White Sox upgrading at third base

I've seen them.

I've seen your off-season plans, filled with free agent third baseman acquisitions.

Have no doubt I have tabulated these blasphemies against CONOR and taken them into account. Dreams of Chase Headley's defense, fantasies of Pablo Sandovalpanda hats with increased lining for 40-degree temperatures in June. Crackpots schemes of moving Hanley Ramirez to third.

I approve!

Here's a situation where you eliminate a potential target based on a position. Where the majority of their value is based on their specific position and you already have another player whose value is similarly tied. Do not trade for Matt Wieters when you have Sal Perez. What are you thinking?

In most cases, value is value. There are ideal fits, but there also are always ways to get talent on the field. Two no-hit, plus-fielding centerfielders is not the perfect fit, but in the meantime, you've got some great outfield defense.

Free agency in particular, is such a wasteland of deterioration and broken dreams that seeking out the best talent is available could be the only protection. Big-time money commitments are dangerous, but revenue is accelerating. It's the years spent bonded to a terrible player that will kill you. Shooting entirely for the biggest fish in free agency is obviously imprudent, and high-profile disasters exist in that category, but if you select someone who is only suitable at doing one specific job, options start expiring quickly when their abilities slip.

In short, I'm still shell-shocked from the Keppinger deal--which doesn't even expire until next off-season--and would rather stockpile talent and figure out the rest, than focus on plugging holes with the biggest signings of the off-season, even at the major league level.

More simply, Conor Gillaspie is not a player to make positional plans around. He's a lefty platoon bat who maximizes his value by being able to play either corner, and given the collective case of heeby-jeebies his throwing can induce, he's probably better on the right side, but has never previously promised the offensive heft worthy of patrolling it. Headley is a defensive specialist at the position who can offer similar offense--though duplicative hitting skills--Sandoval and Ramirez are attempts to lure plus-bats into the infield.

With an open 1B/DH-slot, and really only two slotted everyday mainstays, the Sox should use their flexibility to attract the best talent they can, rather than pigeonhole themselves to corner outfielders. Conor doesn't preclude them from doing that, and third base just happens to be where some flawed, but legit talent is.


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