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White Sox: Can Front Office Build Contender in Offseason?

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Aug 7, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu (79) hits a home run during the sixth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at U.S. Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 7, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu (79) hits a home run during the sixth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at U.S. Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /
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White Sox offseason can go in a number of different directions. Can the front office make the right decisions to get this franchise back to relevancy?

With the season wearing on, it is time to look at the White Sox going forward into the offseason. With nine players under contract for just over $78 million, they should have some ability to maneuver financially. However, given there are several more players that are due raises in arbitration, the South Siders will need to make efficient moves in order to field a good ballclub next season.

The big question is this, should the team rebuild or go for it one more season? Personally it makes sense to rebuild. It would not shock me one bit to see them take one more shot at fielding a winner.  With payroll flexibility it makes it easier to sign a major free agent, not to mention acquire a high-price player in a trade. While they could trade away several of their key players and rebuild the farm overnight, that isn’t exactly something Jerry Reinsdorf does.

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Now, let’s look at the lineup. The White Sox have one really good all-around hitter in Jose Abreu. Melky Cabrera is still good, however doesn’t provide the power plus is starting to age a bit. Outside of that, Todd Frazier is an excellent power source yet strikes out far too much and doesn’t hit for a high average. Adam Eaton is a good two-way player, but isn’t a star. Tim Anderson is going to be the key to this bunch, mostly due to the fact he has All-Star potential While the others are very good, an All-Star shortstop is a big key to winning.

All things considered, what is the White Sox greatest need? I would say an impact bat in the middle of the order. It has been for a while now. With Abreu not having a lot around him, the team needs to acquire a big bat in the offseason. I think that Frazier is more of a number five hitter. Assuming the White Sox can bring in a cleanup hitter, that would be a solid middle of the order. The question then becomes will Cabrera repeat this season, not to mention would Anderson continue to progress?

The White Sox need a lot in order to contend in 2017. While it might make sense to take a couple of years off from trying to win, I am not sure if the front office wants to commit to a rebuild. Considering the amount of work they have done to get back on their feet. I realize many White Sox fans don’t consider this “on their feet”. However there was not a quick turnaround after the position they put themselves in after 2013.

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Keep in mind that the team already has a solid rotation anchored by Chris Sale. 2016 first round pick Zack Burdi is on the way. Not to mention a bullpen is much cheaper to build than anything else. Catcher is another position of need, however another young prospect, Zack Collins might be to make it to the show in 2017. I realize that a playoff berth won’t be easy next year, but it doesn’t mean that the Sox brass won’t attempt a run at it. At least past history indicates that.

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