Peter Gammons, now of the MLB Network and MLB.com, is reporting that free agent reliever Jesse Crain has reached agreement on a three-year contract with the White Sox.
Crain, 29, posted a healthy 3.04 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in 71 appearances for the Twins this past year, fanning 62 batters and walking only 27 over 68 innings of setup duty. He may get a chance to save games in Chicago, a direct division rival of his former team.
The right-hander has improved the velocity of his fastball in each of the last four seasons, registering a 93.9 MPH average in 2007, a 94.1 MPH average in 2008, a 94.3 MPH average in 2009 and a career-high 94.8 MPH mark in 2010. It’s rarely wise to hand a three-year contract to a reliever, but Crain at least appears to be in his prime.
No word yet on the total worth of the agreement. Scott Downs got a three-year, $15 million from the Angels earlier this month and Joaquin Benoit scored a three-year, $16.5 million pact from the Tigers at the start of the offseason. It may be something similar.
UPDATE: Crain’s new three-year deal is worth $13 million, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com. Not terrible, right?