White Sox’ top pick, lefty Carlos Rodon, reportedly agrees to terms
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN Staff Reporter July 9, 2014 10:28PM
Updated: July 10, 2014 12:02AM
BOSTON — The White Sox and first-round draft pick Carlos Rodon reportedly agreed to terms on a deal that will get the North Carolina State left-hander on a minor-league field soon.
Rodon, selected third overall in the June draft, signed for $6.45 million. His slot value was $5.7 million. Rodon’s only option had he not signed by July 18 was going back for his senior season and re-entering the draft.
Rodon’s likely starting point with the Sox will be Class A Winston-Salem. The Sox have indicated that, if he progresses, Rodon could join the major-league club before the end of the season, although that might have hinged on an earlier signing.
The agreement, which was reported by WRAL-TV in Raleigh, N.C., could come Thursday.
Red Sox ship out Pierzynski
Catcher A.J. Pierzynski was designated for assignment by the Red Sox. A year after winning the World Series, the Red Sox are in last place in the AL East and are looking toward the future even before the All-Star break. The team started five rookies Wednesday, including catcher Christian Vazquez.
The Red Sox have 10 days to trade, release or waive the former White Sox All-Star, who cleared out his locker before media arrived at Fenway Park. Pierzynski, 37, is batting .254 with four homers after he was signed to a one-year, $8.25 million contract last offseason.
Even though catcher Tyler Flowers is struggling at the plate, a White Sox source said there is little chance the rebuilding team would have immediate interest in Pierzynski, a fan favorite who played his last season on the South Side in 2012.
Garcia takes batting practice
Outfielder Avisail Garcia, a key piece of the Sox’ retooling plan who tore his left labrum April 8 and was thought to be out for the season, said he’s holding out hope for a return sometime next month.
“If I feel really good, maybe August?’’ Garcia said. “Let’s see what happens.’’
Garcia, 23, took batting practice for a second day, saying it felt “weird” because of the rust.
“It means a lot because they said maybe I would be out for the rest of the season, but now I get to practice with the team today so I feel great,’’ he said.
The Sox will be cautious with Garcia, who said he feels only a little normal tightness in the shoulder.
Manager Robin Ventura viewed Gordon Beckham’s RBI double to right-center in the ninth inning that snapped an 0-for-21 skid Tuesday as a good sign.
“Just spinning off,’’ is how Ventura described Beckham’s swing of late. “You can tell when he’s going good, it’s actually that ball into right-center. That’s always been really a key sign for him, for me anyway, to get it on a line to the right side.’’
Beckham lined out to second base and struck out looking in his first two at-bats Wednesday.
◆ Flowers, who was batting .089 in his last 31 games after hitting .312 in his first 44, was robbed of extra bases by center fielder Jackie Bradley his first time up. Bradley laid out in right-center field for a diving catch.
“It’s been real cruel to him recently,’’ hitting coach Todd Steverson said. “It’s not for lack of effort. You just have to fight and compete to get out of it.’’