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White Sox land Giants pitcher in Rule 5 Draft

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The White Sox selected San Francisco Giants pitcher Nick Avila with their Rule 5 Draft pick at this year's winter meetings. 

Avila, 25, was selected in 2019 by the Giants out of Cal State University. He's played in the Giants' system since then, making his way to Double-A this past season. 

"It's been a little bit since we've made a Rule 5 pick," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said on Wednesday. "It was made with the intention of Nick potentially being someone who could play a role in our bullpen in 2023. We like the long-term upside, but we would not have made the selection if we didn't think he had a chance to potentially contribute as most likely a multi-inning reliever for us next season."

In 47 games between Double-A and High-A baseball in the Giants' farm system, Avila held a 1.14 ERA from 55.1 innings pitched. He struck out 58 batters and walked 14 of them on his way to a 4-2 pitching record. 

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Every December during winter meetings, the Rule 5 Draft allows clubs without a full 40-man roster to select a player from their non-40-man rosters. Not every club needs to make a selection, but a club that does select a player will pay $100,000 to the opposing club in exchange for the player. 

This year, the White Sox snagged a pitcher some Giants' pundits were surprised the team didn't protect. Given his upside and past connection with the White Sox staff, Hahn indicates it was a relatively easy decision to select him. 

"He has a history with Ethan [Katz]," Hahn said. "Ethan thinks very highly of him. We liked the idea of bringing him in and letting him compete for a spot. In the end, not surprisingly, given where we're at, we'll obviously go with the best group that helps us win in Chicago."

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