White Sox, free-agent catcher agree to two-year deal

CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox and free-agent catcher Toby Hall agreed Sunday on a two-year, $3.65 million contract that includes a club option for 2009.

Hall, 31, will earn $1.75 million in 2007 and 2008 and likely will back up A.J. Pierzynski. The White Sox hold a $2.25 million option with a $150,000 buyout for 2009.

Hall combined to hit .259 (72-for-278) with 17 doubles, eight home runs and 31 RBI in 85 games for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Los Angeles Dodgers last season.

"Toby brings us a veteran presence behind the plate and allows
us to keep A.J. Pierzynski rested as the season goes on," White
Sox general manager Ken Williams said. "There are a number of
left-handed starting pitchers in the division, and we feel Toby
will enhance our offensive attack against them.

"I had a great conversation with Toby to explain how we view his
role, and he expressed how difficult a decision it was for him.
He had chances to go to other clubs that may have offered more
playing time, but he chose the White Sox and we are a better
team for it."

The 6-foot-3, 240-pound Hall -- who debuted with Tampa Bay in
2000 and was its starter for three straight seasons before being traded to the Dodgers in late June -- is a career .265
hitter with 116 doubles, 44 home runs and 259 RBI. He has thrown
out 116 of 359 attempted base stealers.

Information from The Associated Press and SportsTicker was used in this report.