The White Sox signed free agent left-hander Xavier Cedeno to a minor league deal, SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo reported Friday. The deal includes an invitation to spring training, where the lefty stands to earn $1.05 million if he makes the majors in 2018.
Cedeno, 31, was non-tendered by the Rays in December after missing nearly the entire 2017 season with a left forearm strain. He managed to avoid Tommy John surgery, but was limited to just three innings over nine appearances with the club, racking up seven hits, five runs, three homers and zero strikeouts as he closed out his seventh season in the majors.
When healthy, however, the southpaw has been the picture of consistency. He generated sub-4.00 ERAs and a cumulative 1.4 fWAR over two full seasons with the Rays and Nationals and looks to be a legitimate contender for a bullpen role again this spring. The White Sox are still reconstructing their bullpen after a slew of trades last year, and have only guaranteed one left-hander a spot in the ‘pen so far: 28-year-old Luis Avilan, who was brought on board earlier this month during a three-team trade with the Dodgers and Royals.
The Rays have acquired first baseman C.J. Cron from the Angels for a player to be named later, the teams announced Saturday. In a corresponding move, the Rays cleared a roster spot for Cron by designating outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment.
Cron wasn’t expected to factor prominently in the Angels’ plans for 2018, especially given the recent addition of pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani and the projected Luis Valbuena/Albert Pujols combo at first base. The 28-year-old infielder wasn’t overly impressive during his fourth season in Anaheim, either, slashing .248/.305/.437 with 16 home runs and 0.5 fWAR through 373 plate appearances in 2017. He’ll give the Rays a platoon option with fellow first baseman Brad Miller, though neither Cron nor Miller have looked particularly adept against left-handed pitching lately.
Dickerson, meanwhile, is coming off of a banner season with the Rays. The 29-year-old outfielder enjoyed his first All-Star nomination in 2017, rounding out the year with a .282/.325/.490 batting line and career-best 27 home runs and 2.6 fWAR in 629 PA. Some have already speculated that a trade is in the works; barring that, it’s a head-scratching move to make considering his clear offensive value to the team.