Rumor with a view: Why not chase Puig?

Amid Ethier speculation, maybe Sox should swing for Yasiel

February 3rd, 2016

CHICAGO -- The White Sox goal during this offseason has been simple: Add players who give the South Siders a better chance to win a championship.

They aren't looking for outside "projects," players who could bounce back from rough years to help the team, aside from potential Minor League deals. Their search has focused on clear upgrades in the areas where questions exist.

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So when post-SoxFest rumors began of White Sox interest in outfielder Andre Ethier, one question came to mind: If Ethier, why not Yasiel Puig?

Dodgers outfielders are being discussed because L.A. has seven viable options for three spots, including Trayce Thompson, who was acquired from the White Sox as part of a three-team deal sending Todd Frazier to Chicago. Ethier, who turns 34 on April 10, hit .294 with 14 home runs, 53 RBIs and an .852 OPS in 2015, not to mention slashing .306/.383/.517 over 397 plate appearances against right- handed pitchers.

Adding Ethier would provide the Sox a solid lefty counterpart to Avisail Garcia in right, while giving manager Robin Ventura more flexibility in the designated hitter spot. But if the White Sox are being bold, why not see if they can pry away Puig?

Puig is the sort of player who, when on his game, can change a lineup and put fans in the stands. The problem is meeting the Dodgers' likely asking price, with the White Sox wanting to hold on to top prospects such as right-handed pitchers Carson Fulmer and Spencer Adams and shortstop Tim Anderson, and already having traded away five prospects during the offseason.

All of this is hypothetical. It has been an offseason full of the hypotheticals for the White Sox, from Alex Gordon to Justin Upton to Yoenis Cespedes or, lately, Dexter Fowler (although the Sox appear unwilling to surrender one of their three top 50 picks to sign him).

White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said at SoxFest that he was "not quite done augmenting this roster." He quickly added that it "doesn't mean anything's going to happen, necessarily."

The White Sox are attempting to revamp and contend at the same time. The goal is, of course, to win another championship, but the first step is to produce its first playoff berth since '08.