Alen Hanson

White Sox decline to tender contracts to four players, including three relievers as bullpen makeover continues

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USA TODAY

White Sox decline to tender contracts to four players, including three relievers as bullpen makeover continues

The White Sox declined to tender contracts to four players Friday, including a trio of relief pitchers as the bullpen continues to undergo a lengthy remodel.

Relievers Jake Petricka, Zach Putnam and Al Alburquerque, along with infielder Alen Hanson, weren’t tendered 2018 contracts and figure to be out of the White Sox plans for the upcoming season.

Petricka was a mainstay in the bullpen for the past five seasons, making 129 appearances during his most prolific seasons in 2014 and 2015. He picked up 14 saves and posted a 2.96 ERA in the first of those two campaigns. But injuries became an issue, and he made just nine appearances in 2016 before pitching in 27 games last season. He was roughed up in that small sample size this past season for a 7.01 ERA in 25.2 innings of work.

Putnam spent the past four years on the South Side after logging 15 appearances in three seasons with the Indians, Rockies and Cubs. As a member of the White Sox, the former Michigan Wolverine threw 139.1 innings in those four seasons and posted a cumulative ERA of 2.71. But he, too, was bothered by injuries, pitching in just 25 games in 2016 and only seven last year.

Alburqueruqe signed a minor league deal with the White Sox in early August and was called up in September. He made 10 appearances and turned in a 1.13 ERA.

Hanson spent significant time with the team in 2017, playing in 69 games. He slashed .231/.276/.651 in 175 plate appearances, hitting four homers, driving in 10 runs and stealing nine bases.

In other roster news, the White Sox avoided arbitration and agreed to a one-year deal with reliever Danny Farquhar. He posted a 4.40 ERA in 14.1 innings with the team last season.

The bullpen will obviously look a lot different than it did at the beginning of 2016. Friday’s decisions play a factor, of course, but much of the change is thanks to midseason trades, with Rick Hahn shipping David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle, Anthony Swarzak and Dan Jennings out of town in deals with the Yankees, Brewers and Rays.

The White Sox announced that all remaining unsigned players have been tendered contracts for the 2018 season and that the 40-man roster stands at 36.

White Sox call up former Top 100 prospect

White Sox call up former Top 100 prospect

The White Sox organization is currently the land of opportunity. 

As the South Siders sit in the midst of a rebuild, GM Rick Hahn won't leave any stone unturned as the team looks for potential building blocks for the future.

Similar to taking a chance on Alen Hanson earlier this season, Rymer Liriano became the latest former top prospect who the White Sox hope that a change of scenery will help jumpstart a once promising career as he was called up from Triple-A Charlotte on Saturday.

Liriano's services were needed on the major league roster after the White Sox placed outfielder Leury Garcia on the 10-day DL with a sprained right thumb.

Liriano, who was claimed off waivers by the White Sox from the Milwaukee Brewers last October, has spent the entire 2017 season with the Charlotte Knights. Liriano slashed .256/.323/.416 with 17 home runs, 52 RBI and 67 runs in 123 games with the Knights.

The 26-year-old Liriano, who was MLB.com's No. 60 prospect in 2012 and No. 55 prospect in 2013 as a member of the San Diego Padres organization, has a career minor-league slash line of .274/.346/.432 with 85 home runs, 430 RBI and 197 stolen bases in 861 games.

Garcia, 26, is slashing .270/.316/.423 with a career-high nine home runs and 33 RBI in 87 games with the White Sox this season.

After Saturday's transaction, the White Sox 40-man roster sits at 38. 

White Sox utility man Leury Garcia transferred to Triple-A Charlotte for rehab assignment

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USA TODAY

White Sox utility man Leury Garcia transferred to Triple-A Charlotte for rehab assignment

Leury Garcia is taking a step forward in his rehab process.

Out since June 15 with a sprained finger on his left hand, the 26-year-old utility man was transferred to Triple-A Charlotte. Garcia will bat leadoff and start in center field for the Knights on Saturday.

Before he got injured, Garcia was having himself quite a breakout season. In 56 games, he has six homers and 22 RBI while slashing .298/.345/.458.

Manager Rick Renteria said he's happy to see improvement and can't wait for him to return to the big leagues.

"We’re hoping he’s gonna continue to be pain free," Renteria said. "The hand seems to be responding well. Obviously it's taking a little longer than we hoped but he's working really hard and hopefully he’ll be able to get himself on track playing again and playing at a higher level of competition to be able to come back return to the club."

Prior to the Crosstown series, the White Sox were hit with news that Avisail Garcia would be placed on the DL with a sprained right thumb. The team called up outfielder Willy Garcia as a corresponding move.

Until Leury Garcia and Avisail Garcia returns, Renteria said Alen Hanson and Willy Garcia will split time in the outfield.

"I already have a couple lineups in my head," Renteria said. "You'll see them both taking time out there while Avi is done and whenever Leury shows up we’ll make our adjustments then."