CHICAGO -- The White Sox enhanced their late-inning relief options Friday by acquiring right-hander Alex Colome from Seattle in exchange for catcher Omar Narvaez. Colome, 29, figures to step into the closer's role after leading the Majors with 47 saves in 2017.But traveling the trade route to bring in Colome
CHICAGO -- The White Sox enhanced their late-inning relief options Friday by acquiring right-hander Alex Colome from Seattle in exchange for catcher Omar Narvaez. Colome, 29, figures to step into the closer's role after leading the Majors with 47 saves in 2017.
But traveling the trade route to bring in Colome doesn't mean other options have been shut down for continued White Sox bullpen improvement.
"We don't think we are finished in terms of addressing the bullpen," said White Sox general manager Rick Hahn during a Friday afternoon conference call. "I'm not quite sure on the timing of that, but between now and the time we break camp, I suspect there will be further additions to the 'pen. The opportunity to get a guy like Colome with his track record and stuff/performance was too good for us to pass up even at the cost of Omar.
"There are free-agent relievers available. We remain in contact with several of them. But at this point, we felt being able to add a guy like Colome on the total cost -- both the contract cost what he has going forward, as well as the asset cost in Narvaez -- made more sense to move on him right now, as opposed to going down the free agent path today."
Colome joins Nate Jones, Ian Hamilton, Jace Fry and potentially Juan Minaya at the back end of the White Sox bullpen. The White Sox will have control over him at least through the 2020 season.
Hahn likes the way Colome's stuff plays, as well as his track record of success in the American League, to go with the contractual price points through the arbitration process. Colome combined for a 7-5 record with a 3.04 ERA, 30 holds, 12 saves and 72 strikeouts in 68 innings over 70 appearances last season between Tampa Bay and Seattle and was 5-0 with a 2.53 ERA, all 30 holds and 49 strikeouts in 46 1/3 innings over 47 appearances with the Mariners after being acquired from the Rays on May 25 as part of a four-player deal.
Those numbers made the 6-foot-1, 220-pound Colome the first pitcher in Major League history to record at least 10 saves and 30 holds in one season. While Colome plays out as the White Sox closer currently, he certainly has the makeup to work across any of the late innings.
"Obviously he fits in well for the short-term over the course of the next two seasons," Hahn said. "How he'll fit in '21 and beyond, it's way premature to make that assessment. Obviously, we can extend him at some point during his stay here or revisit it once he hits free agency.
"On relievers, it's tough to project out on any of them -- even the best -- quite how they're going to perform three or four years out into the future. We're very optimistic about what he's going to bring for at least the next two seasons."
Narvaez, 26, slashed .275/.366/.429 with nine home runs, 30 RBIs and 30 runs scored in 2018, his third season with the White Sox. He hit .274 with 12 homers, 54 RBIs and 66 runs scored in 221 games with the White Sox after being selected from Tampa Bay in the Minor League phase of the Rule 5 Draft on Dec. 12, 2013. Exceptional work from White Sox scouts John Tumminia and Joe Butler eventually turned a Minor League Rule 5 Draft addition into an All-Star closer.
Welington Castillo currently rates as the White Sox No. 1 catcher. Zack Collins, the team's No. 8 prospect per MLB Pipeline, recently told MLB.com his goal is to break camp behind the plate with the team in 2019, while Seby Zavala, the No. 22 prospect recently added to the 40-man roster, also could be in play.
"As you've heard me say many times about them and various other prospects, we are not going to bring Zack or Seby or any other prospect to Chicago until we feel they are fully ready for that opportunity to succeed in Chicago and ready for that next stage of development that happens at the big league level," Hahn said. "They are certainly candidates for the 2019 roster.
"At the same time, we are going to continue to have some conversations around the league with other clubs and free agents about bringing someone in to compete with them for that job come Opening Day of '19. No prospect will be here until we feel they are fully ready."
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.