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White Sox sign Crain, Soto to minor-league deals

The White Sox have agreed to terms on minor-league contracts with 15 free agents, including former Sox All-Star right-hander Jesse Crain, former Cubs catcher Geovany Soto, veteran right-hander Brad Penny and 2014 starter Scott Carroll.

Also in that group: Right-handers Jairo Asencio, Logan Kensing, Arcenio Leon, J.D. Martin; left-handers Zach Phillips and Joe Savery; catcher George Kottaras; infielders Juan Diaz and Andy LaRoche; and outfielders Tony Campana and Michael Taylor.

All 15, along with nine players from within the organization, received non-roster invites to spring training.

Right-handers Chris Beck, Tyler Danish and Nolan Sanburn, left-hander Carlos Rodon, infielders Tim Anderson, Dan Black and Micah Johnson and outfielders Courtney Hawkins and Jared Mitchell received invites to major-league camp from within the organization.

Crain, 33, who pitched for the Sox in 2011, ’12 and ’13, did not pitch for the Astros in 2014 due to injury. He is trying to come back from shoulder and biceps surgeries. The Sox dealt him to the Rays on July 29, 2013 after his stellar first half with a 0.74 ERA over 37 innings.

He said Thursday he is hopeful of being ready by the beginning of the season and that his stuff will return to where it was when he was healthy.

“That’s the plan,” he said. “That’s the goal I wish I could read in and know what my stuff is going to be there but when I feel I feel like it’s there.”

Crain took the offseason off and began throwing two and a half weeks ago and is now throwing at 120 feet. He hopes to be on a mound when pitchers and catchers report to spring training on Feb. 20.

Here is information on some of the aforementioned players, courtesy of the White Sox:

· INF Tim Anderson: Rated by Baseball America as the White Sox No. 2 Prospect; selected in the first round (17th overall) in the 2013 draft.

· RHP Chris Beck: Named Class AA Birmingham’s Pitcher of the Year in 2014; selected by the Sox in the second round of the 2012 draft.

· RHP Scott Carroll: Appeared in 26 games (19 starts) in his first major-league season with the White Sox in 2014.

· OF Tony Campana: Appeared in 257 major-league games with the Cubs (2011-12), Arizona (2013-14) and the Angels (2014).

· RHP Jesse Crain: Appeared in 532 games (all in relief) with Minnesota (2004-10) and the White Sox (2011-13); did not pitch with Houston in 2014 due to injury.

· RHP Tyler Danish: Rated by Baseball America as the White Sox No. 7 Prospect; selected in the second round of the 2013 draft.

· OF Courtney Hawkins: Rated by Baseball America as the White Sox No. 9 Prospect; selected in the first round (13th overall) of the 2012 draft.

· INF Micah Johnson: Rated by Baseball America as the White Sox No. 4 Prospect; selected in the ninth round of the 2009 draft.

· C George Kottaras: Appeared in 313 career games with Boston (2008-09), Milwaukee (2010-12), Oakland (2012), Kansas City (2013), Cleveland (2014), St. Louis (2014) and Toronto (2014).

· INF Andy LaRoche: Appeared in 404 career games with the Dodgers (2007-08), Pittsburgh (2008-10), Oakland (2011) and Toronto (2013); brother, Adam, signed with Chicago on 11/25/14.

· RHP Brad Penny: Appeared in 349 career games (319 starts) with Florida/Miami (2000-2004, ‘14), the Dodgers (2004-08), Boston (2009), San Francisco (2009, ‘12), St. Louis (2010) and Detroit (2011); named a National League All-Star in 2006-07.

· LHP Carlos Rodon: Rated by Baseball America as the White Sox No. 1 Prospect; selected in the first round (third overall) in the 2014 draft.

· C Geovany Soto: Appeared in 680 career games with the Cubs (2005-12), Texas (2012-14) and Oakland (2014); was named National League Rookie of the Year and an All-Star in 2008.