LAS VEGAS — Rick Hahn said the White Sox aren't done adding to their bullpen this offseason. Is a big free-agent addition to the relief corps on the horizon?
According to MLB Network's Jon Morosi, the White Sox have interest in free-agent reliever Adam Ottavino, who was stellar last season for the Colorado Rockies.
Sources: #WhiteSox have shown interest in free agent reliever Adam Ottavino. @MLBNetwork @MLB— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 13, 2018
Ottavino finished the 2018 regular season with a 2.43 ERA in 77.2 innings of work. He gave up just 21 earned runs on the season, striking out 112 batters in his 75 relief appearances.
He worked primarily as a setup man last season in Denver, with the vast majority of his work coming in the eighth inning ahead of former Cubs closer Wade Davis.
Hahn has expressed a repeated desire to add to the White Sox bullpen, which ranked 23rd out of 30 major league teams with a 4.49 ERA last season. He brought in a potential new closer in Alex Colome, the 2017 major league saves leader, in a trade with the Seattle Mariners. But Hahn insisted then he wasn't done adding, and Ottavino would be an obvious upgrade.
But how does the 33-year-old Ottavino fit in the long term? It's interesting because there's been plenty of assumption that he could be signed as a closer this winter. The White Sox figure to have their closer in Colome for the next two seasons, but elite relief help is always wanted. That being said, would the White Sox be willing to spend on bullpen pitching ahead of a season in which they're not expected to contend for a playoff spot?
It's one thing to go after someone like Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, whose big-money contracts would make them a centerpiece for the next decade. But relievers, as Hahn has mentioned, can be a different story.
"On relievers," he said during the conference call to discuss the Colome trade, "it's tough to project out on any of them, even the best, quite how they're going to perform three or four years out into the future."
With the White Sox looking three or four years into the future in everything they do, does inking someone like Ottavino make sense?
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