The Chicago White Sox avoided arbitration with two relief pitchers today in lefty Dan Jennings and righty Jake Petricka, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports and Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. Jennings and Petricka join Jose Abreu, Avisail Garcia and Brett Lawire among White Sox' players to avoid arbitration.
Jennings will make $1.4 million in 2017, which is above MLB Trade Rumors' projection of $1.2 million for him. Petricka settled with a one-year deal worth $825,000, which is slightly below his projection of $900,000.
The 29-year-old Jennings had a stellar 2016, proving to be one of the White Sox more reliable arms after posting a 2.08 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP in a career-high 60 and 2/3 innings pitched last season. Jennings held batters to a .250 average while inducing groundballs 53.9% and an astonishing infield fly ball rate of 17.5% for the White Sox in 2016.
Jake Petricka only managed to pitch eight innings last season after having season-ending hip labrum surgery in early June. The 28-year-old has been with Chicago his entire career and managed to put up respectable numbers the last few seasons, including a 2.96 ERA in 73 innings pitched in 2014. Petricka is a bullpen workhorse but his 2017 season is a major question mark as there is no timetable set for the right-hander. Currently, Fangraphs is projecting he will pitch somewhere around ten big league innings but nothing is for sure.
The White Sox are expected to field a competitive team in 2017, but a piece like Jennings could become attractive at the trade deadline, where player’s values are inflated greatly.