The White Sox added five players to the team's 40-man roster Tuesday, thus protecting them from being selected in December's Rule 5 Draft. The contracts of outfielder Jared Mitchell, catcher Josh Phegley, left-hander Santos Rodriguez and right-handers Andre Rienzo and Charlie Shirek were purchased, leaving the White Sox with 39 players on their 40-man roster.
Players are eligible for the Rule 5 Draft if they are not on a team's 40-man roster and have been in the organization for four or more years (that number increases to five or more if a player was signed before age 18). Mitchell and Phegley were the team's first and second-round picks in 2009, while Rienzo, a native of Brazil, just completed his fourth year with the organization. Rodriguez joined the White Sox in 2009 as part of the return from Atlanta for Javier Vazquez, while Shirek has been part of the White Sox farm system since 2007.
Mitchell hit .237.358.420 with 11 home runs and 21 steals between Double-A and Triple-A in 2012, although his progress remained stunted by a high strikeout total (179 in 130 games). Phegley, who battled a blood disease for most of his career in the Sox system, hit .266.306.373 in 102 games for Triple-A Charlotte while throwing out 46 percent of attempted base-stealers.
Rienzo, who wrapped up a stint in the Arizona Fall League early to join team Brazil's successful World Baseball Classic bid, compiled a 2.53 ERA with 113 strikeouts and 42 walks over 103 13 innings between Single-A, Double-A and Triple-A in 2012. The 24-year-old was suspended 50 games in April for violating Minor League Baseball's drug treatment and prevention program.
Rodriguez, a hard-throwing lefty reliever, struck out 69 in 71 13 innings between Birmingham and Charlotte. And the 27-year-old Shirek enjoyed some success at Triple-A, posting a 3.65 ERA with 117 strikeouts and only 29 walks in 170 13 innings in 2012.
With only one open spot on the 40-man roster, the White Sox would have to designate a player or two for assignment to add multiple pieces in the offseason via free agency.