White Sox exercise 2010 options on Garcia, Thornton

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As expected, this afternoon the White Sox exercised their 2010 options on Freddy Garcia and Matt Thornton.
Thornton is a no-brainer at $2.25 million, because he’s been one of the premier setup men in the league since arriving via trade with the Mariners in the spring of 2006. Thornton was a huge disappointment in Seattle and the Mariners basically gave him away for fellow bust Joe Borchard, but he’s gone 20-13 with a 3.31 ERA and 268 strikeouts in 250 innings during four years in Chicago’s bullpen.
Injuries have limited Garcia to just 129 innings over the past three seasons, but he showed enough by going 3-4 with a 4.34 ERA down the stretch that the White Sox like him as a $1 million fifth starter. Garcia is 34 years old and rarely cracks 90 miles per hour at this point, so his days of being an impact pitcher are over, but if healthy he should be a solid No. 5 guy behind what could be the league’s strongest front four in Jake Peavy, Mark Buehrle, John Danks, and Gavin Floyd.

Reds sign outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera to minor league deals

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The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.

Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.

Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.