The White Sox have two major needs in their lineup: a left-handed bat and a right fielder. They are reportedly in trade talks to fill both holes with one player.
Jim Bowden first reported that the White Sox are in trade talks with the Texas Rangers for outfielder Nomar Mazara. Others have since confirmed the report. There appears to be some real smoke with this one.
Have heard similar White Sox interest in Mazara. Had interest in the Rangers outfielder last season https://t.co/Jr0RLwRdJK— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) December 10, 2019
White Sox are talking to Rangers about Nomar Mazara. Looking for 1 OF. @scottmerkin on it— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 10, 2019
Working with the premise that these trade talks are happening, let’s take a look at what Mazara would bring to the White Sox.
For starters, he plays right field and is a left-handed bat. The White Sox don’t have much in the way of left-handers in the lineup. Zack Collins is a lefty, but his place in the lineup is far from secure. After that it’s switch-hitters Yoan Moncada, Leury Garcia and now Yasmani Grandal. Mazara is a lefty who had an .844 OPS against right-handers last season.
On top of that, he’s 24 years old so that part lines up with what the White Sox are trying to build in terms of having young pieces on the roster. Mazara debuted in 2016 so he hits free agency after 2021.
Mazara is a below average defender according to defensive metrics and his offensive numbers don’t stand out. Considering his age, it’s plausible to think he gets better though.
He has a career .754 OPS, including a career-best .786 OPS last season. Mazara hit .268/.318/.469 last year in 116 games. That’s decent production, but not eye-popping.
Mazara hit exactly 20 home runs in each of his first three seasons and then hit 19 last season (albeit in less playing time). He also blasted a mammoth 505-foot home run off of Reynaldo Lopez on June 22.
He mashed against the White Sox last year with three home runs in three games. Mazara has a 1.016 OPS against the White Sox in 91 plate appearances. Maybe the White Sox have been impressed and want to bring him on board.
Maybe Mazara is a change-of-scenery candidate that can breakthrough after leaving Texas. He also likely wouldn’t cost the White Sox one of their untouchable prospects like Andrew Vaughn, for example. It wouldn’t be a show-stopping move from the White Sox, but it would fill two holes while also having some upside.
The Rangers have an excess of outfielders and the White Sox are looking for one. It’s a logical move that has been discussed here before. The Cardinals are in the same boat as the White Sox, as Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch noted on Tuesday, so there could be competition for Mazara.