White Sox acquire Mazara from Rangers

December 10th, 2019

SAN DIEGO -- As White Sox general manager Rick Hahn spoke with the media Tuesday evening at the Manchester Grand Hyatt during Day 2 of the Winter Meetings, Texas general manager Jon Daniels walked by in the background and was acknowledged with a smile and a few humorous jabs by Hahn.

This meeting was pure coincidence, but it also was perfect timing as the White Sox later acquired left-handed-hitting outfielder in exchange for Minor League outfielder Steele Walker.

The White Sox have talked about adding a left-handed bat in right field to balance out their lineup, and the 24-year-old Mazara fills both needs. He hit 20 home runs in each of his first three seasons with the Rangers and hit 19 during the 2019 campaign, with a career high of 101 RBIs in '17. He's an athletic presence carrying a 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame, and made just one error last season although he has always been negative in defensive runs saved throughout his career.

"He's obviously a powerful man," said White Sox manager Rick Renteria earlier Tuesday. "He looks like he's seven feet every time I see him in the box.

"Runs extremely well for a big guy. Can defend. Good arm. Brings a lot of qualities to the plate. Can pop one in the seats as quickly as anybody. I think he's done it against us a number of times, but he can play right field well."

Mazara hit a 505-foot home run to the back of the second deck against Reynaldo Lopez in Texas this past season, so Renteria is speaking from experience in terms of witnessing his talent.

Splits for Mazara favor him against right-handed pitchers, with Mazara featuring a career slash line of .271/.337/.461 vs. .231/.272/.361 numbers against southpaws. The White Sox could look for a right-handed-hitting component to pair with Mazara, but they also have switch-hitting Leury Garcia already a part of their roster. The White Sox had interest in Mazara during the 2019 season, but could not reach an agreement with the Rangers.

Starting pitching remains the White Sox top target, either through trade or free agency. They missed out on Zack Wheeler, despite offering $125 million over five years, but still will supplement their talented young core with veteran arms.