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MLB Rumors: Yasiel Puig Emerging as 'Primary Target' for White Sox

Megan ArmstrongAnalyst IIIDecember 26, 2019

CHICAGO - SEPTEMBER 24:  Yasiel Puig #66 of the Cleveland Indians looks on against the Chicago White Sox on September 24, 2019 at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Ron Vesely/Getty Images

The Chicago White Sox have been active this offseason, and they don't appear to be done.

According to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand on Thursday, the White Sox "remain engaged" in the right-field market even after trading with the Texas Rangers for 24-year-old right fielder Nomar Mazara earlier this month at the winter meetings. Feinsand pinpointed free agent Yasiel Puig as a "primary target."

Puig hit free agency after beginning 2019 with the Cincinnati Reds and finishing it with the Cleveland Indians. The 29-year-old posted a .267/.327/.458 slash line with 24 home runs and 84 RBI. Puig appeared in 98 games (95 starts) for the Reds and 48 games (all starts) in right field for the Indians.

MLB Network's Jon Heyman reported Wednesday that the White Sox "have been talking" to free-agent right fielder Nicholas Castellanos and Puig. However, Heyman added it's "uncertain if one of them could still be [in] play" after Chicago agreed to terms with first baseman and designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion.

ESPN's Jeff Passan reported the Sox agreed to a one-year, $12 million pact with a $12 million club option for 2021 on Wednesday.

Chicago also landed starting pitchers Dallas Keuchel and Gio Gonzalez last week:

Jeff Passan @JeffPassan

Even if Dallas Keuchel isn’t what he once was, he’s the exact sort of innings eater the White Sox needed. Lucas Giolito could take the leap this year, Dylan Cease has frontline potential, Michael Kopech is back from TJ and Reynaldo Lopez is a suitable back-end guy. That’ll play.

Chicago White Sox @whitesox

“He brings an impressive resume to our pitching staff as a veteran left-hander who has enjoyed success and should have a positive impact on our younger pitchers in terms of competing, battling and helping us win games at the major league level.” MORE:

The White Sox depth chart lists Mazara and Leury Garcia in right, though the 28-year-old Garcia primarily played in center field last season.

Chicago is clearly all-in to take a giant leap in 2020 after finishing 72-89 in 2019, its seventh straight year below .500. The White Sox have not made the postseason since 2008.

Puig would likely not be a franchise-changing piece for Chicago, but the 2014 All-Star would provide proven help alongside Mazara. The seven-year veteran reminded everyone of his massive potential last season after he wore out his welcome with the Los Angeles Dodgers.