As the White Sox opened the winter with vacancies at both middle infield positions, Josh found out that the White Sox immediately had a replacement in mind for Tim Anderson, and we passed that info along to you earlier this month.
Now that they’ve created a vacancy at shortstop by declining Tim Anderson’s option, we’ve heard that the White Sox are starting the winter with a pursuit of shortstop Paul DeJong.
According to Jon Heyman — and we’ve since heard the same thing — it’s happening.
Even though a Sox Machine scoop materialized, that’s a lowercase “it’s happening” because DeJong hit just .129/.128/.183 for Toronto and San Francisco over the last two months following a trade from the Cardinals at the deadline. I suppose that’s why Heyman felt like he needed to specify that it was an MLB deal.
With Nicky Lopez already in the fold after the White Sox acquired him from the Braves in the Aaron Bummer trade, the Sox now have a pair of glove-first middle infielders from the Chicagoland area (Lopez is a local product from Naperville, DeJong from Antioch).
This feels a little bit like Rick Hahn signing Josh Harrison and Leury García in the same winter, in that there isn’t that much upside in this particular profile for doubling down. DeJong and Lopez both look like No. 9 hitters, and if the White Sox don’t make a meaningful upgrade at catcher, that results in a pretty empty bottom of the order.
On the bright side, landing both DeJong and Lopez seemingly achieves Getz’s goal of improving the infield defense, which will help a threadbare pitching staff. DeJong also provides one more layer of insulation between Colson Montgomery and the 26-man roster. Any credible, playable option that prevents Montgomery from being considered for Opening Day is welcome aboard.
(Plus, at least DeJong outhomered Anderson last year, which is something Lopez can’t say.)
This signing will require a corresponding move since the 5-for-1 trade with Atlanta filled the 40-man roster to capacity, but the White Sox still have plenty of room for cutting.