“Oscar Colas is going to be given every opportunity to” become an everyday right fielder, White Sox manager Pedro Grifol said in a recent interview on 670 The Score’s Inside The Clubhouse show (partial transcript here). This doesn’t mean that Colas has a clear path to a starting job, however, as Grifol said Gavin Sheets, Jake Marisnick, Leury Garcia, and even Eloy Jimenez will also be competing for time in right field. In Jimenez’s case, he’ll still be Chicago’s primary DH, but Grifol said Jimenez could appear in right field “a day or two a week if possible and keeping him athletic and keeping him working on the defensive side, because I know that helps on the offensive side as well.”
Given Jimenez’s injury history and his subpar glovework as a left fielder, it is clear he’ll be taking a back seat on the outfield depth chart, as the Sox would love to see Colas emerge at the big league level. A highly-touted signing out of Cuba, Colas didn’t play anywhere in 2020-21 but hit .314/.371/.524 with 23 homers over 526 combined plate appearances with three different White Sox affiliates. That includes only a seven-game stint at Triple-A, but the White Sox seem confident that Colas will be ready for the majors possibly as soon as Opening Day.
More from around baseball…
- With contract opt-outs becoming more of a trend around the league, the Giants are no exception, as NBC Sports Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic notes that most of the club’s biggest offseason moves contain the potential for early exits. Michael Conforto, Ross Stripling, and Sean Manaea can all opt out of their two-year deals next winter, while Mitch Haniger can opt out of his three-year contract following the 2024 season. “It just so happens that a lot of players that we’ve talked to feel like they have another level of performance in them,” president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said, downplaying the idea that the Giants are focusing only on shorter-term candidates. “I think that speaks to players believing in our development and our ability to help guys maximize their abilities. They want to come here and get another bite at the apple, and a lot of times that’s in our best interests, too, for players to be motivated along those lines and to be better.” San Francisco has had a lot of success in finding bounce-back players during Zaidi’s tenure, and it isn’t as though the club has shied away from longer-term offers, given what the Giants were prepared to give Carlos Correa or Aaron Judge. However, Pavlovic notes the negatives of this strategy, including how the opt-out tends to push the risk onto the team’s side of a contract, and also how even in the best-case scenario of a player performing well, an opt-out leaves the Giants churning the roster yet again to fill that hole.
- 2023 is the last guaranteed year of Kyle Hendricks’ contract, as the Cubs hold a $16MM club option (with a $1.5MM buyout) on the veteran righty’s services for the 2024 season. After two underwhelming years and an injury-shortened 2022 campaign, Hendricks doesn’t look at the moment like a good bet to get that option exercised, but he is confident that he has a rebound coming. “I just want to get healthy and go in and (contribute)….By doing that — if I’m able to be who I am — then I think things will end up taking care of themselves after the season,” Hendricks told The Athletic’s Patrick Mooney. “Obviously, the goal would be to stay here. I’ve loved everything about it. I would love to ride it out as long as I possibly can.” Hendricks had some solid-to-excellent numbers with Chicago from 2014-20, and will be 34 on Opening Day 2024, so on paper it isn’t too late for the right-hander to have a bit of a revival. A big portion of Hendricks’ offseason work has included learning how to rehab and manage the capsular tear in his right shoulder, and his type of injury doesn’t usually require surgery. If Hendricks did regain any of his old form next season, the Cubs would face an interesting $14.5MM decision, and the chips might fall in Hendricks’ favor given the high price of starting pitching around the league.