At Soxfest last weekend, Rick Hahn reiterated that he’s not finished with rebuilding the team. Yesterday, a random DFA demonstrated that.
The Twins DFA’d Byung Ho Park to make room for Matt Belisle, a 36 year old reliever, on the Twins 40-man roster. While that’s not necessarily a ringing endorsement, the question had to be asked. Could he be a better DH than Avi?
While the offseason trades of Chris Sale and Adam Eaton did wonderful things to improve the White Sox pitching depth, a few holes on the roster have been left untouched and as we are now 10 days from the start of spring training, the clock’s ticking to get players for a full spring training audition.
Since the Park DFA brought it up, DH may be a first place to look. The White Sox have Avi Garcia and Matt Davidson listed as their DHs on their roster page. Garcia is, well, Garcia. It seems unlikely he’ll be able to harness power as he’s slugged less that .400 the past two seasons. The Sox reward his effort with a $3 million contract this offseason. Davidson made an appearance for the Sox finally last season after starting his third season in Charlotte. Unfortunately, that appearance didn’t last a game. There was some optimism that he was going to be something in the majors finally after his spring training improvements last year. He is, however, out of options so he may be on the Sox in April, ready or not.
That’s where Park has some appeal. Park is supposed to make $2.75 million this season. Unlike Avi, Park is signed for two more seasons after 2017 with a $6.5M team option for a third season. On the downside, Park hit .191/.275/.409 for the Twins in 62 games. He also may have had a hand injury throughout the season, but that has been disputed by the Twins front office.
Whether Park is actually better than Garcia or Davidson is still a question open for debate. For a lot of fans, they’re probably at the point that different is better. Or maybe “OMG DINGERS!!1!!” is at least a reason to give it a shot.