Sox Reporter

Why one Sox pitcher would welcome Brantley to the South Side

Sox Reporter

The White Sox have been one of the few aggressive teams when it comes to adding players this winter, bringing in Lance Lynn, Liam Hendriks and Adam Eaton.

But plenty of fans with the same World Series aspirations as the team itself want to know what's next.

Who knows what kind of activity remains for the White Sox before the team heads to spring training. Starting-pitching depth is always a need for teams across the league, the South Siders being no exception, and there's mystery surrounding what will happen at the DH spot. While the White Sox have a top ranked prospect in Andrew Vaughn who could conceivably slide into the role, there's a perfectly valid argument to be made that opting for a proven veteran would make more sense as they chase a championship.

RELATED: Bummer on new bullpen mate Hendriks: 'That guy's got balls'

Well one of the team's pitchers would be all for the import of Michael Brantley, one of the game's top available free agents and a popular name among fans who want to see the White Sox make another big-time upgrade to an already potent lineup.

But the reasoning might be just a tad selfish.

"I’ll gladly take him on our team because I’m pretty sure he’s about 6-for-7 lifetime off me with about four doubles. I think I’ve gotten him out one time," White Sox reliever Aaron Bummer told Our Chuck Garfien on the White Sox Talk Podcast. "If he happens to head our way, I’m completely in because that means I don’t ever have to face him again."

 

Certainly Brantley, a four-time All Star, would be a wonderful addition to whichever team ends up landing him this offseason. He'd fit nicely into the White Sox DH spot, too, a proven playoff performer during the past two seasons with the Houston Astros and a longtime member of the AL Central with the Cleveland Indians. He's a hair shy of being a career .300 hitter with a career on-base percentage north of .350. And he would add a left-handed bat to the middle of a heavily right-handed White Sox lineup.

But if the South Siders are going to sign a free-agent DH just to give their pitching staff a break, they might want to consider Nelson Cruz, one of the all-time White Sox killers. Over the past two seasons with the division-rival Minnesota Twins, Cruz obliterated South Side pitching. He hit .433/.521/.917 with eight homers, five doubles and 24 RBIs in 16 games against the White Sox in 2019. He followed that up with a .368/.442/.711 slash line, three homers, four doubles and 10 RBIs in 10 games in 2020.

Either would obviously help the White Sox chances in their pursuit of a World Series title in 2021 — not only because they'd bulk up the lineup, but because their removal from opposing lineups would be a relief for the pitching staff.

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