The White Sox extended spring-training invitations to 21 players Thursday, including catcher Jonathan Lucroy, infielder Tim Beckham, outfielder Nick Williams and first baseman Andrew Vaughn, their top prospect.
Lucroy, 34, an All-Star in 2014 and ’16 with the Brewers whose numbers have leveled off since, appeared in just one game with the Red Sox last season but might be the favorite to land the No. 2 catcher’s job behind Yasmani Grandal. A career .274/.335/.416 hitter, he had surgery to replace a herniated disc after his 2019 season with the Cubs — one of six teams he has played for since his final year with the Brewers in 2016.
“If you have had a herniated disc, it’s pretty terrible,” Lucroy said Thursday. “Suffice to say, it’s been pretty amazing, the recovery I’ve had. And so now it’s about getting the opportunity and getting back out there and showing teams I’ve still got it. I feel great. I just want another chance to win and put a ring on my finger.”
Lucroy is one of 14 free agents who agreed to terms on minor-league contracts and will be in Glendale, Arizona, when Sox spring training opens. The others are right-handers Ryan Burr, Tayron Guerrero, Alex McRae, Felix Paulino, Connor Sadzeck and Mike Wright; left-handers Jacob Lindgren, Kodi Medeiros and Matt Tomshaw; Beckham; Williams; infielder Marco Hernandez and outfielder Matt Reynolds.
Vaughn — the Sox’ top prospect, according to MLB Pipeline — is vying for a spot as the team’s designated hitter. He’s one of seven players from within the organization who received invites to camp, along with right-handers Danny Dopico, Kade McClure and Emilio Vargas; left-hander Bennett Sousa; catcher Carlos Perez and infielder Zach Remillard.
Pitchers and catchers report Wednesday. Position players report Feb. 22, the day of the first full-squad workout.
NOTE: The Sox’ season opener April 1 against the Angels in Anaheim, California, will start at 9:05 p.m. Central on ESPN, MLB announced. The entire opening four-game series will be under the lights, as will the “Field of Dreams” game against the Yankees in Dyersville, Iowa, on Aug. 12 (6:15 p.m.). The Sox’ home opener against the Royals on April 8 starts at 3:10 p.m.
Below is information on the 21 non-roster invitees, as provided by the Sox:
- INF Tim Beckham: Has played in 472 career major-league games between Tampa Bay (2013, ’15-17), Baltimore (2017-18) and Seattle (2019).
- RHP Ryan Burr: Spent the 2020 season at the Schaumburg alternate training site after undergoing Tommy John surgery in June 2019.
- RHP Danny Dopico: Spent the 2020 season at the Schaumburg alternate training site; posted a 2.59 ERA (18 ER/62.2 IP) with Class AA Birmingham in 2019.
- RHP Tayron Guerrero: Spent the 2020 season at the Schaumburg alternate training site.
- INF Marco Hernández: Spent the 2020 season at Boston’s alternate training site; has played in 122 career major-league games with Boston (2016-19).
- LHP Jacob Lindgren: Spent the 2020 season at the Schaumburg alternate training site.
- C Jonathan Lucroy: Is a career .274/.335/.416 hitter (1,128-4,121) with 216 doubles, 108 home runs and 545 RBI in 1,203 games over 11 major-league seasons with Milwaukee (2010-16), Texas (2016-17), Colorado (2017), Oakland (2018), Los Angeles-AL (2019), the Cubs (2019) and Boston (2020); is a two-time All-Star (2014, ’16), and has appeared in 15 career postseason games (2011, ’16-18).
- RHP Kade McClure: Has gone 8-7 with a 3.05 ERA (59 ER/174.1 IP) and 160 strikeouts over 40 career minor-league appearances (30 starts) in the White Sox organization; was selected by Chicago in the sixth round of the 2017 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
- RHP Alex McRae: Appeared in two games with the White Sox in 2020, retiring nine of the 10 batters he faced; spent the majority of the season at the Schaumburg alternate training site.
- LHP Kodi Medeiros: Spent the 2020 season at the Schaumburg alternate training site.
- RHP Félix Paulino: Has appeared in 104 career minor-league games (64) between the Philadelphia (2014-18) and White Sox (2018-19) organizations; originally was acquired from the Phillies in exchange for LHP Luis Avilán on August 22, 2018.
- C Carlos Pérez: Has played in 307 career minor-league games over six seasons in the White Sox system.
- INF Zach Remillard: Enters the season rated by Baseball America as the Best Infield Arm in the White Sox organization; was selected by Chicago in the 10th round of the 2016 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
- INF Matt Reynolds: Spent the majority of the 2020 season at Kansas City’s alternate training site; appeared in three games with the Royals last season.
- RHP Connor Sadzeck: Owns a 2.18 ERA (8 ER/33.0 IP) and .195 (24-123) opponents average over 33 career major-league games between Seattle (2019) and Texas (2018).
- RHP Bennett Sousa: Spent time at the Schaumburg alternate training site last season; owns a 2.06 ERA (23 ER/100.1 IP) over two career minor-league seasons in the White Sox system.
- LHP Matt Tomshaw: Has appeared in 226 career games (162 starts) over nine minor-league seasons in the White Sox, Miami and Minnesota organizations.
- RHP Emilio Vargas: Was claimed by the White Sox off waivers from Arizona on November 20, 2020; has gone 35-33 with a 3.48 ERA (220 ER/569.2 IP) over seven minor-league seasons in the Diamondbacks organization (2013-19).
- INF Andrew Vaughn: Enters the season rated by Baseball America and MLB .com as the No. 1 prospect in the White Sox system; rated by MLB.com as the No. 14 prospect and No.1 first base prospect in baseball.
- OF Nick Williams: Appeared in 290 career major-league games with Philadelphia from 2017-19
- RHP Mike Wright: Pitched for the NC Dinos of the Korean Baseball Organization in 2020.