It was a busy day for Rick Hahn and company on Friday.
The White Sox decided to nontender right fielder Avisail Garcia and slugger/relief pitcher Matt Davidson. This was announced shortly after catcher Omar Narvaez was traded to the Seattle Mariners for relief pitcher Alex Colome.
(Read all about the Colome piece here).
The Matt Davidson era will be a tough one to forget as he posted the lowest earned run average in our bullpen. All jokes aside on Davidson, it came as somewhat of a surprise for Matt to become a free agent. Sox fans were under the impression that a platoon of Davidson and Daniel Palka would fill the 2019 DH spot. This would have been a somewhat productive plan as Davidson hit .289 against lefties (an area where Palka struggled).
It is hard to imagine the Sox will stick with Palka as the lone DH as he struggled facing off against left-handed pitchers. Will there be another addition via free agency to help out Palka?
The White Sox have been linked to the 38-year-old slugger, Nelson Cruz. Yes, the Sox have a poor history of signing pieces who are out of their prime and Cruz does sit on the wrong side of 30. However, Cruz has posted at least 35 plus home runs with 90 RBI’s his last five season with the Seattle Mariners. These type of numbers would be an immediate upgrade to our DH position. This would be the right move if Rick Hahn can work out a one year deal with the Veteran.
Moving to the outfield, the run of all-star right fielder Avisail Garcia on the South Side has come to an abrupt end. Avi battled a knee injury last season which prevented him from repeating his 2017 all-star campaign where he posted a line of .330/.380/.506 which happened to be all career highs. The great Hawk Harrelson was always high on Avi saying that he would eventually become an MVP candidate. I hate to disagree with Hawk but he was wrong on this one.
The Garcia non-tendering came to nobody’s surprise. It was rumored weeks in advance that Rick Hahn was actively shopping Avi and if nothing worked out, the outfielder would then become a free agent. The White Sox should have sold high on him last season after his sensational year but were reluctant to do so.
Avi did have the potential to be a really solid right fielder if it wasn’t for injuries, but a certain someone in Charlotte required this move to happen. The future face of the White Sox (if he isn’t already), Eloy Jimenez, will be arriving and taking over in Avi’s absence shortly after the 2019 season begins. There would be no place for Avi on the south side when Jimenez does get the call which made him expendable.
All of these moves together shows the White Sox are officially ready to move on to take the next step in the rebuilding process. They are ready for fresh faces and for a new era to begin, a brighter and more successful one. By no means does it appear that the White Sox are done making moves this winter. Look for additional moves to be made during the Winter Meetings.
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