On July 30th, 2013 the Chicago white Sox sent out a press release announcing a three team trade with the Red Sox and division rival Tigers. The White Sox had sent Jake Peavy to Boston for their playoff push, in return the White Sox acquired outfielder Avisail Garcia, a young right fielder, as well as Red Sox minor league infielder Cleulius Rondon and pitchers Francelis Montas and Jeffery Wendelken. The prize of the trade was the outfielder, Garcia, 22, was hitting .380 with seven doubles, three triples, six home runs, 27 RBI and 32 runs scored over 39 games between triple and single A. He had also appeared for the major league team that year for 30 games batting .241 with two home runs and ten RBI’s, and was rated the Tigers number two prospect in the Tiger’s system.
“Garcia is a very young, five-tool player who already has spent time in the major leagues,” said Rick Hahn, White Sox senior vice president/general manager. “Our scouts are extremely optimistic about his future and view him as a potential impact talent for many years to come.”
Garcia was assigned to the White Sox triple A team and seemed poised to fill the gap left years earlier by Magglio Ordonez. When the White Sox traded Alex Ríos on August 9th 2013, they promoted García to the major leagues, and he made his debut a day later against the Twins. 2014 brought the prospect of seeing Avisal become the full time right fielder and show off his skill, he was limited to 46 games after hurting his shoulder on April 9th. Even in those few games he batted .244 with seven home runs and 29 RBI. 2015 was a disappointing season as was 2016 playing 120 games in an injury shortened year managed 12 home runs and 51 RBI. Then a breakout season in 2016, he played all year and had a career year, having career highs in average (.330), homers (18), and RBI (80) and was selected to represent the White Sox in the All Star game.
Here’s the thing when you are rebuilding a team and have an asset that has a career year after showing no signs of being anything special, if not painfully average, you trade that player. Avi was a guy who was doing one of two things, spending time on the trainers table or being underwhelming (left out is the where he spent time when with the Tigers which later would be revealed as to why he was suddenly available). I have no idea how interested in the white Sox were in trading him or how much interest the league had in a replacement player, but if there was any it would be a big negative mark in Hahns ability to scout his own team and see what a player could be flipped for. You would think that he would come out firing after having a career year, right, well not me, I had absolutely zero faith that Garcia would do anything but turn back into a pumpkin, and I was right. 2018 saw him only play in 93 games after yet another DL and injury plagued season. After the season Hahn finally made a decision that he didn’t need to see anything more out of the perpetually replacement level player that Hahn saw as a cornerstone to a rebuild 6 years earlier and did not tender him a contract for arbitration where he was estimated to get paid another 6 million to compile no wins above replacement.
Goodbye Avisal this White Sox fan is happy to see you go be a fourth outfielder somewhere else or patrol right for another team with no aspirations of winning that season.
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