The White Sox have inked free agent second baseman Johnny Giavotella to a minors deal, per an announcement from Double-A Birmingham on Saturday. He’s expected to continue at the Double-A level for the time being.
Giavotella, 30, was released by the Marlins in early May. He failed to impress in his first 10 games at Triple-A New Orleans, slashing just .214/.389/.250 wth one double and one stolen base in 36 plate appearances. The veteran infielder has not appeared in a major-league game since his seven-game stint with the Orioles back in 2017, during which he went 1-for-10 with a base hit and a stolen base.
The White Sox, of course, are hoping to see more of the .267-average, 1.5-fWAR player that dazzled with the Angels in 2015-16. At the very least, Giavotella is expected to provide some depth for a club that recently lost Yoan Moncada to a bout of hamstring tightness.
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.