White Sox signing Elvis Andrus changes everything for Romy Gonzalez

“He’s an incredible teammate, and our team definitely got better signing him,” Gonzalez said.

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The White Sox’ Romy Gonzalez at spring training.

White Sox’ Romy Gonzalez fields a ball during a spring training n Glendale, Arizona.

Matt York/AP

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Romy Gonzalez saw a possible first starting job in the major leagues vanish when Elvis Andrus was signed to return to the White Sox to play second base. But Gonzalez said he celebrated the acquisition just like everyone else in the clubhouse.

“He’s an incredible teammate, and our team definitely got better signing him,” Gonzalez, 26, said. “Doesn’t change anything with me. I’ve always been a guy who puts his head down and works. Control what you can control. But I’m extremely excited for him to be on this team this season.”

Drafted in the 18th round by the Sox as an outfielder in 2018 but converted to infield, Gonzalez now will be groomed as a multipurpose player. With veteran Leury Garcia holding that role with two years and $11 million owed him, Gonzalez might be hard-pressed to make the Opening Day roster.

But he embraces the idea of being a “Swiss Army knife” with power as manager Pedro Grifol envisions.

“I’m all for playing every position; whatever it takes for the team to be at its best, I’m there,” Gonzalez said. “And it’s fun to switch up the scenery a little bit.”

Gonzalez checked into camp at 220 pounds after weighing 195 pounds last season, when a bout with tonsillitis limited him to 33 games at Triple-A Charlotte and 32 with the Sox.

“With all the things I was dealing with, it was kind of tough,” Gonzalez said. “But I’m feeling great.”

Shaw signed to minor-league deal

Veteran right-handed reliever Bryan Shaw signed a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Shaw has a career 3.92 ERA over 714⅔ innings, but he struggled with a 5.40 ERA and 1.335 WHIP for the Guardians last season, allowing nine home runs in 58⅓ innings.

The Sox will be without closer Liam Hendriks for an undetermined time as he receives treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a significant hit at the top of the bullpen with trickle-down effects.

Shaw, 35, said he was hoping for a major-league deal but settled on the Sox’ offer.

“I was tired of sitting at home,” he said.

“He’s competing for a job,” Grifol said. “He’s not in our bullpen mix yet. He’s here to compete. Looking forward to seeing what he’s got to offer us, and we’ll play it by ear.”

TA’s edge

Grifol has watched shortstop Tim Anderson from the Royals’ dugout as their bench coach.

“I love his edge; I love the way he plays the game,” Grifol said. “From the other side, it looked like he had one thing in mind and one thing in mind only, which was to win baseball games. Extremely talented. Obviously, the tools speak for themselves. I don’t have to play Captain Obvious here.”

This and that

The Reds claimed left-handed reliever Bennett Sousa off waivers. Sousa was designated for assignment Monday to clear space on the 40-man roster for Andrus.

† Cool weather has ruled the first days of camp. Early-morning rain, followed by high winds with temperatures in the 50s were issues Wednesday.

“Just to get out on the field today was a win for us,” Grifol said.

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