Could the Chicago White Sox create a Houston Astros reunion in free agency?
While most of the baseball world rejoiced following the Houston Astro’s 4-2 defeat at the hands of Tampa Bay Rays in Game 7 of the ALCS, the Chicago White Sox brass was hard at work searching for potential players to add for next season.
The White Sox are looking for upgrades at the right-field position, designated hitter, and the starting rotation. The Astors have some upcoming free agents that would be perfect candidates in George Springer and Micheal Brantley.
Brantley would be a much needed left-handed bat in the White Sox lineup. The White Sox are extremely heavy on right-handed power hitters and need someone to balance out the lineup. The four-time All-Star has a career average of .297 to go along with 114 home runs and 640 RBI’s. He also has experience in the AL Central playing 10 seasons with the Indians. The man knows how to hit and would also be a viable option in left field if/when Eloy Jimenez gets hurt again.
Brantley is 34 years old and will be looking to play for a contender. The White Sox checks off that box. Adding Brantley would put another veteran in the locker room. He is a professional hitter and knows how to win. That is exactly what this young White Sox team needs.
Springer meanwhile will be a highly touted free agent this season. If the White Sox want to acquire his services it will cost them a pretty penny. Jerry Reinsdorf usually does not spend money on big-name free agents, however, given the recent turn of events, it sounds like he really wants to win another World Series.
The White Sox already signed former Astro, Dallas Keuchel, last offseason. The front runner for the White Sox new manager is AJ Hinch, Houston’s former manager. The southpaw is sure to lobby for his former manager and if they hire him that would bode well for their pursuit of Springer.
Former 2005 World Series hero, Geoff Blum, said on the White Sox Talk Podcast that AJ Hinch is very close with George Springer and that he would likely be one of his first calls.
“When all of this is said and done guess who AJ is going to call in a heartbeat as soon as free agency opens,” the current Astros broadcaster said. “It would absolutely be George Springer”.
If the White Sox can land Springer, he would immediately bolster their lineup. In 2019 he hit .296 with 39 home runs and 96 RBI’s. Place that next to Jose Abreu and Tim Anderson in the lineup and you could do some damage. He also has plenty of postseason experience winning World Series MVP in 2017. He also adds some versatility. Over the course of Springer’s career, he has played every outfield position and spent some time at DH. With all of these attributes, he could be looking at a Mookie Betts type of contract.
However, with the uncertainty of the market following a pandemic plagued season, teams may be hesitant to dish out huge contracts. If that is the case the White Sox may be able to get Springer and Brantley at a discounted rate. All of these Astros come with baggage. The cheating scandal still looms over them. How would it play in a locker room to bring in guys who have been caught stealing signs?
If the White Sox bring in AJ Hinch, George Springer, and Micheal Brantley, to join Dallas Keuchel it would begin to look like the 2017 Astros reunion. They would have to deal with the baggage the comes with them. However, given their recent run of success, would that be such a bad thing? My guess is the White Sox would gladly deal with it.