Chicago White Sox: Third Base options for the Winter Meetings
By Brian Draus
If the Chicago White Sox are going to make a splash at the Winter Meetings next week, my guess is that at least one of the moves will involve third base.
Third base has been a hole for the South Siders since 2008 when Joe Crede left the organization, and I think it is time to find someone who can fill that role. Here are some possible names the Sox could acquire to play the hot corner.
Brett Lawrie: Oakland Athletics
Lawrie would have to come via a trade, and is not going to come cheap (return wise). He is a good defender, not to mention he does have the ability to hit. While he doesn’t have elite power, Lawrie is an above average third baseman when it comes to his all around game.
Lawrie is reported to be on his way out of Oakland, and the White Sox would be a perfect fit. My big concern with him is his injury history. He does struggle to stay on the field, not to mention rub teammates the wrong way in the clubhouse. Regardless, the fact that he doesn’t have a big contract and is a potential solid all-around 3B makes me wonder if this is their man.
Todd Frazier: Cincinnati Reds
Another trade candidate, and in my opinion he would be the toughest to acquire. Since he is arguably the face of the Reds moving forward, it would take a lot to pry him away from Cincinnati. I would love to see a big power bat added to the White Sox lineup. However, Frazier is a huge chip for the Reds to trade and I don’t think they can help their team without hurting it.
Evan Longoria– Tampa Bay Rays
While Longoria may end up being moved, I think the Rays would want a huge return for him. Since Longoria is a fan favorite in Tampa Bay, it would be a bad PR hit to the organization to trade him and not get a big return. His contract could be an issue, as well as his age (driving down the cost). However, the Rays are going to be cautious when trading one of their everyday players that fans come out to see. And when you are the Rays, keeping whatever fans actually show up is a big deal.
David Freese– Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Freese is a free agent, and it is likely that he is headed elsewhere this offseason. When he first came into the big leagues a few years back with the St. Louis Cardinals, he seemed to be a potential All-Star third baseman. Since, injuries have slowed his progress and it seems as though his career as at a crossroads. Freese is likely to be paid more than he is worth, so I would be careful about signing him (unless I could get him cheap).
Personally, this is a position that has needed a solid player for a while now. Third base is a key offensive position in baseball, and if there is no production from that spot it becomes harder to win. Will the White Sox get any of the above listed options? I don’t know, but they need a major league caliber third basemen. The cost is TBD.