After Miguel Gonzalez was traded to the Texas Rangers for minor-league infielder Ti'Quan Forbes on Aug. 31, there was a strong sense the veteran right-hander hadn't pitched his final game for the Chicago White Sox.
"He did like it here a lot," Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "He's going to miss everybody; he expressed that. We're very appreciative of what he was capable of doing for us. We wish him well. You never know your paths might cross again."
With the White Sox still in need of veteran starters to eat up innings while prospects such as Michael Kopech, Alec Hansen, Dylan Cease and Dane Dunning continue pushing toward the South Side, Gonzalez returned Thursday.
The Sox signed the 33-year-old free agent to a one-year, $4.75 million contract.
"As a player, it's hard to let go when you're feeling comfortable in an organization," Gonzalez said. "The White Sox treated me well since the first day I got there. You never want to leave, but when it happens you do start thinking about what's going to happen.
"We really talked about it this off-season. I talked about it with my wife and she loves Chicago. She enjoys it there. As soon as we started talking with the White Sox about the contract, I was pretty pumped, pretty excited to come back."
Gonzalez combined to go 8-13 with a 4.62 ERA in 27 starts with the Sox and Rangers last season. He was 7-10 with a 4.31 ERA in 22 starts with the White Sox.
In 5 starts with Texas, Gonzalez was 1-3 with a 6.45 ERA.
A shoulder injury slowed Gonzalez last season, but after he spent a month on the disabled list, he quickly got back up to speed and was 2-0 with a 1.85 ERA in the final 5 starts with the Sox before being traded.
"It's not easy when you have some setbacks," Gonzalez said. "I was out for a month and I wasn't able to help out the team. You just feel like no one likes you during that moment, no one really pays attention to you.
"Sometimes that's just part of the game and I just started working hard again to get back to where I needed to be and then I started pitching well and teams that were interested in the trade market, that's when I got traded to Texas."
Gonzalez didn't pitch well for the Rangers, but he has value to the White Sox on the mound and in the clubhouse as a mentor to young starters such as Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez.
"I got a chance to spend time with most of the young guys that were coming up late in the season," Gonzalez said. "There's definitely a lot of talent, but they always like to come to the older guys and feel comfortable talking to us.
"I love to give them feedback and try to help them out as much as I can. That's what we're here for also, so every time we have that opportunity to help guys out, that's what I'm here for."
To clear a spot on the 40-man roster, the White Sox designated outfielder Jacob May for assignment.
May, 25, spent most of last season at Class AAA Charlotte and batted .248. He opened the season with the Sox and was 2-for-36 (.056) before being optioned to Triple-A on May 1.
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