The White Sox agreed to a minor-league deal with right-hander Mike Pelfrey, 33, a club source confirmed. Pelfrey will report to Class AAA Charlotte.
Pelfrey was released last week by the Tigers, who signed him to a two-year, $16 million contract before the 2016 season. He disappointed with a 4-10 record and 5.07 ERA in 119 innings in 2016.
The Tigers will be responsible for all of Pelfrey’s salary in 2017, minus the pro-rated portion of the league minimum for time he would spend with the Sox. Pelfrey owns a 65-91 record with a 4.57 ERA over an 11-year career with the Mets, Twins and Tigers.
While Carlos Rodon is sidelined by bursitis in his left biceps, the 6-7 Pelfrey could add some protection as a serviceable option at the back of a rotation that is thin with Rule 5 righty Dylan Covey manning the fifth spot behind Jose Quintana, James Shields, Derek Holland and Miguel Gonzalez. Rodon isn’t expected back in the rotation until May.
General manager Rick Hahn has made it clear that Class AAA prospects Reynaldo Lopez, Lucas Giolito and Carson Fulmer, who have limited major-league experience, won’t be rushed back early in the season.
Covey was stretched out to 75 pitches Sunday in Arizona. The Sox might go with four starters the first time through the rotation, bringing Quintana, their Opening Day starter, back on four days of rest to face the Twins on Sunday. Shields is scheduled Thursday against the Tigers, followed by Holland against the Twins on Friday and Gonzalez on Saturday.