Despite options, Flowers is main choice at catcher for White Sox

CHICAGO -- Tyler Flowers is the Chicago White Sox's man behind the plate this season, even if the front office has added intriguing catching options this offseason.

General manager Rick Hahn made sure there was no confusion with pitchers and catchers set to report to spring training in four weeks.

“At this point, there’s no reason to move off of that,” Hahn said Friday at the team's annual SoxFest of the plan to start Flowers. “Competition is good. It brings out the best in people. And if someone comes in and fights for that job and earns it, I’m sure we’ll be flexible. But certainly we view Tyler as the starter.”

Challengers to the position include players with plenty of major league experience, such as Geovany Soto and George Kottaras, both of whom will come to camp on minor league contracts. The White Sox also have Rob Brantly, Adrian Nieto and Kevan Smith as catching options.

“It’s important to us to try to build up some catching depth, which isn’t always the easiest thing to do,” Hahn said. “We have a nice variety of different types of guys, whether it’s a veteran-type like Soto. Kottaras is a left-handed hitter that really could complement [Flowers], potentially, and obviously some younger guys in Brantly and Nieto, each of whom has options left and conceivably could be fits on a longer-term basis."

Flowers, 28, batted just .241 with a .396 slugging percentage last season but was much improved after the All-Star break.