White Sox’ Downs happy to be back in Chicago

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Scott Downs’ career began with the Cubs. And now it’s winding down on the other side of town with the White Sox.

Not that Downs, who will turn 38 in March, is looking at the end of his pitching days.

“I still feel like I can pitch for another four or five years if my body allows it, and my arm,” Downs said Tuesday. “My arm and body these last couple of years are as good as they’ve been. If I can still go out and compete and get outs I’m going to pitch till they take the uniform off my back.”

For a team that is getting younger, Downs gives the Sox a veteran presence in their bullpen and a needed lefthander.

Downs posted a 2.49 ERA over 68 games between the Angels and Braves in 2013. His career ERA is 3.48 spanning 14 seasons between the Cubs, Expos, Blue Jays, Angels and Braves. He led the American League with 81 appearances in 2007, with an ERA of 2.17 that season.

The Sox signed the free agent to a one-year contract with a club option for 2015.

“They actually picked me,” Downs said when asked why he picked the Sox. “For me it was a great fit to start a new chapter in my baseball career and the simple fact that what they had to offer, the rebound effect they’re going through right now after tough year in 2013. … the talks that I had with them about rebuilding and going young and needing veteran leadership in the clubhouse and on the field, it all appealed to me. And I want to win and be a part of something special. I think we have that here.”

Downs’ last contract was for $15 million over three years with the Angels, who dealt him to the Braves at the trade deadline in July. He said he talked to Dunn during recents spring trainings in Arizona, and those conversations gave him reason to keep the Sox in mind as a possible future workplace.

“The older you get you want to go somewhere that’s comfortable and hearing him talk about how much he liked it there, it’s good to hear,” Downs said. “You want to go where guys are comfortable.

“It’s fun looking back that my careeer started there [in Chicago with the Cubs, who drafted him in the third round in 1997] and now coming here this late in my career. The city is awesome, the people are awesome. It’s my wife’s favorite city to travel to. It’s going to be fun coming back.”

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