The Chicago White Sox were busy on the trade front this season, as usual. Kenny Williams is notorious for his wheeling and dealing in late July, but it was different this time. The White Sox are almost always in the hunt for a playoff spot. Rebuilding mode is not something that Sox fans are used to.
For those of you who stopped watching long ago because things got ugly, I’ll recap the moves made by Williams and the Sox this season.
Matt Thornton to the Boston Red Sox for OF Brandon Jacobs
Brandon Jacobs possesses many of the tools that the White Sox value. A guy with the coveted power/speed combo, Jacobs may remind you of many other White Sox prospects.
After putting together a good season at single A Greenville in 2011, Jacobs’ progress came to a halt. With a disappointing 2012 and more of the same in 2013, Jacobs began falling behind other prospects and was ultimately shipped to Chicago.
Given the cost, the White Sox may have made a smart investment. But they must add Jacobs to the 40-man roster at the end of this season or risk losing him in the Rule 5 draft. Jacobs doesn’t appear to be more than organizational depth or perhaps a fourth outfielder at the major league level.
Jake Peavy to the Boston Red Sox, OF Avisail Garcia to the Chicago White Sox via the Detroit Tigers
Also acquired by the White Sox in the trade were reliever Frank Montas, reliever Jeffrey Wendelken, and shortstop Clueluis Rondon. They won’t see the majors anytime in the near future. Garcia, on the other hand, is already making an impact at the major league level.
Since being promoted a little over two weeks ago, he’s hitting .316 with 8 runs and 5 RBI. Garcia is another OF with the tools to contribute on many levels. It’s just a matter of when the power comes. Still only 22 years old, there’s plenty of time for that to happen.
Garcia is also a very good defensive outfielder. For two years straight, he was rated as the best outfield arm in the Tigers system and was also once rated as the best defensive outfielder.
Garcia appears to have the skills to stick as an everyday outfielder for the White Sox.
Alex Rios to the Texas Rangers for INF Leury Garcia
Against slim odds, the Sox and Rangers were able to work out a deal involving Alex Rios earlier this month. In exchange, the Sox received young infielder Leury Garcia. L. Garcia isn’t well known for his bat, hitting only .261 during his time in the minors. He does have tremendous speed, however. Garcia is also a quality shortstop defensively.
Garcia does have some major league experience at only 22 years old. He spent time in Texas this season, but with rather unimpressive results. He failed to bat over .200 in 57 plate appearances. But the potential is there for Garcia to be an everyday player. Or at the very least, a utility player off the bench. With questions in Chicago’s infield, perhaps we’ll find out sooner rather than later.