Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

Sox closing in on reliever Will Ohman

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Will+Ohman+Baltimore+Orioles+v+Boston+Red+plpjMzHKOfJl.jpgCall it Peavy insurance.
With the health status of pitcher Jake Peavy for the start of the regular season still up in the air, the White Sox continued to make sure the bullpen can handle the workload, as a team source confirmed on Saturday that the club was set to announce a two-year, $4 million deal for lefty reliever Will Ohman.
What the 33-year-old Ohman will give the Sox is another southpaw in the bullpen, but more importantly, some freedom to use Chris Sale in the starting rotation if need be.
Peavy, who underwent season-ending surgery to reattach his right lat muscle in July, is on schedule in his rehab process, but general manager Ken Williams was very hesitant to paint the right-hander in that light.
"I don't put timetables,'' Williams said last month. "You know what happens when you put timetables on? Your guys get around the guy and every day it's, 'how you are doing or aren't you coming back on this day or this week?' It puts pressure on the guy and he's not allowed to go out there when he's actually ready.''
The plan was to stretch Sale out like a starter during spring camp, and if Peavy can't answer the April 1 bell, the hard-throwing rookie would fill that spot.
The problem, however, was that would leave a glaring hole in the bullpen, with Matt Thornton the only proven commodity from the left side. Ohman will change that, holding lefty hitters to a .208 average throughout his career.
As far as the Sox payroll, that only grows, in what will be the most spent on a Sox team in franchise history. Once Ohman is finalized, the Sox will be nearing the $130-million mark.

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Cowley published on January 8, 2011 5:54 PM.

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