But agreeing to terms with left-handed pitchers Donnie Veal and Jose Quintana not only could help the team in the future but also in 2012, according to general manager Ken Williams.
"He could contribute," said Williams of Veal, speaking Thursday after five local high school players who took part in the White Sox Amateur City Elite program signed their letters of intent during a ceremony at U.S. Cellular Field.
"It's not out of the realm of possibility that the kid from A ball [Quintana] will potentially compete for a job as well," Williams continued. "We like him that much. Otherwise, we wouldn't put him on the roster."
Veal, 27, finished 0-2 with a 4.22 ERA over 32 innings and 19 appearances covering stops at Class A Bradenton, Double-A Altoona, Triple-A Indianapolis and the rookie Gulf Coast League as part of the 2011 Pirates. He did not pitch until May 22 while recovering from Tommy John surgery performed on June 4, 2010.
A 19-game stint, during which he posted a 1-0 record with a 7.16 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 16 1/3 innings, in 2009 with the Pirates covers Veal's lone big league experience.
"I saw him at the University of Arizona years ago before he went to Pima Community College," said Williams of Veal. "He's got an electric arm. He has had trouble with his delivery, getting his delivery fine-tuned enough to be consistent. But he has stuff that can translate into Major League success and hopefully our guys can rein that in."
Over 140 Minor League games, the 6-foot-4, 240-pound Veal has produced a 28-33 record with a 3.86 ERA with the Cubs and the Pirates. Veal originally was taken by the Cubs in the second round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft.
Quintana, 22, spent the entire 2011 season with Class A Tampa in the New York Yankees system, finishing 10-2 with a 2.91 ERA, one save and 88 strikeouts in 30 appearances that included 14 starts. He posted a 6-1 record with a 2.83 ERA in 63 2/3 innings as a starter.
"He's a strike thrower," said Williams of Quintana, who has an 18-8 record and 2.76 ERA during five Minor League seasons with the Mets and the Yankees. "He can spin the breaking ball. He's got velocity to both sides of the plate, angle down and we think that ultimately he's going to grow up and be a starter."
Even with Chris Sale moving to the starting rotation, the White Sox still have Matt Thornton and Will Ohman to work from the left side in the back end of the bullpen. Veal and possibly even Quintana will compete with Hector Santiago for a possible third left-handed relief spot.
With these two moves, the White Sox 40-man roster sits at 34.
"We are very happy to have both," Williams said.