A lot of new things are coming to the Chicago White Sox. With Chris Getz in for Rick Hahn and Kenny Williams, you can expect him to start putting his flavor on this roster. A lot of changes will be implemented this offseason.
There have already been some players that are declared gone. Either the Sox made it clear that they won’t be extended or have their options picked up. One of those players is Yasmani Grandal who has been a mainstay at for the last handful of seasons.
The Sox have also had catchers like James McCann, Zack Collins, Reese McGuire, and Seby Zavala but Grandal had been THE guy during this stretch. There were some really good MVP-caliber moments, but also some really bad/borderline DFA-type moments as well.
The plan is for young prospects like Korey Lee and Edgar Quero to take over that position in the long term. However, a good veteran catcher would be very helpful in 2024 to hold things down while their catching prospects develop. Here are a few free agent veteran catchers that could help Chicago in the short-term.
Gary Sanchez has had a very interesting Major League career up to this point. He started with the New York Yankees and was one of the best offensive catchers in the world for a few years. Along with Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, the trio led a dominant lineup for New York.
He wasn't always the greatest defensive catcher to say the least, but he made up for it with his bat a lot of time time. Over the years, however, that slowed down as well. Eventually, the Yankees let him go and he ended up bouncing around a little bit.
His defensive shortcomings are part of the reason that the Yankees let him go eventually and he never reached his full potential as an all-around baseball player. There was a point (2019) where he reached double-digit errors with 15.
Sanchez also allowed a ton of stolen bases as a catcher. For almost his entire Yankees tenure, he allowed anywhere from 30-50 stolen bases. That just can't happen given the importance of the running game given baseball's recent rules changes. Now, in a decreased role, he will be looking to get another chance here in the 2023-24 off-season while hopefully not getting exposed as much.
The Chicago White Sox should consider giving him a chance in 2024. In 2023, he was very good at the plate as he had a slash of .217/.288/.492 with an OPS of .780. He hit 19 home runs, had 47 RBIs, and 33 runs scored. Those aren't bad numbers for a catcher for only playing in 75 games.
Three of those 75 games came with the New York Mets before he ended up with the San Diego Padres which is where he did most of his damage. Now, as he looks for a new home heading into this year, the White Sox should look at him as a potential low cost, high upside signing who can really hit the snot out of the ball when he is right.