According to multiple reports, including Bruce Levine of ESPN, the White Sox have signed former All-Star outfielder Andruw Jones.
The deal is for one year, $500,000, an extremely low risk move for the Sox. Jones is a shell of his former self at this point, but still slugged 17 homers in only 281 at bats last year and posted a relatively average ultimate zone rating in the outfield.
It appears that Jones is currently slated to come off the bench. According to Levine's report on the signing, Jones is not being considered as a starter in the outfield at this time.
However, it is uncertain exactly what their lineup will look like at this point. Alex Rios and Carlos Quentin will occupy two of the outfield spots, but the third could be up for grabs. Mark Teahen seems like a possibility, but he is currently slated to play third base if you believe the reports shortly after he was signed.
The Sox seem to be at least one position player short if Jones is not slated to start. Besides the potential opening in the outfield, they could also be looking for an infielder given the position flexibility of Teahen, Gordon Beckham and Alexei Ramirez.
The Sox still haven't addressed their supposed goal of the offseason, which was to improve their on base percentage. Even in his prime, Jones did not have a particularly strong on-base percentage, and it has dropped to the low .300 in recent years.
The same can be said of Mark Teahen and Omar Vizquel. Further complicating that matter is the fact that they don't appear to have the available resources to add an impact player like Matt Holliday or Chone Figgins after adding Jake Peavy and Alex Rios during the season.
Considering that the Sox recent signings and acquisitions have focused on building depth, I have to think that a trade is coming. Their offense can use at least one more solid hitter if it is to keep pace with the strength of their rotation. The options in free agency are limited and expensive. Something will likely have to be done to give the team some more financial flexibility.
I simply can't see the Sox entering the season with the lineup and bullpen as is given the definitive "win now" attitude shown with the moves for Peavy and Rios.
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