The White Sox made several moves this past summer that blew up Chicago’s core group. Now, another big name is gone. Infielder Tim Anderson did not have his 2024 club option picked by the Sox after what was a very rough campaign for someone who was known as a steady, consistent bat prior to 2023. Here’s a look at how both Tim Anderson and the White Sox stand after this move.
A Look at Anderson
Two-time AL All-Star and now-former White Sox Tim Anderson had by far and away his worst season as a Major Leaguer this past season with the Sox. Anderson hit .245/.286/.296 with one home run. 21 extra-base-hits, and the league’s worst OPS (.582).
First off, this marked the first season since 2018 in which Anderson didn’t hit at least .300. Second, Anderson’s traditionally been a 15-20 home run hitter but his power was zapped this season.
It was an ugly campaign, to say the least, one that saw him miss time with a knee injury in April and May, then was suspended in August after a fight with Guardians 3B Jose Ramirez.
A couple of statistical notes on Anderson this season. The 30-year-old saw fewer fastballs and more sliders and changeups. The ex-White Sox has always been good at squaring up fastballs and can drive pitches up. However, he hit just .164 off the slider — well below the .304 from 2022 — and .191 against changeups.
The dip in power can be attributed to a sharp increase in ground-outs and a dip in fly-balls. And, much of his tops came off the breaking stuff.
One could call it a bad year for Anderson, who was more disciplined than in past years but never got it going at the plate. Now, the veteran infielder finds himself out on the open market.
Looking ahead, Anderson may have the make the move to second shortly. The 30-year-old had a below-average OAA (-1) again this season. Anderson did play well at second in the WBC and there are some contenders — think the Mariners or Blue Jays — that could look towards him if he’s willing to make the move.
Or, Anderson could take a one-year deal with a hopeful and potentially be a trade target come the summer.
A Look at the White Sox
It’s a curious decision for the White Sox to not pick up Anderson’s club option. Yes, $14 million is a high price given Anderson’s 2023 production. But at that same token, it wasn’t hard to envision Chicago exercising it, hoping Anderson got back on track in 2024, and then looking to deal him at the 2024 Trade Deadline.
Chicago doesn’t have much in the way of current depth in the middle infield at the moment, nor a long-term answer that’s knocking on the door just yet aside from possibly Colson Montgomery.
The White Sox didn’t get 2022-like production from Elvis Andrus, who will hit free agency again in 2024 after a .251/.304/.358 campaign in 2023. Utilityman Zach Remillard didn’t hit for much power but did record a .251 average and showed a knack for putting the ball in play despite a high Whiff% rate. Former top prospect Lenyn Sosa hit .201/.224/.348 with six home runs and 12 extra-base hits in 52 games.
Now, Colson Montgomery is a name that comes to mind right off the bat. But, it’s hard to envision the 21-year-old in Chicago to start 2024. Montgomery only played 37 games in Double-A last season. However, his profile and tools make him a clear long-term replacement for Anderson, as early as the second half of 2024.
At 23 years of age, it would make sense to give Sosa more run in the middle infield next season. Jose Rodriguez is another internal option.