Veteran outfielder Tommy Pham reached a minor-league deal with the Chicago White Sox worth $3.5 million with $1.5 million in incentives. Pham must be called up and added to the White Sox MLB roster by April 25, or he can request a release. If traded, he will receive a $500,000 assignment bonus.

Pham is out of options to sign with another team straight up, so the minor-league designation is necessary. He will first need to pass through waivers to be in the minor leagues before stepping up to the plate in the MLB. This way, Pham can get back into the game despite missing the season’s first few weeks and avoid roster complications.

Pham, 36, began his career in 2014 with the St. Louis Cardinals and spent five years there before spending time with the Tampa Bay Rays, San Diego Padres, Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds, New York Mets, and most recently with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Pham had his most productive season in years in 2023. He hit .256/.328/.446 (111 OPS+) with 16 home runs and 68 RBIs in 129 games split between the Mets and Diamondbacks.

Entering the offseason, CBS ranked him as the 34th-best free agent available.

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“Two things are certain about Pham: He’s going to hit the ball hard, and he’s going to wear out the middle of the field,” it said. “Nearly half his batted balls last season clocked in at 95 mph or faster, and more than 40% were aimed straight ahead. That combination resulted in Pham’s best OPS+ since 2019 when he was a member of the Rays. He’s played for five teams during the interim years, suggesting that if there’s a third thing for sure about him, he will continue changing clubhouses.”

With the White Sox currently missing outfielders Luis Robert Jr. and Eloy Jiménez, Pham is expected to give their lineup a much-needed boost. The Sox have started the season slow and currently hold a 3-15 record. They were shut out six times in 18 games. Thus, it’s fair to think that Pham might change teams again ahead of the trade deadline, provided he can offer that boost to the lineup for the White Sox over the next few months.

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