White Sox in the mix for Damon?

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It seems an unlikely match, given the team’s limited flexibility financially, but the White Sox are being talked about as a new suitor for free agent Johnny Damon.
The White Sox certainly have room for Damon in their lineup. After electing not to bring back Jim Thome, they currently have Andruw Jones and Mark Kotsay atop their depth chart at DH. Another bat could help a bunch, and Damon would offer plenty of flexibility in case Carlos Quentin has more foot problems and is forced to DH a few times per week.
Money, though, is a major issue. It’s doubtful that the White Sox would come close to matching the Tigers’ reported two-year, $14 million offer. If they did, Damon might well pick Chicago. It’s a better place to hit, and the team is at least as good of a bet as Detroit to contend this year. But while Ken Williams is as full of surprises as any GM in the game, it seems awfully unlikely that he’ll suddenly come up with the money for Damon after being shut down most of the winter.

Padres sign Jordan Lyles

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The Padres announced on Sunday that the club signed pitcher Jordan Lyles to a one-year major league contract with a club option for 2019. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, Lyles will earn $750,000 in 2018. Pitcher Travis Wood was designated for assignment to create room on the 40-man roster for Lyles.

Lyles, 27, had miserable results between the Rockies and Padres last season, compiling an aggregate 7.75 ERA with a 55/22 K/BB ratio over 69 2/3 innings. While he specifically gave up 24 earned runs in 23 innings across five starts with the Padres, it was a small sample. A full season at the pitcher-friendly Petco Park, as opposed to Colorado’s Coors Field, might help revitalize his career.

Wood, 30, went to the Padres at the non-waiver trade deadline from the Royals this past season. Overall, the lefty posted an aggregate 6.80 ERA with a 65/45 K/BB ratio in 94 innings. He’ll earn $6.5 million this season and has an $8 million mutual option with a $1 million buyout for 2019. So, the Padres are just eating $7.5 million minus the league minimum, assuming Wood latches on elsewhere.