As MLB Spring Training camps get underway, the free-agent market has been active. Chicago White Sox GM Rick Hahn has been hard at work, signing Joe Kelly and Josh Harrison on Saturday. His latest acquisition is Vince Velasquez.
Velasquez will likely slot into the back end of the White Sox starting rotation or head to Triple-A Charlotte to start the year. This signing was the epitome of a “depth piece move.”
Part of Ken Giles trade in 2015, Velasquez has spent most of his seven-year career in Philadelphia. He owns a 4.95 ERA, 1.392 WHIP, and a 9.9 K/9 rate across 651 innings at the MLB level. Outside of his first year with the Phillies, the righty has had difficulty keeping his ERA below 4.85.
Vince Velasquez has allowed his share of walks and home runs over the years, evidenced by a 15.1% HR/FB mark. That figure is well above league average, which is one of the reasons the Phillies released him last year. The Padres picked him up, but his struggles continued with an 8.53 ERA across 12.2 innings in San Diego.
Despite Velasquez’s struggles, he’s still 29 years old, making him a likely project for Ethan Katz. As a depth piece, the Chicago White Sox shouldn’t have to lean on him until injuries arise. It’s a low-risk signing with the potential for a high-reward return if Velasquez makes the necessary adjustments.
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