The White Sox were known to have continued interest in Nicholas Castellanos, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman (via Twitter) adds that Chicago has also been in talks with free agent outfielder Yasiel Puig. Whether the Sox ink either of these two players could now be in doubt, however, in the wake of yesterday’s reported agreement with Edwin Encarnacion. At the very least, Castellanos might be out of consideration since there isn’t be an obvious spot for him to play every day, with Encarnacion and Jose Abreu handling first base/DH duties, Eloy Jimenez in left field, and Nomar Mazara playing at least a part-time role in right field.
It isn’t entirely out of the question that the White Sox could try to flip Mazara to make room for Castellanos, though the likeliest option is that Chicago will see if Mazara can still emerge as a reliable everyday player, or at least try to find a right-handed hitting platoon partner for him. Puig could fit this description, and could potentially still be a target for the Sox on a one-year deal. MLBTR projected such a one-year pact for Puig, and given the lack of news we’ve heard about Puig’s market this offseason, he could be more open to a platoon situation (that could very well evolve into more regular duty if Mazara struggles again). The Marlins are the only team known to have shown interest in Puig this winter.
Some more rumblings on the outfield market…
- While the Giants have been framed as a prime player in the Castellanos market, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports that the team’s portrayal as any sort of frontrunner to win the bidding is “overblown.” The organization does like Castellanos and is more willing to add a youthful free agent on a multi-year deal (Castellanos is still just 27) than a veteran entering his 30s. However, Pavlovic also questions whether the Giants would be willing to put forth a four- or five-year offer for any free agent while in the midst of an increasingly obvious rebuilding effort.
- The Cardinals remain in the market for an outfielder, as Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch explored in his holiday chat with readers this week. Corey Dickerson is at least under consideration, and the team hasn’t bowed out of the Marcell Ozuna bidding yet, either. The Cards’ preference is to have bring in an everyday outfielder as opposed to a platoon bat like Joc Pederson, whom the Dodgers have discussed in trades for a second straight offseason.