White Sox add Dylan Cease to 40-man roster ahead of Rule 5 Draft
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The White Sox added right-hander Dylan Cease — no surprise there — as well as righty Jordan Stephens, left-hander Kodi Medeiros and catcher Seby Zavala to their 40-man roster Tuesday, protecting those prospects from being taken by another club in the Rule 5 Draft next month.
Left-hander Ian Clarkin was claimed off waivers by the Cubs, putting the Sox’ 40-man roster at 38. Clarkin, 23, has a 3.55 ERA in 81 career minor-league games. He posted a 4.76 ERA in 25 appearances (12 starts) between three affiliates, including Class AA Birmingham, in 2018.
The Rule 5 Draft is Dec. 13, the last day of the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas. Players not on 40-man rosters and approaching their fourth or fifth season in an organization can be selected by another team for $100,000. Draftees must be kept on the drafting team’s active roster all season or be offered back for $50,000.
The contracts of Cease, the 22-year-old minor-league pitcher of the year, according to MLB Pipeline, and Medeiros, 22, were purchased from Birmingham. Stephens, 26, and Zavala, 25, were at Class AAA Charlotte.
Cease is the Sox’ No. 3 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, behind Eloy Jimenez and Michael Kopech. Medeiros and Zavala also were expected to be added.
Acquired with Jimenez in the trade with the Cubs for Jose Quintana, Cease went 12-2 with a 2.40 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP in 124 innings between Class A Winston-Salem and Birmingham. A likely scenario for Cease in 2019 is to open the season at Charlotte and finish in Chicago.
Medeiros, acquired during the season from the Brewers in a trade for reliever Joakim Soria, is ranked 19th among Sox prospects. Stephens is 20th and Zavala 22nd.