Felipe Paulino to sign with White Sox

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Chicago White Sox didn't waste much time in making at least a ripple at the winter meetings by signing free-agent right-hander Felipe Paulino.

On the first official day of the meetings, the team reached a $1.75 million deal with Paulino for 2014, with a $4 million team option for 2015. There is also a $250,000 buyout for 2015.

The White Sox plan on giving Paulino the chance to be in the starting rotation. The White Sox currently have four left-handed starters in the fold in Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, John Danks and Hector Santiago, with the final rotation spot wide open.

"[Paulino] has been in a variety of roles so conceivably he could end up in the bullpen but right now we're viewing him as an option for our rotation," general manager Rick Hahn said. "That's going to allow us to potentially not rush one of our younger guys if they're not ready in Erik Johnson or Andre Rienzo. Or if we decide we don't want to go with a four lefty rotation, we have an option for doing something else other than that as well."

Paulino made seven minor league rehab starts in the Kansas City Royals' organization last season after undergoing ulnar collateral ligament replacement surgery in 2012. He had an 0-3 record with a 6.51 ERA in outings that were split between Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha.

Before he was injured in 2012, Paulino was 3-1 with a 1.67 ERA in seven starts with the Royals. In 93 career big league appearances (61 starts) over five seasons with the Houston Astros, Colorado Rockies and Royals, the 30-year-old was 13-32 with a 4.93 ERA and 359 strikeouts in 385 1/3 innings.

For three seasons (2006 to 2008), Paulino was rated by Baseball America as having the best fastball in the Astros' organization.