The White Sox purchased the contracts of seven prospects Wednesday, adding them to the 40-man roster for protection from the Rule 5 Draft next month,
The list: Right-handers Zack Burdi, Dane Dunning, Matt Foster and Jimmy Lambert; left-hander Bernardo Flores Jr.; catcher Yermín Mercedes; outfielder Blake Rutherford.
Dunning, Burdi and Lambert are all at various recovery stages from Tommy John surgery. Burdi, a first-round draft choice (26th overall) in 2016, was at Class AA Birmingham last summer when he suffered a torn patella, requiring season-ending surgery.
Dunning, acquired in the Adam Eaton trade with the Nationals along with Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez, is the Sox’ No. 5-ranked prospect per MLB Pipeline. Rutherford, acquired in the trade that sent David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle and Todd Frazier to the Yankees, is No. 9. Lambert is ranked No. 18, Burdi No. 23 and Flores Jr. No. 28.
General manager Rick Hahn stopped short of projecting what contributions are expected from Dunning, Lambert and Burdi in 2020.
“I’d like to get to spring training and see where they’re at in terms of their rehabilitation,” he said of Dunning and Lambert. “Everything in their recovery and their rehabilitation program so far would indicate they could be contributors in the second half of 2020. But let’s just get them back pitching in competitive games again first, and then we’ll sort of figure out the speed with which they can contribute in a big league situation.
“Burdi’s coming back from the knee rotation, so it’s a little bit different. We’ll see him in spring training and sort of come up with a likely plan for him. He should be without restrictions. His recovery from the TJ was sort of cut a little bit short by the knee injury. All that stuff should be behind him from a physical standpoint, now it’s just getting him back at game speed and seeing where he’s at.”
Following the moves, the White Sox 40-man roster increases to 40.