Aug 13, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; Chicago White Sox third baseman Conor Gillaspie (12) tosses his bat after drawing a walk against the San Francisco Giants during the second inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Being that it is the time of year for MLB rumors and such, the Chicago White Sox are in the mix for the best third baseman free agent on the market in Pablo Sandoval.
My question today isn’t if the White Sox should or should not sign the three-time World Series champion, but if they are able to pass on Sandoval, are you OK at having Conor Gillaspie back at third base in 2015?
Oct 29, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval hits a double against the Kansas City Royals in the 8th inning during game seven of the 2014 World Series at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
My answer is yes, and here is why.
I really like Sandoval, but I don’t believe the White Sox should sign him to a contract more than three years, but that scenario us highly unlikely, as he’ll most likely get a five or six year contract.
With that said … I think this offseason the White Sox have more pressuring issues than the play of their third baseman.
I’d rather see the the White Sox focus more on getting better in left field and signing a big-time designated hitter who can protect Jose Abreu in the line up.
Plus, we can not forget about the pitching as another need, especially parts of the bullpen and the back end of the starting rotation.
Those positions in my book are more important than third base.
Now if we look at the two seasons of Gillaspie with the White Sox, he’s not been terribly bad, in fact he’s been very serviceable.
In his two seasons in Chicago (264 games) he’s has a .265 batting average, a .322 on-base percentage and .404 slugging percentage.
Those numbers aren’t bad, especially this season with a .282 average in 130 games (464 at-bats).
His fielding percentage while with the White Sox is most likely a big reason the White Sox are pursuing Sandoval, besides the fact Sandoval is a big-time player.
Gillaspie in ’14 had a .961 fielding percentage at third (127 games), committing 12 errors. Sandoval in comparison had 11 errors at third in ’14, with a .971 fielding percentage in 151 games at third.
So, Gillaspie is a little worse at fielding than Sandoval, but is that difference worth the price tag that Sandoval will bring compared to Gillaspie?
Another factor of Sandoval that has decreased the past few seasons is his on-base percentage. Since ’11 when he was at .357, his OBP has fallen each season at .342, .341 and this past season at .324, which is actually lower than Gillaspie in ’14.
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With everything taken into consideration, I just believe the White Sox should pass on making the big splash in signing Sandoval, and look elsewhere to improve the team for the ’15 season.
They could use the money they would potentially spend on Sandoval and gain improvement in other positions in the lineup.
But if they do sign Sandoval, it won’t hurt the team, but I just don’t know if the signing would be necessary.
Let us know your thoughts on this potential signing.