The Chicago White Sox and Oakland Athletics are in the “serious” stages of having a deal in place involving A’s third baseman, Brett Lawrie, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. It is unclear who the A’s would be receiving in return.
— Athletics Nation (@athleticsnation) December 9, 2015
The A’s are likely to deal Lawrie after acquiring former Athletic, Jed Lowrie from Houston. The White Sox have some serious needs at both third, and second base, the two positions that Lawrie has the most experience playing.
The Sox currently have Mike Olt slotted in at third for next season and Micah Johnson at second. Olt, 27, appeared in 24 games for the Sox last year, posting a .203 average. Johnson, on the other hand, appeared in 36 games for Chicago in 2015 and hit .230, he spent most of the season playing for Triple-A Charlotte, where he performed exceptionally. Johnson, 25, batted .315 with a .375 OBP while stealing 28 bases in only 78 games. Johnson is the better player over Olt, and Chicago is more likely to give him a chance to prove himself worthy.
If Lawrie is acquired, he will get the nod to be the everyday third baseman, as long as he performs at a consistent level. Lawrie is average with the stick and with the glove. Last season for Oakland he knocked 16 homers and drove in 60 runs while batting .260, not bad. In 109 games at third last season he had a fielding percentage of .937, his numbers at second were better, with a .972 fielding percentage in 42 games, but he would still be a solid defensive option for the Sox at third.
If the Sox are able to pull off this move, it will add much needed beef in the middle of their lineup. With the likes of Jose Abreu, and Melky Cabrera already in the middle of the order, adding Brett Lawrie will only serve to improve the White Sox’ chances of gaining ground in the tough AL Central division.