Aug 16, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura (left) and general manager Kenny Williams (right) talk prior to a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago White Sox executive vice president, Kenny Williams, and general manager, Rick Hahn, have made their lists and checked them twice in anticipation for this week’s winter meetings. The annual MLB gathering, taking place in San Diego this year from Sunday, December 7th, through Thursday, December 11th, is poised to produce a flurry of free agency and trade activity.
The White Sox have already made two key acquisitions prior to December by signing free agent first baseman, Adam LaRoche, and left-handed relief pitcher, Zach Duke. While each is a welcomed addition to the club, the White Sox front office still has plenty of work to do if the team hopes to be playing in October next fall.
A Time To Spend
The great news for Sox fans is the Hahn and Williams have put the team in position financially the last couple years to make a run at it. Even after signing LaRoche and Duke, the team has only $64.8 million committed for 2015, per Baseball Prospectus. Arbitration-eligible contracts for Dayan Viciedo, Javy Guerra, Tyler Flowers, Nate Jones, and Hector Noesi will probably cost the Sox an additional $10.3 million according to SBNation, bringing the 2015 salary commitments to about $75 million. That leaves the team plenty of room to spend.
The White Sox payroll has never topped $127.8 million and only surpassed $110 million three times, but it’s the right year for the team to make the necessary financial commitments. The White Sox have a talented nucleus of players- Jose Abreu, Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, and Adam Eaton- in the prime of their careers. In addition to that talent, they have solid contributors to piece into the equation such as Avisail Garcia and Connor Gillaspie. It would be wise for the team to strike while the iron is hot. Here are the White Sox remaining priorities heading into the winter meetings.