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Sox designate Latos, strike deal with Morneau

On DL, veteran slugger agrees to 1-year deal; Hahn says more moves may come
MLB.com

CHICAGO -- Until Thursday, the trajectory of Mat Latos' season fell right in line with the up-and-down White Sox first half.

There was the soaring start, 4-0 with a 0.74 ERA, then the fall to earth. Latos had a 7.25 ERA over his past seven outings.

CHICAGO -- Until Thursday, the trajectory of Mat Latos' season fell right in line with the up-and-down White Sox first half.

There was the soaring start, 4-0 with a 0.74 ERA, then the fall to earth. Latos had a 7.25 ERA over his past seven outings.

As Latos slid, so did the Sox, going from first place in the American League Central to losing five straight and 20 of 26 entering Thursday, falling under .500 for the first time all season.

The mirrored stories will end there, as the White Sox designated Latos for assignment Thursday, a move that seemed inevitable after Chicago traded for James Shields on Saturday. The White Sox also called up right-hander Tyler Danish and signed first baseman Justin Morneau, the 2006 AL MVP, in the latest attempt to shake up the struggling squad.

Video: Tyler Danish talks about earning an MLB callup

"I was saying before, 'Those gods up there, we did something wrong for this last month," third baseman Todd Frazier said. "Hopefully somebody can go fix it. If I've got to go to mass on Sunday twice before I get here, I'll figure it out. We'll do something."

Danish was called up from Double-A Birmingham, where he was 3-7 with a 4.42 ERA, and will fill a long relief role for the White Sox. That likely means a chance for Thursday starter Miguel Gonzalez to solidify a rotation spot.

"The short outings the last two days sort of hastened our need to pull the trigger on that move," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. "But it was something we'd been discussing for the last few weeks, leading up to the Shields acquisition."

Video: WSH@CWS: White Sox broadcast discusses Draft picks

The Sox signed the left-handed-hitting Morneau to a one-year, $1 million deal. Morneau, 35, is a four-time All-Star, and though he is long removed from his MVP season, he hit .319 and won the 2014 National League batting title with the Rockies.

Morneau battled injuries in 2015 and had surgery to repair ligament damage in his left elbow in December. He will continue his recovery and likely start a Minor League rehab assignment soon. Morneau said he's hopeful to return soon after the All-Star break.

"You never know how many opportunities or how long you get to play this game," Morneau said. "If something's put in front of you that looks like a chance to be part of something special or something good, I think you have to jump at it as long as you still have the desire."

Video: WSH@CWS: Hahn, broadcast talk about Morneau signing

Hahn was also asked about the job security of manager Robin Ventura, and though he didn't offer much insight in that regard, Hahn made clear Thursday he understands fans' frustration with all aspects of the team. Hahn wants the White Sox to compete, and that could mean more moves on the horizon.

"You get emotional, you get angry, you want to be proactive and fix it as quickly as you can, especially if you're in a position where potentially you have the ability to fix it," Hahn said. "At the same time, you need to keep a longer-term view and not do anything shortsighted that's potentially going to cost you and cause greater harm over the long term. But we feel the same frustration, the same angst, the same desire to get this thing right as quickly as possible."

Cody Stavenhagen is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago.

 

Chicago White Sox, Mat Latos, Justin Morneau