Last night while everyone was asleep, the White Sox and Rangers agreed to swap outfielders in a deal that was overshadowed by Gerrit Cole getting $324M from the New York Yankees. This isn’t nearly the type of splash deal that White Sox fans were looking for going into Winter Meetings in San Diego this week but… it’s a move.
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) December 11, 2019
What are the White Sox getting in Nomar Mazara?
- 4 year career: .261 / .320 / .435 with an OPS of .754. Good for 518 hits, 95 2B, 79 HR, 308 RBI, 162 BB
- 2019: .268 / .318 / .469 with an OPS of .786. Good for 115 hits, 27 2B, 19 HR, 66 RBI, 28 BB
He’s not a bad player. He put’s up decent numbers, but a big knock on him has been he has struggled quite a bit with lefty pitchers. Let’s look at his most recent batting stats from 2019:
- vs RHP: 302 AB, 87 hits, 25 2B, 13 HR, 46 RBI, 23 BB, .288 / .344 / .500 and OPS of .844
- vs LHP: 127 AB, 28 hits, 2 2B, 6 HR, 20 RBI, 5 BB, .220 / .252 / .394 and OPS of .646
It’s easy to see that he hasn’t been as successful against LHP. Through 4 years in the majors, you would think that a player has already rounded into form for the most part, and you can begin to see what you’re going to get long term. Obviously though, he could still be developed. He’s only 24 years old.
Fun fact, Mazara hit the longest HR in the MLB last year, measuring in at 505 feet. So there is some power there. Coincidentally, this was against the White Sox own, Reynaldo Lopez.
Beyond the Numbers
All I keep seeing and hearing is that he’s average, at best, on the defensive side, but is better in that regard compared to Castellanos, who the White Sox have been linked to since before Winter Meetings. He’s a big athletic guy with a pretty good arm, which is what Rick Renteria expressed on Tuesday:
“He’s obviously a powerful man, 6-4, I think, 6-5. He looks like he’s seven-foot every time I see him in the box,” Renteria said. “Runs extremely well for a big guy. Can defend. Good arm. Brings a lot of qualities to the plate. Can pop one in the seats as quickly as anybody. I think he’s done it against us a number of times, but he can play right field well.”
He also provides a lefty bat in a lineup already full of righties. The only other true lefty is Zack Collins, who may be out of town with the recent Grandal signing. Then you have some switch hitters available in Grandal, Moncada, Basabe, and Rutherford. Of which only two of them have proven they can play in the majors to this point.
What Did The White Sox Give Up?
To acquire Mazara, the Sox shipped 2018 second-round pick, Steele Walker to Texas. He’s currently the White Sox 6th/7th ranked prospect, depending on what ranking list you choose to follow, above the likes of Basabe, Rutherford, Collins, Adolfo. He hasn’t blown anyone away with his play to this point as he’s bounced between high A and A, so he’s still got some time until he’s even thinking about taking the next step to the majors.
What’s Next for the White Sox?
For the White Sox sake, I hope this is not their solution to the hole in RF. He could be a decent player, but he’s more of a prospect that’s a little further along than the guy they traded. With their current window beginning to open, they don’t have time to wait for Walker, and Mazara provides someone who major league ready right now. I wouldn’t mind getting him in the mix and being a rotation guy to give some others a day off, but as the every day option in RF? I don’t know about that…
Some other notable options to keep an eye on and fill this RF hole via free agency are:
- Marcell Ozuna
- Nicholas Castellanos
- Yasiel Puig
Of course the White Sox could trade for someone as well, like Joc Pederson, who they have show interest in in the past. It seems as though there hasn’t been a ton of traction with the Dodgers on this front though, so we’ll see.
Rick Hahn has got some work to do, and not only in the RF department. Let’s see what else he’s got in the works, there’s still a lot of talent out there and the third day of Winter Meetings starts on Wednesday.
Who would you like to see the White Sox sign or trade for? Comment below.
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