With the season ending almost a week ago, I can tell you that no fan on the South Side of Chicago was happy with the way the Pale Hose season went. 2013 saw great pitching, some young players show their high potential, and Chris Sale continue to dominate and bud into a star. However, the team’s hitting and defense was among the worst in the league, and still on his first contract, Robin Ventura, may be on the hot seat. After a tumultuous 2013 campaign, the White Sox front office has a lot of work to do to get the team back into contention.
One of the solutions that was brought up by MLBTradeRumors.com was free agent outfielder, and Chicago native, Curtis Granderson. Granderson was sidelined most of the 2013 season with injuries related to being hit by pitches on his forearm and pinkie finger. However, even when he was on the field Granderson could only muster up a .229/.317/.405 line, far from the player that the White Sox could use right now. One could point to the White Sox hitter friendly ballpark as a reason to sign Granderson, but I would counter that Yankee Stadium’s short right field porch makes Yankee Stadium a more attractive home ballpark to Granderson even though the Cell’s all around dimensions are more favorable.
Performance isn’t the only issue with a potential Granderson signing. The White Sox all ready have a full outfield with Alejandro De Aza, (almost typed Alex Rios :(, sad), Dayan Viciedo, and Avisail Garcia. De Aza is still young at age 29, and although he made a bunch of bone-headed mistakes in the 2013 campaign, he can still be valuable if he learns to run the bases. If Granderson were to come to town all of the work put into De Aza would most likely be put on hold as he takes the 4th outfield spot, and sees limited playing time. In fact, the addition of Granderson could even make De Aza a formidable trade chip at the deadline.
All in all, it is this writer’s opinion that the White Sox should not sign Curtis Granderson unless the money is right. Which it probably won’t be because Granderson is popular name, and the contract that Hunter Pence commanded recently won’t help the White Sox efforts to keep the price low. The White Sox and GM Rick Hahn simply have to focus on getting younger and building up their farm system before they can focus on winning and adding finishing pieces to the puzzle. Plus, even though De Aza has been a headache for most Sox fans this past season, he still clubbed 17 home runs and lead the Sox in runs scored even with all the running errors.
So Mr. Hahn, when browsing the bargain bin for free agents this winter, please don’t stop and mull getting a used 1980’s Mercedes instead of a slick new Corolla. Although the Mercedes has the name and branding, it won’t get the job done as cheaply and efficiently as the Corolla. (Bad analogy, sorry…)