Another specific position Hahn mentioned fixing was the right field spot. Ryan Cordell, Jon Jay, Charlie Tilson, Daniel Palka, and Leury García all played right field at some point in the 2019 season. It is nice to have options, but consistency and reliability are more important. That issue creates the need on the right side. Of the free agents, there are two names that stick out.
After an outstanding 2017, the Marlins traded Marcell Ozuna to St. Louis. The return the Cardinals received showed a glimpse of that same player, but just not quite. Since hitting .312 in 2017, Ozuna followed that up by hitting .280 in 2018, his first year as a cardinal, and .241 this season.
Despite the .241, he hit 29 home runs and drove in 89 runs. He also stole 12 bases. He did, however, have a high strikeout rate. His on-base percentage should make up for his low batting average but his .328 OBP last season did not.
Of the players on this list, Ozuna seems to be the highest risk. Despite only being 28, he may not be the way to go. He does provide gold glove caliber defense in the outfield and has the potential to hit 30 plus home runs but his high strikeout rate along with his BA/OBP ratio is concerning.
Ozuna can play all three outfield positions along with potentially DHing but his glove and arm are too good to be benched. With that being said, his market is larger than the previous players named. That means the White Sox have more competition in terms of negotiating.
Expected to decline his $17.8 million qualifying offer, Ozuna is asking for $64 million over four. The White Sox should not even put $20 million into him. You know you are going to get above-average fielding, but you do not know what kind of bat you will get. The .312 BA, 37 home run, 124 RBIs Ozuna, or the .241 BA .328 OBP Ozuna.
One of the most brought up names in the conversation about the White Sox outfield targets is Yasiel Puig. Bouncing around from three different teams in the past two years, it seems Puig has had a hard time finding a home.
Some argue it is because of his outgoing personality. He has been known to be late to practices and not hustle all the way down to first base and those are two things you know Rick Renteria will not like. He is also known to be short-tempered. His 100 game career with the Reds began and ended with two different bench-clearing brawls.
This is not the reason why the White Sox should pass on Puig. In fact, his fire and passion, along with Tim Anderson’s swag is the exact definition of MLB’s “Let The Kids Play” slogan. The reason why the White Sox should pass on Puig is because of what he does inside the foul lines, not outside.
He has not hit higher than .267 since hitting .296 in 2014. He is known to be a power bat, but is yet to hit 30 home runs in a season. He only averages 18.8 home runs and 59 RBIs per season. He does have a tremendous arm and slugs unbelievably high, but he too has a high strikeout rate and does not walk nearly enough to at least counter the K’s.
If Puig is looking for a long-term contract, the South Side is not a fit. No doubt he will be asking for a deal worth $30 million or more. Yes, the White Sox have the money to give it to him but they should use it to draw better caliber players or keep the current stars.