The White Sox are scanning the market for center field help, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link). It seems that the organization isn’t sure how Austin Jackson is progressing after undergoing knee surgery a month ago.
We’ve heard mostly about the possibility of Chicago adding a slugging corner outfielder to date, but a slow return from Jackson would certainly increase the need for an up-the-middle option. Even if he is able to return in relatively short order, it would be nice to have a player capable of manning center given Jackson’s less-than-exciting performance to date.
The Sox do still have Adam Eaton on hand. He’s plenty youthful and athletic and manned the position last year, after all. But defensive metrics have viewed him as a sub-par performer up the middle while grading him as an outstanding defender in right, and that surely weighs into the calculus.
A glance at the most recent MLBTR top trade candidate list shows that the top trade options trend toward the corners. Charlie Blackmon is probably the premium center fielder who might be had, with a reborn Melvin Upton also rating as a candidate. Other possibilities include Peter Bourjos, who’d provide a nice glove, though it’s fair to wonder whether the South Siders would be better served with a more significant addition. A player such as Blackmon could push Jackson into a corner outfield platoon when he returns and provide some thump for the lineup.