What Should the Chicago White Sox Do at Third Base?
The Chicago White Sox haven’t really gotten any offense from second base, shortstop or third base in the couple of months of the season. Now we know that Alexei Ramirez is just a slow starter and he always bounces back and has a really good last four months, so let’s not worry about him. With Gordon Beckham, you have to take the good with the bad, his defense is Gold Glove caliber and he still shows flashes of his hitting skills that he had at the University of Georgia, in the minors and his first season with the big league club in Chicago. So that leaves Brent Morel at third base. Morel hasn’t showed anything with the bat and while he has fielded well, he hasn’t wowed anyone in the fashion that Beckham has. So it got me thinking, what could the White Sox do at third base?
My first thought was Kevin Youkilis of the Boston Red Sox. Right now Youk is on the DL with an injury and wasn’t hitting at all before the injury. His slash line is .219/.292/.344 with only 2 home runs and 9 RBI in 64 AB. Also, Youk’s defense has started slipping at the hot corner and he is 33 years old. He is in the last year of a contract that is paying him $12 million and he has a $13 million team option with a $1 million buyout. But what would the White Sox have to give up to get Youk to Chicago? With the bullpen in Boston just terrible, Matt Thornton is an obvious option as far as money and a need for the Red Sox. I am one that doesn’t want to take anything away from this bullpen of the White Sox unless it is Will Ohman. So if you can convince the Red Sox to give him up for some prospects while paying some of his salary, you do it.
Another guy that has played third base before, but is not good defensively is Edwin Encarnacion of the Toronto Blue Jays. EE is having a monster power year at the plate. His slash line is .275/.331/.597 with 13 home runs and 34 RBI in 166 at bats. If he can continue to put up these numbers for the rest of the season, you could live with his defense as he would give the offense the much needed boost it needs to compete for the division or possibly a wild card. EE, 29, is in the last year of his deal and will become a free agent at the end of the season. So then the questions are, could the White Sox and Blue Jays come up with a deal for each team? Or would the Blue Jays trade one of there better hitters if they are still in the race? Could Gavin Floyd still interest the Jays? What would the Jays add to a deal with EE if the Sox offered up Floyd in a deal?
All I know is, that if the White Sox can get a third baseman that can produce some offense, Gordon Beckham at second base won’t be as noticable at the plate in the number nine hole with spectacular defense. There will be more options as teams get to the middle of June and the picture clears up some more. The White Sox could fall out of contention and this point will be moot.
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