Chicago White Sox: What weaknesses need upgraded this offseason?
By Brian Draus
Apr 24, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez (41) in the dugout before the game against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Every offseason, MLB teams look to fix their weaknesses from the past year. That is especially true in the case of the Chicago White Sox, who are in the midst of rebuilding their lineup, which began this past offseason.
Even though they made a 10-game improvement in the standings this season, more needs to be done if the White Sox want to be back in the mix for the AL Central championship, or even one of the two AL Wild Card spots.
In my opinion, the top three needs the White Sox need to focus on this offseason are:
1. Left-handed bat
3. Right-handed starter
Here is a closer look at some positions the White Sox should upgrade this offseason.
• Designated Hitter:
With Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko no longer in the picture, the White Sox must find a player to fill that role. Victor Martinez could fill it via free agency, however, due to his age the White Sox should be careful when pursuing him.
If the White Sox do pursue Martinez, they need to be more careful about the amount of years they give him, rather than dollars. Since they don’t have an option in-house, a name that has been mentioned before would be Pedro Alvarez. Alvarez would have to be acquired via trade.
This is arguably the teams second biggest need outside of a big left-handed bat. The Sox lost so many games in ’14 because they couldn’t prevent teams from scoring late, and and significant improvement on that next year would be a big difference. Since there are so many relievers available, I will let you imagine the possibilities as to who the White Sox bring in.
Sep 3, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Chicago White Sox left fielder Dayan Viciedo (24) hits a home run in the fourth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
• Left Field:
It is unsure whether Dayan Viciedo will return in ’15, so this could become a hole for the White Sox.
Cuban defector Yasmani Tomas could be an option, although bidding for him could be in the upwards up $100 million. Toronto Blue Jays free agents Melky Cabrera and Colby Rasmus are options as well, however, they will probably end up going for more than market value.
• Third base:
This is a difficult one, because currently Conor Gillaspie is on the roster and has been solid. He may never be a great third baseman, but he can at least hit right-handed pitching (.300 in 2014). If the White Sox can find a platoon partner for him, they could be in decent shape for the short term.
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While Tyler Flowers may never be an elite catcher, he proved this year that he can at least be a serviceable starter. This is a position of need that the White Sox might to pay less attention compared to other spots on the roster, because of how Flowers improved in ’14, compared to past seasons with the White Sox.
• Right-handed starting pitcher:
The White Sox had no right-handers that were solid in the rotation in ’14. It doesn’t matter where they find their right-handed starter from, they just need to find one that can be solid. Justin Masterson is an option, considering they could get him at a decent price coming off of a bad year. They could also go the trade route as well.
Hopefully another offseason like this past offseason will provide the White Sox enough to compete in the near future. It is impossible to tell who will come in, but my guess is there will be more veterans brought in this offseason than last. If the White Sox continue to stockpile talent like year, ’15 will be a much more exciting year barring injuries on Chicago’s South Side.