Chicago Sports Online
A handful of marginally well-known names left the Chicago Black Sox this month after the team declined to offer extensions or submit arbitration bids.
The best-known of the group is former closer Esteban Velásquez, 36, who made history when he notched his 300th career save on Sept. 15 for the then-Huntsville Phantoms. His ratings with the scouts have been in a downward spiral in recent years, however, and his performance last year reflected that diminished effectiveness. He threw 48 innings with a 3.91 ERA and lost his closer role.
Although Velásquez was not immediately available for comment, former teammates described him as “relieved” to exiting the franchise.
“Take me with you!” one current Sox regular was heard to plead during a phone call with Velásquez.
Other players of note not returning include:
- SP Yu bao Tong, who spent most of the season at AAA Carolina. In six appearances with Huntsville, however, he went 2-3 with a 6.16 ERA, 28 Ks and 19 Walks. He was earning $4.5 million, and sources said the team’s front office did not want to pay that kind of money to a pitcher who couldn’t stick in the big leagues.
- RP Maximo Trevino, who appeared in 21 games with an ERA of 6.37, 35 Ks, 27 walks and 9 HRs in 41 IP.
- SP José Carlos Solíz, who started 11 games for Huntsville and went 2-6 with a 4.63 ERA, 18 Ks and 10 walks. He had been signed to a one-year contract when Jacksonville cut him loose following a 20-win season in 2038, but Solíz proved incapable of recapturing his former glory.
- RP José Pagán, who spent three largely-disappointing seasons with the franchise, never rising higher than AAA. He spent last year with AA Beloit.