MLB News: White Sox Sign Former All-Star First Baseman

After a tremendous first full season in the major leagues that featured 29 homers, 98 RBIs and his first All-Star berth, former Los Angeles Angels first baseman Jared Walsh has suffered a precipitous fall-off, fueled largely by frightening health problems.

Now Walsh is getting his second chance at the big leagues this season, with the Chicago White Sox. He was released by the Texas Rangers earlier in April. 

It's a minor league deal for Walsh, who batted .226 in 60 plate appearances with Texas, with one home run and a .637 OPS. 

Walsh's first full season in the bigs came in that All-Star 2021 season, an amazing success story after being a 39th-round pick by the Angels in 2015. But following that '21 campaign, in which he batted .277 and posted an OPS+ of 127, he mustered only a .215 average and an 80 OPS+ in 2022 and saw his HR numbers cut in half, to just 15. 

2023 was even worse, as he batted .125 in 39 games before the Angels placed him on the IL with neurological issues that included persistent headaches and insomnia. Walsh described his health battles in The Athletic: “It’s been hell. Not knowing what’s going on, not understanding what’s happening with my body….And not being able to get answers, not being able to figure out why I can’t do basic tasks. It’s been pretty concerning for me.”

He seems to have some answers now, and is healthy enough to keep giving it a shot to get back to the majors on a full-time basis, and that's good news.

Andrew Vaughan has put up untenable numbers at first base this season for the White Sox, with a slash line of .180/.252/.230. Perhaps after a stint in Triple-A, Walsh can help with the big club. 

Photo: © Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports