The White Sox desperately need a left-handed power hitter. They kicked the tires on Jay Bruce in March and he’ll be a free agent. Might they revisit him as a potential target?
The Chicago White Sox have a huge hole in their outfield. A left-handed power hitter is also an area of concern. They would be smart to address both areas if they want to contend in 2017. In a market where left-handed bats will be short, Jay Bruce could fill both areas of need. Currently, he has a $13 million option, with a $1 million buyout. If the Mets elect to buyout his contact, the White Sox should be all over him.
Bruce, who played this season with the New York Mets and Cincinnati Reds, hit 33 home runs with 99 RBIs this season. Interesting enough, the White Sox kicked the tires on him before the season started. Carlos Gonzalez was also on their radar.
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It would be wise for the organization to reach out to Bruce and gauge his interest in coming to Chicago. As a former teammate, Todd Frazier could help in the recruitment effort. Bruce can be that left-handed power hitter the team has been lacking, and also sure up the outfield. He usually plays right field, but they may be able to move him to left. Another option would be to have him DH because Melky Cabrera is capable of playing left field, as well.
With so many holes to fill, it would be great if one player could fill multiple needs. In this case, Bruce does just that. He’ll be 30 in April, so chances are he would command a large contract. However, one thing the White Sox have going for them is his WAR [wins above replacement] was only 0.6. That could very well go up when he’s playing in hitter friendly Guaranteed Rate Field.
A guy like Bruce could split up Jose Abreu and Frazier in their lineup. It would also give them a dangerous heart of the order. All three of these guys are capable of hitting 30+ home runs and driving in over 100 runs. The White Sox lack power, so adding a guy who can hit home runs will only help their offense improve.
The offense was terrible for most of the season. It was simply because they lacked power and didn’t get timely hitting. When Abreu got off to a cold start, this team was doomed. Frazier was the only one who could consistently hit for power. I think the front office realizes they need to do something, otherwise this team will have the same problem next season.
It might take some luck but Bruce struggled when he first came to New York, complicating the decision to pickup his option. If Bruce does hit free agency, the White Sox need to be willing to spend money because his services likely wouldn’t come cheap.
That means it’s time for Jerry Reinsdorf to put his money where his mouth is. He wants this team to win, now it’s time to show it and not be cheap during free agency.