Aug 8, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves infielder Emilio Bonifacio (1) sits in the dugout during a rain delay against the Washington Nationals in the sixth inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
The Chicago White Sox have pretty much filled all of their needs this offseason.
Could they still use some help on the bench? Sure, but the White Sox have enough prospects (Micah Johnson and Carlos Sanchez) for second base, and an extra outfielder to trade in Dayan Viciedo to acquire depth in those areas.
The White Sox still need a capable backup infielder and utility player that can play both in the infield and outfield
A name that makes sense would be Ben Zobrist, however, he is going to cost the White Sox much more than Viciedo. Not to mention the Sox want to compete long-term, and trading some of their better prospects isn’t a good idea if they want to do just that.
While Zobrist would be possible trade option, a free agent option would be Emilio Bonifacio.
Bonifacio can play virtually anywhere you ask him to (outside of pitcher and catcher), and can switch hit as well. Bonifacio would also be a good option as a pinch runner due to his speed (he has 164 stolen bases since he entered MLB in 2007).
One drawback is that he strikes out too much (22.6% of the time) and hits for very little power (13 HRs in 2,456 career at-bats).
In a perfect world, Bonifacio is a super-utility man, which is what the White Sox would use him for assuming they signed him.
Another free agent option is Ichiro Suzuki.
While he is well past his prime, he can still run (15 stolen bases in 143 games in 2014) and make contact (944 Ks in 8,964 career at-bats). Not to mention he can play all three outfield spots, and do so at a clip that would be no worse than average.
The one thing that Ichiro would bring to the White Sox is a player that is fundamentally sound, which is something they have lacked in previous years.
The White Sox could always add pitching, which is what I would assume Viciedo would be moved for. Bullpen help especially, with the right side being a priority.
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Viciedo’s biggest problem is not that he can’t hit (he hit 20-plus HRs in two the last three years) but that he really doesn’t have a position. He doesn’t hit enough to be a designated hitter, and he is a terrible defender. That said he is still young enough (26 in March) for someone to take a chance on him.
All in all, the White Sox may have a deal or signing left in them. Role players will be added now, especially the type described above.
This team is set, outside of a few lesser pieces. SoxFest is in three weeks, which means spring training isn’t too far off. The offseason is starting to wrap up, and the real fun will begin as February is around the corner. Stay tuned Sox fans.