Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Choosing a free agent for White Sox
By AJ Mass
Although the Chicago White Sox are just eight losses away from their worst season since 1976, the team is relatively optimistic that they know exactly what they need to improve upon to make sure they don't repeat this level of futility in 2014.
General manager Rick Hahn says that this season's struggles actually are an advantage, as they have given him a head start on next season. "(We) have a fair amount of work to do, and we realize that. It's something that because of the way the season has gone, we have had a little extra time to prepare for what we wanted to do. We were able to do some of it at the [July 31] Trade Deadline and hopefully come October and November, we will continue down that path, " Hahn said.
By trading away Jake Peavy and Alex Rios, the White Sox have $27 million to play with, and if Paul Konerko decides to retire, there could be even more money on the table. So what free agent should the White Sox pursue for 2014?
As Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com reports, "The team is on pace to score 606 runs, which would stand as the sixth fewest in a 162-game season in franchise history. Its .303 on-base percentage currently ranks 100th in 113 seasons of play."
With that in mind, the most appealing potential free agent signing would seem to be Shin-Soo Choo, who has an OBP of .425 this season, behind only Miguel Cabrera, Mike Trout and Joey Votto. In 38 career games playing at US Cellular Field, Choo has an OBP of .381 and scored 26 runs.
Choo is no stranger to the American League Central, and having him as the team's leadoff hitter would certainly be an improvement over Alejandro de Aza and his .264 batting average and 2.98 K/BB rate.