White Sox right-handed reliever Bruce Rondon has elected free agency. Rondon was outrighted to Triple-A Charlotte last week, but declined the assignment and will try to latch onto another organization before the end of the year.
Rondon, 27, signed a minor league pact with the White Sox in February. He never quite hit his stride with the team, however, and finished a four-month run in the majors with an underwhelming 8.49 ERA, career-worst 8.2 BB/9, and 12,1 SO/9 through 29 2/3 innings.
While there are still some things working in Rondon’s favor — a fastball that tops out around 97 m.p.h. and a SO/9 that regularly crests the 12.0 mark — it’s highly unlikely that he’ll return to the majors again this season. His track record suggests he’s far better suited to the minors, where he holds a career 2.72 ERA, 5.2 BB/9 and 10.3 SO/9 over 10 seasons.
Last night Cubs catcher Willson Contreras was placed on the injured list with a strained muscle in his right foot. That injury inspired the Cubs to go out and get another catcher. They acquired Martín Maldonado in a trade with Kansas City in exchange for lefty Mike Montgomery, in a deal that was announced after the Cubs loss to the Reds.
Maldonado, 32, was a Gold Glove winner in 2017 with the Angels. At the moment he’s hitting .227 with six homers and 17 RBIs in 74 games. Obviously, though, defense is his calling card, as he’s a .220 career hitter with 57 homers and 210 RBIs in 686 games.
Montgomery, 30, is 1-2 with a 5.67 ERA in 20 relief appearances for the Cubs this year. He’s heading back to where his pro career began. He was drafted by Kanas City in 2008, though he was traded away in the James Shields/Wade David/Wil Myers deal in 2012. He made his big league debut for Seattle in 2015. Dayton Moore said last night that the Royals plan to use Montgomery in the rotation as a replacement for Homer Bailey, who was dealt to Oakland on Sunday.