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White Sox sign outfielder Jake Marisnick to minors deal

by Jordan Lazowski

The White Sox have added to their outfield depth, and in the process, have created a larger battle for their fourth outfielder spot.

According to Kenny Van Doren of Inside the Astros, the White Sox have signed Jake Marisnick to a minor-league deal. Should he make the MLB roster, Marisnick would be paid $1.3 million.

Marisnick, 31, has spent the majority of his major league career with the Houston Astros. Since his departure from the team following the 2019 season, he has played with the Mets (2020), Cubs (2021), Padres (2021), and Pirates (2022).

During his 10-year career, Marisnick has posted a .228/.281/.384 slash line (.665 OPS, 81 OPS+). He notably has a lifetime .704 OPS against LHP and a .640 OPS against RHP. His best season came in 2017 with the Astros, when he hit .243/.319/.496 with 16 homers and 35 RBI. However, given what we know about that season in Houston, there are fair question marks surrounding that performance.

Marisnick, for his shortcomings with the bat, does two things incredibly well:

  1. Plays strong defense at all outfield positions, posting as high as +10 Outs Above Average (OAA) in 2018 while finding a way to post +4 OAA in LF in 2022 with just 24 chances. He is also considered to have one of the stronger arms in baseball, with 96th-percentile Arm Strength
  2. Runs pretty well, grading out in the 85th percentile in Sprint Speed last season.

By the looks of it, the White Sox will assumedly let previous signees Victor Reyes and Billy Hamilton battle it out with Marisnick to serve as the backup for Oscar Colas in right field. Regardless of who makes the Opening Day roster, the odd men out will continue to serve as minor outfield depth and likely have the opportunity to bounce between Triple-A Charlotte and Chicago in 2023, should they be needed.

In a vacuum, a move like this is completely fine. However, with an unproven commodity in right field still in Colas, it may benefit the White Sox to add a more offensively-proven option to their depth; someone like Adam Duvall or Robbie Grossman would likely fit well here. Duvall, especially, could be a name to watch given his history with new White Sox hitting coach Jose Castro, who’s served in a similar capacity as Atlanta’s assistant hitting coach for the past eight seasons.

Though no rumors have surfaced just yet regarding additional moves, we will continue to provide coverage on all platforms. Follow us on social media @SoxOn35th for more!

Featured Image: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

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