As we wait to see what (if any) moves the White Sox will make during the next two weeks leading up to the July 31 trade deadline, the team made a couple of small moves Thursday involving a few names you may recognize.
First, the White Sox signed 34-year-old pitcher Chien-Ming Wang to a minor league contract. You might remember Wang from such seasons as 2006, when he went 19-6 with a 3.63 ERA with the Yankees, generated 6.0 WAR and finished second in Cy Young voting. You might also remember him from the next season, 2007, when he went 19-7 with a 3.70 ERA.
Wang, however, has not been the same since. He's battled foot, hip and shoulder injuries and has bounced around with minor appearances in both Washington and Toronto. He most recently was pitching in the Cincinnati Reds' organization, where he was 8-5 with a 3.70 ERA at Triple-A Louisville. He's expected to join the Charlotte Knights' rotation.
Of course, Wang shouldn't be considered out of the question to get a shot in the White Sox's rotation at some point between now and the end of the season. With the pu pu platter of Scott Carroll and Andre Rienzo currently taking turns occupying the fifth starter job, it wouldn't be shocking to see Wang get a chance if he shows and semblance of life at Triple-A. The Sox tried it with Tommy Hanson and it hasn't worked out so well.
So Next Man Up.
Wang's arrival also coincides with the departure of Dylan Axelrod, the on again/off again defacto "sixth" starter for the White Sox during the past few seasons. Axelrod was dealt to Cincinnati for a player-to-be-named or cash considerations. He appeared in 48 games with the White Sox from 2011-13, including 30 starts, and compiled a 5.36 ERA.
So long, Dylan, we hardly knew ye.
Oh, one more thing. The White Sox also ditched pitcher Duente Heath, another Triple-A fixture who got a cup of coffee with the White Sox in both 2012 and 2013. The team granted Heath his release to pursue an opportunity to pitch in Japan.
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