In need of a potential closer candidate and bullpen depth, the Chicago White Sox on Thursday finally completed their deal with left-handed reliever Scott Downs and agreed to terms on a one-year, $4-million contract.
According to the White Sox, Downs will receive $3.75 million in 2014, while the White Sox hold a $4.25-million option for 2015 with a $250,000 buyout. News of the pending deal was first reported on Dec. 19.
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Downs, who turns 38 in March, has pitched for the Cubs, Expos, Blue Jays, Angels and Braves over his 12-year career. Last season, he was a combined 4-4 with a 2.49 ERA in 68 games with Los Angeles and Atlanta. Downs also has some experience closing games with 26 career saves.
With last month's trade of Addison Reed to the Diamondbacks. Nate Jones is likely to move into the closer role, but Ronald Belisario, Downs and Matt Lindstrom might also be factors in that role.
Here is a statement from the White Sox on Downs, with a look at his key stats:
"Downs provides us with some balance to our bullpen and another veteran arm for Robin to call upon late in games," said Rick Hahn, White Sox senior vice president/general manager. "Scott's impact will not only be felt on the field, but given his makeup and leadership skills it will be felt in the clubhouse and bullpen as well."
Over the last seven seasons (2007-13), Downs has recorded a 2.33 ERA (98 ER/379.1 IP) with a major-league best 160 holds while limiting left-handers to a .204 (123-603) average. During that span, he has posted at least 24 holds six times and has not allowed more than four home runs in a season.
To make room for Downs on the 40-man roster, the White Sox designated left-hander Santos Rodriguez for assignment.