The Chicago White Sox are entering the second year of their rebuilding process, and they’ve added some pieces to help move things along in 2018.
One of the areas they focused heavily on in the offseason was their bullpen, and as part of that process they acquired Luis Avilan over the offseason.
How He Got Here
Avilan was part of a three team trade in early January, coming to the White Sox in a swap involving the Kansas City Royals and Los Angeles Dodgers. Jake Peter was sent to the Dodgers in the deal, and the Sox also acquired reliever Luis Avilan.
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What He Did in 2017
Avilan has bounced around a bit in his big league career, and he spent the last three seasons with the Dodgers. In 2017 he posted a 2.93 ERA and a 2-3 record in 62 appearances, striking out 52 batters in 46 innings of work.
What Does He Bring to the Table?
Avilan could get a shot to close for the White Sox at some point this season, but he’ll mainly be used as a lefty-stopper in the team’s bullpen. He held left-handed hitters to a .195 batting average last season, striking out 28 of them in just 93 plate appearances. He allowed a batting average nearly 100 points higher to righties, so he’ll need to work on that before he can be used in a bigger role by the team.
Predictions for 2018:
The White Sox, being in rebuilding mode, likely aren’t looking at too many guys on their roster as long-term options, but Avilan could potentially be used in a myriad of ways. He could be a fixture in the bullpen for the team all season long and into the future, or he could be used as trade bait at the July 31 trade deadline, used in a similar way to guys like Anthony Swarzak and David Robertson.
Our prediction is that he will be dealt to acquire more prospect depth for a farm system that is increasingly top heavy, but there is definitely a chance that he could stick around while guys like Nate Jones and Joakim Soria find themselves on the block.