White Sox Add Southpaw Support
CHICAGO—Faced with some payroll trimming, general manager Ken Williams added depth to the White Sox's pool of lefthanded relievers that could give him some flexibility.
Williams said it's not out of the realm that Donnie Veal, a second-round pick of the Cubs in 2005, and Jose Quintana, who was 10-2, 2.91 for the Yankees' high Class A Tampa affiliate in 2011, each could compete for a relief job in spring training.
Will Ohman could play a bigger role in the bullpen because Chris Sale will be employed in spring training as a starter—a job that could become even more essential if Mark Buehrle signs elsewhere as a free agent.
Hector Santiago, a 30th-round pick in 2006, made a remarkable transition from reliever to starter at the Class A and Double-A levels, and made two relief appearances with the Sox last July. But the Sox don't have much depth behind him, which is why the signings of Veal and Quintana could prove instrumental in their dealings the rest of the winter.
Veal, 27, missed most of the 2010 season and part of 2011 because of Tommy John surgery. Williams saw Veal pitch as a freshman at Arizona in 2003 before he transferred to Pima (Ariz.) CC and liked what he saw then.
"He's got an electric arm," Williams said. "He has had trouble with his delivery and getting his delivery fine-tuned enough to be consistent. But he has the stuff that can translate into major league success, and hopefully our guys can rein that in."
The Pirates took Veal in the major league Rule 5 draft before the 2009 season, and he had a 7.16 ERA with 16 strikeouts in 16 innings with Pittsburgh. He was 0-2, 4.22 with 31 strikeouts in 32 innings at four minor league levels with the Pirates in 2011.
Quintana, 22, is 18-8, 2.76 in the Mets and Yankees organizations since 2006.
"He's a strike thrower," Williams said. "He can spin the breaking ball. He's got velocity to both sides of the plate."
• Triple-A Charlotte hitting coach Tim Laker will take over for Jeff Manto (now with the major league club) as the hitting coordinator, with Andy Tomberlin promoted from Double-A Birmingham to handle Laker's former duties.
• Infielder Dallas McPherson re-signed to a minor league contract. McPherson hit 20 homers in 101 games for Triple-A Charlotte in 2011 and was 2-for-15 during a big league stint.