On December 16th, the Kansas City Royals designated Moises Sierra for assignment to make room on their 40-man roster for Kendrys Morales. Only two months after the Royals claimed the 26 year-old outfielder off waivers from the White Sox, Chicago has an opportunity to bring him back into the fold.
Moises Sierra was a popular guy in the White Sox dugout during the 2014 season. Whether he was acting as Jose Abreu‘s corner-man, offering the slugger refreshments and a towel, or making it his mission to coax a smile out of Conor Gillaspie, Sierra was a positive clubhouse presence. The news of him being DFA’d by the Royals understandably has many Sox fans hoping for his return to the Southside. Count me as one of those fans; not just because of the positive vibes he brings to the team, but because he fills a need.
The Best Of Both Worlds
With Avisail Garcia in right field, Adam Eaton in center, and Melky Cabrera in left, the White Sox need a solid fourth out fielding option. Dayan Viciedo would be next in line for that role, however, Rick Hahn has signaled his future with the club is not guaranteed. Speaking with CBS Chicago, Hahn stated, “We’re not locked into moving him. We’re not locked into keeping him.” If, and when, the White Sox pull the trigger and move Viciedo, Jordan Danks would be the other option currently on the roster.
Whereas Viciedo offers power offensively at the expense of defensive reliability, Danks offers solid defense while sacrificing offensive reliability. Danks’ .227 career bating average is not going to have Sox fans clamoring for him to be Viciedo’s replacement anytime soon. Therefore, adding Sierra makes perfect sense.
The White Sox first acquired Sierra, claiming him off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays, May 3rd, 2014. Playing in 83 games, Sierra produced a .276/.311/.417 slash line that contributed to a .728 OPS. Defensively, he spent most of his time in right field, but showed the ability to hold down the fort in the left field, as well. Sierra posted a 1.4 UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating) and 5.2 UZR/150 (Ultimate Zone Rating per 150 games) over 372.1 innings played in right field in 2014, per Fangraphs.com, while posting a 1.8 UZR over 27 innings in left. Compare those stats to Viciedo’s 2014 UZR of -3.8 in left field, and it’s obvious Sierra would be a much better defensive compliment than “Tank.”
Sierra, who stole three bases on four attempts in 2014, has good speed and an accurate arm in the outfield. Offensively, Moises has held his own, producing a 0.3 oWAR (Offensive Wins Above Replacement) with the White Sox. According to MLB.com, Sierra’s currently playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic, and leads La Liga with 34 RBI in 39 games, batting .311 with a .386 OBP.
It’s not immediately clear what the Royals plans are for Sierra, but if he is placed on waivers once again, the Sox would be wise to pick him up. 2015 is shaping up to be a fun year on the Southside, who better to start the party than clubhouse clown himself?
*All advanced stats, unless otherwise noted, courtesy of baseball-reference.com