The White Sox signed right-hander Al Alburquerque to a minor league deal on Friday. Alburquerque was released by the Royals last week and has made just 11 big league appearances this season. He has been assigned to the White Sox’ Triple-A Charlotte, where he’ll attempt to exhibit more consistency on the mound before making another leap to the majors.
Alburquerque, 31, has seen limited major league opportunities over the last few seasons. He picked up a minor league contract with the Angels to start the 2016 season, but pitched only two innings before being demoted to Triple-A Salt Lake and was finally released by the club in August. His last productive season came in 2014, when he developed a 2.51 ERA and maintained a career-best 3.3 BB/9 rate over 57 1/3 innings with the Tigers. In 2017, the right-hander issued seven hits, four runs and nine strikeouts over 10 innings with the Royals.
Whether or not Alburquerque will hit his stride in Chicago remains to be seen, but the acquisition is relatively risk-free for the White Sox, who are currently on the hunt for more bullpen depth. Even with recent additions like right-handers Danny Farquhar, Mark Lowe and Jean Machi, their relief corps ranks 12th among major league competitors with a collective 3.94 ERA and 3.2 fWAR.