Report: Sox to strike deal with D-backs for Eduardo Escobar


The Chicago White Sox could be getting a reinforcement, according to a report.

With second baseman Nick Madrigal out for the season after tearing his hamstring earlier this month, the White Sox are on the verge of acquiring versatile infielder Eduardo Escobar in a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks, so tweeted USA Today's Bob Nightengale late Saturday.

The 32-year-old, switch-hitting Escobar is a former South Sider, playing with the White Sox in 2011 and 2012 before being dealt to the division-rival Minnesota Twins, where he developed into a productive big league hitter. He's spent the last four seasons with the D-backs, playing second base, shortstop and third base.

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Escobar is having a solid year at the plate, particularly from a power standpoint. He's got 17 home runs and 51 RBIs, leading the last-place D-backs in both categories. No White Sox hitter has launched that many homers, and only reigning AL MVP José Abreu has driven in more runs.

Escobar had his biggest offensive performance of the season Saturday, helping to end the D-backs' 24-game road losing streak by going 4-for-5 with a double, a home run and five RBIs.

Though Danny Mendick and Leury García have been used to fill in since Madrigal went down, Escobar would figure to be the White Sox primary second baseman from here on out should he make his return to the South Side.

As the White Sox have stumbled of late, 1-6 in their last seven games heading into Sunday, they've shown an increasing need for a boost from outside the organization. The team has been devastated by injuries, with Eloy Jiménez, Luis Robert and Madrigal all key offensive players knocked out with significant injuries. Michael Kopech, Adam Engel, Adam Eaton and Billy Hamilton are also all currently on the injured list.

The lineup, projected during the spring to be one of baseball's most menacing, has become more and more reliant on bench players, and while fill-ins have stepped up and helped the White Sox win games throughout the season — they own first place in the AL Central standings — it seems like it will be a big challenge for them to chase down their championship-level goals without reinforcements.

Escobar might not be the kind of bat that revives a lineup all by himself. But he could plug the hole at second base and help the White Sox stay afloat as they wait for the hoped-for returns of Jiménez and Robert or seek additions of a greater impact as the trade deadline nears.

General manager Rick Hahn has vowed trade-deadline aggressiveness and not to waste what he called a "sacred" chance to win the World Series. Multiple deals could be on the horizon as the end of July approaches. But as manager Tony La Russa pointed out earlier this week, an immediate addition had greater appeal than waiting a month, especially with the injury-plagued White Sox needing reinforcements now.

Escobar might not solve everything. But he could be a solid piece of what could be a bigger trade-deadline puzzle as the White Sox not only look to improve but to prepare to edge out every other team in baseball en route to a championship.

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