The Chicago White Sox made a pair of moves over the past 24 hours to gain depth at multiple levels of the organization. On Wednesday afternoon, it was announced that the club had acquired 23-year old infielder Jose Rondon from the San Diego Padres in exchange for cash considerations. This move came nearly one week after the Sox sent minor league infielder Jake Peter to Los Angeles as part of a three-team trade. Then, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal broke the news on Thursday morning that veteran pitcher Miguel Gonzalez would be returning to the South Side on a one-year deal. Additionally, the club designated OF Jacob May to clear room on the 40-man roster for Gonzalez. Now that the dust has settled a little bit, let’s take a look at these moves and why they make sense for the Sox.Embed from Getty Images
First, let’s start with Jose Rondon. The utility infielder was designated for assignment by San Diego on Saturday and will essentially be the replacement for Jake Peter. Like Peter, Rondon has seen action all over the diamond as a utility man. However, a slight difference between the two are the positions in which they primarily played. Rondon, who is known for his defense, has seen much of his action at shortstop throughout his career while Peter has played more second base as of late. Jose Rondon also has a decent bat, minus some power. Looking at his minor league stats from 2017, he hit .293 with 20 doubles, three triples, seven home runs, 49 RBIs, a .347 OBP, and a .442 SLG combined between Double-A San Antonio, Triple-A El Paso and the Arizona League. For comparison purposes, Jake Peter batted .279 with 19 doubles, three triples, 13 home runs, 49 RBI with a .344 OBP, and a .417 SLG combined between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte last season. Based off these numbers, both guys shared very similar offensive stats from this past season. One other thing worth noting about Jose Rondon is that he was actually ranked as San Diego’s No. 12 Prospect in 2016. He will be a nice addition to the Triple-A roster and will be the shortstop for the Charlotte Knights in 2018. Overall, this is a good move by the White Sox as they add a young, solid defender and some infield depth at the minor league level.Embed from Getty Images
Now, to the second addition that brought back a familiar face in Miguel Gonzalez. “El Mariachi” agreed to a one-year deal worth $4.75 million and will definitely be a welcomed presence in the rotation. With young guys like Lopez, Giolito, and Fulmer projected as the team’s starters to begin 2018, it will be beneficial to have Gonzalez’s veteran presence to go along with them and James Shields. In addition, Gonzalez will be key when it comes to eating innings, especially with Carlos Rodon on the mend and Michael Kopech getting ready for a summer promotion. Likewise, these two things could create an interesting situation situation down the line. If these two pitchers join the rotation, the question will ultimately be, what happens to “Miggy?” Ultimately, it could lead to Gonzalez getting flipped again, similar to last season. This would be pretty remarkable to see, as our Jordan Lazowski pointed out, though not unexpected.
— Jordan Lazowski (@jlazowski14) January 11, 2018
Maybe our friend Christopher Kamka could help figure out past instances when this occurred, should a trade happen.
For now, though, it looks like the White Sox have their rotation and bullpen pretty much set heading into Spring Training. The acquisition of starter Miguel Gonzalez on Thursday along with relievers Joakim Soria and Luis Avilan last week solved two of the biggest concerns remaining with the team – the rotation and bullpen. It’s been a busy past seven days for the Sox and it looks like they will be entering Camelback Ranch in good shape.