Chicago White Sox: The Tyler Flowers Experiment Needs to End
This is a guy I’ve wanted the White Sox to get for a long time. The Houston Astros’ 2008 first-rounder broke onto the scene with an all-star season in 2013, as he posted an .835 OPS and good power numbers in the form of 18 home runs and 35 doubles.
Oh yeah, and he hits left-handed. I was salivating at the prospect of him being acquired ahead of the 2014 season but knew the price was likely too high. Then something interesting happened. Castro had a lackluster 2014 season. He showed some pop, but his average dipped to .222.
Suddenly, the idea of stealing him away from Houston wasn’t as far-fetched as it had been before. In fact, according to HardballTalk’s Aaron Gleeman there was interest from Chicago over the offseason. On Nov. 11th, 2014 Gleeman posted this:
"“Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com and Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago both report that the White Sox are interested in Astros catcher Jason Castro… Houston just acquired catcher Hank Conger from the Angels, perhaps making the 27-year-old Castro more expendable.”"
Castro is hitting just .232 this season, but some of his power has returned (5 home runs and 6 doubles in ’15), which is helping to raise his OPS to a respectable .724. His 21.6 percent strikeout rate and 8.8 percent walk rate show that his plate discipline is much better than it was last season and he is certainly trending more towards the 2013 version of himself.
The White Sox should at least call on a possible deal centering on Jason Castro and Matt Davidson.
The Astros have quite a few options at catcher between Hank Gonger, Evan Gattis, and top catching prospect Max Stassi, who they’ve been high on in the past.
The Astros could use some help in the backend of the rotation, so RHP Chris Beck might be of interest to them. Trayce Thompson would fit in nicely as a 4th outfielder and could compete with incumbent Jake Marisnick for playing time in center.
Another piece that could be used in a deal for Jason Castro is Matt Davidson. Houston third baseman Luis Valbuena has been effective for the Astros thus far, with 10 home runs and a .708 OPS, but the issue with the left-handed Valbuena is his dismal .122 average against left-handed pitching.
Davidson could form a solid platoon with Valbuena and I think it’s in the White Sox’s best interest to at least call on a possible deal built around Castro and Davidson.
Castro is just 27 years old and was an all-star as recently as 2013. Bringing him to the South Side could turn things around for the White Sox.
Next: A second idea for a new catcher