White Sox outfielder had his best season in the majors in 2017, has two years of team control remaining. Should organization sell high and seek a trade?
Chicago White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia had his best season in the majors in 2017 as he was selected to his first All-Star Game and hit .330. With the upcoming offseason, should the Sox sell high on Garcia and trade the young outfielder?
Garcia is under team control until 2020 and will be up for arbitration again this offseason. The 26-year-old should get a hefty raise through arbitration. With the Sox rebuilding, Garcia has put himself in consideration to be a key player for the team’s future.
When Garcia was acquired via trade in 2013, he was viewed as a building block for the Sox future. However, Garcia didn’t fulfill his potential in his first four seasons with the Sox. Through Garcia’s first two complete seasons (2015, 2016), the native Venezuelan didn’t hit higher than .257 and his previous career-high in home runs was 13.
This past season, however, Garcia was able to end 2017 with 18 home runs and 80 RBIs, both career-highs. Garcia not only was selected to his first All-Star Game this year, he ended the season with a 4.5 WAR, good for second on the Sox behind Jose Abreu.
With Garcia’s stellar 2017 season, the Sox could be inclined to trade him for more prospects. But will any teams offer a good return for Garcia? He might have had his best season in the majors in 2017, but opposing general managers might want to see more from Garcia before willing to trade quality prospects.
The Sox do have many outfield prospects in their farm system in Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert and Blake Rutherford. Jimenez could be promoted to the majors as early as 2018, while Robert and Rutherford are a few years away. This gives the Sox the ability to not have to rush to trade Garcia this offseason.
If the Sox are looking for a strong return for Garcia, they’re better suited to wait another year before attempting to trade him. Garcia will enter his fifth season on the South Side in 2018, and this could be his most important year in the majors. If he’s able to follow up his impressive 2017 with another strong season, he could very well be in high demand next offseason.