The White Sox are releasing Brett Lawrie

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The Chicago White Sox announced this afternoon that they’ve requested release waivers on infielder Brett Lawrie. This is a preliminary move made with the intention of giving him his unconditional release.

That’s unexpected.

The White Sox and Lawrie agreed to a one-year, $3.5 million deal back in December, avoiding arbitration. That was a salary cut from the year before, but if they didn’t want him they could’ve simply non-tendered him. What happened between December and now is unclear, but he’s obviously no longer in Chicago’s plans.

Lawrie posted a more or less normal-for-him season in 2016, batting .248/.310/.413. His career line is .261/.315/.419. He was the White Sox’ second baseman last year after playing mostly third base for the A’s and Blue Jays earlier in his career.

It’s been quite a fall for Lawrie over the past few years. He was once thought of as a potential star. While he never realized his potential in Toronto, he was still valued enough to where the Jays were able to use him as the centerpiece in a package to acquire Josh Donaldson before the 2015 season. Donaldson went on to win the MVP in his first year in Toronto.

Now Lawrie is looking for a job at a time of the year when most teams are looking to cut players, not sign them.