I feel a bit like a broken record, but the staff here at Southside Showdown is constantly on the lookout for any way that the White Sox can improve their offense. At this phase in the offseason teams are still doing their research, feeling each other out and assessing their options. Rumors randomly flare up in various forms–sometimes linking a team to a player, or simply saying that a team is fielding offers on someone, etc. etc.– often to be extinguished just as quickly as they emerge. But they are occasionally correct, and they often offer inspiration as to possible solutions to a roster’s problems.
Poking around the rumor mill, the Marlins are rumored to have made Logan Morrison available in trade. This passes as plausible at first glance. Morrison has had spats with the front office in the past over his social media presence, is arbitration eligible for 2014 (players that cost money aren’t long for the Marlins), and hasn’t managed to hit for power, get on base, and stay healthy at the same time for any extended stretch of games. The problem, as we’ve seen Matt and James scratch their heads at how Paul Konerko can possibly stick around as a player next year if the White Sox actually care about their product on the field, is that Logan Morrison is likely a 1B/DH only moving forward. Morrison was essentially limited to left field when he was playing in the outfield, which he did not do at all in 2013, and he was quite bad at it when he did.
The White Sox already have a bit of a logjam at 1B/DH, and while Morrison offers the ability to hit left handed and take a walk, Dayan Viciedo is in a somewhat similar situation. Formerly well-regarded, but increasingly looking like his bat cannot carry his glove. Trading for another player like that may not make sense – then again, perhaps you could make the argument that if you scratch off enough lotto tickets you might strike it rich. It’s something to keep an eye on, and the White Sox have a track record of trying to rehabilitate former top prospects. It just doesn’t seem like a fit for the roster.
Another rumor I stumbled across was that the Diamondbacks are looking to shop Aaron Hill. It makes sense that the Diamondbacks might be willing to deal Hill, Martin Prado can shift over to 2B to make room for Matt Davidson at 3B. Hill isn’t ideal in the sense that he is an older player and carries a hefty pricetag. Hill is owed $35 million for the next 3 years, his age 32-34 seasons. What he offers, however, is a potential impact bat at a scarce position that he can actually field well. Over his last two seasons, Hill has hit .298/.359/.501, which plays at any position, and is excellent in the middle infield.
Hill carries risk – his age, his contract, and his tendency to randomly forget how to hit for entire seasons. The White Sox may have to gamble a little bit if they want to cobble together a decent offense.
I would consider it unlikely that the White Sox pull the trigger on Hill, but it’s an interesting thought. Maybe just to the extent that I enjoy imagining the White Sox with good hitters.