Will White Sox Make One More Impact Move?

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The righty will be pitching at 31-years old this season and currently slots into a stacked Washington Nationals rotation.

The key with Doug Fister is that he’s set to become a free agent after the ’15 season, which may entice Washington to move him considering they have enough rotational depth in Tanner Roark and minor leaguer A.J. Cole. Fister missed the early portion of the ’14 season with a muscle injury, but was electric upon his return.

He posted a 2.41 ERA and a 16-6 record in 25 starts. He had a 3.93 FIP, so he is likely due for some regression, but would still be a quality add the White Sox’s rotation. His strikeout rate was below career norms last season, and it would be crucial for him to see more strikeouts in ’15 to succeed in the launching pad that is U.S. Cellular field.

Still, Fister has a 49.2 percentage career ground ball rate, which actually makes him profile well at “The Cell.” He’s also familiar with the AL Central, having played with the Tigers as recently as two seasons ago.

So what would it take to land a quality arm like Fister?

Any prospect loss would be difficult to swallow considering the White Sox are only guaranteed to get one year of his services, but at 31 years old, Fister could be an extension candidate and would maybe be willing to accept a deal in the range of three years/$50 million.

In any case, the White Sox could still obtain a compensatory ’16 draft pick by extending a qualifying offer to Fister and allowing him to sign a long-term deal elsewhere.

A package probably starts around Chicago’s No. 3 prospect per MLBPipeline Francellis Montas, who came over from Boston in the Jake Peavy deal, and put himself on the scene with a strong ’14.

Montas has always possessed power stuff, with a fastball that has movement and can crack 100 MPH. Montas made progress with his slider as well in ’14, and steadied his control. While he has a chance to be at the front of a rotation, he actually may profile better as a closer.

The addition of Fister would give the White Sox arguably the best rotation in the American League

The White Sox are set in that department after inking David Robertson to a four year/$46 million deal this offseason. The Nationals have Drew Storen currently slotted in to close out games, but Montas could offer them a long-term option at the position with a chance for the righty to supplant Storen sometime in the second half of ’15.

The other piece in the deal could be IF Carlos Sanchez, who saw some time in the majors last season. Sanchez hit to the tune of a .250/.269/.300 slash line through 28 games, but flashed a nice glove at second base.

Sep 22, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago White Sox second baseman

Carlos Sanchez

(77) makes a throw to first baseman

Jose Abreu

(79) to get Detroit Tigers shortstop

Andrew Romine

(not pictured) out in the fourth inning at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Sanchez is a switch hitter who struggled versus right-handed pitching in ’14, but dominated lefties, sporting an .867 OPS against them in a small sample size.

It’s not hard to envision Washington liking the idea of a Carlos Sanchez and Yunel Escobar platoon at second base, with Sanchez trying to lock down the spot long-term.

The White Sox can absorb the loss of Sanchez with the presence of Micah Johnson, who has a much higher ceiling, Gordon Beckham and Emilio Bonifacio, who are all options to hold down second base in ’15.

It’s certainly a move the White Sox should at least consider, as the addition of Fister would give them arguably the best rotation in the American League.