Hey friends, its your pal BeefLoaf. Hope you had a Nice Holiday and Happy New Year. Now that the GM’s have neatly tucked away their ugly holiday sweaters and brandished the new keys to luxury cars with red bows on them to their significant others, the Hot Stove season trudges on into the cold tundra of January and February.
The White Sox made several moves this week and each of them is indicative of potential signs of where the team wants to go both with this rebuild and organizationally in the future.
White Sox sign C Geovany Soto to a minor league deal
This is a pretty obvious move, the Sox have 1 catcher on the 40 man with MLB experience and he was a longshot to even get that experience last year, so you need to start bringing in a catcher or two to compete in spring training. All of you are very familiar with Geo as he was here back in 2015 and did a decent job. Geo is a 108 favorite. It is not abundantly clear to us, it could be his knee injury, it could be a psychological thing, but Geo has some tourette’s esque ticks. Back in 2015, when we were pining for him to overtake T-Flo (that’s Tyler Flowers to the uninitiated) for the starting catcher job, it became quite obvious that after throwing the ball back to the mound, Geo needed to make certain anatomical adjustments that bordered on pornographic. Let’s put it this way, I saw monkeys at the zoo touch themselves less than Geo was in a single opposing players at bat. Luckily (or not, it was so strange as to be kind of awesome, while still causing you to get red in the face if you were forced to explain it), he changed this tick to its current manifestation, which is cleaning off the plate for several seconds after each throw back to the mound. Regardless, Geo is likely to make this roster if no other moves are made…….and he’s a reasonable major league catcher to have handling these young arms.
White Sox sign OF Cody Asche to a minor league deal
Asche is a 26 year old depth signing. It is important to note, that even though the press release calls him an OF, Asche is a life long 3B, but was moved from the position in the Phillies organization in the last 18 months or so because it became clear he would not unseat Maikel Franco. Asche has some pop, but not enough to warrant a twitter handle of @cody_smasche. This is not the type of signing where the White Sox are hoping to get a guy to play well and then flip him. This is the type of signing that rebuilding teams do to start building depth and weeding out those that don’t belong here. I was talking to Chorizy-E on this and we both think this move is specifically to push Matt Davidson, as the White Sox don’t have complete confidence he can hold down 3B if a Todd Frazier trade happens before the start of the season. The White Sox to Matt Davidson “Yea, Yea, all those 30% strike out years are real cute and so was your broken foot last year, but you are turning 26 before the start of the season, so let’s see you shit or get off the pot.”
White Sox claim OF Willy Garcia off of waivers from Pittsburgh and designate OF Jason Coats for assignment
This transaction was the most interesting for me. I wasn’t really sure the White Sox were ready to give up on Coats after a quick cup of coffee in which RV (this fucking guy again) barely played him, so we didn’t really get to see what he can do. Of the little bit we did see, it looked like handling an OF position on defense was going to be a struggle and DFA’ing him for a guy who might not have it together at the plate yet, but can most definitely handle RF at the G Spot tomorrow is a definite sign. It appears the organization is drawing a line in the sand that they are ready to make decisions on “development” players in their org, especailly those that will be 27 years old by opening day. I poked around a bit and it seems that Willy Garcia has a pedigree and peaked out as a top 15 prospect in the Pirates organization. It is possible that the White Sox see something they like in the 24 year old. It is also possible they just saw an opportunity to make a small upgrade to their 40 man roster and did so. Probably the later.
And finally…….White Sox sign 2B/SS Everth Cabrera to a minor league contract with an invite to major league spring training.
Between this move and the Asche move, it is clear that the White Sox intend to deal everything that isn’t nailed down, including Todd Frazier and Brett Lawrie. Cabrera is an interesting case, first off, he hasn’t had a major league plate appearance since 2015, and that year he sucked. Prior to that, he had come up with San Diego, been touted as a speed/defense player and been pretty good. He even made an all star team. In between then and now, he has been playing in Nicaragua for 2 years, he was busted for PED’s and served a 50 game suspension, he was arrested for drunk driving, he was admitted to a psychiatric hospital and he had a 2015 that saw his OPS dip lower than the average White Sox fans weight. I am not really sure what this move working looks like considering you have Tim Anderson and Yoan Moncada projected to be up the middle by the end of 2017, and you have a fairly young cost controlled utility man to spell them both in Tyler Saladino. I guess is the wheels are still shiny and new looking, he can be a weapon that can be dealt, but in an MLB that just doesn’t run much anymore, it would surprise me.