After a forgettable season, will Anderson be back with White Sox in 2024?

It's a good thing Josh Barfield is coming on board with the White Sox.

A source confirmed the 40-year-old Barfield, who has been the Diamondbacks' director of player development since 2019, is joining the Sox as assistant general manager.

Along with new GM Chris Getz, Barfield is going to be heavily involved in making a slew of roster decisions on a White Sox team that's in danger of losing 100 games this season.

Tim Anderson tops the list.

After winning the American League batting title in 2019 with a .335 average, Anderson followed up with three more seasons hitting .300 or better.

Not only was he the energetic engine driving the Sox, Anderson emerged as one of baseball's brightest stars.

Then, the 2023 season rolled around.

It's been a tough go for Anderson on and off the field this year, and he's batting .252/.295/.306 with only 1 home run and 25 RBI in 117 games. A sprained left knee early in the season sidelined the two-time all star for three weeks.

By the time Anderson returned, the White Sox were 8-21 and they never came close to recovering.

Getz, with help from Barfield, has to decide whether to pick up Anderson's $14 million club option for 2024 or opt for a $1 million buyout.

"T.A. is a very talented player that we drafted out of junior college," Getz said. "We've seen the best years out of T.A. and we've also seen the struggles. We know what he is capable of doing on the field, and he's an important piece of the organization.

"A decision like that takes time. I wouldn't be surprised if you look up next year and all of a sudden he's back to the Tim Anderson we're accustomed to seeing."

For as miserable as his season has gone, Anderson has dealt with injuries and the $14 million club option is still a pretty good deal for the Sox if the 30-year-old infielder rebounds next year.

If he doesn't, No. 1 prospect Colson Montgomery will be ready to take over at shortstop in 2025 - if not sooner.

"It's a business," said Anderson, the White Sox's first-round draft pick in 2013 out of East Central (Miss.) Community College. "Just roll with it. You can't really speak on it a whole lot. Just play and see what happens."

Montgomery was slowed by a back strain over the first half of the season before having another big year.

In 64 games with Class AA Birmingham, high A Winston-Salem and the ACL White Sox, the 21-year-old Montgomery hit .287/.456/.484 with 8 home runs and 37 RBI.

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