According to a New York Daily News report, the White Sox have agreed to trade second baseman Chris Getz and third baseman Josh Fields to the Kansas City Royals for Mark Teahen. The deal has not yet been finalized.
I'm going to focus on Chris Getz and Mark Teahen in this commentary as Josh Fields has become an after-thought for the Sox. The former first round pick has struggled to make contact at the major league level and doesn't appear to be in their long term plans.
The biggest thing Teahen would bring to the Sox is flexibility. He has played every outfield position for the Royals as well as third base, first base and second base. He started the year as their second baseman, but spent most of this year at third because of an injury to Alex Gordon. It sounds like Teahen would currently be playing right field for the Sox, but it's also possible that he could play second, or that he could play third with Gordon Beckham moving to second base.
Mark is a decent but not stellar hitter. In his major league career he has hit .269 with a .331 OBP and a .750 OPS. His best year came in 2006, where he posted an .874 OPS in 393 at bats. This past season, he hit .271 with 12 homers in 144 games.
He's not really a difference maker in the offense, especially considering right field and third base, his two most common positions, are more power-laden positions. He's only hit more than 15 home runs once, is not really a threat on the base paths, and doesn't take a lot of walks either. On the Royals he can play every day near the middle of the order, but on a true contender he's probably a better fit at the bottom of the order or as a spot starter.
As for Getz, it is somewhat surprising to me that they dealt him so early in the off-season. Chris didn't exactly have a stellar season, hitting .261 with little power. However, this was his first full season of major league duty, and the organization seemed to like him. The organization also consistently talks about getting faster and more athletic, which would seem to favor Getz (he stole 25 bases in 27 attempts last season).
My guess is that the team wasn't planning on using Getz as an everyday player this season. Jayson Nix seems to be a bit more talented after hitting 12 homers and going 10-12 in stolen bases this year in limited time, though he also only hit .224 this year.
This also could signal that the Sox will pursue an infielder in free agency rather than an outfielder like many expected. Players like Chone Figgins, Orlando Hudson, and Felipe Lopez could make a lot of sense for the Sox, given the apparent hole at second base. The Sox could also still pursue an outfielder and use Teahen at third, re-arranging their outfield configuration.
Overall, this looks like a deal to set up another move more than anything else. Teahen is most valuable as a player with flexibility defensively, not as a major piece of your lineup.
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