White Sox close to signing Omar Vizquel

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Omar Vizquel must not have drawn any interest for a possible full- or even part-time job, because FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal reports that he’s close to signing a one-year deal with the White Sox.
Chicago has Alexei Ramirez entrenched at shortstop and plans to make Gordon Beckham an everyday second baseman after playing him at third base as a rookie, so barring injuries Vizquel would be slated for a strict backup job.
He filled that role nicely this season in Texas, serving as a mentor for 20-year-old standout rookie Elvis Andrus while accumulating fewer than 200 plate appearances for the first time in his 21-year career.
Vizquel has never been much of a hitter, but came close to matching his .273/.338/.355 career line by batting .266/.316/.345 in limited action this season and is one of the few shortstops in baseball history to remain an asset defensively in his 40s. Now that he’s willing to accept a bench role, he’s an ideal backup for a team with young starters up the middle.

Twins designate Phil Hughes for assignment

AP Photo/Ron Schwane
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Phil Hughes was officially designated for assignment by the Twins on Tuesday, the culmination of multiple injury-plagued seasons and poor performance.

Things couldn’t have started out much better for Hughes in Minnesota. The former Yankees hurler joined the Twins on a three-year, $24 million contract in December of 2013 and reeled off a 3.52 ERA over 32 starts during his first season with the club. He set the MLB record (which still stands, by the way) for single season strikeout-to-walk ratio and even received some downballot Cy Young Award consideration. The big year resulted in the two sides ripping up their previous agreement with a new five-year, $58 million deal, but it was all downhill after that.

Hughes took a step back with a 4.40 ERA in 2015 and struggled with a 5.95 ERA over 11 starts and one relief appearance in 2016 before undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. He wasn’t any better upon his return last year, putting up a 5.87 ERA in nine starts and five relief appearances. Hughes missed time with a biceps issue and required a thoracic outlet revision surgery in August. He began this year on the disabled list with an oblique injury, only to put up a 6.75 ERA over two starts and five relief appearances before the Twins decided to turn the page this week.

Hughes is still owed the remainder of his $13.2 million salary for this year and another $13.2 million next year. The deal didn’t work out as anyone would have hoped, but unfortunately this is another case of health just not cooperating.