Garcia's arrival shouldn't be too far off
July, 31, 2013
By Doug Padilla
Leon Halip/Getty ImagesAvisail Garcia should be with the White Sox by Sept. 1 at the latest.CLEVELAND -- Avisail Garcia, the Chicago White Sox's newly-acquired outfielder, might be headed to Triple-A Charlotte for now, but he figures to join the major league team in short order.
There is the chance that Garcia could be activated immediately if Alex Rios is traded at some point Wednesday, but even if he is kept at Charlotte, he is expected to be called up by the start of September when rosters expand.
The marquee return piece in the trade that sent Jake Peavy to the Boston Red Sox, Garcia is not only major league-tested with the Detroit Tigers, he has delivered in both the rigors of a late-season stretch drive, as well as the postseason.
Garcia made his major league debut on Aug. 31 last season and showed enough in his short stay (.319 batting average, .373 on-base percentage) that he was included on the Tigers' postseason roster. In 23 at-bats during the playoffs, he drove in four runs.
He has spent most of his time in the minor leagues this season, which isn't necessarily a setback for a 22-year-old player. In fact, Sox general manager Rick Hahn said late Tuesday night after the trade was completed that Garcia still isn't the finished product despite a .380 batting average and a .985 OPS, mostly at Triple-A this season.
"His development is ongoing," Hahn said. "He's obviously had some big league time and if we had four regular (at-bats) available for him (per game) right now perhaps he would join us but right now we want him playing on an everyday basis."
Hahn also addressed the three other minor league players the White Sox received in the deal. He said the 20-year-old Jeffery (J.B.) Wendelken is a reliever with "a closer mentality," while fellow 20-year-old pitcher Francelis Montas is in need of more development, but "has been up to triple digits before" on the radar gun.
As for infielder Cleulius Rondon, a 19-year-old who has played most of his games in the Red Sox's system as a shortstop, his defense ranks high, but "the question as to his future role will likely come down to the development of his bat," Hahn said.
The lesser-discussed aspect of the trade is that the Red Sox assumed the remainder of Peavy's contract for this year and next, which gets approximately $19 million off the books. For a team that was cash-strapped last offseason and could only add free agents Jeff Keppinger and Matt Lindstrom into the fold, the White Sox are suddenly working toward being bigger players in the free-agent market.
A team that started the season with a $119 million payroll, the White Sox now have just over $61 million in salary commitments for next season, counting Rios, who could also be traded Wednesday. The 2014 figure does not include what Gordon Beckham, Alejandro De Aza and Tyler Flowers could make through arbitration.
As for trades before the 3 p.m. CST deadline, Hahn seemed to be taking a cautious approach, at least publicly.
"Conversations are ongoing on a number of different bases but again there's no urgency to make additional deals," Hahn said. "If something makes sense from a baseball standpoint we'll do it. If it makes sense to revisit it in August or in the offseason or next year then we'll wait. Really at this point, as it relates to the guys under control going into 2014, it comes down to, from a baseball standpoint, this makes us better overall as an organization, or is better to stop and sit as we are for the time being."