White Sox could sign a free agent with a qualifying offer attached in offseason. This would result in forfeiting 12th overall draft pick in next year’s draft. Should White Sox risk its future for a short gain?
The Chicago White Sox could make a splash this upcoming offseason by signing an elite free agent. However, it could come at a much steeper price for the Sox. The upcoming free agent market is relatively thin, but there are some players who fit needs for this Sox team.
If the Sox choose to forego rebuilding this offseason, they could sign players that would fit in their short window for contention. But some of those players could have qualifying offers attached to them. This means if the Sox signed them after they’ve rejected a qualifying offer, they would lose their first round draft pick for 2017. Currently the Sox have the 12th overall pick in next year’s draft.
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The Sox don’t have a relatively strong farm system, but it isn’t weak either. After a successful draft in 2016, the Sox certainly would like to add to that class with another strong draft next year. However, the Sox have a core of players they’ve yet to build a successful team around and they are just a few players short from truly contending next season.
With Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, Jose Abreu and Adam Eaton, it makes sense for the Sox to push for contention in 2017. In order to add to this core, the Sox will most likely have to forfeit its top draft pick. Edwin Encarnacion, is expected to receive a qualifying offer of $17.2 million from the Blue Jays. Encarnacion’s slash line for 2016 was .263/.357/.529 with 42 home runs and 127 RBI’s.
If the Sox were to sign Encarnacion this offseason, he could fill the team’s void at designated hitter. But Encarnacion will be 34 years-old on Jan. 7 and Sox fans know too well of players coming to team past their prime and struggling. Another candidate for the Sox would be Yoenis Cespedes. Cespedes is expected to opt out of his contract with the Mets. The Mets will most likely attach a qualifying offer to Cespedes, but he is two years younger than Encarnacion, and can provide value on defense.
The Sox will have a lot of decisions to make this upcoming offseason. If they truly want to contend, they might have to forfeit a top draft pick. This most likely won’t sit well with many Sox fans who want to the team to rebuild. If the Sox do indeed sign a free agent with a qualifying offer attached, they better make sure the player will be the missing piece that gets this team back to the postseason. If not, expect more anger from loyal Sox fans.