SS possibilities going forward

Cassvt2023

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It sure looks like Trevor Story is going to be out a minimum of a month and possibly the season if they need to perform surgery. Who would you like to see man the SS position for the foreseeable future?
 

Cassvt2023

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I’m personally hoping they look outside the organization. I’m wondering what it would take for them to trade for Luis Rengifo from the Angels? He doesn’t appear to have a starting job there, is a switch hitter with 95 games of SS experience in the majors (most of any position) is making 4.4m this year and is arb eligible in 2025. Decent, not great bat with a little pop, career OBP of .307 not much different than Story. Anyone know what his fielding at SS is considered to be?
 

Cassvt2023

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Reyes or Hamilton. Want to leave Rafaela in CF
I also want to leave Rafaela in CF. I think they need an upgrade over the platoon you mentioned though, unless Hamilton shows us something, because we know what Reyes is.
 

Max Power

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I'd like to see someone who can either hit well or field the position well. You're not going to get both out of a backup or scrap heap acquisition. But I don't think there's anyone currently on the 40 man who plays good defense at short (maybe the guy who is already in use in CF). And their bats don't look particularly great, either. I think they'll have to go outside the organization to get someone if Story is going to be out for the season.
 

DeadlySplitter

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Given their modus operandi in the offseason, a trade for Adames would shock me.

Solano would have the most offensive upside of the bunch I think, but not sure how clean of a fit he would be at SS.

If it's just a month for Story they probably just get by with what they have.
 

mwonow

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I'd like to see them go glove-first - I think that's where Story will be missed most.
 

SLC Sox

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I'd like to see them go glove-first - I think that's where Story will be missed most.
This is where I land as well. If you have choose defense or offense (which I agree you will), I'd take defense first.
 

joe dokes

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I'd like to see them go glove-first - I think that's where Story will be missed most.
Totally agree. I recall the team's overall defensive look improving dramatically during the all too brief Yu Chang-at-SS era in 2023. (April 12-24 / 8-3) & (July 7-Aug 6 / 12-9).
 
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Rovin Romine

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This is a nice breakdown. I definitely think they are discussing outside the org.
Is it a nice breakdown? Or is it just something on twitter?

1) it does not address everyone in the .org.

2) it suggests we might get the Brewers (6-2 in a weak NL central) to trade their hot-hitting starting shortstop. . .because?

3) it suggests a DFA'd Marlins player who was already traded.

4) it suggests Donovan Solano, who is 36 and has played a grand total of 272 innings at SS in his major league career. (The most games he ever started in a season at SS was 14 in 2019. And the next-most was 7 in 2015.) Which is just pathetically-stupid-bait-click-cannot-take-this-guy-seriously stuff.
 

Cassvt2023

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Is it a nice breakdown? Or is it just something on twitter?

1) it does not address everyone in the .org.

2) it suggests we might get the Brewers (6-2 in a weak NL central) to trade their hot-hitting starting shortstop. . .because?

3) it suggests a DFA'd Marlins player who was already traded.

4) it suggests Donovan Solano, who is 36 and has played a grand total of 272 innings at SS in his major league career.
…because the Brewers have a less than 1% chance of re-signing Adames and everybody is available for the right price. The other stuff was just silly twitter dribble though.
 

Rovin Romine

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I tend to agree with Cora here. Keep Rafaela in CF where he's comfortable and a + defender.

Internally they have Hamilton, Romy, Reyes, Snogard. (And technically Grissom, but he's probably best at 2B for several reasons.)

This is where I land as well. If you have choose defense or offense (which I agree you will), I'd take defense first.
I'd agree as well. Especially with Devers, and (in the short term) with Valdez at 2B. Medium term actually depends on Grissom's bat - all his 2B fielding numbers look good in the minors. So if the bat sticks, he's probably a good battery-mate.

But of the above, internal options, I'm not sure there's a stand-out defender. So, if they're roughly equal I'd likely go with Hamilton as long as he's passible. Or Romy if his shoulder is repaired. Or Reyes if Romy's taking on the super-sub role from Reyes.

By mid-season, we could have Story back (just speculating, haven't read anything yet about the medicals) OR we might have Yorke or another AAA/AA guy pushing their way onto the 40 man. Low chance. . .but not no chance.

So while I could see them grabbing a defense-first SS on the waiver wire (if such exists), I'd be surprised if there was a major trade just now. If Hamilton had imploded his first game, I might be less surprised. But it seems like if Hamilton or Romy were in other orgs, they'd be the stopgap-with-upside guys you'd like to grab.
 

chrisfont9

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I'd like to see them go glove-first - I think that's where Story will be missed most.
I was listening on WEEI yesterday and they were talking up Hamilton's defense. Then I looked on Soxprospects, which is definitely not bullish on Hamilton's defense. Yesterday was a great game and maybe Hamilton will build on that and plug the hole for a while (hoping just a short stint is necessary). But if the scouts are right, this will be a weakness.
 

YTF

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Count me in on a glove first player in either the short or long term. In house it seems that Rafaela is the best defender, but like others here I would much prefer to leave him where he is. We're likely a few days or perhaps a few weeks from knowing Story's status for the remainder of the season. I think at the moment you make due with a combination of Reyes, Hamilton and possibly Gonzalez until there is a clearer picture on Story's injury. If needed, perhaps there is a trade out there in which a team might be willing to move an experienced SS for one of our young MI who may be blocked next season with the prospects of Grissom, Mayer and Story all being on the 26 man roster.
 

Rovin Romine

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…because the Brewers have a less than 1% chance of re-signing Adames and everybody is available for the right price. The other stuff was just silly twitter dribble though.
The price to get Adames would probably be high though. A quick skim of Brewers prospects show they have their best SS prospect (Ortiz) playing 3B this year next to Adames.

So you'd likely have to send them back a SS or 3B. Or you're asking them to have a black-hole in their lineup for what might be a weak year in the NL Central.

Perhaps someone who knows the Brewers better can opine?
 

moondog80

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Rafaella is the best SS in the organization, and you have capable-esque replacements in CF in O'Neil and Duran. Doing so allows you to get Abreu in the lineup instead of Hamilton/Romy Gonzalez. Yes, it's a net defensive hit, but you're going to have that somewhere, no matter what, and this configuration is (hopefully) a big boost to the lineup. Rafaella is a grown up, he can learn to be comfortable at SS, and he's not going to forget how to play CF if/when they move him back there. I can't beleieve this is even a question.
 

Daniel_Son

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If they really think Story is finished at SS, maybe give Colorado a call and see what it'd take to get Ezequiel Tovar?
 

Rovin Romine

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I was listening on WEEI yesterday and they were talking up Hamilton's defense. Then I looked on Soxprospects, which is definitely not bullish on Hamilton's defense. Yesterday was a great game and maybe Hamilton will build on that and plug the hole for a while (hoping just a short stint is necessary). But if the scouts are right, this will be a weakness.
Soxprospects is a wonderful resource overall. That said, sometimes you wonder how often those scouting reports and blurbs are updated, or if all parts of them are updated.

IMO, they'd up their utility remarkably if they dated things. (E.g., Duran's still a potential reserve OF, which might have been a fair assessment in '20 or '21. . .)
 

rmurph3

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The price to get Adames would probably be high though. A quick skim of Brewers prospects show they have their best SS prospect (Ortiz) playing 3B this year next to Adames.

So you'd likely have to send them back a SS or 3B. Or you're asking them to have a black-hole in their lineup for what might be a weak year in the NL Central.

Perhaps someone who knows the Brewers better can opine?
Not really true, they have plenty of IF depth even without Adames. In addition to Ortiz currently at 3B, Brice Turang is currently at 2B but is a natural SS. One of those guys at SS, then options like Monasterio and Oliver Dunn at 2B, or Sal Frelick at 3B (he played a lot of 3B this March). Owen Miller and old friend Christian Arroyo are in AAA.

Doesn't mean Adames is going to be at all cheap, it just means MIL isn't pigeonholed to be needing MI coverage in return.
 

Cassvt2023

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The price to get Adames would probably be high though. A quick skim of Brewers prospects show they have their best SS prospect (Ortiz) playing 3B this year next to Adames.

So you'd likely have to send them back a SS or 3B. Or you're asking them to have a black-hole in their lineup for what might be a weak year in the NL Central.

Perhaps someone who knows the Brewers better can opine?
the depth chart I see has 26 yr old Oliver Dunn at 3b, 24 yr old Bryce Durang (7 steals already) at 2b and 25 yr old Ortiz as the backup SS for the Brewers.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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If they really think Story is finished at SS, maybe give Colorado a call and see what it'd take to get Ezequiel Tovar? I know they just extended him but Colorado has always done some weird stuff.
Sure, they've done weird things. Trading their 22-year-old starting SS a week into his second season would be beyond weird. It would be malpractice.

With the Red Sox closest top prospect being Mayer, I can't see the Sox trading anything significant for a guy that would block him long term. Adames was brought up earlier and he makes more sense as a short-term solution given he's a pending free agent. If they called about Tovar, I'd expect they'd be laughed at and hung up on.
 

Cassvt2023

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Adames is a damn good glove at SS with pop in his bat, albeit a lot of K’s but so did Story. I’d certainly be curious what Mil would be looking for, knowing he is almost guaranteed to leave after the season.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Soxprospects is a wonderful resource overall. That said, sometimes you wonder how often those scouting reports and blurbs are updated, or if all parts of them are updated.

IMO, they'd up their utility remarkably if they dated things. (E.g., Duran's still a potential reserve OF, which might have been a fair assessment in '20 or '21. . .)
I think they stop updating players once they "graduate" from prospect status, which Duran did in 2022.
 

Coachster

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I said this somewhere else, but if Story is out for more than a month, l would have fewer worries about Rafaela's development and care more about winning games in '24. With that in mind, I'd put him at short and sign Tommy Pham to play left. He's still unsigned.

Of course, that would cost money and we're not spending money this year.
 

Salem's Lot

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I said this somewhere else, but if Story is out for more than a month, l would have fewer worries about Rafaela's development and care more about winning games in '24. With that in mind, I'd put him at short and sign Tommy Pham to play left. He's still unsigned.

Of course, that would cost money and we're not spending money this year.

I feel like we should have a pinned announcement at the top of the board. They are not adding any money in 2024.
 

ZMart100

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Soxprospects is a wonderful resource overall. That said, sometimes you wonder how often those scouting reports and blurbs are updated, or if all parts of them are updated.

IMO, they'd up their utility remarkably if they dated things. (E.g., Duran's still a potential reserve OF, which might have been a fair assessment in '20 or '21. . .)
It's a bit cumbersome, but you can look at the scouting log for a date. Hamilton was last updated 8/28/23. Duran was last updated 8/15/22.
 

YTF

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…because the Brewers have a less than 1% chance of re-signing Adames and everybody is available for the right price. The other stuff was just silly twitter dribble though.
IMO this is the problem. What price would the Sox be willing to pay for one year of Adames? On top of seeming to be a good fit, obtaining him may be more costly because A) an injury has put you in a position of need for the entire season and B) his $12.25 salary is not likely to be one that Milwaukee is looking to dump ATM considering they just signed him to that amount a couple of months ago nor would they likely be willing to subsidize for what the Sox might be willing to offer.
 

Benj4ever

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If I were the Sox I'd let Hamilton "prove me wrong" before looking elsewhere, especially since I'm looking for a short-term fix at this point.
 

chawson

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Besides the fact that they've played less than five percent of their season, the Brewers are 6-2. I don't think they're trading Adames right now.

I'm more intrigued by Hamilton after the reports that he played hurt much of last year.

The good glove options I'd think would be available on the trade market are Paul DeJong and Nick Ahmed. DeJong can probably pop 15 homers here over a full season while hitting .150. Ahmed's bat is extremely noodly at this point, but he seems like a placeholder for Marco Luciano (who is raking — and despite some questions about long-term position, playing shortstop — in AAA).

I don't know if it's worth it. It certainly would be valuable to see if Hamilton or Romy G. could establish themselves. There's also the roster spot to consider. We'd need to bump two guys from the 26- and 40-man rosters when Grissom and Refsnyder return in the next few weeks. One of those guys probably bumps Dalbec from the 26, not sure the other. But who'd go in place of a guy we acquire?
 

mauf

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If I were the Sox I'd let Hamilton "prove me wrong" before looking elsewhere, especially since I'm looking for a short-term fix at this point.
Me too. If Hamilton can post a 650 OPS and play respectable defense, I wouldn’t chase a stopgap solution who might be a one-win upgrade.

There’s always the opportunity to get more aggressive if the team looks good in June and an upgrade is available.
 

Cassvt2023

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Besides the fact that they've played less than five percent of their season, the Brewers are 6-2. I don't think they're trading Adames right now.

I'm more intrigued by Hamilton after the reports that he played hurt much of last year.

The good glove options I'd think would be available on the trade market are Paul DeJong and Nick Ahmed. DeJong can probably pop 15 homers here over a full season while hitting .150. Ahmed's bat is extremely noodly at this point, but he seems like a placeholder for Marco Luciano (who is raking — and despite some questions about long-term position, playing shortstop — in AAA).

I don't know if it's worth it. It certainly would be valuable to see if Hamilton or Romy G. could establish themselves. There's also the roster spot to consider. We'd need to bump two guys from the 26- and 40-man rosters when Grissom and Refsnyder return in the next few weeks. One of those guys probably bumps Dalbec from the 26, not sure the other. But who'd go in place of a guy we acquire?
Refsnyder would/should go if they need a roster spot for a potential guy they acquire
 

Rovin Romine

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There's also the roster spot to consider. We'd need to bump two guys from the 26- and 40-man rosters when Grissom and Refsnyder return in the next few weeks. One of those guys probably bumps Dalbec from the 26, not sure the other. But who'd go in place of a guy we acquire?
As far as the 40 man goes, is there a recent update on Walter? I don't think he's on the 60-day IL.
 

Nityanton

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Man, tough break for Trevor Story. It'd be a big loss if he's out for the season. I'm curious to see who they'll put in at shortstop. Gotta keep an eye on the team's depth chart to see who steps up.
 

YTF

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Besides the fact that they've played less than five percent of their season, the Brewers are 6-2. I don't think they're trading Adames right now.

I'm more intrigued by Hamilton after the reports that he played hurt much of last year.

The good glove options I'd think would be available on the trade market are Paul DeJong and Nick Ahmed. DeJong can probably pop 15 homers here over a full season while hitting .150. Ahmed's bat is extremely noodly at this point, but he seems like a placeholder for Marco Luciano (who is raking — and despite some questions about long-term position, playing shortstop — in AAA).

I don't know if it's worth it. It certainly would be valuable to see if Hamilton or Romy G. could establish themselves. There's also the roster spot to consider. We'd need to bump two guys from the 26- and 40-man rosters when Grissom and Refsnyder return in the next few weeks. One of those guys probably bumps Dalbec from the 26, not sure the other. But who'd go in place of a guy we acquire?
We're not there yet, but wouldn't Story's 40 man slot open up if he winds up on the 60 IL?
 

nvalvo

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Reyes or Hamilton. Want to leave Rafaela in CF
Obviously there are moving parts. We're still without a firm sense of how long Story is likely to need, etc. He had a subluxation, which can be anything from "no big deal; 10-day IL and out on a rehab assignment in a few weeks after the swelling comes down and two weeks on a shoulder-strengthening program" to "massive damage; 60-day IL and season-ending surgery" depending on the state of his labrum, etc. Sounds like they're hoping to figure that out today with thorough imaging of the soft tissue in the shoulder. What we want to do will depend on that prognosis.

Assuming something in the middle of that range, i.e., no surgery or minor surgery; back after the All-Star Break:

If Hamilton plays even remotely like he did yesterday, he's the guy. Not just the HR; his throws from SS looked much, much crisper than I remember. Plug him in the 9-hole and go to war.

But one game is the world's tiniest sample: if we instead get something that looks more like 2023's Hamilton, I'd look awfully hard at Rafaela for SS at least a bunch of the time. Part of Reyes' job description is playing 2B against LHP to sit Valdez, so he can't be the full-time SS, at least until Grissom returns. You could play Rafaela at SS against all LHSP, especially once Refsnyder comes back to bolster the OF against lefties, and split the RHSP between Reyes and Rafaela.

So I think what I would try to do would be the following:
  • Brandon Walter to the 60-day IL. 40-man roster to 39.
  • Promote RHH IF/OF Dalton Guthrie to the Red Sox. 40-man to 40. He plays very little unless some very particular situations occur. His main job is to be a RHH who can play a plausible RF and be somebody we don't care terribly much if we have to DFA in three weeks, as seems likely.
  • Give Hamilton two weeks as the starter at SS. If he looks competent, especially defensively, we stick with him until Story is back. If he is not, this is when Rafaela takes over SS 4-5 days a week, with Hamilton and Reyes filling in around him.
  • When Vaughn Grissom comes back, Bobby Dalbec gets DFA'd, and either passes through waivers or goes on to fulfill his glorious destiny with the Oakland Athletics of Sacramento. 40-man to 39.
    • With Grissom playing more or less full time at 2B, I might also swap Romy Gonzalez and Manu Valdez at this point, to add positional flexibility and give Valdez more playing time to refine his 2B defense and put up insane numbers in AAA with an eye to the trade market.
  • When Rob Refsnyder comes back, Dalton Guthrie gets DFA'd, and either passes through waivers or goes on to fulfill his glorious destiny as a Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRider of Moosic, Pennsylvania. 40-man to 38.
    • This leaves us with an outfield of (if Rafaela is at SS most days) O'Neill – Duran – Abreu – Refsnyder – Yoshida or (if Hamilton is holding down SS) Duran – Rafaela – O'Neill – Abreu – Refsnyder.
 

ZMart100

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Obviously there are moving parts. We're still without a firm sense of how long Story is likely to need, etc. He had a subluxation, which can be anything from "no big deal; 10-day IL and out on a rehab assignment in a few weeks after the swelling comes down and two weeks on a shoulder-strengthening program" to "massive damage; 60-day IL and season-ending surgery" depending on the state of his labrum, etc. Sounds like they're hoping to figure that out today with thorough imaging of the soft tissue in the shoulder. What we want to do will depend on that prognosis.

Assuming something in the middle of that range, i.e., no surgery or minor surgery; back after the All-Star Break:

If Hamilton plays even remotely like he did yesterday, he's the guy. Not just the HR; his throws from SS looked much, much crisper than I remember. Plug him in the 9-hole and go to war.

But one game is the world's tiniest sample: if we instead get something that looks more like 2023's Hamilton, I'd look awfully hard at Rafaela for SS at least a bunch of the time. Part of Reyes' job description is playing 2B against LHP to sit Valdez, so he can't be the full-time SS, at least until Grissom returns. You could play Rafaela at SS against all LHSP, especially once Refsnyder comes back to bolster the OF against lefties, and split the RHSP between Reyes and Rafaela.

So I think what I would try to do would be the following:
  • Brandon Walter to the 60-day IL. 40-man roster to 39.
  • Promote RHH IF/OF Dalton Guthrie to the Red Sox. 40-man to 40. He plays very little unless some very particular situations occur. His main job is to be a RHH who can play a plausible RF and be somebody we don't care terribly much if we have to DFA in three weeks, as seems likely.
  • Give Hamilton two weeks as the starter at SS. If he looks competent, especially defensively, we stick with him until Story is back. If he is not, this is when Rafaela takes over SS 4-5 days a week, with Hamilton and Reyes filling in around him.
  • When Vaughn Grissom comes back, Bobby Dalbecgets DFA'd, and either passes through waivers or goes on to fulfill his glorious destiny with the Oakland Athletics of Sacramento. 40-man to 39.
    • With Grissom playing more or less full time at 2B, I might also swap Romy Gonzalez and Manu Valdez at this point, to add positional flexibility and give Valdez more playing time to refine his 2B defense and put up insane numbers in AAA with an eye to the trade market.
  • When Rob Refsnyder comes back, Dalton Guthriegets DFA'd, and either passes through waivers or goes on to fulfill his glorious destiny as a Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRider of Moosic, Pennsylvania. 40-man to 38.
    • This leaves us with an outfield of (if Rafaela is at SS most days) O'Neill – Duran – Abreu – Refsnyder – Yoshida or (if Hamilton is holding down SS) Duran – Rafaela – O'Neill – Abreu – Refsnyder.
Who is leaving the 26 man roster to make space for Guthrie?
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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A player I'd like to see the Sox inquire on - obviously assuming that Story is out for a prolonged period of time - is Paul DeJong from the White Sox.

He is probably technically their starting short stop (he's started 5 games out of their 9 so far), but they're already 6 games out of first place. Either Jimenez or Robert is already hurt again (I don't remember which, and I don't care to look it up. They both get hurt every season, and whichever one isn't hurt now will be by call it July 4th anyway, so whatever), and DeJong is ostensibly just there until Colson Montgomery done matriculating in AAA (he's there presently).

Last season DeJong cost (to acquire in a trade around the deadline) for something called Matt Svanson who is presently a 25 year old relief pitcher in AA. I can't imagine he'd cost a heck of a lot more than that.

Paul DeJong isn't "good" but at SS he's a heck of a lot better than Pablo Reyes (https://www.fangraphs.com/players/paul-dejong/18015/stats#fielding) and even has a higher career wRC+. He's getting paid $1.75m this year, so I can't imagine even with the new and reduced budget that he'd be problematic to fit in. With more time to look at it during the week, that would be my first target.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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I'm not seeing real upside from DeJong over Hamilton or Romy.
I agree that there isn't any upside.

I think the downside is much less (or the floor is much higher). DeJong is an above average defensive SS that has proven it over 7 MLB seasons. His offense kind of stinks, but is still better than Pablo Reyes. Go get the defensive player, solidify the middle infield and see where the chips fall.

If nothing else, send the message early in the season that you believe in the team enough to actually go out and acquire a MLB shortstop (again, assuming Story is out a significant amount of time) when it would ostensibly cost far less than you gave up to acquire Tyler O'Neill (which was nothing).
 

ElcaballitoMVP

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A player I'd like to see the Sox inquire on - obviously assuming that Story is out for a prolonged period of time - is Paul DeJong from the White Sox.

He is probably technically their starting short stop (he's started 5 games out of their 9 so far), but they're already 6 games out of first place. Either Jimenez or Robert is already hurt again (I don't remember which, and I don't care to look it up. They both get hurt every season, and whichever one isn't hurt now will be by call it July 4th anyway, so whatever), and DeJong is ostensibly just there until Colson Montgomery done matriculating in AAA (he's there presently).

Last season DeJong cost (to acquire in a trade around the deadline) for something called Matt Svanson who is presently a 25 year old relief pitcher in AA. I can't imagine he'd cost a heck of a lot more than that.

Paul DeJong isn't "good" but at SS he's a heck of a lot better than Pablo Reyes (https://www.fangraphs.com/players/paul-dejong/18015/stats#fielding) and even has a higher career wRC+. He's getting paid $1.75m this year, so I can't imagine even with the new and reduced budget that he'd be problematic to fit in. With more time to look at it during the week, that would be my first target.
.
LouBob is the one who's hurt, and it looks like it's going to be 6-8 weeks before he's back (link). The White Sox were already really bad, so I'm not sure this changes their approach all that much. But they do have Nicky Lopez on the roster, who has experience playing SS in the bigs and can hold down the position until they're ready to call up Montgomery.
 

Rovin Romine

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I agree that there isn't any upside.

I think the downside is much less (or the floor is much higher). DeJong is an above average defensive SS that has proven it over 7 MLB seasons. His offense kind of stinks, but is still better than Pablo Reyes. Go get the defensive player, solidify the middle infield and see where the chips fall.

If nothing else, send the message early in the season that you believe in the team enough to actually go out and acquire a MLB shortstop (again, assuming Story is out a significant amount of time) when it would ostensibly cost far less than you gave up to acquire Tyler O'Neill (which was nothing).
I wish you'd make some effort to quantify this stuff, because I just looked up DeJong. He and Pablo Reyes are the same age. Both RHH MIs.

DeJong has a longer track record, but his OPS+ for the past years are: '23 66 OPS+, '22 52, '21 85.
Pablo '23 94 OPS+, '22 (sss), '21 88 in smaller samples.

The only reason DeJong is even in the same OPS+ conversation (loosely) is that he swings for the fences. A +30% K rate buys him some homers. But the usual offensive metrics say this is a bad trade overall.
Pablo strikes out less and walks more. And his OBP is well over .300, unlike DeJong's

DeJong has mild splits for the last 3 years, sometimes favoring LHP, sometimes RHP.
Pablo has a more classic split favoring his hitting LHP - about .100-ish points of OPS in '23, and '21.

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I can see an argument for one or the other given a club's needs, but there is no world where the contemporary DeJong's bat is hands-down better than Pablo Reyes.