With the March 31 season opener against the Minnesota Twins at U.S. Cellular Field drawing near, the White Sox made five roster moves Sunday.
Two of them were highly notable -- new third baseman Matt Davidson and outfielder Jordan Danks were optioned to Class AAA Charlotte.
Right-handed relief pitcher Jake Petricka was also optioned to Charlotte, while right-hander Dylan Axelrod was reassigned to minor-league camp. The Sox requested waivers on right-handed reliever Mitchell Boggs.
The White Sox have 33 players remaining in major-league camp.
Davidson was the major move Sunday.
Acquired in a Dec. 16 trade from the Diamondbacks for closer Addison Reed, Davidson came into camp behind Conor Gillaspie, a left-handed hitter who is out of minor-league options.
"Obviously, I want to make the team," Davidson said at Camelback Ranch last week. "I'm human and I'm not going to tell you I don't want to. It's not like I would be happy if I don't make the team, but I understand there's a process and I understand there's a whole kind of little scenario with the situation at third base. I understand that."
That was basically a concession speech from Davidson, but he made the White Sox' decision to start the season with Gillaspie difficult.
Over his last three Cactus League games, Davidson was 5-for-9 with 2 doubles, 1 home run and 5 RBI. Overall, the 6-foot-2, 225-pound third baseman is batting .308 with 2 homers and 6 RBI in exhibition play.
Gillaspie is batting .295 with 3 homers and 5 RBI in the Cactus League.
"We view (Davidson) as a long-term solution, someone who's going to be part of a successful White Sox club for many years, and we really aren't hung up about whether that starts March 31 or May 1 or Aug. 1," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn told reporters Sunday. "It's going to begin when he's in a position to have success at the big-league level, not just survive."
Danks has been the Sox' hottest hitter over the past week with 3 home runs and 4 RBI.
But trade candidate Alejandro De Aza is still on the roster and it looks like he'll break camp as the White Sox' reserve outfielder.
De Aza, who has a $4.25 contract this year, is also having a solid camp with a .410 batting average along with 1 homer and 4 RBI.
"They've just got too many outfielders," Danks told reporters. "One thing they did say was not to be discouraged about it, that I'm definitely one of the guys that could be helping them on this team. So I'll go down there and continue to hit and, like they said, just be ready."
Hahn told reporters pitcher Maikel Cleto is going to break camp with the White Sox. The hard-throwing reliever was claimed off waivers from the Royals in late February and has allowed 1 run in 8.2 innings while striking out five in the Cactus League.
Assuming Matt Lindstrom is ready to go after missing most of spring training with a left oblique strain, the bullpen looks like right-handers Nate Jones, Lindstrom, Ronald Belisario, Daniel Webb and Cleto to go with left-handers Scott Downs and Donnie Veal.