Don't Let Avisail Garcia Become The Next Dayan Viciedo
On Thursday, CSN Chicago's Dan Hayes told me what I wanted to hear.
The White Sox are "open to trading Avisail Garcia." That's the kind of headline I can sit down in my chair, cigar in one hand, scotch in the other, and just appreciate.
I'm done with Avisail Garcia. I want him gone, and if the White Sox can find a suitable trade for him, I'd do it quickly. But that doesn't mean I think they should just be looking to rid themselves of him either.
Listen, the White Sox can talk about how they believe in Avisail all they want. Maybe they do. I believe it to be foolish. He's been an incredibly frustrating player to watch, both because of his struggles, and his successes.
The 2015 season was Avisail's first full season as a Major Leaguer, as he played in 148 games and had 601 at bats. It's just, he disappeared for two months. In June and July he put up a slash line of .217/.273/.291. He bounced back with a strong August, the kind that you thought might signify he'd begun to turn the corner, but then he finished with a September and October when he hit .208/.281/.307.
All of which led to a final line of .257/.309/.365, an OPS+ of 89, and a lot of subpar defense in right field. This play notwithstanding.
When Garcia came to Chicago as part of the Jake Peavy trade, he was heralded as a five-tool player. In his 236 games with the White Sox I've seen a good arm, some nice speed for a man his size, and nary a sign of the other three tools. There have been flashes, but they're few and far between, and they seldom come in prolonged bursts.
Now, it's true he's still only 24, and there's chance for growth, but these are all the same things we said about Dayan Viciedo. And whether or not Avisail has had only one full season, he's been around for a while, as Detroit first called up him in 2012. Since then he's had 1,098 career plate appearances, which is a pretty nice sample size.
Dayan Viciedo had 1,235 plate appearances following the 2013 season, and he was what he was, but the White Sox didn't accept that. They wanted to give him another shot in 2014, and by the time that was over the Sox couldn't trade him for anything. They had to tender him, cut him, and then re-sign him to a minor league contract during the 2015 season.
He hit the hell out of the ball in Charlotte, but hitting the ball in the minors was never his problem.
I don't want the White Sox to make the same mistake with Garcia. He's still 24, and he still shows the potential of the tools scouts have seen. Move him in a deal this winter while that appeal still exists. Use Garcia in a trade to get an expensive veteran from a rebuilding team (Frazier from Cincinnati? Gonzalez from Colorado?) as a sweetener in the deal.
But do everything you can in your power to get something for him while you can.
And if you do trade him, make sure you find another outfielder, because I don't want to go into 2016 with Trayce Thompson as the assumed starting right fielder.