When the White Sox dealt affordable closer Sergio Santos to the Blue Jays for Nestor Molina, there were mixed reactions.
Some fans were upset at the start of what Kenny Williams called the "rebuilding" process while others were happy to add a top prospect to a struggling farm system. But everybody had the same questions: Who is Nestor Molina and was he good enough to be the only return for Santos?
The answer to the second part cannot be answered for some time, but the Sox are happy with the guy they got.
"There's no doubt he throws hard and he had the ability to throw strikes from the get-go," Marco Paddy, the Sox's new head of international operations, told the Tribune's Mark Gonzales. "He also has grown from 5-foot-11 to almost 6-2. He has great athletic ability. The tools are there."
Paddy spent five years with the Blue Jays in the same position he now holds for the White Sox and recalls Molina's journey to the mound.
The young prospect actually started as a third baseman and outfielder, but slumped at the plate to the tune of a .227 batting average over his first two seasons. When approached with the idea to become a starting pitcher, Molina didn't hesitate.
"He struggled with the bat in his second season," Paddy said. "But the conversion to pitcher came easily because he played everywhere. He's athletic and he took to pitching the right way. He wasn't scared."
While the White Sox won't know what the future holds for Molina, they do know where he came from.
Check out more on Molina's minor-league history with the Blue Jays over at ChicagoTribune.com.
Four of the team's top-10 prospects and a former All-Star are among the 19 nonroster invitees to White Sox big league camp this spring.
The team announced Monday that prospects Michael Kopech, Zack Collins, Zack Burdi and Spencer Adams have all been invited to camp next month. Everth Cabrera, an All-Star in 2013 for the San Diego Padres, Cody Asche, Cory Luebke and Geovany Soto are among the eight minor league free agents who also received an invitation. Pitchers and catchers report to camp in Glendale, Ariz. on Feb. 14 while the team holds its first full-squad workout on Feb. 18.
Kopech was acquired in the Chris Sale trade in December while Collins and Burdi were both selected in the 2016 amateur draft. Adams was drafted in 2014.
Signed earlier this month, Soto is expected to earn a spot on the 25-man roster. Soto, who played for the White Sox in 2015, finished last season with four home runs and an .809 OPS in 86 plate appearances for the Los Angeles Angels.
Cabrera, who produced 4.6 Wins Above Replacement between 2012-13, hasn't played in the majors since he appeared in 29 games for the Baltimore Orioles in 2015. Luebke, who has twice had reconstructive elbow surgery, finished with a 9.35 ERA in nine games for the Pittsburgh Pirates last season. Asche blasted 31 homers with a .240/.298/.385 slash line in 1,287 plate appearances since 2013 with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Other minor league free agents include: left-handed pitcher David Holmberg, right-handers Blake Smith and Anthony Swarzak, and catcher Roberto Pena.
White Sox minor leaguer pitchers Aaron Bummer, Brian Clark, Jace Fry and Matt Purke, infielders Nicky Delmonico and Danny Hayes, and outfielder Courtney Hawkins also have been invited to camp.