A familiar name appears to be back in the organization for the 2023 season.
According to the transactions list on MLB.com, outfielder Mark Payton agreed to a new minor league deal with the White Sox on November 21 and has since been assigned to Triple-A Charlotte. The move comes after Payton was non-tendered by the club a few days earlier on November 18 and became a free agent.
A Chicagoland native, the 30-year-old Payton originally signed with the White Sox on March 28 with an invite to spring training. He was later assigned to Triple-A Charlotte, where he showed some promise after going .293/.369/.539 with 25 home runs, 95 RBI, and .908 OPS. This led to two separate stints in September where Payton appeared in eight games, but failed to make an impact having gone .143/.280/.143 (3-for-21) with one RBI.
The decision to bring back Payton is the same as when he was originally brought in – to provide outfield depth at the high level of the organization’s affiliate. After all, he led the Knights in nearly all offensive categories this past season and was named a Triple-A All-Star on November 7. His versatility at all three outfield positions in his minor league career also allows for him to be a great backup candidate should someone get injured at the major league level.
This isn’t the big outfield signing everyone is anticipating, so don’t overreact to this. Every organization needs depth, and the White Sox are simply replenishing their pool with this move.
For more White Sox updates, be sure to follow us on social media @SoxOn35th!
Featured Photo: Laura Wolff Photography/Charlotte Knights