Since the Chicago White Sox are going to have limited funds this offseason, they are going to have to make some creative trades. While the White Sox have many holes to fill, it might make sense to deal from a position of strength. Since the team has five outfielders heading into 2016, I think it might make sense to move one of them.
The name that comes to mind in a trade would be Avisail Garcia, just due to the fact that he still his upside and value on the trade market. On top of that, Trayce Thompson could take his spot in right field.
Garcia has a lot of raw talent, although he is having trouble translating it to the field. It is a similar case to Dayan Viciedo, except Garcia has more athleticism. However, there is still time for Garcia to harness his raw skills and become a good right fielder.
My concern with dealing Garcia now is that he will become a star somewhere else because the White Sox gave up too quickly. On the flip slide, if he doesn’t ever pan out they are stuck with another prospect that turned out to be a bust. Keep this in mind, Garcia missed almost all of 2014 with a torn labrum so he may develop into an elite hitter.
On to Trayce Thompson, who is a much better defender than Garcia as of right now. Meanwhile, Thompson’s upside is no where near Garcia’s, meaning the team would be risking giving up a potential star for more of a platoon right fielder.
With Thompson, the team may have to use him vs. lefties and Shuck vs. righties. While I think that swapping Garcia with Thompson would improve the White Sox’s outfield defense tremendously, I am not sure what would happen to the team offensively moving forward.
If Garcia is moved for a legit starting shortstop or third baseman (a young one preferably) I would do it. However, I am not sure what will happen in free agency which will play a big role into how they handle Garcia this offseason.
Overall, Garcia has all of the tools to be a big league right fielder. While the injury in 2014 set him back a bit, I think that next year is a big one for him. The decision the White Sox have is this, keep Garcia with the hope that he breaks out and risk him destroying his value or net something in a deal while they can. As of now, the team could move him and get something of value. I think the White Sox have some resources that can play at the MLB level in 2016 in right field (outside of Garcia). However, it might be in the team’s best interest to move Garcia to shore up other needs.
Garcia does have a wealth of skills, but if he doesn’t ever use them properly it is irrelevant. So the time is now for the White Sox to make a decision on Garcia. If they make the wrong one, expect another season of losing.