Though all eyes are on the signing of Andrew Benintendi, the South Siders recently made a quieter move to address their depth in the lower levels.
Free agent catcher Sebastian Rivero agreed to a minor league contract with the White Sox earlier in the week, as indicated by his MLB.com player page. The deal is said to have become official on Dec. 13 and the team has since assigned him to the Triple-A Charlotte Knights.
Rivero, 24, has spent his entire professional career with the Royals organization. He was originally signed as an international free agent in July of 2015 and has played the past six seasons with Kansas City’s affiliates. His numbers at the plate won’t impress you, as he’s slashed an abysmal .247/.295/.357 (304-for-1231) with 20 home runs, 163 RBI, and .652 OPS in 349 minor league games. Despite being a solid defender, his bat has just never developed.
The Venezuela native saw much of his playing time with Double-A Northwest Arkansas in 2022, where he hit .218/.294/.410 with five home runs in 42 games. Despite his offensive struggles, his work behind the plate is what’s helped him earn time as a major league backup option. After originally making his debut on May 8, 2021, Rivero has appeared in 34 games over the past two seasons. During that stretch, he’s hit .167/.236/.197 (11-for-66) with two doubles and four RBI over 73 plate appearances.
Rivero was eventually designated for assignment on Nov. 10 to make room on Kansas City’s 40-man roster. Less than a week later, he was released and hit the open market. To see him land with the White Sox is no surprise at all, as Pedro Grifol is known for his past work with the catchers within the Royals organization. Just don’t expect Rivero to see much playing time in Chicago, if at all.
Barring any additional moves, Yasmani Grandal looks to be the primary option at catcher as the team hopes for a bounceback performance. Beyond him, Carlos Pérez and Seby Zavala are on the 40-man roster and both will likely see action during the 2023 season. It’s hard to see how Rivero factors into the equation, thus leaving him as a pure depth piece in Triple-A Charlotte.
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