Sox bring back Gonzalez on one-year deal

January 11th, 2018

CHICAGO -- has officially returned to the White Sox.

The White Sox agreed to terms with the right-hander on a one-year, $4.75 million contract announced on Thursday. Outfielder was designated for assignment to make room for Gonzalez on the 40-man roster, which stands at 40.

"It's good to be back," said Gonzalez during a conference call. "The coaching staff, they treated me well. And obviously the players, we had a really good connection."

"You saw Gonzo pitch very well for us," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "One of the hardest workers, most prepared professionals that I've seen in a while. We're glad to have him. It puts us in a better position to move forward, especially with all the young guys we have."

Gonzalez was a well-liked, steady presence in the White Sox starting rotation for much of the 2016-17 seasons. He has a 12-18 mark with a 4.02 ERA over 46 games with the White Sox, of which 45 were starts.

It was important for the White Sox to bring in at least one veteran starting pitcher to their rotation. White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper told this week he doesn't expect to be ready at the start of the 2018 season after undergoing season-ending arthroscopic shoulder surgery in September, sidelining him for six to eight months at the time. , and also will be pitching through their first full seasons at the big league level, while , MLB Pipeline's No. 1 pure pitching prospect, continues his development at Triple-A Charlotte.

"We're trying not to rush anything," Renteria said. "We're trying to make sure everything is running on schedule in terms of the development of everybody we have. We don't want to put ourselves in a position where we call somebody up just because there's a need."

Adding Gonzalez, 33, gives the White Sox a reliable starting option. In 156 innings last season with the White Sox and Rangers, Gonzalez combined for an 8-13 mark with a 4.62 ERA and 100 strikeouts over 27 starts.

From April 30 to June 14, Gonzalez struggled with a 6.79 ERA and .320 average against over nine starts. But the right-hander was pitching through some pain and was placed on the disabled list retroactive to June 15 with inflammation in his AC joint in his right shoulder.

Upon his return to the mound on July 18, Gonzalez posted a 3.11 ERA over his final nine starts with the White Sox. He was traded to the Rangers on Aug. 31 in exchange for infielder Ti'Quan Forbes, but even thought at that point he could return to the White Sox via free agency.

Renteria and Gonzalez shared a cordial exchange on Thursday's conference call, making it seem as if the pitcher had never left the rebuild.

"I know we're rebuilding, but I'm excited for this season. Who knows? We can surprise some people," Gonzalez said. "I talked about it with my wife and she loves Chicago.

"She enjoys it there. As soon as we started talking with the White Sox about the contract, I was pretty pumped, pretty excited to come back."