De Aza has had a good run with the White Sox, especially considering the assignment he's been asked to perform for the past two years. He was put in a variety of roles that really weren't his strong suits. He's not a very good fit for center field. He's not a very good lead off hitter, not drawing a lot of walks and only has a .323 OBP. He's also isn't a great base stealer. He isn't horrible, managing to steal 20 bases and only getting caught 8 times. The big question coming into 2014 is what is going to happen to De Aza?
Two of the bigger moves made by Rick Hahn involved outfielders. He got Avisail Garcia in the Jake Peavy trade and he got Adam Eaton from Arizona. Dayan Viciedo isn't going anywhere (unless he's traded) so De Aza is the odd man out, at least of the starting positions. As the fourth outfielder, however, De Aza is a good option for the White Sox. He can spell Viciedo and if need be, replace him for a long stretch. The same goes for the other two outfield positions. De Aza can give the other fielders a break and if one of them were to go down with an injury he would make a decent replacement. Also, De Aza is one of the few left handed bats on the roster. Unlike Jordan Danks, who also bats left-handed, De Aza actually can hit from time to time.
The White Sox are moving in a younger direction and I think that's great. De Aza, however, isn't that old. He'll turn thirty early in the season. I think a little veteran leadership isn't a bad thing. I don't see De Aza returning next season, but he makes sense as a fourth outfielder this season. There has been some buzz about Jordan Danks being the fourth outfielder and if Viciedo gets dealt that might come to pass, but if things remain the same (no guarantees there) passing over De Aza in favor of Danks would be a mistake. I can't imagine the White Sox would keep two outfielders at this point, there just isn't enough room on the twenty-five man roster, especially with Konerko around. Again, Danks and De Aza could both make it if Abreu isn't quite ready, but so far this spring it is looking like he is going to be on the major league squad.
So Alejandro De Aza will most likely be on the roster come opening day. He won't be remembered as an all-time great White Sox, but I wouldn't doubt he gets invites to Soxfest for years after he retires. Not a bad situation for all involved.
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