Well, we asked the White Sox to pick a damn lane and it appears that they have with the acquisition of Todd Frazier. Granted, not the direction I would like to see them go, but at least it’s a direction. Now that they’ve committed to the buying of players, they need to continue down this road and stop with the “contend while rebuild” bullshit.
First on what they lost. Trayce Thompson likely overachieved last year in his stint with the big club. Prior to 2015 Thompson had limited success at the AA and AAA levels. He’s not a breakout prospect and is unlikely to draw many regrets from the White Sox front office. Similar situation with Micah Johnson. Johnson, known for his great speed and good bat for a second baseman, was terrible when up with the club early in the year. As fast as he is, he gets thrown out and picked off a lot and his numbers in the minors show that as well. Not to mention he was a complete defensive liability. In my opinion, Frankie Montas is the real prize for the Dodgers. Montas has a huge arm that, when under control, is devastating to opposing hitters. He was not ready for the majors last year but did sport a very good line at the AA level prior to being called up.
Now on what they acquired. Sox fans will immediately fall in love with Todd Frazier because of his likeable personality and Frank Sinatra walk up music. He’s coming off a career-high 35 home runs which is the type of power that has been missing from the third base position for the Sox for a number of years. He’ll be a slightly above-average defender and baserunner, but is a definite upgrade in all aspects of the game over the montage of bad that the Sox have been rolling out at the hot corner recently.
Despite the positives you can’t ignore the possible negatives in acquiring Frazier. He’s entering his 30 year old season, and while that’s not the death sentence it is for an NFL running back, production still tends to start declining after 30. Just ask Melky Cabrera. His contract isn’t horrible, $7.5mm this year, especially if he has a similar year to 2014 or 2015.
Now the Sox are tasked with adding additional talent around Frazier, Abreu, and Sale. They still have a ton of holes to fill. Shortstop looks to require an outside hire because Tyler Saladino needs to be nothing more than a utility backup. They also can’t wait for Avisail Garcia to get his shit together. If they committed to a rebuild, I would have no problem watching Garcia flail around in the outfield and hit nothing but singles all season long. But now that they’ve signed Frazier they need a better, more immediate option. So add an outfielder to the shopping list. While they’re at the store, they’ll need a couple bullpen arms as well and another starter wouldn’t hurt.
Please, White Sox, do not try and rely on Garcia and Saladino to fill major holes in the lineup. While they can get better with development, you no longer have time to wait. If you want to win now, you have to sacrifice the possible development of these two young players.