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.
Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper played some third base during Monday’s intrasquad game at Citizens Bank Park, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. Harper had been pestering manager Joe Girardi for the opportunity and the skipper finally gave in.
Girardi told Harper, “No diving. And make sure your arm is loose.” Harper had the opportunity to field one ball, a grounder to his left and he made the play perfectly.
Why put Harper at third base? Girardi said, “I think it’s important the guys have fun. I saw him a week ago taking ground balls there and I was impressed. His hands worked well out front and he threw the ball across the field well. I told him, ‘You look good there.'”
Despite the solid showing, don’t expect Harper to show up at third base in a meaningful game anytime soon. That being said, the Phillies’ second and third base situations are still not cemented. Jean Segura will likely open the season at the hot corner with Scott Kingery at second, but things could change between now and Opening Day in 10 days.
Harper, 27, is coming off a solid first season with the Phillies. He hit .260/.372/.510 with 36 doubles, 35 home runs, 114 RBI, 98 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases across 682 plate appearances. Per FanGraphs, Harper’s 4.6 Wins Above Replacement ranked 16th in the National League. For some people, those numbers weren’t nearly good enough, so the expectations remain high as Harper enters year two of his 13-year, $330 million contract.