White Sox enter the second season of rebuild in 2018. Which veteran free agents would be good fits for a team that isn’t expected to contend next season?
The White Sox currently stand as a team in a full-out rebuild. Last year’s 67-95 season serves as proof of that. The 2018 season will likely be a very similar outcome. The lineup will be dominantly the same, with the exception of a few possible minor league call-ups throughout the season.
However, if Rick Hahn would like to make a splash in this year’s free agent market, something that he is prone to do, he has more than enough options. This year’s free agent class stands as host to names such as Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain, J.D. Martinez, Jonathan Lucroy, Jake Arrieta, and last but certainly not least, Shohei Otani.
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There are many potential fits from this class that could fill a role at Guaranteed Rate Field this upcoming season. Though the team is in a rebuild, there is nothing wrong with having a veteran presence in the clubhouse. In fact, it is ideal to have a veteran around all of the blooming youngsters.
With that being said, who would be a good veteran fit for Rick Renteria‘s squad this upcoming season? There are obvious holes in the White Sox depth chart. There are also obvious fits that Hahn surely wouldn’t be sorry to see on the field this upcoming season. Some that could contribute to a possible contending season in 2018. Who are they?
The veteran catcher’s season was taking a turn for the worst in 2017. With the Texas Rangers, Lucroy hit a miserable .242/.297/.338. After a trade to the Colorado Rockies, Coors Field did his statistics well as he went on to hit .310/.429/.437. Lucroy and the Rockies went on to make the playoffs. He would fill a hole that has long been lingering on the South Side.
Though Zack Collins is making his way up through the minor leagues, the acquisition of Lucroy would not hurt. In fact, even if Collins were to make his debut in 2018, the two could make a good platoon as Lucroy hits right-handed and Collins hits left-handed. It also wouldn’t hurt to have Lucroy mentor Collins, as Lucroy has been one of the best hitting catchers in the major leagues the last few years.
The veteran slugger really hit the pedal towards the end of the 2017 season, and he ended the campaign with 45 home runs in just 119 games. Martinez and the Diamondbacks enjoyed a nice run in the playoffs, and it was mostly in part due to what he provided to them after they acquired him via trade. Martinez’s bat would be a very nice addition to the White Sox lineup.
It would also fill a hole that hurt the Sox following a trade of Melky Cabrera to the Royals. With the exception of Jose Abreu, the Sox have lacked a consistent power bat in recent years. Martinez would take over in a corner outfield spot along with Avisail Garcia. The acquisition of Martinez would arguably make the White Sox contenders in 2018, as a bat like his could do a lot of things for a lot of teams.
Maybin is coming off a season in which he won a World Series ring with the Houston Astros. The Astros acquired Maybin partly due to his experience. At age 30, Maybin already has 3,122 career at-bats to offer. Maybin would immediately be able to take over in center field for the Pale Hose, given that the spot is currently held by Adam Engel.
Though Engel provided tremendous defense, he batted just .166 with only six home runs in 301 at-bats. Maybin made his debut back in 2007 and has provided average numbers since. In his career, he has a .255 average with 56 career homers.