PHOENIX — The White Sox are making no secret of their desire to significantly upgrade a bullpen that ranked next-to-last in the American League in ERA (4.38) and save percentage (63.2). But that doesn’t mean they’re worried about the ninth inning.
“Let’s put it this way: We don’t feel the need to go out and get a quote-unquote proven closer,” general manager Rick Hahn said during the GM meetings that wrapped up Wednesday at the Arizona Biltmore Resort.
That’s largely because of the faith Hahn seems to have in Jake Petricka, who converted 14 of 18 save chances as a rookie this year, including 11 in the second half.
“He certainly did an admirable job in the role, and if it came down that the mix we had indicated he should be back there, we have confidence in him doing that,” Hahn said. “We certainly want to have multiple upgrades, and if some of those upgrades give us viable back-end options as well, that’s great.”
The biggest free-agent bat on the Sox’ wish list was among the first to go off the market, with reports that switch-hitter Victor Martinez reached agreement on a four-year, $68 million deal to return to the Tigers.
◆ The Twins continued to talk to the Cubs in recent days about pitching coach Chris Bosio, but sources say the Cubs don’t seem willing to make the front-office favorite available to explore a job on Paul Molitor’s staff. Bosio has one year left on his contract.
◆ Andrew Friedman, who left the Tampa Bay Rays’ GM job last month to take the Dodgers’ team president job, on the Rays’ tampering allegations against the Cubs regarding Joe Maddon: “It’s so hard for me to opine on other situations. I see people opine on different teams’ business a lot, and everything’s so specific to what’s going on within their walls that people from the outside aren’t privy to, so I’m always sensitive to comment on other teams’ business.”
◆ The Cubs claimed young right-hander Donn Roach off waivers from the Padres. Roach, 24, was 1-0 with a 4.75 ERA in 16 appearances for the Padres as a rookie. Team president Theo Epstein said he’ll join the Cubs’ bullpen mix.