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White Sox to sign outfielder Brian Goodwin

by Jordan Lazowski

With the news that Luis Robert would be out for around 12-16 weeks yesterday, the White Sox made their first move towards chipping away at the value lost from Robert’s injury today. According to Mark Feinsand, the White Sox have signed Brian Goodwin, the former Nationals, Royals, Angels, and Reds outfield, to a deal.

There isn’t much known about this deal yet, but here’s a little more on Goodwin and the rational behind the move.

Who is Brian Goodwin

Goodwin is a 30-year-old outfielder with a career .252/.317/.455 slash line and 101 wRC+. He’s the definition of a league-average ballplayer with a little bit of pop in his bat. He’s bounced around a bit around the league, but for the most part has been able to provide some value. He did have a rough 2020 season, slashing just .215/.299/.417 with six homers in 50 games. However, he did slash .232/.330/.463 before being traded from the Angels to the Reds last year.

Goodwin has played all three outfield positions in his career, with most of his playing time coming in CF. He’s posted -8 DRS in CF over five seasons – though StatCast’s Outs Above Average doesn’t rate him nearly that poorly (-1 OAA in CF), if that’s your preferred statistic.

No matter what way you cut the numbers, Goodwin comes out as a pretty league-average player with the ability to play CF. Sounds like exactly what the White Sox would be looking for on short notice.

Why Goodwin?

I’ve already seen a lot of fan uproar over this move. Let me be clear: this will not be the last move the White Sox make to solve the issues they have without Robert and Jimenez in the lineup. Consider their current position:

  1. It’s early May; teams haven’t decided if they’re buyers or sellers yet.
  2. The White Sox are a desperate team with no leverage; teams are not going to sell low on their players to a team that NEEDS an OF to compete. Think about it: if you own something of value, and someone desperate for it wants to buy it off you; you’re up-selling it, right?

Take a look at those two things combined, and you’ll see why for the next month or two, the White Sox will hope to squeeze whatever they can out of Brian Goodwin until teams begin to make their players available. This is a short-term move that provides an upgrade over both Billy Hamilton and Leury Garcia in the near future. If you’re unsure whether or not this is true, consider Brian Goodwin’s career wRC+ is 101, while Garcia’s is 73 (and is at a 34 wRC+ this year). So, yeah, Goodwin’s around 25% better than Garcia. That’s an upgrade, as small as it might be.

The reality is that the Sox needed a short-term fix, that’s all this comes down to. The White Sox need to start chipping away at the value lost from Robert. Goodwin is value added over Garcia/Hamilton.

Maybe Goodwin can come on, supply the team with a few bombs and some average-ish defense to help them keep above .500 heading into the All-Star Break. If not, the Sox didn’t waste any resources and can go all-in on moves at the deadline. There’s no downside to a deal like this, and it helps to patch a hole in the short-term.

Big trades aren’t going to happen overnight; you’re going to have to be patient with this one. For now, a nice patchwork deal is in the works.

We will continue to update you @Soxon35th as more information on Goodwin becomes available

Featured Photo: Los Angels Angels (@angels) / Twitter

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Eric A

Thanks for a well-reasoned and balanced analysis of this transaction. I’m hoping they wait and don’t do something out of panic (as some are pushing for). I think if you can wait until closer to the deadline, you have a chance of a more equitable deal and more choices. Generally trades made out of desperation don’t end well for the team in need


I disagree about adding Goodwin. Why add another over the hill player that can’t hit his weight? Surely there are players in the Sox minor leagues that are at least as good as Goodwin, if not better. To add Goodwin to the already over the hill players on the Sox squad (Hamilton for example) is pathetic.

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