The Chicago White Sox must move on from Yoan Moncada after the season

He is hurt again.
Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit

The Chicago White Sox are 11 games into the season and third baseman Yoan Moncada is already injured.

He pulled up in pain running to first base in the second inning against Cleveland yesterday. The team said he has a left adductor strain--the same type of injury that put Eloy Jimenez on the 10-day IL to the shock of no one.

Much like Eloy, it is time for the White Sox to move on from Moncada once this horrible season wraps up.

They say availability is the greatest ability in football and the same should be said in baseball. Yoan has not been available much for the Chicago White Sox over the past two seasons.

Various ailments limited Moncada to 104 games in 2022 and a bad back wiped out almost half of his 2023 season. That is 129 games missed over the past two seasons with soft tissue and back problems. You must wonder how he is going about taking care of himself.

When he is in the lineup, he has been inconsistent throughout his career.

He struggled at the plate in his first full MLB season in 2018. He had a career year in 2019 with a .315/.367/.548 slash line along with 25 home runs, a 139 wRC+, and a 5.2 fWAR. His numbers dropped in 2021 to .263/.375/.412.

Then the injuries came.

You just cannot count on Moncada to make it through a full MLB season. Also, you never know what version of Yoan you are going to get.

Sometimes you will get the superstar in the making production that we saw five years ago and the other nights you will see a player who would rather be someplace else.

The return on the money invested in him just has not been there consistently. He is the team's highest-paid player this season and was off to a good start, but he just cannot be counted on to be in the lineup every day.

Fortunately for the White Sox, they have an off-ramp with Moncada as they can decline his $25 million club option for next season once the 2024 campaign is over.

The Sox can hope he returns to health this season and puts up good enough numbers to be traded. The problem is there might not be a great return for an oft-injured, expensive third baseman.

That is why the organization should be prepared to lose him for next to nothing or nothing at all.

If he cannot be traded, the option should be declined for more than just the injuries. His value numbers have shown he is not worth that much money. He finished with a .8 fWAR in 2022 and 1.1 in 2023. His wRC+ was 76 two years ago and 98. So even when he was healthy enough to be in the lineup, he did not produce.

He is still a very good defender, but that is not worth being the highest-paid player for a second consecutive year.

Injuries played a big role in the title window slamming shut so abruptly and that is why this team is rebuilding yet again. Moncada was one of the players hurt all the time and that is why the Sox need to build up the roster without Moncada on it.

feed