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Chicago White Sox face slim pickings to fill hole at 2B in 2023

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Apr 8, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Chicago White Sox second baseman Josh Harrison (5) falls over Detroit Tigers third baseman Jeimer Candelario (46) after he makes a throw to first to complete a double play in the sixth inning at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 8, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Chicago White Sox second baseman Josh Harrison (5) falls over Detroit Tigers third baseman Jeimer Candelario (46) after he makes a throw to first to complete a double play in the sixth inning at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Chicago White Sox explored the free agent market last season to fill several holes, including that of second base. After failing to land the likes of Marcus Semien or Trevor Story, the White Sox ended up bringing back Leury Garcia.

They also added Josh Harrison to the position and would eventually see Romy Gonzalez, Lenyn Sosa, Danny Mendick, Jake Burger, and Andrew Vaughn taking turns at various times.

Following a slow start to the year, Harrison ended up improving as the season progressed and finished out with a slash line of .256/.317/.370 and a .971 fielding percentage.

The 35-year-old veteran played in 119 games and posted a 1.4 WAR while carrying a club option for 2023 at $5.625 million which includes a $1.5 million buyout.

While it is possible the White Sox stick with Harrison, it is more likely they will turn their attention to finding a replacement which could come from someone already in-house or from free agency.

The Chicago White Sox need to work on the second base position this offseason.

One potential option could be that the team looks to bring Elvis Andrus back and move him from shortstop to second base to team with Tim Anderson in the middle of the infield.

Andrus signed a one-year $700,000 deal with the White Sox and proved to be one of general manager Rick Hahn’s better moves as he hit nine homers and drove in 28 runs in 43 games after being released from the Oakland A’s last August.

Andrus has expressed a desire to come back to play with the White Sox and that could be their best move going forward. He injected much-needed life into the ballclub upon his arrival and was very productive both on the offensive and defensive ends.

If the White Sox opted to try their hand at the free agent pool they would have a few players to choose from, none of which really stands out as being a difference maker.

Jean Segura put together a decent season for the Philadelphia Phillies and he could cap that off with a World Series title if they can get by the Houston Astros.

Segura played in only 98 games due to a broken right index finger but managed to put up a 1.7 WAR with 10 homers and a .277 batting average. The Phillies hold a $17 million club option on him with a $1 million buyout.

Kolten Wong is another player who put together a nice yet unspectacular 2022 campaign for the Milwaukee Brewers as evidenced by his 2.5 WAR and career-high 15 home runs.

Wong hit .251 with an on-base percentage of .339 and slugged .430, however, his fielding left a bit to be desired, committing 17 errors and producing a .963 fielding percentage. The Brewers could decide to buy him out for $2 million as opposed to exercising their $10 million club option.

Other players to keep an eye on include Adam Frazier, Rougned Odor, and Jonathan Villar. The pickings are slim for second base from a free-agent standpoint, thus another avenue to consider is filling the void via trade.

That requires a trade partner who is interested in the players a team has. Gavin Sheets might be a player the White Sox put on the market who could bring back something of value for a couple of positions.

How aggressive the White Sox will be in addressing the issues they face is anyone’s guess. But it will be interesting to see what if any changes the club makes to the roster and if they will make serious overtures for positions needing the most help.

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