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White Sox sign pitcher Brandon Finnegan to minor league deal

by Joe Binder

The major league lockout isn’t stopping the White Sox from making moves down on the farm.

After signing reliever Yacksel Rios just last week, the organization has now agreed to terms with left-handed pitcher Brandon Finnegan on a minor league contract. The deal was first reported in a tweet on Friday evening, and has since been confirmed by several additional sources.

Originally a first-round draft pick by Kansas City in 2014, Finnegan appeared in the bullpen later that season during the team’s postseason run. At just 21 years old, he became the first ever player to appear in both the College World Series and MLB World Series in the same year. He would go on to spend a portion of 2015 with the Royals before being traded to Cincinnati at the deadline as part of the deal for Johnny Cueto.

While with the Reds, Finnegan was officially converted from a reliever to a full-time starter in 2016. During that season, he went 10-11 with a 3.98 ERA (76 ER/172.0 IP) with 145 strikeouts, 1.360 WHIP, and 5.19 FIP. Between the next two years, however, the southpaw would start in only nine additional games and hasn’t pitched in the majors since May 6th, 2018.

Having spent time in the minors ever since, the Reds finally shifted Finnegan back into his reliever role this past year at their Triple-A Louisville affiliate. He finished the season 4-3 with a 5.53 ERA (34 ER/55.1 IP), 57 strikeouts, 36 walks, .274 opponent average, and 1.70 WHIP. The club would later announce his release on November 18th, thus making him a free agent.

For the White Sox, this is a classic low risk/high reward type of move. While fans shouldn’t really expect this to amount to much, it’s hard not to be just a little bit intrigued at what Ethan Katz’s guidance might be able to do. At the very least, the lefty reliever could provide the club with depth at the minor league level if all goes well.

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Featured Photo: Reds/Twitter

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