Apparently, the Chicago White Sox still see a need to add to their bullpen. With established major league talent lacking among their relievers, Kenny Williams is scanning the collection of remaining free agents. Two players who stick out to Williams for possible White Sox middle relief help are Mike Gonzalez and Arthur Rhodes.
On Wednesday, the White Sox were reported to be interested in Gonzalez and Rhodes. Jon Heyman tweeted that the White Sox "have shown some interest in lh reliever Mike Gonzalez." Later, Heyman tweeted that the White Sox had looked at Rhodes.
Gonzalez, 31, has received some attention from teams this offseason. The Texas Rangers had been looking to give Gonzalez a non-roster invitation, according to ESPN, but Gonzalez turned it down. Also, Buster Olney of ESPN tweeted in mid-February that the Oakland A's were interested in Gonzalez.
Nothing came of the talks with the A's.
Rhodes has been quiet this offseason. In October, the 42-year-old reliever announced plans to play in 2012, as Olney tweeted. In December, the Seattle Mariners dropped a line on Rhodes, according to a tweet by Fox Sports' Jon Paul Morosi.
About a month later, Anthony Andro of Fox Sports Southwest tweeted that Rhodes was about to decide on a team, but that didn't turn into anything.
With the scattered interested in Gonzalez and Rhodes, the competition for their services may be nonexistent. Thus, the White Sox would have a good shot at signing them if Williams is serious.
Gonzalez, 33, has seen various levels of time on the mound. He's pitched more than 50 games four times, including last season. He had a 4.39 ERA, along with 51 strikeouts and 21 walks in 53.1 innings, last season for the Rangers and Baltimore Orioles.
He pitched 4.1 innings in eight games in the playoffs, with his only two runs allowed in Game 3 of the World Series.
Rhodes has been a pretty reliable middle reliever in his 15 years in the bullpen. He's pitched more than 50 games in eight of his last 10 seasons. Last season, the 20-year veteran pitched 33 innings in 51 appearances for the St. Louis Cardinals, posting a 4.64 ERA, along with 21 strikeouts and 11 walks.
Either one would be a nice signing considering how little major league experience the White Sox have in their bullpen. Jesse Crain, Will Ohman and Matt Thornton are the only White Sox relievers who have pitched at least one full season in the majors.
Gonzalez would probably be a better signing since he's younger and can bring a little more heat. Now, telling by his rejection of the Rangers' offer, Gonzalez would likely demand a major league contract. Even though Gonzalez made $6 million each of the last two years, the White Sox might be able to offer him less since other teams may not make him offers now.
Rhodes should be a cheap signing if the White Sox take him in. After all, Rhodes is just trying to get on with a team.
Hopefully, the White Sox can sign one of them. They could use a little extra experience in the bullpen.