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White Sox claim Willy Garcia, DFA Jason Coats

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Pittsburgh Pirates v Atlanta Braves

The White Sox claimed outfielder Willy Garcia from the Pirates and designated outfielder Jason Coats for assignment. The White Sox have also signed third baseman/outfielder Cody Asche to a minor league deal.

Garcia, 24, has spent the past season and a half with the Pirates AAA team in Indianapolis. It’s been somewhat uninspiring. Last season, Garcia hit .245/.293/.366 with 31 walks and 131 strikeouts with six home runs over 129 games. He’s been primarily a corner outfielder in the minors with a few games in center, so he’s probably not a candidate for much center field time in the majors. He’s never logged in anytime in the majors yet, so for now it’s best to consider him an addition to depth.

Coats, who turns 27 next month, had his first taste at the majors last season. He looked pretty stellar at Charlotte hitting .330/.394/.519. That wasn’t the case in Chicago. He looked overmatched at the plate hitting only .200/.298/.340. While his defense seemed OK, not hitting and not being able to play center field makes it difficult to see him spending much more time in Chicago.

Finally, in somewhat of a footnote to this news, the Sox bring in Cody Asche, who’s played in 371 games for the Phillies over the past four seasons. Rather than go into arbitration, the Phillies non-tendered him instead. Asche spent his first three seasons with the Phillies as a third baseman and was the starter in 2015 until Maikel Franco was called up. From then on, he spent a couple weeks in the minors learning to play left field, and, voilà, he’s a left fielder. It’s gone as well as expected with Asche having UZR/150’s of -19.8 and -7.3 over the past two seasons. Offensive, Asche hasn’t done so well, hitting .240/.298/.385 with 92 walks, 310 strikeouts, and 31 home runs over his four seasons with the Phillies.

With Garcia joining and Coats being DFA’d, the White Sox 40 man roster stays at 40.