Former Houston Astros slugger, George Springer, declined his qualifying offer and is one of Major League Baseball’s big fish during this offseason. With the White Sox needing to fill their right field spot, there is no time to waste on any contract negotiations with any name on the market. That being said, here are three names that should be next in line if the club can’t reel in Springer.
Due to the competitive window being pushed open, and the desire to compliment the young core of the White Sox for years to come, these names are all 30 years old or younger. It is my belief that, while fans have longed for a big name like Springer in the past, this team is structured in a way that acquiring a player that is more reliable than flashy should be more than enough to compliment the core.
This former World Series Champion carries a career 10.4 WAR into free agency and will turn 29 years old in April. While there is concern about the recent decline experienced by Pederson, there should also be reasons to welcome the former Dodger. One of those reasons is that he has more playoff experience than over half of the current White Sox roster. Annual trips to the postseason from 2015-2020 creates more value for this left-handed bat. Even with his struggles in the oddity that was the 2020 campaign, Pederson turned around and hit nearly .400 in each playoff series (NLDS, NLCS, and World Series).
Another left-handed bat, Rosario is a player that White Sox fans know well. Rosario has been a hitter that the Minnesota Twins have benefitted from when they play the Sox. The 29-year-old was a thorn in the White Sox sides almost every series, but now, free agency gives the Sox a chance to acquire him. Rosario has hit 20 or more home runs in all but two seasons throughout his career. That numbers jumps to three if you count this past year, where he hit 13 in 57 games. He’s a more-than-capable bat who’s glove has been tops in the league consistently. Despite the lack of playoff experience, his better than 11 WAR makes him a desirable outfield addition. Although he is listed as a left fielder, his past shows that, if necessary, he can fill the spot in right.
After the Chicago Cubs non-tendered Schwarber, their fanbase was sad to see him part ways from the team, and for good reason. The memories flowed through social media of the then 23-year-old getting a big hit in the 2016 postseason that ultimately lead to the Cubs’ World Series victory. There were questions surrounding his defensive ability, but ever since he slimmed down physically, there has been improvement in his range and quickness roaming the outfield. He had his best year in 2019, where he clobbered 38 homers and drove in 92 runs. The fact is, Schwarber won’t be the total package, but his big-bat potential and competent defense makes him qualified to be on the list of players for the Sox. When you look at his positional history, the time spent in right field is bleak, but this would be a new beginning for the Ohio native if he was put off by being a designated hitter.
A bonus name that could be acquired not only for the outfield, but depth in general is Jurickson Profar. Statistically, he won’t be someone you necessarily turn to to start everyday, but the fact that he can play all over the diamond makes him valuable to a club like the Sox, who are looking to bolster their roster and fill voids. Profar entered the league when he was 19 with the Texas Rangers and was a captivating name for Ranger fans, but he was never able to turn the corner and become the household name that everyone had hoped. Last year, with the San Diego Padres, he hit .278 with 7 long balls and 25 runs driven in, his best batting average season of his career.
If you have any other names that you would like to see the White Sox go after this offseason, feel free to comment them below or tweet them to Sox On Tap. We’re all hoping that free agency will be exciting for this team as they make their push for the ultimate goal for years to come.