White Sox acquire Jose Rondon from Padres

When the White Sox traded Jake Peter for Joakim Soria and Luis Avilan last week, it created a bit of a gap in their utility infielder depth chart.

Wednesday afternoon, they plugged that gap by buying shortstop Jose Rondon from the Padres (or acquiring him for cash considerations).

Rondon was once a prospect of some regard. Signed out of Venezuela for $70,000 by the Angels, he was traded to the Padres and surged up their prospect list due to his bat-to-ball skills and plus defensive potential. Double-A exposed the limitations of his bat — specifically the lack of pop — although a fractured elbow may have thrown off his timing.

At any rate, he’s existed in the high minors as an average shortstop who can be challenged, hitting for a decent average and neither walking nor striking out notable amounts.

Rondon got a cup of coffee with the Padres in 2016, and went 3-for-25 with a walk and four strikeouts in what remains his only MLB action. The Padres opted against calling him up in either of his Septembers while on San Diego’s 40-man roster. They designated him for assignment on Saturday to make room for Craig Stammen, so this should all give you an idea of his present stock.

That said, he remains a little bit intriguing, if only because he can play shortstop and make contact, and injuries abbreviated two of his last three seasons.

Rondon has one minor-league option left, so he doesn’t have any immediate implications for the 25-man roster. He does loom in the periphery as an actual shortstop, and I’d take notice of that if I were Tyler Saladino.

Saladino had the lowest slugging percentage of any MLB player with 150 plate appearances last year (.229), which would seem like an arbitrary end point if Saladino hadn’t exceeded that total by 131. Of players who received similar playing time, Saladino’s slugging percentage was nearly 50 points lower than the runner-up.

Saladino’s chief attribute is an ability to play shortstop better than Yolmer Sanchez, which the bat-first Peter couldn’t offer. Rondon now provides Saladino some competition, although the health of neither player can be assumed.

Rondon took the last 40-man roster spot, so room will need to be made for future acquisitions. Dylan Covey and the recently acquired Jose Ruiz seem like the most vulnerable on the pitching staff, and Jacob May of the incumbents on the position-player side. I suppose you could also include Saladino, although I imagine he’ll at least get a shot to prove his well being in spring training.

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I’m willing to try a backup SS that isn’t Saladino. His usefulness has run out with Sanchez and Leury on the roster, and if Rondon is better at short (I have no idea if this is the case) he makes more sense to me regardless of what he’s able to do with his bat.

Trooper Galactus

Wait, is Salad really a better shortstop than Salad?  I didn’t think that was so clear cut.  Kinda odd that our center fielder is probably the best defensive shortstop on the team.

As Cirensica

I am pretty sure Salad is not a better SS than Salad

Right Size Wrong Shape

2016 Salad is.

Trooper Galactus

Ugh…that was pretty bad.  Is Salad better than Sanchez at short, though?  I figured they were similar or Yolmer was slightly better.


We love these prospects who have fallen from grace.  But I currently have no faith that we can develop a batter.  That being said, he sounds like a good future utility player.  There is a current player on the roster that looked to be destined for utility and came out swinging last year, so all hope is not lost.

lil jimmy

It’s my guess that the player he might replace is Eddy Alvarez.


That would be a shame. His story of olympic speedskater to baseballer is great and I would have loved to see it work out. That ITPer from last ST showed a glimpse of how good things could be. But I guess the writings on the wall though.