The White Sox have signed reliever Bruce Rondon to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Rondon, who at one point flashed triple-digit heat and was slated to be the Detroit Tigers closer of the future, was non-tendered on Dec. 1. The guy is evidence that great gas is not enough, as he could never figure out how to put it all together on a consistent basis despite multiple opportunities to do so at the big league level. While he took a big step forward in 2016 with a fine 2.97 ERA in 37 games, that he was not tendered a contract by the Tigers after last season is not a shocker given that he had a 10.91 ERA in 15.2 innings in 2018 and then spent the final two months of the year in the minors.
Now he’ll take his talents to Glendale, Arizona this spring in an effort to make the White Sox roster. If he does, he’ll join Carlos Rodon. Sadly, however, Hector Rondon left the Cubs as a free agent, depriving us of the Rondon/Rodon singularity in Chicago.
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.