Former Cleveland Guardians reliever and workhorse Bryan Shaw has inked a minor-league contract with the Chicago White Sox. Shaw, 35, was invited to spring training and offered a chance to compete for a spot on the division rival's major-league roster. He could help add depth to a bullpen that is currently without Garrett Crochet and All-Star Liam Hendricks.
Shaw first came into the fold of Cleveland lore when he came to the Guardians as part of a three-team trade that sent Shin-Soo Choo and Jason Donald to the Cincinnati Reds and also gave Cleveland Drew Stubbs, Matt Albers and Trevor Bauer. He instantly became a staple of the Guardians' bullpen and helped Cleveland reach the wild-card round in 2013, quickly earning a reputation as a workhorse and go-to reliever of manager Terry Francona. Over the next five seasons, he would amass a 3.11 ERA across a whopping 358.2 innings pitched.
In his (first) final season with the Guardians, he went 4-6 with a 3.52 ERA in 79 games, and he threw a cutter 87.1% of the time, the highest rate in Major League Baseball. That offseason, Cleveland let him walk, and the 29-year old reliever signed with the Colorado Rockies for three years and $27 million. It proved to be - to this point - the worst era of his career. Shaw held a 5.61 ERA during his two seasons with the Rockies, allowed 21 home runs and walked 57 batters in 126.2 innings.
He didn’t make it through the 2020 season, either, getting released on July 17 and was subsequently picked up by the Seattle Mariners, who sent him to the alternate site and parted ways with him after the shortened season. That opened the door for the Guardians to snatch him up the following February and sign him to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training.
During his second stint with Cleveland, Shaw went right back to his workhorse ways, appearing in 81 games, tossing 77 ⅓ innings and compiling a 3.49 ERA. But despite re-signing to a minor-league deal after the 2021 season, Shaw pitched in 60 games, striking out 52 batters across 58.1 innings while posting a 5.40 ERA. He had fallen off just enough for the Guardians to part ways with the fan favorite, clearing the way for prospect Bo Naylor to be added to the playoff roster on October 1.
One of Shaw’s career goals, according to Cleveland.com, is to pitch long enough to pass Jesse Orosco’s 1,252 games, the major-league record for pitching appearances. He currently has 753 major league appearances through his 12 major-league seasons, and ranks third in appearances in Cleveland history behind Bob Feller and Mel Harder.