Leury García, the longest-tenured active White Sox player, will stay on the South Side after signing a three-year contract, word leaked out on Tuesday. García is set to earn $16.5 million ($5.5 million AAV) from 2022-24.
García played all over the field for the South Siders in 2021. Here’s the breakdown:
- 277 2⁄3 innings at second base
- 235 innings in right field
- 164 1⁄3 innings in center field
- 156 1⁄3 innings at shortstop
- 110 2⁄3 innings in left field
- 74 innings at third base
García’s flexibility was valuable for the White Sox, who had many position players who suffered long-term injuries in 2021. The supersub-forced-starter finished with a slash line of .267/.335/.376 (98 wRC+) despite an ice-cold April, when he slashed only .207/.220/.241. García redeemed himself throughout the remainder of the season and proved that he deserves playing time in the majors, even for a contending team. When we combine García’s defensive flexibility with his performance at the plate (quite close to league average), we get a player who was worth 2.0 fWAR/2.1bWAR in 126 games.
The three-year deal that García signed is the second three-year contract a player has signed with the White Sox this offseason. Between reliever Kendall Graveman (1.77 ERA, 3.71 xERA, 3.19 FIP, 1.1 fWAR, 2.1 bWAR) and García, the White Sox have made a pair of early transactions that should help stabilize the roster for a few years.
There is, of course, work that still needs to be done. García is likely not the full-time solution at second base, which is the position where he got the most playing time at last season. With Nick Madrigal on the other side of town, the South Siders are thin at the keystone. García is very useful as a player who can fill many areas of need, but most White Sox fans hope that this will not be the only move the team makes to address second base.
As the work stoppage approaches, we may need to wait a while before the White Sox make another move to further address their roster gaps. But, for now, we can be happy that Leury Legend is back. In all likelihood, this three-year deal will not be one that the South Siders regret down the road.