Thursday, May 30, 2024

Tommy Pham close to White Sox deal after extended stay in free agency, per report

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Veteran outfielder Tommy Pham is nearing a minor-league agreement with the Chicago White Sox, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. The minor-league designation is necessary because he’s without options. This way, Pham can shake off the rust that comes with signing weeks into the season on the minor-league side without first having to pass through waivers.

Pham, 36, had his most productive season in years in 2023. He hit .256/.328/.446 (111 OPS+) with 16 home runs and 68 RBI in 129 games split between the New York Mets and Arizona Diamondbacks. His contributions were worth an estimated 1.5 Wins Above Replacement, per Baseball-Reference’s calculations. 

CBS Sports ranked Pham as the 34th-best free agent available entering the offseason. Here’s what we wrote at the time:

Two things are certain about Pham: He’s going to hit the ball hard, and he’s going to wear out the middle of the field. Nearly half his batted balls last season clocked in at 95 mph or faster, and more than 40% of them were aimed straight ahead. That combination resulted in Pham’s best OPS+ since 2019, when he was a member of the Rays. He’s played for five teams during the interim years, suggesting that if there’s a third thing for sure about him it’s that he’s going to continue changing clubhouses.

The White Sox are currently without outfielders Luis Robert Jr. and Eloy Jiménez, as well as infielder Yoán Moncada. Pham should give their lineup a much-needed boost.

The White Sox are 2-13 following Sunday’s loss to the Cincinnati Reds. As such, it’s probably fair to think of Pham as a candidate to change teams ahead of the trade deadline — provided, anyway, that he can produce over the next few months.

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