White Sox linked to Mariners slugger Edwin Encarnacion, but where the heck would he play?

NBC Sports Chicago

The looming decisions of mega free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado might be the only thing on the minds of White Sox fans as the new year approaches, but there are other players out there — and other offseason rumors involving the South Siders.

The latest, however, is a bit of head-scratcher.

MLB Network's Jon Morosi mentioned the White Sox as one of the teams turning attention to a potential acquisition of Edwin Encarnacion. This after a player the White Sox were linked to earlier this offseason, Nelson Cruz, signed with the division-rival Minnesota Twins.

Encarnacion has launched no fewer than 32 and as many as 42 home runs in each of the last seven seasons. He terrorized the White Sox as a member of the Cleveland Indians in 2017 and 2018. But now he's a Seattle Mariner, and if you've been paying attention to the offseason they've been having in the Pacific Northwest, they want to trade just about everybody.

If you're a team looking for a stopgap at designated hitter for the next one or two seasons, then you could do a lot worse than Encarnacion, who has an option for 2020. But the White Sox aren't that kind of team.

First off, bringing in a soon-to-be 36-year-old designated hitter doesn't exactly mesh with the rebuilding team's long-term plans. But perhaps more importantly, they don't have anywhere for him to play as the roster is currently constructed. The trade with the aforementioned Indians for Yonder Alonso created a two-man, tag-team situation at first base and designated hitter with Jose Abreu. Those two are expected to fill those two spots, in one combination or the other, in most games during the 2019 season. Adding a third wheel to that mix makes no sense, especially considering none of those guys can play any other positions, unless a move sending Alonso or Abreu out of town would accompany a trade for Encarnacion.

#baseball, #professional

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