Official preparations for the 2018 season ramped up Thursday, the day after the Houston Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 7 of the World Series.
As expected, the Chicago White Sox declined to pick up veteran catcher Geovany Soto's $3 million club option for next season. Soto, 34, exits with a $250,000 buyout and is eligible for free agency.
Soto was limited to 13 games this season, batting .190 with 3 home runs and 9 RBI. He had elbow surgery in mid-May and never returned.
The Sox also announced that center fielder Charlie Tilson and relief pitcher Zach Putnam have been reinstated from the 60-day disabled list. The 40-man roster now stands at 34.
Tilson missed the entire season with a fractured right foot, followed by a fractured right ankle. The New Trier High School product was able to participate in the White Sox's instructional league last month, and Tilson is now getting added playing time in the Arizona Fall League.
Putnam had Tommy John surgery in late June, ending his season.
Take a bow:
The Sox on Thursday named low Class A Kannapolis manager Justin Jirschele minor-league coach of the year and named Phil Gulley scout of the year.
In his first year as manager, Jirschele guided Kannapolis to a first-half division title and a berth in the South Atlantic League finals.
"Justin's attitude, work ethic, attention to detail and overall leadership skills have been a tremendous asset to the White Sox organization," said Chris Getz, the Sox's director of player development. "His ability to guide Kannapolis to the postseason in his first year as a manager proves that he has a bright future ahead as a leader on the field and in the clubhouse."
Gulley recommended and/or signed fourth-round pick Lincoln Henzman, sixth-round pick Kade McClure and 16th-round pick Logan Taylor this year.
He also signed Kevan Smith (seventh round in 2011) and Adam Engel (19th round in 2013).
"I want to congratulate Phil on being recognized with this much-deserved honor," said Nick Hostetler, the Sox' director of amateur scouting. "Phil has been a cornerstone of our amateur scouting department for many years, and his ability to identify premium talent makes him worthy of this award."