Adam Eaton Will Not Start Cactus League Play in the Outfield
By Brian Draus
Even though Spring Training has already started, it still seems as though the White Sox are not done making moves. Recent reports have stated that Rick Hahn expects the team to make one more addition before Opening Day. Another report out of Glendale (AZ) this morning is that White Sox center-fielder Adam Eaton will not be playing the outfield when Cactus League play opens up in March, according to Scott Merkin of MLB.com due to Eaton still working his way back from arthroscopic shoulder surgery during the offseason. With that being said, let’s examine some possibilities.
Austin Jackson (free agent)
With the Sox needing another outfielder, Austin Jackson makes sense to take a look at considering he would not cost the Sox any prospects. According to reports, Jackson turned down $5-6 Million per year with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, that should give the White Sox an idea of what it would take to sign him.
Josh Reddick (Oakland Athletics)
Josh Reddick would give the Sox a plus defensive right-fielder with good power from the left side of the plate, however he has one major flaw. That would be the fact that he struggles mightily against left-handed pitchers. Another issue with sending assets to Oakland in return for Reddick, is that he will be a free agent this upcoming offseason, and in what is expected to be a below average free agent class of outfielders Reddick would likely get a sizable offer elsewhere.
Desmond Jennings (Tampa Bay Rays)
If the Sox want to add some speed, Desmond Jennings is their guy. With a 31 stolen base season on his resume, Jennings could give the Sox a stolen base threat in their lineup, which is something they could use some more of. If I were given the choice between Austin Jackson (listed above), and Desmond Jennings, I believe that I honestly would go with Jennings. Reason: Jackson, and Jennings are fairly similar offensively, except that Jackson strikes out a lot more.
Sleeper: Carlos Gonzalez (Colorado Rockies)
Carlos Gonzalez is a candidate here just because the Rockies are going through a rebuilding process, and the White Sox might deal a few prospects to acquire him. A move like this would probably be more likely to take place near the middle of the season, or even the trade deadline. However, this is a long shot at best, considering the fact that he is owed eight figures per year over the course of the next two seasons. That would make him an extremely expensive rental player, for a season and a half. Despite that I personally think this would be a move that the White Sox would consider making, if they found themselves in contention come June or July, especially if Avisail Garcia is under-performing to that point.
Overall, I would be happy to see the White Sox make a move for any of the first three players listed in this article. I would especially love to see Josh Reddick, as he would give the Sox a legitimate corner outfielder both offensively, and defensively as well. However, I do not know if the White Sox would be willing to part with the prospects the A’s would want for Reddick, especially considering that they have already sent five prospects to the A’s, and the Dodgers this winter in trades already. Seeing as Reddick might only be here for 2016, I am not sure if it would be worth it unless they could get him for some lesser valued pieces such as the ones that it took to pull of the Brett Lawrie deal in December. Austin Jackson, and Desmond Jennings would both be good defenders in the outfield, and if Jennings bounces back from recent injuries he might give the White Sox a bit more with the bat at this stage of his career. It is a bit of a balance when making trades, considering you are always mortgaging a bit of the future for the present. Considering the fact that the Sox want to win in 2016 it should be fun to watch this unfold. They might bring in one of the players I listed, or none of them (a different player), but whomever it may be let’s just hope they produce, Sox fans.