Brett Lawrie gives White Sox versatility, power potential

The trade: The Chicago White Sox acquired infielder Brett Lawrie from the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday in exchange for a pair of minor league pitchers in left-hander Zachary Erwin and right-hander J.B. Wendelken.

The reason: The White Sox not only needed infield help, they needed upgrades on the offense and Lawrie has the potential to fill one of two holes. As of now, he appears set to play third base, the position he has manned for most of his five-year major league career. But he also has the ability to play second base, a position he played 42 times with the A’s this past season. Lawrie plays solid defense, which is a plus, but the real need was to add to an offense that was among the worst in baseball last season.

The impact: Lawrie is a former first-round draft pick by the Milwaukee Brewers that still has all-star potential if he can finally harness it. Even though he has been in the major leagues for five seasons, he will only turn 26 in January. The right-handed hitter has 20-homer potential, but has only hit as many as 16 in a single season. He hit that total last season so his power production continues to be on the rise. Known to be a free spirit, of potential concern to the White Sox is how Lawrie will mesh with his new teammates. Lawrie is a high-energy player who wears his emotions on his sleeve.