White Sox: Draft Position Will Force Organization to Pick A Lane

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Aug 31, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale (49) warms up before the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 31, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale (49) warms up before the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

Willing To Part With Draft Pick

It was strange when the White Sox held onto the 26th pick in the draft in lieu of adding an impact player, as they ultimately drafted reliever Zack Burdi. The rationale was that his power arm could help out down the stretch. Burdi isn’t a bad pick as he very well could have a future as a high leverage reliever. Adding a refined change up to his arsenal teases at the idea of him even being worked out as a starter. Either way, he’s a high floor player whose stuff can play in the pen relatively soon.

What the Burdi pick highlights though is the danger of indecisiveness. It would have been an impossible task to evaluate the 2016 draft field, much less project it in January, but that is exactly why Chicago should have already come to a conclusion beforehand.

Keeping the pick at the cost of adding immediate talent screamed future-driven for a team supposedly in redux of all-in. Then their draft pick hinted at the latter, but with three months already down the drain.

Adding surgically repaired sutures rather than band-aids will put the White Sox in a position to truly make some noise in 2017.

When Hahn sits down and asks himself if the team is focused on the present or the future, what to do with the 12th pick will be the most telling indicator. If Hahn deems that 40 percent of the rotation being Cy Young caliber and bats like Eaton, Abreu, Melky, Frazier, and Anderson already being in place isn’t worth selling short on, then that pick is just one more chip to be pushed forward.

Once willing to part with the pick, the White Sox can lead aggressive pursuits for the likes of Yoenis Cespedes, who will almost assuredly opt-out, or slugger Encarnacion.

After inking one of these players, Chicago will still have to insulate by looking at players without the QO attached. Here’s where guys like Josh Reddick, Jon Jay, and potentially Matt Wieters become insurance rather than the big ticket items.

Adding surgically repaired sutures rather than band-aids will put the White Sox in a position to truly make some noise in 2017.

To continue the theme of eliminating cognitive dissonance, the decision to part with the pick should manifest itself in other ways as well.

White Sox beat writer Scott Merkin got a good quote from Hahn regarding this:

"“It makes you feel that if, in fact, you are going to focus strictly on trying to win in ’17, you are going to have to go outside and you may have to put a little bit of a dent into some of what you already started to build into the future, which weighs into it,” Hahn told MLB.com. “You might have to use some of them [in trades] if that’s your focus."

What should you extrapolate from this? Well, it means that a team willing to part with the number twelve pick should have no reservations about dangling someone like Carson Fulmer to reinforce that. If Fulmer is the centerpiece that gets the San Diego Padres talking Will Myers, a player with only three years of control left and entering arbitration, then you engage.

The key is staying on message. Just as Chicago parted with young talent for Frazier but not the pick, parting with the pick shouldn’t preclude them from parting with young talent. It’s all about committing to a direction and pushing all resources to said direction. That’s the name of the game.

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