For a while, the White Sox have had a clear hole in the DH spot. It has been an anchor holding down the lineup since Adam Dunn began to decline in 2011. Some say his decline in the lineup began earlier, but some say later. Regardless, it has been weighing down the lineup for almost a decade. With designated hitter being a position Hahn specifically mentioned on addressing this offseason, there are a couple of names he could look at.
The 37-year-old first baseman/DH has proved his worth time and time again. Between both Seattle and New York last season, Edwin Encarnacion hit 34 home runs and drove in 86 runs. The last time he hit less than 30 home runs was back in 2011 when he hit 17. But he hit 42 just one year later. Encarnacion is overlooked because of his age. Who wants to bet on a 37-year-old, career average .263 hitter?
These concerns are legitimate. But the fact remains that Encarnacion is a quality power hitter. He will hit at least 30 home runs and drive in at least 80 runs. He will not hit for contact and his batting average will not be pretty, but he draws walks and hits for extra bases. In terms of signing him, Encarnacion’s market is very small. It may be even smaller than Martinez’s. With that being said, the White Sox could snag Encarnacion for one or two years under $10 million.
NLCS MVP Howie Kendrick is on the market. The long-time Angel has the DH experience to be that bat the Sox need. Kendrick only hit lower than .279 once in his career (he hit .255 in 2016 with the Dodgers). He will not walk as much as Encarnacion, but he strikes out less. He will also slug less than Encarnacion, but the higher batting average makes up for it.
As a career .294 hitter, the risk on Kendrick is not whether he will be able to be that type of hitter but if he can he stays healthy to do so he will. He’s only played 252 games in the last three seasons, which is only 51% of the number of games in three seasons. Kendrick’s market is larger than Encarnacion’s considering the fact that Kendrick can play first and second base as well as DH. If the Sox were to pursue Kendrick, it will not be as easy as pursuing Encarnacion, and he will not be as cheap. He is also 37 so his worth hovers around 30 million.