Avi Garcia – Trade, Extend or Nothing….
In the 15 months or so that we have been writing in this space, I think we have probably written about Avi Garcia too much. Whether it be to talk about WHY the White Sox continue to give him chances, or to make fun of him for sneaking under 260 lbs as a playing weight. The 108ers are intrigued by Avisail Garcia. The other night, I ran a Twitter poll of our followers and there isn’t a general consensus on what the White Sox should do with Avi Garcia
So, I figured, as any blogger with a mediocre offering might do, I would breakdown the potential actions….
The whole thought that Avi could be traded was kicked off via a rumor, of course, it was a Cafardo, so it is likely to have no basis in reality. I remember when Sam Smith used to write for the Bulls and he would make up trade scenarios, at least he wrote them in a way in which, you knew he was just making something up and it was fun. Nowadays these fucking guys make up shit and then blasted it out there like it is reality. It’s a bunch of BS. Anywho, so, Cafardo noted that the Cardinals were looking at Garcia and a few other power hitting RF’s. I looked up and down the rest of the playoff contenders and pretenders and truthfully didn’t see much in the way of a team that really needs a RF. The only other team that looked appetizing to me, were the Mets, but not for this year, they’ll start clearing off the Granderson and Bruce contracts at the end of the year, they could probably use a young controllable (at least for 2 years) RF to help out in their competitive window. Besides those two teams, you got me.
Truthfully though, I don’t need to find a suitor, if Avi is to be traded, someone will emerge. I am just in need of finding a prospective value back in trade. Avi is tough to compare given that he’s had 3 pretty blech seasons and now 3 pretty excellent months. He’s still not walking a lot, but the “walking a lot” folks need to go fuck off, you can be a plenty valuable player with power and high contact rate. The two most comparable trades from last deadline are the Mets trading for Bruce and the Rangers trading for Beltran. The Bruce deal netted the Reds Dilson Herrera who was a top 10 prospect in the Mets system, but graduated from his prospect status and a lottery ticket. The Beltran deal, which required the Yanks to toss some cash in the nap sack that went along with Carlos to Texas included a top 5 prospect in the Rangers system (Dillon Tate) and top 100 overall and two lesser prospects that were top 10 round picks in the 2014 amateur draft.
In other words, it isn’t likely that an Avisail Garcia trade ends up with much star power included in it. It is possible that his control with 2 arb years remaining would boost the haul, but it is likely you would just be adding more assets and setting the clock back on those assets. It is doubtful you line up something with as much promise as say, I dunno, 2013 Avisail Garcia. If trade is the answer, it may be a signal that the competitive window is a little further away (say, starting in 2020) and that the White Sox need more assets that start arriving then.
This is a tough one, as Garcia has 2 arb years left. For the 2017 season he netted a 1 yr $3M deal before going to arbitration. Truthfully, he was pretty terrible heading into his 1st arbitration year and still got $3M. Arbitration is pretty kind to giving raises if someone could, oh, I dunno, put up a .900 OPS season. You might expect Avi to pick up a $3M to $4M raise in 2018 and a similar one in 2019. Which would put Avi’s salaries at say $7M in 2018 and $11M in 2019, the White Sox would need to buy those out and then buy out some portion of free agency.
I think the closest thing to Avi in estimated value might be someone like Mark Trumbo who got 3 yrs 37.5M. Truthfully, if you think Avi is actually this Avi, he’s much better than Mark Trumbo, so maybe Ian Desmond‘s 5yrs $70M is closer to accurate. Let’s assume if you extend Avi (and the extension would have to occur around now or at least before he puts in an entire season of being a 3 to 4 win player) that the extension would be for 5 yrs and $75M (buying out arb years 2018 & 2019) and then signing him through 2022 (his age 31 season). Avi might feel some loyalty towards the White Sox and get something like this done. Or, he might realize that he goes to free agency at 28 and could make more money than this when he does.
This is the best action in my opinion. I don’t think the market yet believes in the new Avi, making trades tougher and I think it is pretty cost prohibitive to the future competing White Sox teams to possibly fuck up this extension. I think you let Avi play this out and then in 2018 you re-evaluate. Maybe he finds his level as a 2 WAR RF and then you decide that he’ll be cheap enough to extend or a valuable enough commodity to trade for a real chip. With the current expiring assets on the roster, I think Rick Hahn has his hands full trying to unload everything that isn’t nailed down for something of future value.