The Chicago White Sox are rumored to be interested in Nicholas Castellanos, who played for the Chicago Cubs last year. Here’s why it wouldn’t make sense.
While Chicago Cubs fans are still holding out some faint hope that the team can find a way to bring back Nicholas Castellanos this winter, the crosstown Chicago White Sox continue to remain interested in the free agent outfielder.
It’s not a surprise that the White Sox would be interested, as they have been rumored to be all offseason long. The team has already made several moves this offseason and is trying to jump into contention for 2020, and right field is a spot where they could use an upgrade over 2019. So how much sense would Castellanos make for the South Siders?
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It would have made a lot more sense at the beginning of the offseason, before the White Sox made all the moves they already have. They’ve added a lot of payroll through the signings of Yasmani Grandal, Dallas Keuchel and Gio Gonzalez, as well as the trade for Nomar Mazara. While they’ve clearly had money to spend this offseason, how much more do they want to commit to free agents?
Another question to ask is, how far from their plan of trying to build their farm system into a contending team do they want to stray? So far, they haven’t given up any top prospects to build their 2020 roster. Yet it appears that they’re taking a similar approach that the Cubs took during the 2014-2015 offseason after a few years of building the farm system, when the team added Jon Lester, Miguel Montero, David Ross and Dexter Fowler, among others.
In particular, it remains to be seen how much the White Sox actually need Castellanos, looking at their outfield situation. They have Eloy Jimenez locked into left field, while the addition of Mazara gives them one right field option. There’s also top prospect Luis Robert (though he might fit into center field) and Luis Alexander Basabe, who could be contributors at the big league level in 2020.
Yes, the White Sox have the designated hitter they could use to get some of these players at-bats. Yet with the addition of Grandal, the team will probably want to get James McCann (or Grandal himself) some at-bats in that spot after McCann had a great 2019. Add to all this the fact that they are actively pursuing Edwin Encarnacion, and it will be hard to find all these players at-bats next year.
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So, while Castellanos would be a great addition to any major league roster, it seems like it may not be the best use of the White Sox’s funds at this time. They probably already have enough, between their offseason additions and their farm system, to cover both right and left field in 2020. Then again, perhaps this is all just the wishful thinking of a Chicago Cubs fan who wants Castellanos back.