The Chicago White Sox were finally able to finalize a trade with the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday for infielder Brett Lawrie. However, the White Sox might still be in search for a third baseman as Lawrie could potentially play second base for the team on opening day.
With the White Sox in dire need of a corner infielder, the team reportedly tried to gauge the interest of the Cincinnati Reds and inquired about third baseman Todd Frazier. However, the Reds price was very high as they reportedly asked the White Sox about minor league shortstop and the team’s top prospect Tim Anderson in return for the all-star.
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The White Sox aren’t in a position to trade any of their top prospects, even if it gets them an all-star in Frazier in return. Although the team hasn’t been able to produce an all-star position player since Joe Crede in 2008, the White Sox would be wise to hold onto Anderson as he could potentially break out as a quality player, even if he switches positions and plays center field.
Another player the Reds could potentially be targeting is minor league pitcher and 2015 1st round draft pick Carson Fulmer. With a surplus of pitching at the major league level, the White Sox could easily trade Fulmer and other players to get Frazier. However, there’s no guarantee Frazier will hit 35 home runs in a season again as he did in 2015. Frazier not only hit a career-high in home runs this past season, he also matched his career-high from 2012 with a .498 slugging percentage.
Certainly the White Sox could use more offense, but are they willing to mortgage their future for it? If the past two days at the Winter Meetings are any indication, the answer could be no. The White Sox could still find a way to trade for Frazier if the Reds are willing to lower their asking price, but they aren’t the only team going after the 29 year-old third baseman.
The Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals have both been rumored to have talked with the Reds about trading for Frazier. As both teams are in the same division as the White Sox, it would certainly hurt the team if they’re able to snag Frazier instead. With deeper farm systems than the White Sox, their could be a possibility Frazier is traded to either of these teams, however the Royals are looking at putting Frazier in left field in case they’re unable to resign Alex Gordon.
Although the winter meetings are done for 2015, the offseason appears to just be heating up for the White Sox. If they’re able to somehow snag Frazier from the Reds, it could perhaps change the landscape of the American League Central heading into the 2016 season.