Ever since the Steve Cishek signing, White Sox fans have been pondering if there’s another move to follow. All have been wondering if the team’s magical offseason was over and it was time to get geared up for the teams Spring Training in Glendale, Arizona at the end of next month.
As for now, it seems they may not be done adding.
According to a couple of sources, the team is still actively searching for depth bats to put on their bench. The previously reported Cameron Maybin has been joined by former Twins mainstay second baseman Brian Dozier and former Giants right fielder Hunter Pence in the White Sox rumor mill.
Dozier was good for 0.7 bWAR last year with the World Champion Washington Nationals. It’s assumed that if he signs, he’ll hold the fort down at second base until top prospect Nick Madrigal receives his promotion and then will see a bench role for the remainder of the season. Dozier was still a decent bat in 2019, slashing .238/.340/.430, which would be an on-base percentage much desired by a White Sox team that has already added additional walking ability via Yasmani Grandal and Edwin Encarnacion. The soon-to-be 33-year-old has always been regarded as a high-quality person as well as a player, which remains constant with the White Sox tendencies this year.
Pence, soon to be 37, enjoyed a resurgence with a surprising Texas Ranger team in 2019. Pence was almost a 2-win player (1.7 WAR) in just 286 at-bats last season. Like Dozier, Grandal, and Encarnacion, Pence would also continue to help a Sox team get on base. A career .280/.335/.462 slash line may not scream “on-base machine,” but compared to many other holdovers from the Sox lineup, it’s a definite improvement.
The question that lingers over Pence is can he stay healthy? The oft-injured outfielder struggled to stay healthy even with the Giants and Phillies. Pence has topped 400 plate appearances in half of the past ten seasons, making him a literal 50-50 shot to stay healthy for the majority of a season. He didn’t even stay healthy in Texas last year, where he served primarily as a DH. Do teams trust him to play in the outfield for most of his at-bats? I’m not sure.