Avi­sail wins case, will make $ 6.7M

Chicago Sun-Times - - SOX BEAT - BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN Staff Re­porter

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The White Sox fell to 0- 2 in ar­bi­tra­tion cases with right fielder Avi­sail Gar­cia’s hear­ing victory, which raises the All- Star’s salary to $ 6.7 mil­lion for 2018. The Sox had of­fered $ 5.85 mil­lion.

Ar­bi­tra­tors Phillip La­Porte, Steven Wolf and John Kagel heard the ar­gu­ments Tues­day and ruled Wed­nes­day in fa­vor of Gar­cia, who bat­ted .330 with 18 home runs and 80 RBI. Last week, in­fielder Yolmer Sanchez won his case, the first time the Sox went to ar­bi­tra­tion since 2001, when they lost to Keith Foulke.

“For what­ever rea­son, this year we weren’t able, with Yolmer or Avi’s agent, to come to an agree­ment be­fore wind­ing up in a hear­ing room,’’ gen­eral man­ager Rick Hahn said. “That said, I’ve had con­ver­sa­tions with Avi and Yolmer and know it’s go­ing to have zero im­pact on their per­for­mance and even their re­la­tion­ship with us go­ing for­ward. It’s just part of the busi­ness.’’

Gar­cia re­ported early to camp Wed­nes­day, and Sanchez was here Tues­day.

Hec­tor San­ti­ago signed

The Sox agreed to terms on a mi­nor- league con­tract and non- ros­ter in­vi­ta­tion to ma­jor- league camp with left- han­der Hec­tor San­ti­ago, 30.

San­ti­ago has pitched in 189 games, in­clud­ing 130 starts, in a ca­reer that started with the Sox ( 2011- 13). He owns a 40- 46 record with a 4.00 ERA and was an All- Star with the An­gels in 2015. Shoul­der is­sues plagued him with the Twins in 2017 ( 5.63 ERA).

“It turned out to be more of a back is­sue than a shoul­der is­sue, which he felt he got re­solved around mid- Septem­ber, but it was too late in the sea­son for it to re­ally show on the field,’’ Hahn said. “He feels like ev­ery­thing’s re­solved, and our doc­tors are fairly com­fort­able with the di­ag­no­sis and prog­no­sis go­ing for­ward.’’

The Sox like San­ti­ago’s flex­i­bil­ity as a starter and reliever.

Rodon pro­gress­ing as hoped

Left- han­der Car­los Rodon played catch on the first day, which was more than he could do a year ago. After hav­ing arthro­scopic surgery in Septem­ber, he just com­pleted a two- week throw­ing pro­gram as Step 1 of his re­hab.

“He’s hit ev­ery mile­stone in that throw­ing pro­gram, and now he’ll sit down and be ex­am­ined, and we’ll come up with the next phase, which will be an­other throw­ing pro­gram, but it will have dif­fer­ent mark­ers,’’ Hahn said. “So far, ev­ery­thing has pro­gressed as we would’ve hoped.’’

Rodon is not ex­pected to be ready by Open­ing Day.

Visa is­sues

Visa prob­lems are prevent­ing Venezue­lans Bruce Ron­don, Jose Ron­don, Jose Ruiz and Al­fredo Gon­za­lez from be­ing on time for camp.

White Sox right fielder Avi­sail Gar­cia had 18 home runs and 80 RBI and bat­ted .330 last sea­son.

| MATT MAR­TON/ AP

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