After the Christmas night deal with Edwin Encarnacion, here’s now the Chicago White Sox every day lineup stands to look like in 2020.
The Chicago White Sox have made some notable additions so far this offseason, as the AL Central seems to be there for the taking. The latest rumors became reality on Christmas night, as Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported the White Sox were close to finalizing a one-year, $12 million deal with first baseman/designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion.
According to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, Encarnacion’s $12 million for 2020 will come via a $1 million signing bonus and an $11 salary. The deal also has a $12 million club option for 2021 with no buyout.
The White Sox were rumored to have interest in multiple right-handed bats, and it’s unclear if Yasiel Puig or Nick Castellanos might still be in play for them even after signing Encarnacion.
But stopping at the addition of Encarnacion and some others before him, here’s how White Sox manager Rick Renteria might fill out his every day lineup in 2020.
1. SS Tim Anderson
2. 3B Yoan Moncada
3. 1B/DH Jose Abreu
4. C Yasmani Grandal
5. DH/1B Edwin Encarnacion
6. LF Eloy Jimenez
7. RF Nomar Mazara
8. CF Leury Garcia
9. 2B Danny Mendick
From 1-7, this looks like a pretty powerful lineup. Holdovers Abreu (33 home runs in 2019), Jimenez (31 home runs), Moncada (25 home runs) and Anderson (18 home runs) have been supplemented by Encarnacion (34 home runs last year) and Mazara (19 home runs last year). Anderson and Moncada could be flipped, but it’s pretty clear they will fill the top two spots in this batting order on Opening Day and perhaps beyond.
Garcia brings a bit of speed to the bottom of the order, with 15 stolen bases last year, and Mendick hit .308 over 39 at-bats for the White Sox last year. But top prospects Luis Robert and Nick Madrigal are knocking on the door, and once service time concerns are in the rear view mirror they are in line to step in at center field and second base respectively.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan and others took a shot at predicting the White Sox lineup (in late-April?) with Robert and Madrigal in it.
The White Sox might not be done adding, but the promise of a fortified lineup has 2020 already looking pretty good for the newly minted contenders on the South Side of Chicago.