Puerto Rican outfielder Martín Maldonado has reached a one-season deal with the Chicago White Sox, sources confirm to ESPN.
CHICAGO — The Chicago White Sox have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with Puerto Rican catcher Martin Maldonado, sources confirmed to ESPN on Tuesday.
The 37-year-old Maldonado replaces Yasmani Grandal behind the plate, the latter departing via free agency after spending four years with the White Sox. Maldonado also joins former teammate Corey Lee, who was traded from the Houston Astros to Chicago last summer.
The duo should split playing time as Lee continues to grow as a premier backup in the league. He has appeared in 36 career games, compared to Maldonado's 1,118 in a 13-year career that also included 65 postseason games.
Maldonado brings leadership to a club that desperately needs it after the team lost 102 games last season, although his style of play is not what it used to be. Maldonado has hit below .200 in each of the past three seasons, but his management of the game and the Astros' pitching staff has been highly regarded during his time there. Houston has ranked in the top 10 in ERA in every full season since Maldonado joined the team in 2018. He was part of three World Series teams, including the 2022 team that captured the championship.
Meanwhile, the White Sox are in the midst of rebuilding their pitching staff after trading three starters in July and allowing another (Mike Clevinger) to leave via free agency this winter. They ranked 26th in ERA last season. The team recently signed starter Eric Fede, who won the KBO's equivalent of the Cy Young Award last season.
Maldonado will be tasked with getting more personnel while also mentoring Lee, as he will be given the opportunity to be a long-term starter after Maldonado leaves.
Maldonado's deal with the White Sox was first reported by the New York Post.
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