The White Sox have reportedly been in talks with free-agent outfielder Yasiel Puig, but the team’s not pushing to sign him, according to Bruce Levine of 670 The Score. The two sides don’t have any negotiations taking place at present, Levine reports.
Puig (or any other high-profile free-agent corner outfielder) looked like a logical match for the White Sox when the offseason began several weeks ago. But the White Sox have since made a few other additions to their lineup that could erase any possibility of landing another starting outfielder. Not only did they acquire corner OFer Nomar Mazara from the Rangers, but they also re-signed first baseman/designated hitter Jose Abreu to a three-year, $50MM contract and just agreed to add another 1B/DH, Edwin Encarnacion, on a one-year, $12MM pact.
With Mazara and Eloy Jimenez around as starting corner outfielders and the Abreu-Encarnacion-Yasmani Grandal trio likely to log plenty of time at DH, there may not be a place for Puig at those spots. That is, unless they can convince the right-handed Puig to work on the short side of a platoon with the lefty-swinging Mazara. It may be far-fetched to expect Puig to settle for that type of role, though.
Puig, who turned 29 this month, has been a regular since he debuted with the Dodgers in 2013. Although Puig went through a disappointing 2019 between Cincinnati and Cleveland, he’s still one of the most established hitters left in a constantly shrinking free-agent market. Puig, Nicholas Castellanos (another rumored White Sox target who may have to look elsewhere), Marcell Ozuna and Corey Dickerson appear to be the top remaining corner outfielders available. Considering the offseason moves the White Sox have already made to better their offense, it seems doubtful anyone from that group will end up in their uniform.