White Sox agree to minor league deal with Ishikawa


Travis Ishikawa and the Chicago White Sox have agreed to terms on a minor league deal per Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times. Ishikawa will receive an invite to spring training.

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Ishikawa, 32, is best remembered for smacking a walk-off three run shot off St. Louis Cardinals’ pitcher Michael Wacha in game five of the 2014 NLCS to send the San Francisco Giants to the World Series.

Over eight seasons in the majors, Ishikawa has compiled a .255 clip at the plate with 23 home runs and 137 RBI. His most notable season came in 2009, his first full year in the big leagues, when he smacked nine home runs and drove in 39 RBI.

During his career, Ishikawa has had stints with five different clubs – San Francisco Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles and Milwaukee Brewers. He most recently played for the Pirates, appearing in just 38 games last season. Ishikawa was outrighted by the Pirates this past October and opted to test free agency.

Ishikawa, a first baseman by trade, has also spent time in the outfield and is used to pinch hitting.

If he is able to make the big-league club at any point during the season, he figures to split time between the outfield, as added depth, and pinch hitting. Of course, now that he’s in the American League, he can also fill in at DH.

Given the fact the White Sox have Jose Abreu at first base, he’s unlikely to get any playing time there. Still, he’s another infield option, where nobody can have enough depth.

Should Chicago reach the postseason in 2016, Ishikawa has shown he has the ability to come up big in the clutch. He may not get many opportunities, but if he does, he could flourish like he did in Pittsburgh. The White Sox are taking the chance he will flash that clutch gene this October.