The White Sox are bringing back right-handed starter Miguel Gonzalez.
Traded by the Sox to the Rangers after spending the 2016 season and much of 2017 on the South Side, Gonzalez, 33, returns on a one-year, $4.75 million deal to stabilize a young group. He had a combined 8-13 record with a 4.62 ERA in 27 starts last season.
Gonzalez was traded to Texas on Aug. 31 for minor-league infielder Ti’Quan Forbes and had a 6.45 ERA in five starts for the Rangers. He had a 4.31 ERA in 22 starts with the Sox.
During a nine-game stretch before the trade, he made eight quality starts with a 3.11 ERA. That followed a stretch in which he missed a month with inflammation in the AC joint in his right shoulder.
“It’s good to be back,’’ Gonzalez said.
A popular and steady presence in the clubhouse, Gonzalez (3.95 career ERA) gives the Sox a veteran in a rotation that includes young starters Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Carlos Rodon (when he’s healthy) and perhaps Carson Fulmer as well as veteran James Shields.
“Bringing Miggy back not only strengthens the options for our pitching staff but also returns another quality individual to our clubhouse,” general manager Rick Hahn said.
“One of the hardest workers, most prepared professionals that I’ve seen in a while,’’ manager Rick Renteria said of Gonzalez. “We’re glad to have him. It puts us in a better position to move forward, especially with all the young guys we have.’’
Rodon, who had arthroscopic shoulder surgery in late September, is not expected to be ready by Opening Day.
Adding a veteran to the young staff allows “us an opportunity to heal and develop,’’ Renteria said. “We’re trying not to rush anything. We’re trying to make sure everything is running on schedule in terms of the development of everybody we have. We don’t want to put ourselves in a position where we call somebody up just because there’s a need.
“Certainly it allows us to safely give Rodon an opportunity to heal and our younger guys in the system time to continue to develop.’’
When Gonzalez was traded by the Sox, he knew that coming back was a possibility. He and Shields embrace their roles as mentors on a young staff.
“I know we’re rebuilding, but I’m excited for this season,’’ Gonzalez said. “Who knows? We can surprise some people.’’
To make room on the 40-man roster, the Sox designated outfielder Jacob May for assignment.
May, 25, was the Sox’ Opening Day center fielder in 2017 but spent most of the season at Class AAA Charlotte, hitting .248 with four home runs, 27 RBI and 54 runs in 110 games. He struggled offensively in his debut in the majors, going 2-for-36 (.056) in 15 games before being optioned to Charlotte on May 1.
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