The White Sox have saved up some money in the last few weeks, possibly enabling them to make a move on the free agent market. Thankfully, it doesn't sound like they're going to pick up a closer.
In his weekly mailbag, MLB.com's Scott Merkin answered a question about the Sox possibly going after Ryan Madson or Francisco Cordero by writing the Sox are content with one of Addison Reed, Jesse Crain and Matt Thornton filling the 2012 closer role. That's good news -- spending money on a closer at this point would be frivolous.
Don't get me wrong, Madson's a good reliever who, performance-wise, would help most any bullpen. But he could earn around 10 million per year in his next contract, and that's not money the White Sox should shell out to a guy who's averaged about 1.4 WAR per season over the last four years.
Cordero isn't close to being worth that kind of money, and he's a prime candidate for a regression from his 2.45 ERA in 2011.
If the Sox do spend money, there are better ways to go about it. Like spending it on Yoenis Cespedes.
The White Sox continued their rebuild Thursday by trading for an intriguing young right-handed pitcher.
The South Siders acquired Thyago Vieira from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for international signing bonus pool money.
The 24-year-old Vieira is a Brazilian native and has only made one appearance in the big leagues, striking out a batter in one perfect inning of work in 2017.
While his career minor-league numbers don't jump off the page — 14-19 with a 4.58 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 13 saves and 7.4 K/9 in 290.2 innings \— Vieira has been reportedly clocked at 104 mph with his fastball and was ranked as the Mariners' No. 8 prospect at the time of the deal. He also held righties to .194 batting average in 2017.
Here's video of Vieira throwing gas:
And this may explain why Vieira was even available:
Control has been an issue throughout his career, as he's walked 4.6 batters per nine innings in the minors. He has improved in that regard over the last few seasons, however, walking only 22 batters in 54 innings across three levels in 2017 and he doled out only one free pass in 5.1 innings in the Arizona Fall League in 2016.
What does this deal mean in the big picture for baseball? How did the Sox pull off a move like this while not having to give up a player in return?
This may help shed light on the situation from Baseball America's Kyle Glaser:
Either way, the White Sox may have just acquired a guy who could potentially throw his name in the hat for "future closer." Or at the very least, throw his name in the hat for "best name."
After posting career numbers in 2017, Avisail Garcia is already attracting trade suitors this offseason.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle's John Shea, the Oakland A's have interest in acquiring the outfielder, who would fill the team's need for a right-handed bat.
The buzz should come as no surprise given Garcia produced a slash line of .330/.380/.506 in his breakout campaign, where he was also named the lone representative for the rebuilding Sox at the All-Star Game.
Now the question centers on whether GM Rick Hahn, whose phone constantly stays buzzing, sees the 26-year-old as a piece for the future or trade bait. Heading into winter meetings, Hahn reiterated that he would listen to deals involving Garcia and Jose Abreu, especially considering the South Siders are likely still a few years away from seriously competing in the American League.
With Garcia under club control until 2019 and his value at its peak, now may be the ideal time for Hahn to sell high and stockpile even more prospects for the already talent-rich farm system. The A's currently have four players in MLB Pipeline's Top 100.
It may be Avi Time in Oakland.