The White Sox made a surprising move on Friday by releasing second baseman, Brett Lawrie. The Sox signed Lawrie to a 1 year, $3.5 million deal to avoid arbitration this offseason. In his first and only season with the White Sox, Lawrie hit .248 with 12 home runs and 36 RBIs in just 94 games. Lawrie had some trouble staying on the field in 2016, and was already dealing with some discomfort in Spring Training. He had yet to make his first Spring Training appearance in 2017 and found out today that he wouldn’t get to see any action for the White Sox this season.

While it was pretty clear that Lawrie didn’t have a role in the White Sox future, his release at this time came as a surprise to most. When healthy, Lawrie was the clear starter at second base, so this leaves room for some competition. Tyler Saladino is now the favorite to start at second base on Opening Day. Saladino saw a lot of time at second last year while Lawrie was injured. Saladino brings an average bat and a well above average glove to the diamond. Tyler served as a utility player for the Sox last season, as he played some time at second base, third base, and short stop. He proved that he can bring a solid defensive game to wherever he may play on the field.

Another thought that comes with Lawrie’s release is a possible very early call up for star prospect, Yoan Moncada. Moncada looked outstanding in Chicago’s 3-1 victory over the San Diego Padres on Friday. Moncada had 2 hits including a run-scoring triple that plated Tim Anderson in the third. The Boston Red Sox gave Moncada a bit of major league experience at the end of last season, so we should expect to see him on the South Side fairly soon. Lawrie’s departure paves the way for Moncada to be the every day second baseman once he arrives in the big leagues. Once this happens, Saladino can easily shift back to his utility infield role in which he excelled a year ago.

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