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White Sox sign Alex Avila to 1-year, $2.5 million deal

The former Tiger heads to a division rival on a 1-year contract.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The White Sox have signed catcher Alex Avila to a 1-year, $2.5 million contract, according to a team announcement.

Avila is the latest catcher to sign in a busy free-agent market for backstops, joining Matt Wieters (Orioles), A.J. Pierzynski (Braves), Chris Iannetta (Mariners) and Geovany Soto (Angels). The departure of Soto, who played for the White Sox last season, was likely one of the driving factors in the team completing a deal with Avila.

Avila, 28, has spent his entire seven-year major-league career with the Tigers after being drafted in 2008. His father, Al Avila, is the general manager of the Tigers, causing a little bit of an awkward situation when the team decided not to re-sign the younger Avila this offseason. Instead, he will head to one of the team's division rivals and will compete against his father's team almost 20 times a year.

Avila will likely split time with Tyler Flowers behind the plate for the White Sox at a position that has caused significant trouble for the club over the last few years. The team also has Rob Brantly in the mix, though he may begin the year at Triple-A.

For his career, Avila is a lifetime .242/.345/.397 hitter with 66 home runs in 683 games. The former All-Star (2011) has struggled with concussions over the last few seasons, appearing in less than 120 games in every season since his All-Star selection.