Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn is holding onto his best controllable players to start the season.
The Chicago White Sox are one of several teams in the middle of a rebuild. Also, they have built up one of the best farm systems via trade. So, the club knows what they’re doing when it comes to player acquisition. The team’s two best players, Avasail Garcia and Jose Abreu, have had plenty of interest from other teams. Here is their status as of now:
“It doesn’t mean we don’t figure it out sooner. The only thing that has changed since the last time we had this go-around about how guys like Avi and Abreu fit for the long-term, is that we are now basically done with an offseason during which we were able to understand what their value is out in the market. We made the assessment we were much better served as an organization to have both with us to start the 2018 season.”
So, there is clarity on those two major trade pieces. Abreu was very important in the signing of top prospect Luis Robert. Also, the first baseman has been a mentor to both him and Yoan Moncada. Abreu is an influential face on and off the field, and has been the best positional player on the White Sox since his signing.
The White Sox are running out of trade bait, and Abreu and Garcia are the last two legitimate stars on the roster worth dealing. Furthermore, they each have two years of control left, so the team doesn’t need to go out and trade them. They are nice veteran presences to have on this young White Sox team. Hahn thinks that is a necessity as they head into camp. Also, Garcia and Abreu could net a better return if they are dealt when the demand is higher.
Avisail Garcia had a career year in 2017, hitting .330 with 17 home runs and 80 RBI. Furthermore, he accumulated a 4.2 WAR, putting him as an All-Star player. His value seems like it’s never been higher, so why would they hold onto him? Demand is a big factor. This offseason is one of the slowest ever, so it has been hard to get anything done.
With that said, there has been activity, but no one wants to pull the trigger. Also, the front office probably hasn’t received a reasonable offer either. Same goes for Abreu, who is the better player. He had a great year, as he hit .304 and clubbed 33 homers with 102 RBI. The slugger also had the smallest K% of his career at 17.6%.
So, the Chicago White Sox are in waiting mode heading into 2018. That’s fine, as the Marlins cashed in on outfielder Christian Yelich. There’s no point in rushing for a deal. Chicago has a deep and talented system, so there isn’t desperation to instill youth. Unlike the Marlins, quantity over quality was the name of the game because of payroll and a bad system.
Overall, the White Sox are doing all the right things. There isn’t one good reason to ship their most influential players out now.