The Chicago White Sox announced on Wednesday afternoon that they have acquired 23-year old minor-league shortstop Jose Rondon from the Padres organization. Rondon had previously been designated for assignment by the Padres this past Saturday.
Rondon fills the spot left by infielder Jake Peter, whom the White Sox traded on January 4, in a three-way deal that netted them relief pitchers Joakim Soria from Kansas City and Luis Avilan from the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Rondón enjoyed a successful 2017 minor-league campaign, slashing .293/.347/.442 with seven home runs and 49 RBI, while splitting time between the Padres’ Triple-A and Double-A affiliates. Over seven minor league seasons Rondon is a lifetime .290 hitter. Rondon also spent some time in the majors in 2016, going 3-25 at the plate over the course of six games.
Rondon is a versatile defender around the infield with an excellent glove, but has too often struggled at the plate to this point in his young career to be considered a shoe-in on a major-league roster.
Rondon becomes the 40th member of the White Sox 40-man roster, and figures to come into spring training ready to compete with Tyler Saladino for a spot on the 25-man roster. Rondon played third base, second base and shortstop in the minors last year, and could be a useful utility man off the bench for White Sox skipper Rick Renteria.
Tyler Saladino struggled last year with the White Sox, batting only .178 and surrendering his starting spot at second base when heralded prospect Yoan Moncada was called up.
This is another shrewd move from general manager Rick Hahn to take a flyer on a utility infielder who is only 23-years old. Rondon will be worth watching in spring training, as he attempts to capitalize on a good 2017 minor league campaign with a spot on the major league roster in his sights.