White Sox infielder Tim Anderson’s six-game suspension has been reduced to five games, per a league announcement. He was going to appeal but reached a settlement with the league, eliminating the need for a hearing. He’ll begin serving his suspension Friday. José Ramírez of the Guardians had his three-game suspension reduces to two games, which he served this past weekend.
Both suspensions stemmed from the same incident. In the Aug. 5 game between the Sox and Guards, Ramírez slid into second base and took umbrage with the way Anderson attempted to tag him out.
“He tagged me really hard, more than needed, and his reaction was like, ‘I want to fight,’” Ramirez said, per Mike Brehm of USA Today. “And if he wants to fight, I wanted to defend myself.”
The two came to blows, with Ramirez knocking Anderson to the ground as the benches cleared. That led to the aforementioned suspensions for Anderson and Ramírez, as well as one-game suspensions for Cleveland closer Emmanuel Clase, manager Terry Francona, third base coach Mike Sarbaugh and White Sox skipper Pedro Grifol. Guardians infielder Gabriel Arias and White Sox righty Michael Kopech were also each fined an undisclosed amount.
The news won’t have a significant short-term impact on the Sox, who are well out of contention. They will have a decision to make on Anderson this winter, as they have a $14M option for his services next year that comes with a $1M buyout. He’s hitting a dismal .238/.285/.284 this year for a 58 wRC+ and with poor defensive grades to boot, but he hit .318/.347/.473 over the previous four seasons for a 123 wRC+, stealing 53 bases and producing 13.6 fWAR.
Elvis Andrus will likely cover shortstop for the next few days, moving over from second. Zach Remillard figures to jump into the second base job for that stretch. The Sox don’t have another obvious middle infield candidate on the active roster, so they may have to make a move before Friday’s game so that they at least have a bench option. Lenyn Sosa is on the 40-man roster and could perhaps be recalled, though a corresponding move would be required. Players suspended for on-field infractions continue to occupy a roster spot, so the Sox will have to play with a 25-man active roster until Anderson’s suspension is complete.