Brian Bruney and the White Sox agreed to a Minor League contract and the right-handed reliever received a non-roster invitation to Spring Training as part of the deal.
Bruney, 28, posted a lofty 7.64 ERA over 19 games with the Nationals in 2010. He gave up 21 hits and walked 20 in 17 2/3 innings, but will have a chance to fill out the White Sox bullpen behind Matt Thornton, Sergio Santos, Tony Pena, possibly Chris Sale and a veteran arm who the White Sox eventually add. Bruney will be competing with younger pitchers such as Gregory Infante, Lucas Harrell and Anthony Carter.
From 2006-09 with the Yankees, Bruney posted a 12-3 record with a 3.25 ERA in 153 games. Bruney could turn into the low-risk, high-reward signing the White Sox seem to thrive upon, a hurler who pitching coach Don Cooper can work with to turn around. Bruney always has battled control issues with 173 walks issued in 239 innings.
Donny Lucy also re-signed via a Minor League deal with the White Sox and received a non-roster invite to Spring Training.
The catcher started the 2010 season with the White Sox when backup catcher Ramon Castro was sidelined with a bruised right heal. Lucy impressed the White Sox with his .333 average in seven games, but also did a solid job of handling the White Sox pitching staff. Lucy spent most of the campaign with Triple-A Charlotte, where he figures to play in 2011 if no other Major League team shows interest.
Craig Landis, the representative for free agent first baseman Paul Konerko, was not going to offer up much information in regard to the specifics of talks with the White Sox when approached Tuesday by a group of Chicago reporters. In fact, Landis didn’t want to talk at all about Konerko’s situation in the lobby of the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort.
Negotiations remain ongoing between the team and the camp of the White Sox captain, but Landis indicated no signing was imminent today during his very short conversation. Konerko has played the last 12 seasons for the White Sox, and bringing him back is the No. 1 priority for the organization at Major League Baseball’s Winter Meetings, according to general manager Ken Williams.
Konerko, 34, is coming off one of his best seasons of a storied career, during which he set career-highs in on-base percentage (.393), slugging percentage (.584) and total bases (320). Konerko also hit .312 with 39 home runs, 30 doubles and 111 RBIs, while providing stellar defense at first base.
Adding Konerko, whose five-year, $60-million contract extension ended after the 2010 campaign, would give the White Sox a powerful one-two punch to merge with newly-signed Adam Dunn. Williams explained on Monday how he was willing to wait for Konerko’s decision, having made it clear Konerko was choice No. 1, but also didn’t want to wait too long to miss out on other potential first basemen if Konerko elected to play elsewhere.