In-depth analysis of the newest White Sox acquisition from the Texas Rangers, right fielder Nomar Mazara, acquired via trade late Tuesday night.
Late Tuesday night, the White Sox made a move that directly fills up one of their many positions of need.
Mazara has a career slash of .261/.320/.435. The most home runs he has hit at this level was 20 and he hit that many for the first three years of his career. In his fourth season which was this past one, he hit 19.
Last season for the Rangers, Mazara had a slash of .268/.318/.469 with an OPS of .786 and drove in 66 runs. He had a K rate of 23.0% and a walk rate at 6.0%
Mazara’s K rate is 3% higher than the league’s 20% average and 2% lower than the league’s 8% walk rate.
For a right fielder, Mazara does not exactly show the type of power one usually displays. Despite only recording 27 doubles, one triple, and 19 home runs last season, he did set a new career-high in slugging at .469 which previously was .436. His OPS of .786 is lower than preferred.
He does provide average fielding with an above-average arm, but compared to other names mentioned in the White Sox right fielder sweepstakes, his arm, speed and power just do not match.
With two years left of arbitration, Mazara is projected to make around $5.7 million next season, which is considerably less than the amounts Nicolas Castellanos, Marcell Ozuna and Yasiel Puig are asking for.
After the Rangers pulled some of Mazara’s playing time to give to other players in hopes of some more production at his spot in the lineup, Mazara went down with an injury.
Reduced to only 19 games in July and 14 in August, Mazara suffered a left oblique strain in late August placing him on the Injured List.
It is uncertain whether or not this injury will have any lasting effect as he only played one week after returning to the lineup. In that week, he hit a slash near his career average at .261/.308/.522.
Ultimately, he is a cheaper option in right field and DH compared to who else is on the market. But you get what you pay for as Mazara is arguably a slight step down again compared to who else is on the market.
The projected outfield consists of Eloy Jiménez in left, Leury García in center, with Luis Robert expected to join him at some time in 2020, and Mazara in right. The DH role is expected to be a rotation consisting of James McCann, Zack Collins, José Abreu and Mazara.
It is preferred to have one set DH, but if there is a chance to sneak McCann’s bat in while Yasmani Grandal starts, or lighten Abreu’s load and cover first with Collins or McCann, then by all means.
The addition of Mazara fills a required need Rick Hahn specifically mentioned before this offseason began. There are some better players on the market that could provide a better return, but not at the same price.
This is speculation of course with no solid evidence. But with his current aggressive mindset, who knows what Rick Hahn will do?