The White Sox avoided arbitration with Brett Lawrie and Avisail Garcia. Both players started for the team last season.
The Chicago White Sox will bring back two familiar faces. Jon Heyman reports the team agreed to deals with second baseman Brett Lawrie and outfielder Avisail Garcia. Lawrie and Garcia were eligible for arbitration. Rather than enter into arbitration the White Sox agreed to terms with both players prior to the non-tender deadline.
Lawrie’s deal is for $3.5 million and Garcia will make $3 million next season according to Heyman. In case you’re wondering, that is lower than MLB Traderumors projected salaries for arbitration eligible players.
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This seems like a pretty minor move for the Sox. Lawrie was playing well but had his season derailed by injury. In 94 games, the 26 year old hit .248 with 12 home runs and 36 RBIs. Aside from hitting, he played solid defense at second base. He had a .978 fielding percentage during the season.
It’ll be interesting to see what the team has planned for him. He will probably be in competition with Tyler Saladino for the starting spot at second base. Saladino came on very strong when he was given his opportunity.
Garcia on the other hand appeared in 120 games last season and hit .245 with 12 home runs and 51 RBIs. His slugging percentage was higher than in 2015 and he had a positive WAR (0.8). He logged most of his time at DH but also played right field.
He seemed to hit better when he was playing the field. Possibly because he felt more engaged in the game. Still, the 25 year old has yet to really play up to the expectations people had for him when he first came to the south side. Remember, he was compared to former teammate Miguel Cabrera and hasn’t come close to those comparisons. I don’t see his role changing muchnext season. He’ll likely be used in the same manner, possibly less, depending what other moves the organization makes the rest of this offseason.
These are just minor moves for this club. We’ll have to see what else the front office has planned for the Winter Meetings. There is still the possibility of a Chris Sale trade and we still don’t know if the team will be active in free agency. Bringing both guys back definitely doesn’t make this team better, but could provide them with some depth if they’re able to make some corresponding moves.