The Chicago White Sox had been quiet throughout the winter meetings until Wednesday night, making a trade with the Oakland Athletics for the second consecutive off-season. Following last years swap for Jeff Samardzija, the White Sox acquired third baseman Brett Lawrie for minor league relievers Jeffery Wendelken and Zack Erwin, both fringe prospects. Lawrie, 25, is now on his third major league franchise and has experience both at the hot corner and second base. A career .263 hitter with 20/20 potential who has struggled to stay healthy. His first season to play over 125 games was 2015, his first with Oakland, after spending the previous four seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays. A former number two prospect in both the Milwaukee Brewers and Blue Jays organizations.
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The Canadian-born Lawrie projects to start at third base for the Southsiders in 2016 unless another move is made, in which case he can slide to second base where he also has extensive experience. I believe he slots better with the team as it is currently constructed to play third base, where he has
according to FanGraphs. Even though number has dwindled since his sophomore season, he clearly has the potential to stabilize the hot corner defense the further removed from injuries he gets.
Perhaps this trade shows what direction the club is heading in terms of going for it or rebuilding, or perhaps it was made regardless of what the front office believes is best for the organizational philosophy moving forward. Either way, Lawrie is a significant upgrade at third base for the White Sox, both with the bat and the glove, over what they had at the end of last season. Not only did the team not give up a lot in the way of prospects, but through arbitration Lawrie is expected to make around four million dollars, which is very cheap for the upgrade he represents. If the Pale Hose keep making moves like these, it just may be a winter to remember in Chicagoland.
Let us know what you think of the move to acquire Lawrie!