On the day that should have marked the start of Spring Training games for the optimistic Chicago White Sox, the team filled the day instead with a wave of announcements, all coming within 20 minutes of each other on Saturday afternoon, as well as an international signing.
The news of the team extending Aaron Bummer has been speculated over the course of the offseason after a very successful 2019 season for the left-handed pitcher. The deal comes in at $16 million over the course of 5 years, with the option to bump it up to 7 years. Bummer was one of the strongest factors of the White Sox bullpen in 2019, posting a 2.13 ERA, 67.2 IP, 216 ERA+, 3.41 FIP, and .990 WHIP over 58 appearances. At 26 years old, the White Sox look for Bummer to be a key member of a competing team in the coming years.
The next piece of news that the White Sox announced was the signing/extension of IF/OF Leury Garcia. The team signed Garcia to a one year, $3.5 million contract, with the option for the 2021 season, at $3.5 million as well. Garcia is the Sox most flexible player, being able to play in the outfield (where he spent most of his time in 2019) as well as several infield positions if need. This could be useful for the White Sox as they most likely will need a placeholder at second base until Nick Madrigal gets called up from Charlotte (AAA). Although that should only last a few weeks, there is almost a guaranteed spot for Garcia to be a utility player on the bench, especially with the addition of the 26th man on the roster.
The team also announced that they came to agreement to terms with 23 players, making every player on the 40-man roster under contract for the 2020 season. Yoan Moncada and Lucas Giolito both had the highest pre-arbitration totals of the group with $627,000.
The White Sox continued to make a splash in the international market by signing Randel Mondesi. Coming from a family of baseball heritage, his father, Raul Mondesi, had a 13-year career in the MLB, and his brother, Adalberto Mondesi, currently plays for the Kansas City Royals. The 17 year old outfielder joins the organization officially when the signing can be made official on July 2nd.
Lucas Giolito also threw for the first time since his chest muscle strain. According to Giolito, he threw “Simulated long toss into the net and threw 20 pitches off the hill and it felt very good. Right on track. Right where I want to be.” He also said that he felt 100%, and he expects to throw a side session in the next couple of days.
The White Sox were also supposed play their first Spring Training game today against the Angels at 2CT/3ET, but it was cancelled due to rain. They now will make their first start on Sunday at 2CT/3ET against the Reds, with Dylan Cease set to make the start.