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White Sox pick up Craig Kimbrel’s $16 million option

November 6, 2021 GMT
FILE - Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel delivers during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021, in Chicago. The White Sox have exercised their $16 million club option for reliever Craig Kimbrel and declined their option on infielder César Hernández.The team announced the moves on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021.(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)
FILE - Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel delivers during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021, in Chicago. The White Sox have exercised their $16 million club option for reliever Craig Kimbrel and declined their option on infielder César Hernández.The team announced the moves on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021.(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)
FILE - Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel delivers during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021, in Chicago. The White Sox have exercised their $16 million club option for reliever Craig Kimbrel and declined their option on infielder César Hernández.The team announced the moves on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021.(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago White Sox have exercised their $16 million club option for reliever Craig Kimbrel and declined their option on infielder César Hernández.

The team announced the moves on Saturday.

The 33-year-old Kimbrel struggled after he was acquired in a July trade with the crosstown Cubs for infielder Nick Madrigal and reliever Codi Heuer.

Kimbrel had a sparkling 0.49 ERA and 23 saves in 39 games with the Cubs, making the NL All-Star team. But the White Sox used the right-hander in a setup role in front of All-Star closer Liam Hendriks, and Kimbrel had a 5.09 ERA in 24 games for the AL Central champions.

With Hendriks expected to return, the White Sox could look to move Kimbrel to a team in need of a closer. The eight-time All-Star has 372 saves and a 2.18 ERA over 12 years in the majors.

Hernández’s option was worth $6 million. There was no buyout attached to his deal.

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The 31-year-old Hernández was acquired in a July trade with Cleveland. Hernández, a 2020 Gold Glove winner at second base, batted .232 with three homers and 15 RBIs in 53 games with Chicago.

With Madrigal now on the North Side of Chicago, the White Sox could add a second baseman over the winter. They also could make a move for a shortstop or third baseman, and then move Tim Anderson or Yoán Moncada to second.

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