We hear it every day: Mike Moustakas this, Carlos Gonzalez that. But for every shout of Moose, for every bellowed CarGo, there are murmurs of ConGi and whispers of CoGil, because we never really agreed on a nickname for him.
Yes, Conor Gillaspie is still a free agent. When I spoke with various baseball executives about this fact and asked them to guess a landing spot, they were surprised by the question, presumably because they assumed Mr. Gillaspie had already been locked up to a long-term deal. Conor Gillaspie is flying so far under the radar that he’s still on the ground, and the time is right for Rick Hahn and the Chicago White Sox to make a move.
Mr. Gillaspie has been an effective player for the past four seasons if you only look at the even years, posting an average of what could be rounded up to 1.5 fWAR in 2014 and 2016. That’s essentially a two-win player, making it easy to see how many could assume he’s been signed already.
Mr. Gillaspie still has youth on his side, as well. As a “millennial,” Mr. Gillaspie is still “hip” and “with it” enough to relate to the younger prospects the White Sox will be bringing up, while being old enough to not be at risk for a Tide Pod-related death. These are the freshest references I can muster, folks.
In addition to his productive play, Mr. Gillaspie was a favorite both among White Sox players in the clubhouse and among fans in the stands. Conor was known for his cheery demeanor and pitch-perfect impressions of Eddie Murphy and, uh, Charlie Murphy.
Mr. Gillaspie also found some level of baseball celebrity during the 2016 playoffs when, as a member of the San Francisco Giants, he singlehandedly defeated the New York Mets with a three-run home run in the top of the ninth inning. He then played all nine positions in the bottom of the ninth simultaneously, showcasing a versatility that is sorely needed on the White Sox roster.
The White Sox acquired Conor’s brother Casey Gillaspie from the Tampa Bay Rays in mid-2017 in exchange for pitcher Dan Jennings. The brothers would love to play together professionally, we presume, since they both tell us that they haven’t spoken since the funeral.