One and done for Mazara as Chicago White Sox right fielder?

  • Chicago White Sox's Nomar Mazara hits a one-run single against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the second inning of a baseball game in Chicago, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020.

    Chicago White Sox's Nomar Mazara hits a one-run single against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the second inning of a baseball game in Chicago, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020.

Updated 10/20/2020 7:31 PM

Since launching a rebuild after the 2016 season, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn has made one solid move after another.

There was the trade that sent outfielder Adam Eaton to the Nationals for three starting pitchers -- current ace Lucas Giolito, Dane Dunning and Reynaldo Lopez.


The trade that sent Jose Quintana up the road to the Cubs for slugger Eloy Jimenez and starter Dylan Cease.

The Chris Sale to the Red Sox deal also worked out for the White Sox, who got third baseman Yoan Moncada and starter Michael Kopech from Boston.

The wise investment in Luis Robert, who signed for $26 million in 2017 at the age of 19.

Plenty of hits, but Hahn has also had some misses.

Nomar Mazara, for example.

Acquired from the Rangers last December for minor-league outfielder Steele Walker, Mazara was expected to give the Sox some needed left-handed power after hitting 79 home runs in 537 games for Texas.

"We very much believe in his upside and where his talent could take him at age 25 and 26 over the next couple of years," Hahn said. "We think there's a lot of untapped upside there, and we think people may well be surprised if they have modest expectations for him."

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Mazara was the White Sox's starting right fielder for most of the short season, and he was held to 1 homer in 149 plate appearances while batting .228/.295./294 over 42 games.

The 25-year-old right fielder missed the end of summer training camp and the first 10 games of the season with strep throat and never was a factor.

"It's been a little frustrating because it's a short season," Mazara said in late September. "We don't have the time that we usually have to say 'OK, I'm going to get it, we have 500 more at-bats.'

"This year, that's not the case. I've been a little hard on myself, too, because I know I've been working like crazy. Just going out there and nothing's working."

Mazara did show up in Game 3 of the playoffs, going 2-for-4 with 2 RBI in a 6-4 loss to Oakland that ended the Sox's season.

As for his future with the White Sox, Mazara is eligible for salary arbitration one more time before becoming free-agent eligible following the 2021 season.


The guess here is the Sox non-tender Mazara, who is in line for a new contract in excess of $6 million.

Hahn has no idea what his budget is going to be due the COVID-19, but he's sure to kick the tires on free agents such as George Springer, Joc Pederson and Michael Brantley. Swinging a trade for a new right fielder is also an option.

If financial constraints force Hahn to find an in-house replacement for Mazara, Adam Engel is likely the guy.

An above-average defender at all three outfield spots, Engel's bat has always been the big concern.

This year, Engel hit .364 (12-for-33) over his last 15 games of the regular season and .295 overall. In the playoffs, Engel was 3-for-12 with a big home run in Game 1.

"We've got a lot of guys that lost 100 games a couple years ago (2018), and we talk about that," Engel said. "We know what that feels like and I think it's fueled us big time. It's really fun to be here with these guys. There's a lot of guys I played with in the minor leagues at one time or another.

"There are guys I've played with multiple years in the big leagues now. I love it here, I love the team."


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