New 3rd Baseman on the South Side

Photo Credits: Jon Durr, Getty Images

Photo Credits: Jon Durr, Getty Images

The Chicago Sox have been searching for a productive 3rd baseman ever since the Joe Crede era ended in 2008, and they might have just found their guy.

On Wednesday evening, the Chicago White Sox acquired infielder Brett Lawrie from the Oakland Athletics for minor league pitchers Zachary Erwin and J.B. Wendelken.

Rumors began floating around early Wednesday morning that the Sox were very close to a acquiring Lawrie, but the deal underwent several delays throughout the day because the two teams couldn’t agree upon which players the Sox would send to Oakland. With all now said and done, it appears that Rick Hahn’s time spent negotiating with Billy Beane was time well spent, as the players that the Sox gave up in the deal aren’t considered top prospect’s by any means.

Lawrie, who turns 26 in January, should be the offensive upgrade that the Sox need not only at 3rd base, but in their lineup in general. The former 1st round draft pick hit .260 with 16 home runs and 60 RBI in 2015. Lawrie’s 16 home runs would have been 2nd most on the Sox last year and his 60 RBI would have been 4th on the team.

Another valuable asset that Lawrie will bring to the table next year with the Sox is the element of tenacity. Lawrie has developed a reputation as a fiery competitor in his young career, and his energy will be extremely valuable on a team that has been slacking in that department ever since A.J. Pierzynski departed in 2013.

After a game against the Royals this past April, Lawrie publicly expressed his disgust with Kansas City Royals reliever Kelvin Herrera who threw behind Lawrie in an attempt to retaliate from a HBP that struck a Royals player earlier in the game. Considering that the White Sox got into a scuffle of their own with the Royals last year, it will be very interesting to see how the season series unfolds in 2016.

The Lawrie trade was the first acquisition that the Sox made during this week’s Winter Meetings. With one day of meetings remaining, the Sox might look to add another piece to the puzzle on Thursday.

The shortstop position is still a major question mark going forward, as well as right-handed starting pitching. At the moment, Tyler Saladino is the organization’s best shortstop and Erik Johnson is the organization’s best right-handed starter. With the emergence of Trayce Thompson in the outfield at the end of last season, rumors have started to surface that the Sox might try and shop around Avisail Garcia to strengthen positions of greater need.

Hahn has maintained a “exploring all options” approach throughout the meetings. Now that a gaping hole in the roster has been filled, perhaps the door is open for Hahn to shape the team’s roster accordingly.