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Avisail Garcia wins arbitration vs. White Sox, gets $6.7M

Avisail Garcia will get a raise to $6.7 million instead of the team's $5.85 million offer. | Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The White Sox fell to 0-2 in arbitration cases with right fielder Avisail Garcia’s hearing victory, which raises the All-Star’s salary to $6.7 million for 2018. The Sox had offered $5.85 million.

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Arbitrators Phillip LaPorte, Steven Wolf and John Kagel heard the arguments Tuesday and ruled Wednesday in favor of Garcia, who batted .330 with 18 home runs and 80 RBI. Last week, infielder Yolmer Sanchez won his case, the first time the Sox went to arbitration since 2001, when they lost to Keith Foulke.

“For whatever reason, this year we weren’t able, with Yolmer or Avi’s agent, to come to an agreement before winding up in a hearing room,’’ general manager Rick Hahn said. “That said, I’ve had conversations with Avi and Yolmer and know it’s going to have zero impact on their performance and even their relationship with us going forward. It’s just part of the business.’’

Garcia reported early to camp Wednesday, and Sanchez was here Tuesday.

Hector Santiago signed

The Sox agreed to terms on a minor-league contract and non-roster invitation to major-league camp with left-hander Hector Santiago, 30.

Santiago has pitched in 189 games, including 130 starts, in a career that started with the Sox (2011-13). He owns a 40-46 record with a 4.00 ERA and was an All-Star with the Angels in 2015. Shoulder issues plagued him with the Twins in 2017 (5.63 ERA).

“It turned out to be more of a back issue than a shoulder issue, which he felt he got resolved around mid-September, but it was too late in the season for it to really show on the field,’’ Hahn said. “He feels like everything’s resolved, and our doctors are fairly comfortable with the diagnosis and prognosis going forward.’’

The Sox like Santiago’s flexibility as a starter and reliever.

Rodon progressing as hoped

Left-hander Carlos Rodon played catch on the first day, which was more than he could do a year ago. After having arthroscopic surgery in September, he just completed a two-week throwing program as Step 1 of his rehab.

“He’s hit every milestone in that throwing program, and now he’ll sit down and be examined, and we’ll come up with the next phase, which will be another throwing program, but it will have different markers,’’ Hahn said. “So far, everything has progressed as we would’ve hoped.’’

Rodon is not expected to be ready by Opening Day.

Visa issues

Visa problems are preventing Venezuelans Bruce Rondon, Jose Rondon, Jose Ruiz and Alfredo Gonzalez from being on time for camp.

Follow me on Twitter @CST_soxvan.

Email: dvanschouwen@suntimes.com