815 were at shortstop.

Sanchez has a career .255.304.308 slash line in the majors with Houston, the Boston Red Sox and Kansas City Royals. He also has familiarity with Bell, who managed him in 2006 with the Royals.

I loved this kid, Bell said. He had some elbow issues at the time and I left before he came back after his injuries. Ive been keeping my eye on him for the last few years. He had a good year in Triple-A last year and hes a solid and more of a situational player who can catch the ball, move the ball if you need to.

After they are purchased for 50,000, players selected in the Rule 5 draft are immediately added to a teams 40-man and active rosters. The drafting team can waive the player at any time and if he clears waivers he must be offered back to his original club for 25,000.

The White Sox 40-man roster is now at 38, though the team only has one spot open as infielder Jeff Keppingers deal should be finalized early next week.

White Sox avoid arbitration with Todd Frazier, four pitchers

White Sox avoid arbitration with Todd Frazier, four pitchers

The White Sox agreed to one-year contracts with five players on Friday, including a $12-million deal for Todd Frazier.

Frazier established a franchise record for home runs by a third baseman in 2016 when he blasted 40 in his first season with the White Sox. A free agent after the 2017 season, Frazier hit .225/.302/.464 in 666 plate appearances, drove in a career high 98 runs and produced 2.4 Wins Above Replacement, according to fangraphs.com. 

Starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez is set to earn $5.9 million this season. The team also agreed to deals with relievers Dan Jennings ($1.4 million), Zach Putnam ($1.1175 million) and Jake Petricka ($825,000).

The White Sox acquired Frazier in a three-player trade from the Cincinnati Reds in December 2015. It's expected they would try to trade Frazier, who has hit 104 homers since 2014 and participated in the All-Star Game Home Run Derby three consecutive years, before the Aug 1 non-waiver trade deadline as part of the club's rebuilding efforts. 

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Gonzalez went 5-8 with a 3.73 ERA in 24 games (23 starts) after he was signed to a minor-league deal in early April. 

Jennings posted a 2.08 ERA in 60 2/3 innings. 

Putnam had a 2.30 ERA in 27 1/3 innings with 30 strikeouts before he had surgery to remove bone chips from his right elbow. 

Petricka was limited to nine appearances before his season was ended by hip surgery.

Both Petricka and Putnam are expected to be ready for spring training.

Top White Sox prospect Yoan Moncada impresses club at minicamp

Top White Sox prospect Yoan Moncada impresses club at minicamp

It was a limited look, but Yoan Moncada made a strong first impression on the White Sox this week.

Acquired from the Boston Red Sox last month in the Chris Sale trade, Moncada arrived in Glendale, Ariz., earlier this week with the franchise hopeful he'd offer a glimpse of the skills that earned him the designation as baseball's top prospect.

Moncada didn't disappoint, either, as he had White Sox evaluators excited throughout a three-day hitters camp. Whether it's his physicality, how he carried himself or his baseball IQ, White Sox staffers couldn't have been happier about their first experience with their new prized possession.

"(Moncada) looks like a linebacker, but he moves like a wide receiver," player development director Chris Getz said. "He's got good actions. He's obviously a switch hitter. He's got power. He can hit. He's got a good smile. He seems to be enjoying himself out here, he interacts well with his teammates.

"So far it has been very impressive, and we look forward to seeing more."

Hitting coach Todd Steverson said Moncada, 21, looked every bit the part when he first observed him from across the hall at the team's facility. Steverson spoke to friends in the scouting community and wasn't the least bit surprised when he encountered the 6-foot-2, 205-pound second baseman. Moncada was just as impressive on the field with his skills and effort, Steverson said.

"This is a large specimen right here," Steverson said. "He's put together pretty well.

"On defense it looks like he has some really good hands.

"He got in the box and he hadn't swung for a while. But still, you could tell he had good hands going through the zone, has a nice approach and wants to work real hard."

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Moncada's fancy tools have been well publicized since he received a $31.5-million signing bonus from the Red Sox in March 2015.

MLB.com graded Moncada's hit tool at 60 on the 20-80 scouting scale while his base running is 65 and arm is 60. Moncada's power received a 55 grade, and his fielding is 50. Moncada received an overall grade of 65, which suggests he has the ability to be a perennial All-Star and worth 4 Wins Above Replacement, according to fangraphs.com.

But the White Sox weren't just impressed with Moncada's physical ability.

One of manager Rick Renteria's top objectives for the camp was to emphasize fundamentals and what's important to the team. Renteria wanted to identify specific game situations and how players are expected to handle them so they're well prepared for the future. Moncada handled that area well, too.

"Yoan is a very knowledgeable baseball player who has experience on a multitude of levels," amateur scouting director Nick Hostetler said. "In the brief time we had with him this week, he showed a tremendous ability to drive the ball the opposite way as well as drive balls to the gap and out of the ball park from both sides of the plate. That ability will help him handle and any all situations that Ricky asks him to do at the plate. Defensively his hands and feet are very good and will have no problem there. He's a bright hard-working kid that is part of a bright future for the organization."