White Sox: Designated hitters and right fielders to target

(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /
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Chicago White Sox Jose Abreu
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Both Positions

The White Sox have the roster space to sign two players to fill both the right field and DH hole, especially now after the expansion of the major league depth chart from 25 men to 26. But why not kill two birds with one stone?

The problem with this however, is the lack of depth on the free-agent market of players who play right field and have experience DHing. Despite this, one player can be that stone.

Nicholas Castellanos

Nicholas Castellanos played the first seven years of his career in Detroit. Before the trade deadline this past season, the Tigers dealt him to the Cubs. In his time with the Tigers, Castellanos did solid. He had a slash line of .274/.324/.459 with 104 home runs in those seven years. However, it is his last 51 games teams are interested in. Those 51 games were how long he spent on the north side. He hit a .321/.356/.646 slash with 16 home runs and 36 RBIs. He hit 21 doubles out of 68 hits in total.

In 95 games against the White Sox in his career, Castellanos hit a slash of .293/.343/.477. He hit 13 home runs and has 60 RBIs, both of which being the most versus any other MLB team. Putting together how he played with the Cubs with how he played against the White Sox, it would be safe to assume he likes hitting in Chicago.

A small hiccup might be the number of games Castellanos has played as a DH. Over the span of his seven-year career, he has only DHed for 41 games, which brings up the concerns many had with Dunn and Adam LaRoche. But the difference is those two did not have experience playing in the American League. Not only does Castellanos have experience in the AL, but he has played in the AL Central for six years. And even in a brief 51 game stint away from the AL Central, he still stayed in Chicago.

Despite the fact that his defensive career is split between 312 games in the outfield and 527 at third base, Castellanos fits better at DH for the White Sox. Being 28, along with the ability to play both corner outfield positions, DH, and AL experience makes his market slightly bigger than say, Encarnacion or Kendrick, so the White Sox will have to outbid a few teams. He is expected to be asking for 4 years $56 million. Which, considering his numbers, is actually a bargain.

Hunter Pence

An honorable mention at this spot is Hunter Pence. In his 13 season career so far, Pence has played a majority of his time in right, with 50 games of DH experience. Pence did shock many with his under-the-radar 2019 season quietly hitting .297 with an OBP of .358 and 18 home runs in 83 games with Texas, but his sample size is too small.

His last “full season” was in 2017 when he played 134 games with San Francisco. He hit .260 with an OBP of 3.15 that year. In 2018, he only played 97 games and 83 games in 2019. The four-time All-Star, two-time World Series champion would come cheap and could be that veteran presence the team needs. Signing Pence is a low risk-high reward situation. But after the A.J. Reed situation last season, the White Sox might be over those types of deals.