NASHVILLE -- The White Sox added infield depth to their 40-man roster on Thursday, taking 29-year-old shortstop Angel Sanchez in the Rule 5 draft.
Sanchez, taken from the Angels, spent the 2012 season with the Houston Astros' AAA affiliate and batted .320 with a .390 on-base percentage. He has played parts of three seasons in the majors with the Red Sox, Astros and Royals and owns a career .255 batting average over 568 at-bats.
Sanchez can also play second base and third, and his addition will allow 20-year-old prospect Carlos Sanchez to open the 2013 season at AAA. Assistant general manager Buddy Bell said Sanchez could easily make the Sox Opening Day roster as a utility infielder.
"This is a lot different than finding a [pitcher] that is throwing 95 or 100 then you can just hope you can hide on your roster somewhere,'' Bell said. "This guy here, we think if it works out, it can really help our club from Opening Day and beyond that.''
The Sox must pay the Angels $50,000 and keep him on their 25-man roster for the 2013 season or offer him back to the Angels for $25,000. Sanchez is the Sox first pick in the major-league phase of the Rule 5 draft since they took Jason Grilli from the Marlins in 2003.
Sanchez, a native of Humacao, Puerto Rico, is playing with Mayaquez in the Puerto Rican Winter League where he is batting .344 with two home runs and seven RBI over 17 games.
The native of Humacao, Puerto Rico, was selected by the Royals in the 11th round of the 2001 draft.
"I actually managed this kid in Kansas City, and I loved this kid,'' Bell said. "He had some elbow issues at the time and I left before he came back after his injuries. I've been keeping my eye on him for the last few years.
"He was a guy that we talked about even before that list came out. He signed early with Anaheim and through this whole process we were talking about possibly Rule 5-ing him which we did today.''
With the move, the Sox 40-man roster is at 38.