CHICAGO –- The Chicago White Sox moved two players onto the 40-man roster Friday in advance of next month’s Rule 5 Draft.
Left-hander Charlie Leesman and right-hander Deunte Heath had their contracts purchased by the White Sox and will both get a look in major-league camp during spring training. Leesman was a non-roster invitee to big-league camp last season.
The moves mean that neither can be taken by other clubs in the Dec. 8 Rule 5 Draft that concludes the winter meetings in Dallas. Without the move to the 40-man they would have been unprotected by the White Sox because they both signed after they were 19 and have been in the club’s system for at least four years.
Leesman went 10-7 with a 4.03 ERA at Double-A Birmingham this past season. The 24-year-old led his club with 113 strikeouts and was named to the Southern League midseason All-Star team.
Heath, 26, progressed from the bullpen to the starting rotation for Triple-A Charlotte this past season. He went 4-7 with a 4.73 ERA with the Knights, recording 117 strikeouts in 30 appearances (16 starts). He also posted a 2-2 record and 2.37 ERA in six starts in the Venezuelan Winter League.
The White Sox’s 40-man roster is now at 36.