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White Sox May Seek Low Risk, High Reward Arms

The White Sox' offseason is mostly over. When you look at the team's 40-man roster and Spring Training non-roster invitees, you 'oughta get to like what you see, because that's pretty much what you're going to see when the season gets underway throughout February and March. But low-risk, high-reward veteran hurlers are the one thing that may make sense for the team to bring aboard.

Tommy Hanson in 2012. Photo Credit: Getty Images

As Rick Hahn said on Comcast Sports Net Chicago a few days back, if there's a reliever on the market that makes sense for the team to sign, then they'll go out and get him. There seems to be one to two spots open for the taking in the 'pen, and that's before you consider the fact that youngsters like Daniel Webb, Jake Petricka, and others are far from sure things.

And there are still some solid veterans out there, but considering that Matt Lindstrom, Scott Downs, and even Nate Jones will already be bringing a ton of experience to the late innings, I'm not going to expect Hahn to spend any more money there. So the low-risk, high-reward starters at a crossroads in their careers are where I'm focusing most of my attention.

Nowadays signing these guys to minor league deals is very common, and I think it'd make quite a bit of sense for the White Sox. It'd obviously cost next to nothing and since the team already has options for the no.5 rotation slot in Felipe Paulino and Andre Rienzo, it's not like they'd be relying a guy too much.

But you can never have too many talented arms. That fact paired with the whole low-risk factor makes someone like Tommy Hanson very intriguing. At 27, he could still have a lot left in the tank. He put together a great stretch for the Atlanta Braves from 2009-'11 but took a big step back in 2012. Though he did go 13-10, he saw big jumps in his WHIP and ERA. And then it really blew up when he went to the Angels last year while making a hefty contract for the first time in his career.

Struggling to stay on the major league roster with arm injuries, a constant of his career, he posted a rough 5.42 ERA in 15 games (13 starts). But if the team thinks he can stay healthy and provide good competition, then I say "why not?" The key with him is his age (doesn't turn 28 until late in the season), as it makes his upside far greater than others in this discussion.

And if Hanson or another guy are solid and the Sox are nowhere near the playoff hunt, they could get a prospect or two back for 'em.

But some other examples include …

+ Jake Westrbrook, who certainly has less upside but has AL Central experience and is a big-game pitcher

+ Chris Capuano, 35, who's sprinkled in National League success all throughout his long career

None of these guys would be too flashy or exciting, but at this point in the offseason it deserves at least a little bit of discussion considering it's the only thing left the team could do that wouldn't totally surprise us.

What do you think? Comment below or tweet us to let us know your thoughts!

Zachary Gropper

About Zachary Gropper

Zach is the Managing Editor of, and you can follow him on Twitter @zmgrop.