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White Sox release Scott Downs

The veteran left-hander will become a free agent after being let go by the White Sox.

Doug Pensinger

The Chicago White Sox have released 38-year-old southpaw Scott Downsper's Scott Merkin. The 13-year big league veteran passed through waivers unclaimed after being designated for assignment last week, and will now become a free agent.

Downs signed a one-year, $4 million (plus a 2015 option worth the same amount) deal with the White Sox this past offseason after a 2013 season that saw him dealt to the Atlanta Braves mid-season following a two and a half year bout with the Angels. After averaging a 2.33 ERA (178 ERA+), 3.29 FIP, and 2.4 K/BB from 2007-2013, Downs has seen his performance dip significantly this season. In 23.2 innings, he has 6.08 ERA (68 ERA+) and 1.47 K/BB, though a 3.69 FIP and .329 BABIP suggest he may actually be pitching better than his surface numbers indicate.

Downs' market as a free agent should be sizable now that any acquiring team won't have to pay him a seven digit salary. At a deal close to the big league minimum, he could be quite valuable.

Purely speculative on my part, but the Angels could be among the teams that looks into signing Downs. He had a 2.10 ERA in 160 games with the Angels from 2011-2013, and the club is desperately in need of a LOOGY, unless they think that the recently acquired Rich Hill can fill that role (highly unlikely). For his career, Downs has limited lefties to just a .608 OPS, while right-handed batters have hit for a .763 OPS. His splits indicate a similar pattern this season, as lefties have posted a .676 OPS in 55 plate appearances (.779 against righties).