Second base stands out as the most glaring area of need in the White Sox lineup, yet the idea of moving Yoan Moncada back to the keystone doesn’t seem too likely, NBC Sports Chicago’s Vinnie Duber opines. Moncada began his career with regular second base duty in 2017-18, yet has played exclusively as a third baseman over the last three seasons, posting very solid defensive numbers along the way. Beyond just the improved glovework, the position change also seemed to spark Moncada towards better numbers at the plate. As White Sox GM Rick Hahn told Duber and other reporters last month, Moncada is “a pretty darn good third baseman. He’s comfortable there….I don’t know if you want to upset the apple cart of something that’s working.”
That said, Hahn also twice said “never say never” about the possibility of a Moncada position change. The logic would be that the White Sox could be able to address a third base vacancy more easily than their second base vacancy, as many of the winter’s top available second basemen are already off the market. Moncada also wouldn’t have to stay at second base forever, if the Sox acquired a third baseman on a relatively short-term deal. Hypothetically, Kyle Seager could be open to a one-year deal to join a contender, or a trade candidate like the Athletics’ Matt Chapman is under team control only through 2023.
More from around the AL Central…
- The Tigers had interest in Kevin Gausman before the right-hander signed with the Blue Jays, ESPN’s Jeff Passan writes. Detroit hadn’t previously been linked to Gausman, though given how aggressively the Tigers courted the pitching market, it isn’t surprising that they checked in on his services as part of their broad search for arms. That search has already resulted in one major pitching signing, as Detroit signed lefty Eduardo Rodriguez to a five-year, $77MM pact.
- Gabriel Arias is an intriguing prospect in the Guardians’ farm system, and ranked by MLB Pipeline as the 82nd-best minor leaguer in all of baseball. Since the Guardians have several other notable middle infield options both on the active roster and in the minors, Cleveland.com’s Paul Hoynes and Joe Noga wonder if Arias might be a viable trade chip, if the team ultimately prefers other players as their ideal shortstop/second baseman of the future. Traditionally, Cleveland has been more apt to keep its top prospects rather than move them in deals, and yet between both the middle infield depth and the Guardians’ more glaring need for outfield help, the situation could be right for the club to move a prospect of Arias’ caliber. The 21-year-old Arias has already been part of one major trade in his young career, as he was one of the six players sent by the Padres to Cleveland in the Mike Clevinger deal in August 2020.