As MLB's lockout continues to roll on, GMs are still unable to make impact transactions to fill needs within their organizations. When the baseball world comes to a standstill, it is very easy for one to look within their favorite team's depth chart to attempt to fill an organizational need. This has led some within the White Sox community to suggest the team move Yoan Moncada back to the position he played when first joining the club. Second base.
On the surface, this idea looks to have some legs. Moncada has played the keystone position at the Major League level. Former first-round draft pick and third baseman Jake Burger is seemingly blocked from anything above than a depth role. The White Sox also have parted ways with both Nick Madrigal and trade acquisition Cesar Hernandez, while only bringing back super-utility man Leury Garcia.
It's no secret the White Sox currently lack a true everyday second baseman. Could Moncada be the answer? Maybe, but at what cost?
Moving Yoan Moncada Exposes Additional Depth Issues
Unfortunately, moving Yoan Moncada to second base is very much like robbing Peter to pay Paul. Sure, there is a lack of an impact bat at second base in the lineup. However, moving Moncada over to fill the void essentially shifts the second-base depth problem the White Sox currently face over to third base.
On the current roster, Jake Burger might be the only player potentially ready to step up into a starting role at third in 2022. The argument remains. If the end goal for the Chicago White Sox in 2022 is to win a World Series, is that the best option for the team? Most would probably say no.
Looming behind Burger on the organizational depth chart is Laz Rivera (already 27), and current 26-man roster pieces Luery Garcia and Andrew Vaughn. None of these options scream serious everyday third-base options. Especially on a team attempting to compete for a World Series.
Attempting to move Yoan Moncada only transfers the ongoing conversation across the diamond. Finding an everyday replacement for Moncada would likely be difficult given the current third base market. Unless Jerry Reinsdorf were to open the pocketbook and sign Kris Bryant, there are not many other options that are out there most would be satisfied with.
Other impact names on the free-agent market would likely require a positional change themselves. Unless the White Sox are content with signing Kyle Seager or reuniting with the olympian Todd Frazier, it doesn't look like the answer is on the free-agent market.
Compounding the Problem
Let's look back at why there is a current fascination about moving Yoan Moncada to second base. It starts again with a lack of options. The market for free-agent second basemen is also fairly barren. The top choices of Marcus Semien, Chris Taylor, and Cesar Hernandez are already off the market.
The White Sox are once again looking at the clearance rack. Unless Tony La Russa and Rick Hahn are content with Leury Garcia being the everyday guy, something will have to be done to rectify quite a large hole on the depth chart in 2022. It may take some creativity to fix the issue.
It looks as if one of the only options to solve this issue would be via trade. Several rumors swirled prior to the lockout that Craig Kimbrel could potentially be on the move. However, one of the potential landing spots for Kimbrel seems to no longer be on the table. Considering the White Sox would also need to give up something of value in order to get something of value back, this route may also require something that would be unpopular among the White Sox fan base.
Whatever the White Sox will do to rectify the situation won't be able to take place until the lockout ends. Until then, all that can be done is speculate what that may be.