White Sox Still Showing Interest In Edwin Encarnacion

The White Sox want to add another solid bat this offseason.

Bruce Levine
December 22, 2019 - 1:42 pm
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(670 The Score) With the White Sox's starting rotation in much better shape with the addition of veteran left-hander Dallas Keuchel, their focus has now turned to adding depth on the offensive side.

And it's possible that could come in the form of a powerful bat.

The White Sox continue to have conversations with free-agent first baseman/designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion, sources said. The White Sox started those discussions at the Winter Meetings earlier in December, and Encarnacion continues to draw interest from Chicago and other teams. 

Encarnacion, a three-time All-Star who turns 37 in January, hit .244 with 34 homers, 86 RBIs and an .875 OPS in 109 games split between the Mariners and Yankees in 2019. While he's past his prime, Encarnacion has continued to be a strong performer in recent seasons. He had 38 homers and 107 RBIs in 2017 and 32 homers and 107 RBIs in 2018, a pair of seasons that he spent with the Indians. Encarnacion has 414 homers during his 15-year MLB career. 

The White Sox's thought process in potentially adding Encarnacion would be to have him often serve as the designated hitter and possibly spell Jose Abreu at first base. Catcher Yasmani Grandal would also be in the mix for time at first base and designated hitter on days the White Sox use James McCann behind the plate. In such a scenario, the White Sox would have Abreu, Grandal, Encarnacion and McCann to split time between three positions. 

The White Sox received a .205 batting average, 17 homers, 75 RBIs and a .641 OPS out of their designated hitter slot in 2019.

The White Sox's focus is on adding another solid bat. If Encarnacion isn't the answer, it's possible the White Sox could look to sign another free-agent outfielder like Yasiel Puig to platoon in right field with Nomar Mazara, whom they acquired from the Rangers in a trade at the Winter Meetings.

Encarnacion's father recently passed away, so his focus isn't on baseball right now. The expectation is he'll sign with a team in January.

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine​.