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 Boston Red Sox plan to activate Dustin Pedroia from the disabled list today. That’s a big deal. The move they’re making to make room for him on the roster is a big one too: they plan to designate Hanley Ramirez for assignment.
The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier first reported the impending transaction. He was told by a major league source that Ramirez was informed this morning he’ll be moved off the roster. A designation for assignment, of course, means that the Sox have seven days to either trade or release Ramirez.
Ramirez, 34, is experiencing his worst season as a major leaguer thus far, hitting .254/.313/.395 (88 OPS+) in 195 plate appearances as he split time between first base and designated hitter. Given how well Mitch Moreland has hit at first and J.D. Martinez has hit at DH, there is simply no room for Ramirez in the lineup.
Ramirez, a 14-year big league veteran, won the 2006 Rookie of the Year Award and won the NL batting title in 2009. He has been a below average hitter in three of his last four seasons, however, and long removed from his days as a middle infielder, he has little defensive value these days. That said, his fame and the possibility that he could put together a decent run if used wisely will likely get him some looks from other clubs.