The White Sox completed a couple of interesting minor-league signings on Thursday, announcing that catcher Geovany Soto and reliever Jesse Crain are among the non-roster players that will be in camp with them next month. In addition, the team officially announced the additions of Brad Penny, George Kottaras, Scott Carroll and Tony Campana on minor-league deals.
Soto, 32, drew significant interest from a few clubs this winter, with the Rangers seeming to be the favorites to land him before their acquisition of Carlos Corporan. Soto seems likely to earn a major-league spot with the South Siders in spring training, as the team presently has Tyler Flowers, Adrian Nieto and Rob Brantly on their 40-man roster with Kottaras expected to compete for a spot as well.
Soto only appeared in 24 games for the Rangers and Athletics last year due to injury, but posted a .250/.302/.363 line with one home run in that time. Though he has not repeated the performance that led to his NL Rookie of the Year title in 2008, many are surprised that he had to settle for a non-guaranteed deal at this point in the winter.
Crain, 33, has technically been part of the Rays' and Astros' organizations over the last two years, but made his last major-league appearance with the White Sox in 2013 before a shoulder injury sidelined him for a year and a half. Before the injury he was brilliant for Chicago, posting a 0.74 ERA in 36.2 innings while being named an All-Star for the first time in his ten-year major-league career. Like Soto, Crain will compete for a spot on the White Sox' roster during spring training, and could be a valuable bullpen asset as the season progresses.