Well, well, well. It looks like the White Sox are making some moves in a win-now offseason. Dallas Keuchel, Yasmani Grandal, Nomar Mazara all will be wearing Chicago South Side pinstripes in 2020. But one other addition has gotten the Snowman’s attention.
One of my favorite sluggers, who carries an imaginary parrot around the bases on a home-run trot, has signed a one-year deal as Edwin Encarnacion has joined the White Sox as well.
This bolsters a lineup that has Jose Abreu signed long term, a burgeoning slugger in Eloy Jimenez, slick infielders Yoan Mancada, Tim Anderson, and the return of Michael Kopech and Luis Giolito for the rotation has made the White Sox into instant offseason winners.
But this also brings a concern of age. Can Grandal (31) adjust to the American League and can Encarnacion (37) rediscover his hitting prowess after splitting time with the Seattle Mariners and the New York Yankees? There is some power left in the tank as hes led MLB in total homers and RBIs, hitting no less than 32 and driving in 100 RBIs six times during the past decade.
For Edwing, the White Sox will be his fifth club in the past four years after seven successful seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays. He then signed a three-year $60 million contract with the Cleveland Indians after setting career highs with 42 long balls and 127 RBIs in 2016.
Encarnacion is a lifetime .263 hitter and hits both lefties and righties consistently. But unfortunately, he’s not the same consistent feared slugger as he once was in Toronto. He will more than likely be a designated hitter for the most part as he’s played a total of only 103 games at first base over the past three seasons.
There are definite questions to be answered on how Encarnacion will fit with the White Sox, but even with his elevated age, lack of versatility, and yes some declining numbers, there’s something inside this White Sox fan that hopes that all will be proven wrong with Double E. Hey, if Frank Thomas can do it as a DH, then I think Edwing can do it too!
We’ll just have to wait until the first pitch is thrown and the first game played to see how Rick Renteria puts this puzzle together. Man I can’t wait to see it!
That’s Snowman’s Take – What’s yours?