I’d be happy with either half of this hug in a White Sox uniform for the right price. (Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports)
I generally adopt the perspective of, “Assemble as much talent as you can, and then sort it out.” Perhaps the White Sox do too, although their speech and actions don’t seem to match that. The White Sox seem to chase after particular areas of need, and desperation doesn’t always yield good decision-making. For the bulk of this offseason, the White Sox have been saying they really want to add a left-handed bat specifically. Given the current offensive talent of the White Sox, my strategy would be, “Get the best bats you can, regardless of platoon split.” A left-handed bat still fits that thought process, but at the same time, I hope they aren’t ignoring good value opportunities of right-handed bats in their single-minded pursuit of southpaws.
Regardless, there is a viable left-handed bat out there in Jason Kubel. Or is there? The Diamondbacks just traded Justin Upton to the Braves this morning along with Chris Johnson in exchange for Martin Prado, Randall Delgado, and other prospects. The thing is, Kubel may still be available in a deal, as the Diamondbacks have created some pretty odd positional logjams for themselves, even with Upton gone.
Right now, it looks like Adam Eaton is going to be their starting CF, and Cody Ross, just given big money, is likely to play RF. That leaves Jason Kubel and Gerardo Parra fighting for time in LF. There’s also the newly arrived Prado to consider. At 3B he can split time with Eric Chavez, but I doubt they acquired him to be the small side of a 3B platoon. They can use him to spell Aaron Hill at 2B if need be, but he’s going to need some starts in the outfield if they’re going to get full value out of him. And they’d better, because one year of Prado and Randall Delgado are the centerpieces of their return for Upton.
Now, guessing the Diamondbacks’ plan at this point is a strange exercise. However, one would have to imagine that one of either Gerardo Parra (lefty) or Jason Kubel (lefty) would be available at this point. If the Diamondbacks are still interested in adding arms, perhaps this is an area where the White Sox could be a decent fit as a trade partner. Gavin Floyd seems less likely to move, given the recent indices of the organization’s confidence in John Danks and Chris Sale‘s durability respectively. Erik Johnson, Scott Snodgress, or other names might be tempting to Arizona, though.
Personally, I’d prefer Parra, but Kubel is the name that has been on the block, and I could see him floating around and giving extra rest/platoon days to Rios, Konerko, and Viciedo as needed enough to find him 450-500PAs this year.