White Sox outright Charlie Tilson

The White Sox outrighted outfielder Charlie Tilson, trimming their 40-man roster to 39.

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Charlie Tilson makes a diving catch on May 7, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP)

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The White Sox outrighted outfielder Charlie Tilson, trimming their 40-man roster to 39.

With an improving farm system, the Sox have a growing number of prospects worth protecting. Removing Tilson from the roster in advance of the Rule 5 draft in December is one of the first steps to create space.

Tilson, who played in 54 games with the Sox this season, produced a .229/.293/.285 hitting line with one home run, so the move was not unexpected.

Prospects who would be Rule 5-eligible if not added to the 40-man include pitchers Zack Burdi, Dane Dunning, Jimmy Lambert and Bernardo Flores, and outfielder Blake Rutherford.

The Sox viewed Tilson, a New Trier grad and former second-round draft pick, as a potential everyday center fielder and leadoff hitter when they acquired him in a 2016 midseason trade with the Cardinals for left-hander Zach Duke. But he tore his hamstring in his major-league debut, missed the rest of the season after undergoing surgery and missed the 2017 season with a foot injury.

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