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Sox add Felipe Paulino to rotation mix

Updated: December 9, 2013 11:05PM

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The White Sox added to their starting pitching depth by signing free-agent right-hander Felipe Paulino to a one-year, $1.5 million deal with a
$4 million club option for 2015.

Paulino, 30, is a hard-throwing, 6-3, 270-pounder. He posted a 4.11 ERA in 20 starts for the Royals in 2011, then went 3-1 with a 1.67 ERA in 371/3 innings before his elbow went bad in 2012. While rehabbing after surgery on his ulnar collateral ligament, he had a cyst removed from the back of his right shoulder. He didn’t pitch in the majors last year.

“When he’s right and healthy, we see him as a power arm with four pitches and a guy who can be a quality starter in a big-league rotation,’’ general manager Rick Hahn said. “Based on our medical reports and where he has progressed to, we have every reason to believe he’ll be able to help us come Opening Day.’’

The starting rotation has four lefties, and Hahn could trade one for position-player help. Paulino could step into the rotation or be used in Dylan Axelrod’s spot-starter and long-relief role.

Before the Sox announced the deal, Paulino tweeted, “Here I go Chicago whitesox !!! Thank you for this opportunity! Working hard for 2014 workouts.’’

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