Jon Heyman announced via Twitter that Leury Garcia is returning to the Chicago White Sox on a three-year deal. The specifics have not yet been announced.
Leury Garcia goes back to White Sox. 3 year deal.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 30, 2021
Garcia is the longest-tenured member of the Chicago White Sox dating back to 2013. He has appeared in 579 games for the Southsiders. Garica was signed by the Texas Rangers as an amateur free agent in 2007 and debuted with Texas in 2013 before being traded to the White Sox. The 30-year-old has batted over .270 in four of the past five seasons. Since 2017 he is batting .273/.317/.388. He is a great fit in the clubhouse and his teammates love him.
Tony La Russa even went as far as to call him a star player. “He’s really one of the most popular teammates in the clubhouse because he’s got a sense of humor. He’s really solid,” the White Sox skipper said. “You look at his arm, switch hitting and playing every postion. He can pitch too. He’s a really talented star player.”
Garcia is coming off one of the best seasons of his major league career. He slashed .267/.355/.376 in a career-high 474 plate appearances. Garcia also tallied five home runs, 22 doubles, four triples, and six stolen bases. His availabilty at a variety of postions resulted to a career high 2.1 bWAR and 2.0 fWAR. He also hit two clutch home runs. The first was a walk-off home run in September against the Boston Red Sox. He followed that up with a massive three-run homer in Game 3 of the ALDS to give the White Sox a 6-5 lead over the Astros and help stave off elimination for a game.
Garcia’s value lies in his versatility. He helped the White Sox overcome a variety of injuries with his ability to play all three outfield positions, along with second base, shortstop, and third base. He quickly emerged as one of Tony La Russa’s favorite players finding himself in the lineup nearly every day. He spent the majority of his time at second base and right field. He appeared in 36 games at second base and 34 in right field.
Rick Hahn spoke about bringing Garcia back earlier this offseason. “We love Leury. His versatiltiy, his availabilty has value. It will likely have value in the market to others, as well. I think all teams are guilty of becoming a little bit biased in favor of their guys, whether it’s guys you drafted, or guys like Leury who were with us for a long time. But we certainly see his value, and he played an important role on a team that was banged up last year. His ability to fill in competently at different spots was important.”
While the White Sox needs to fill those positions this offseason Garcia does not look like the everyday solution to either of those spots. James Fegan of the Atheltic tweeted that Garcia will continue the role he has served the last several seasons for the White Sox. Filling needs all over the diamond as a backup or playing every day if a void emerges due to an injury.