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12/05/08 10:51 AM EST

Sox ink former Pirates first-round pick

Hurler Van Benschoten signs Minor League deal with Chicago

PITTSBURGH -- Former Pirates right-hander John Van Benschoten has signed a Minor League contract with the White Sox, officially severing ties with the Pirates organization that made him the eighth overall pick in the 2001 First-Year Player Draft.

Van Benschoten had informed the club earlier this offseason that he would be filing for free agency and exploring options elsewhere. He did not negotiate with the Pirates.

The 28-year-old starter ends his eight-year stint with the Pirates with a 2-13 record and a 9.20 ERA. He was the organization's Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2007 and compiled impressive career numbers -- 17-11 with a 3.14 ERA in 44 games (35 starts) -- with Triple-A Indianapolis.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.