Chicago White Sox Roster
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Chicago White Sox third baseman Yoan Moncada had an MVP-type season in 2019 when he hit .315/.367/.548 with 25 home runs, 34 doubles, 79 RBI and 83 runs scored, but he caught COVID-19 last summer and hit just .225 with a .705 OPS and 17 extra-base hits in 52 games in 2020. The switch-hitter said he didn't feel normal until after the season after dealing with COVID-19 almost two months earlier. He's back to intense workouts after resting early in the offseason, and he thinks he can return to his 2019 form in 2021. Moncada led the league in strikeouts with 217 in 2018, but his improvement the following offseason made him a different hitter in 2019. We'll give him a pass in 2020 while he dealt with the effects of COVID-19, so Moncada could be a nice value selection in fantasy drafts in a dangerous White Sox lineup.
Free-agent closer Liam Hendriks agreed to a three-year deal worth $54 million with the Chicago White Sox on Monday night, according to sources. The deal includes a fourth-year option. The 31-year-old will make $39 million in the first three years, and the buyout and fourth-year option are $15 million. Hendriks has been one of the most effective relievers in the game the last two years, ranking second in ERA (1.60), fourth in WHIP (0.87), third in strikeout ratio (7.2) and tied for eighth in saves (39). He had a 1.78 ERA, the second-most saves (14) in 15 chances and had a win, save and a 3.18 ERA in the playoffs for the A's. The right-hander should be the team's primary closer, and on this rising White Sox squad, Hendriks will be a high-end closing target for fantasy managers. Hendriks had a career-high 13.1 K/9 in 2020 and was the Reliever of the Year in the American League.
Chicago White Sox second baseman Nick Madrigal (shoulder) resumed baseball activity on Monday after having October surgery on his left shoulder. He took ground balls for the first time and some slow dry hacks with a short bat. Madrigal is optimistic of being close to 100 percent for the start of spring training on Feb. 17 and fully ready to go by Opening Day on April 1. The former first-rounder separated his shoulder during a slide on Aug. 4 and was out until Aug. 29, but he hit .349 in his final 24 games. Madrigal struck out just seven times and walked four times in 109 plate appearances in his first big league season. While the young second baseman doesn't feature a lot of power, he could be a nice batting average and stolen base asset for fantasy managers in 2021, assuming good health. Madrigal produced 43 steals in 163 minor league games.
Chicago White Sox outfielder Adam Engel avoided salary arbitration on Wednesday by agreeing to a one-year, $1.375 million deal. The 29-year-old was a 19th-round pick out of Louisville in 2013 and made his first playoff appearance in 2020. Engel is known for his defense in the outfield and finished 3-for-12 with a home run in the wild-card series loss to the Athletics. He had a career-high .295/.333/.477 slash line in 93 plate appearances over 36 games in his fourth season. The right-handed hitter added five doubles, one triple, three home runs, 12 RBI and 11 runs scored in the shortened 2020 season. Engel has slashed .310/.355/.466 against lefties the last two years, so he figures to form a platoon with Adam Eaton in 2021.
The Kansas City Royals signed right-hander Ervin Santana to a minor league deal on Tuesday. Santana didn't pitch at all in 2020, but the 15-year veteran should provide a young Royals pitching staff with experience. The 38-year-old has a career record of 149-127 and a 4.09 ERA (101 ERA+) in 387 games (384 starts). Santana was an All-Star in 2008 with the Angels and in 2017 with the Twins. But he's started just eight games since 2017, recording a combined 8.53 ERA with the Twins and White Sox. Although Santana hasn't pitched in the big leagues since 2019 with Chicago, he did have a 2.61 ERA with 25 strikeouts in 20 2/3 innings (five starts) for Tigres del Licey in the Dominican Winter League this year. While Santana will be an option for KC's rotation, he'll likely be more of a swing man and long-relief arm out of the bullpen if he makes the major league roster out of spring training.