White Sox: Will Front Office Botch Rebuilding Efforts?

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Nov 8, 2016; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn during the MLB general managers meeting at the Omni Scottsdale Resort. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 8, 2016; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn during the MLB general managers meeting at the Omni Scottsdale Resort. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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White Sox are in prime position to sell its best assets this offseason. With an incompetent front office, will team botch another chance at rebuilding its roster?

The Chicago White Sox are in a good position this offseason if they were to rebuild. With great assets in Chris Sale and Jose Quintana, the Sox could start its rebuilding efforts on the right track with some good trades.

However, many Sox fans are aware of the ineptitude of the front office. With the team having a chance to rebuild at the trading deadline this year, the Sox made just one trade. That trade involved the Sox sending relief pitcher Zach Duke to the Cardinals in exchange for Charlie Tilson. Tilson lasted just one game before ending his season with a hamstring injury.

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The Sox wasted a good opportunity at the time to rebuild its roster. With an offseason that features starting pitcher Rich Hill as the best free agent pitcher on the market, the Sox are at an advantage as they have two of the better starting pitchers in MLB. But can this front office actually go through with a true rebuild and trade Sale or Quintana? Recent history has shown us the front office can’t, and this should frustrate Sox fans.

The Sox have solid trade assets in Sale, Quintana, David Robertson, Todd Frazier, Jose Abreu and Adam Eaton. They don’t have to trade each player, but if they’re going to rebuild they should certainly explore trading Sale. The Sox demands for Sale will be high, and justifiably so. Sale is not only one of the best pitchers in MLB, but his team-friendly contract is one of the better bargains in the league. Sale has three years and $38 million remaining on his contract with the Sox.

With a very team-friendly contract for Sale, the Sox should get a team’s top three or four prospects in exchange for the left-handed pitcher. The problem with this is the current Sox front office. Rick Hahn has made solid trades in the past, but his biggest obstacle could be internal. This past season, it was rumored that Sox executive vice president Ken Williams halted a rebuilding effort put forth by Hahn near the trading deadline.

It would be detrimental to the Sox organization if Hahn is unable to rebuild again because of Williams. Although Hahn would later dismiss the aforementioned rumor, it still raised eyebrows with many Sox fans on who was calling the shots within the front office.

Another factor that could prevent the Sox from rebuilding effectively is the team not getting equal value in return for Sale or any other players they might trade. The Sox have made some poor trades recently, most notably trading a young prospect in Fernando Tatis Jr. for James Shields. If the Sox do trade Sale and Quintana, can this front office be trusted to get equal value in return?

This will be an important factor for the Sox. If they are going to trade Sale, they have to ensure they receive not only top prospects, but major league ready players as well. The Sox can’t trade Sale and get players who end up busts in the future. This is what will make it hard for the Sox to effectively trade Sale, or even Quintana. Just because a player is deemed a top prospect, it doesn’t mean they will eventually pan out as an All-Star.

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The Sox don’t have to rebuild this offseason, but it would be better for the team’s future if they actually went forward with a tear down. Although this would mean more losing seasons on the South Side, the Sox would be able to replenish a mediocre farm system. The biggest fear for many Sox fans is the team doesn’t rebuild this offseason and enters next season with another mediocre roster. Sadly, this could be the case as the Sox front office hasn’t proven they can make many logical decisions in the past.

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