CHICAGO -- The White Sox agreed to terms on a one-year, $3.5 million contract with second baseman Brett Lawrie and a one-year, $3 million contract with outfielder Avisail Garcia, as announced by the team Friday. The White Sox declined to tender a 2017 contract to right-handed hurler Blake Smith, making him a free agent and leaving their 40-man roster at 38 entering baseball's Winter Meetings, which begin on Monday.
MLB.com and MLB Network will have wall-to-wall coverage of the Meetings from the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center outside Washington, D.C. Fans can watch live streaming of all news conferences and manager availability on MLB.com, including the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday at 9 a.m. ET.
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Lawrie, 26, batted .248 with 22 doubles, 12 home runs, 36 RBIs and 35 runs scored over 94 games during his first season with the White Sox after being acquired from Oakland on Dec. 9, 2015. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list on July 27 (retroactive to July 21) with a strained left hamstring and did not play the rest of the season.
Tyler Saladino and Carlos Sanchez also figure into the second-base mix, although it's too early to lay out positions with the potential changes for this team via an anticipated rebuild. The high-energy Lawrie originally was acquired with third base in mind as his position, until the White Sox added third baseman Todd Frazier in a three-team deal. Lawrie took a pay cut from the $4.125 million he made last season, as an arbitration-eligible player, to stay with the White Sox.
Garcia was acquired by the White Sox as part of a three-team deal involving Jake Peavy with the Red Sox and Tigers on July 30, 2013, serving as the unofficial centerpiece of the team's rebuild-while-contending focus employed by general manager Rick Hahn. Garcia was described as a five-tool talent, who played in the 2012 World Series with Detroit after only 51 plate appearances, but has struggled defensively in right field and with plate discipline offensively.
Starting as the designated hitter in 2016, Garcia finished with a .245 average, 12 homers, 51 RBIs and a .307 on-base percentage. He ranked fourth in the American League with a .355 average with runners in scoring position, finishing 33-for-93.
Some in the organization believe the 25-year-old will ultimately break through. His status moving forward, in regard to starting or coming off the bench, depends on the White Sox moves.
Smith, 28, made his Major League debut in September, posting a 6.23 ERA over five appearances with the White Sox.
All remaining unsigned White Sox players have been tendered contracts for the 2017 season. Frazier, right-handers Zach Putnam, Jake Petricka and Miguel Gonzalez and lefty Dan Jennings remain eligible for arbitration, while first baseman Jose Abreu also opted into arbitration and out of the remaining three guaranteed years on the contract he signed when he came over as a Cuban free agent.
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.