The White Sox checked off another one-year contract for an important player Thursday, agreeing to a one-year, $2 million deal with right-hander Evan Marshall to avoid arbitration.
Marshall, 30, posted a 2.38 ERA with 30 strikeouts over 23 relief appearances covering 22 1/3 innings in 2020, his second good season with Sox after he signed as a minor league free agent before the 2019 season. Marshall quickly established himself as a high-leverage reliever in 2019 and owns a 2.45 ERA over the two seasons.
Opponents batted .198 against Marshall last season. Lefties batted .119 against him.
On Tuesday, the Sox avoided arbitration with Adam Engel, signing the outfielder to a one-year, $1.375 million deal. Right-handers Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez are the two remaining unsigned arbitration-eligible Sox players.
With Alex Colome on the free-agent market, Sox are also exploring the market for a closer, perhaps Athletics ninth-inning stalwart Liam Hendriks.
Marshall said he was impressed with new Sox pitching coach Ethan Katz when they crossed paths while Marshall was pitching in the Mariners organization and, after numerous communications since he was hired, is encouraged about the new voice Katz will bring to the staff taking over for Don Cooper.
“[Cooper] certainly had an eye for the game and we loved the guy and were sad to see him go, but it’s interesting to see a fresh perspective on what I do and what I can do to take it another step forward,” Marshall told the Sun-Times recently. “I had a great ‘19 and I would say an even better ‘20 and I like the way that’s trending, and I’m excited to work with [Katz].”
Katz, who coached Giolito in high school, is credited with helping the Sox All-Star turn his career around after the 2018 season.
“It will be interesting to see if, after the U-turn Giolito had if there’s something like that for a Dylan Cease or what he can do with [Michael] Kopech, or any of us for that matter,” Marshall said.