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White Sox sign Robbie Ross to minor-league deal

The long-haired lefty will battle for a spot in Chicago’s bullpen.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles Photo by Patrick McDermott-USA TODAY Sports

The White Sox have signed left-handed reliever Robbie Ross to a minor-league deal with an invitation to major-league spring training, per a club announcement on Sunday morning.

Ross, 28, has a career ERA of 3.92 and a 1.39 WHIP over 266 big-league appearances. He’s had somewhat of an odd career, as he’s had four very solid seasons — two with the Rangers and two with the Red Sox — while struggling mightily for one season with each club. He posted a 6.20 ERA and 1.70 WHIP over 27 appearances (including the only 12 starts of his major-league career) for the Rangers in 2014, and last year he threw for a 7.00 ERA and 1.89 WHIP over nine innings before going down for the season in mid-May with left elbow inflammation.

The White Sox’s philosophy this spring seems to be that any reliever who has experienced big-league success in the past is worth having in camp. Despite the fact that their bullpen is already deeper than it was to end last season following the acquisitions of Joakim Soria and Luis Avilan via trade, they’ve gone to the extra measure of adding big-league veterans Xavier Cedeno, Jeanmar Gomez, Bruce Rondon, Hector Santiago, Rob Scahill, and now Ross on minor-league deals.

While Avilan seems to have the top lefty role locked down in the ChiSox’s bullpen, Ross will seemingly have a decent shot to claim a role on the Opening Day roster. Cedeno, Aaron Bummer, and Jace Fry are among the other left-handers competing for roles in the ‘pen, with Santiago perhaps being a candidate to fill a long relief role.