Chicago, IL

Helping the White Sox Search the Free Agent Bargain Bin

Larry E Lambert

I hope Jerry bReinsdorf knows there is no senior discount in MLB free agency.
Jason HeywardPhoto byCreative Commons: apardavila

The White Sox recently unloaded lefty reliever, Aaron Bummer to the Braves for an assortment of players who may or may not help them avoid losing 100 games in 2024. Whether they do or not, they do look to be an upgrade over what the team rolled out in their 101 loss 2023 season. But much more help is needed. Jerry, “I Left My Wallet at Home” Reinsdorf isn’t going to spend money on an upper tier free agent so, GM, Chris Getz will be looking in the free agent bargain bin, and I’ll help.

While the Sox need help pretty much everywhere, positions of special need are right field, second base and pitching, both starting and relief. Left-handed power would also be nice.

Look for the Sox to give emphasis to anyone with a past affiliation with the Kansas City Royals. That seems to be the shiny object that gets the Sox attention. And here we go.

Whit Merrifield may actually help

Merrifield can play second base as well as the outfield, plus there’s that Kansas City thing. He’s also 35 years old, so there’s an opportunity to overpay a veteran on his last legs. That should appeal to Jerry.

Then there’s Jason Hayward. Heyward had a bounce back season with the Dodgers in 2023. He can still play a decent right field and hits left-handed. And because he’s 33, the Sox might find him attractive. He might actually be viable as a platoon player. And I say this as somebody who watched him ground out weakly to second base for years while he was in a Cubs uniform.

How about Rowdy Tellez? At 28 he may be a little young for the White Sox taste but did slug 35 home runs for the Brewers in 2022. He also is a left-handy hitter and may provide a little solace to Sox fans mourning the trading of Jake Burger.

Nick Senzel never really panned out with the Reds, but is versatile, has some speed and power and is “only” 29. He did hit 13 home runs last season.

Cheap pitching could be more problematic

In looking at the list of free agent pitchers, finding any that might be good and cheap is really difficult. Luis Severino has had some success with the Yankees, but not much last season. He could have a fairly high ceiling.

As for relievers, outside of Gregory Santos, the Sox cupboard is bare. Bryan Shaw seemed to pitch every day out of the Sox pen, which was not a good thing. Maybe former Reds’ reliever, Buck Farmer could help. Farmer isn’t a great pitcher but is durable and may be cheap. Jerry likes that.

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You probably don't know my name, but you've likely seen or heard my work. I've written for various syndicated cartoonists and TV standups. My gags have appeared in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, Better Homes and Gardens, Barron's, Parade Magazine, and the Saturday Evening Post. The comedians I've sold to include Jay Leno for the Tonight Show. In addition, I've written for radio stations and ad agencies. I hope you enjoy my work.

Largo, FL

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