The Chicago White Sox have not had a very interesting offseason to this point. They added relief pitcher Kendall Graveman and re-signed utility man Leury Garcia prior to the lockout and then added reliever Joe Kelly and infielder Josh Harrison post-lockout.
But other than that, they have been relatively quiet.
Even with these acquisitions and re-signings, they still have a glaring hole in right field. The best free agent outfielder still on the market is Michael Conforto and he would be a great fit on the White Sox. Last season was a bit of a down year for the 29-year-old, but he did have some injuries that affected his performance.
In 2021, he had a .232 batting average with 14 home runs, 55 RBI, and a 101 OPS+, which is well below his career average of 124. The White Sox would be getting a player who is still in the prime of his career with a high ceiling. Conforto has averaged 28 home runs and 85 RBIs per 162 games in his career. He fits the kind of offensive production that the White Sox desperately need if they want to become a World Series contender this upcoming season.
Conforto would likely hit at the bottom third of the batting order, with pressure lifted from his shoulders while being surrounded by other great hitters like Tim Anderson, Luis Robert, Jose Abreu, and Yasmani Grandal.
During his press conference after the season, #WhiteSox GM Rick Hahn said that adding left-handed power was a priority. Since then, they’ve spent $30 million on the bullpen and redundant infielders. Michael Conforto is the perfect fit and he’s right there for them to sign.
— James Fox (@JamesFox917) March 17, 2022
A seven-hole hitter that should average around 20 or more home runs and 80 RBIs would deepen the White Sox lineup and make it arguably the best in the American League. Conforto would look great on the White Sox, but what kind of contract would lure him to Chicago? I would guess a 4-year deal for $115 million with an opt-out after 2 years would work.
He is represented by well-represented agent Scott Boras, who is notorious for getting his clients lucrative multi-year deals. If Conforto ends up not working out, the team can find someone else after 2023 or 2024. Hopefully by then, one of their top outfield prospects such as Oscar Colas or Yoelqui Cespedes would be ready to take over the position.
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The 2 year opt-out gives them plenty of time to see if Oscar or Yoelqui is the future at the position, I just think they’ll roll the dice on Engel/Leury/Vaughn/Sheets/Aldofo for this year honestly. But I totally agree with your assessment.