After striking a deal that sent catcher Welington Castillo to Texas in late October, the White Sox and Rangers made another trade on Tuesday night. The Rangers sent outfielder Nomar Mazara to the South Side in exchange for minor league outfielder Steele Walker.
WHITE SOX ACQUIRE:
Nomar Mazara, OF
Mazara has provided a consistent source of power over the past four seasons, posting three consecutive 20-home run years to start his career and hitting 19 long balls in 2019. Although he does have a strong arm in the outfield, he is a bat-first player. Since 2017, his walk rate has declined each year and was down to six percent this season while his strikeout rate has steadily increased to 23 percent. This has been part of the reason that his OPS+ has not cracked the 100-marker yet in his career. He’s posted a 96 OPS+ in back-to-back campaigns. Chicago will hope that his hitting prowess begins to trend positive as they slot him into the outfield for 2020.
Steele Walker, OF
Taken in the second round of the 2018 draft, Walker reached the Carolina League in 2019 and cracked double-digit home runs (10) for the first time as a professional. He has a smooth swing from the left side and projects to have hit-over-power as he matures. His athleticism helped him to play in 97 games this season as a center fielder, but an average throwing arm and foot speed may push him to a corner spot long term. If he learns to use the whole field with efficiency, his ceiling is that of an average big leaguer with the high floor of a second-division regular.