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White Sox sign former first-round pick Anderson to minor league deal

Outfielder Brian Anderson hasn't played in the majors since 2009.

Former White Sox first-round draft choice Brian Anderson is making another attempt to return to baseball and the Sox, who have agreed to a minor league deal with the 32-year old outfielder, are giving him that shot even though he has been out of baseball since dabbling as a pitcher in the New York Yankees’ system in 2011.

Anderson’s deal does not include an invitation to spring training.

The 15th overall pick in the 2003 draft, Anderson fell short of expectations, hitting .227 with 22 homers during a five-year major league career that preceded an attempt at pitching in the minors in the Kansas City Royals’ and New York Yankees’ systems in 2010 and 2011. He played in the outfield with the White Sox and Red Sox from 2005 to 2009, taking over for Aaron Rowand in center field for the White Sox in 2006.

Rowand was traded to the Phillies in the Jim Thome deal, and Anderson hit .225 with eight homers and 33 RBI in 134 games in 2006, all career highs. He hit .118 in 13 games the following season and .232 with eight homers and 26 RBI in 109 games in 2008. The Sox traded him to Boston for Mark Kotsay on July 28, 2009.

“All I can hope for in Spring Training is go out and work hard and be a positive influence any way possible,” Anderson told MLB.com. “It’s a long road back, but the first step is signing, and I’m extremely grateful for the White Sox to give me this opportunity.”