White Sox: Rick Hahn Could Improve Farm System With Trades

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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 could improve its farm system overnight with solid trades. But could other teams drive down the teams demands for its best player?

The Chicago White Sox most likely will make some moves during the upcoming Winter Meetings. With a relatively thin free agent market for starting pitching, the Sox are at an advantage as many teams are looking for a quality starter.

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Sox general manager Rick Hahn could certainly help turn around the farm system overnight with a solid trade of Chris Sale. If Hahn is able to get a good return, it could add much needed depth to the Sox farm system. Although the Sox have Sale as a trading chip this offseason, could their be other teams that could drive down the demand for the All-Star pitcher?

The Detroit Tigers will be open-minded in listening to trade offers this offseason. They could trade former Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander. Verlander is coming off an impressive 2016 season that saw him finish second in Cy Young voting. The veteran right-hander finished 2016 with a 16-9 record and 3.04 ERA.

Verlander is owed $84 million thorough 2019 with a $22 million vesting option in 2020. If Verlander is traded this offseason, the Tigers would probably have to eat some of that remaining salary. Although Veralander has a lot of money owed to him, the Tigers can still shop him around to a team that is in desperate need for a starting pitcher.

Another pitcher that could prevent the Sox from getting a good return for Sale is Chris Archer of the Tampa Bay Rays. Archer, like Sale has as very team-friendly contract. Archer has $8.8 million remaining through 2019 with a $9 million option in 2020 and a $11 million option in 2021. In 2016, Archer went 9-19 with a 4.04 ERA. Despite a poor 2016, Archer was 12-13 with a 3.23 ERA in 2015. Archer isn’t the same type of pitcher as Sale, but he could very well be an ace of another starting rotation or even serve as a quality number two starter.

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The Sox could still get a nice return if they traded Sale. However, if the Tigers eat majority of Verlander’s salary, this could hurt the Sox demands for a return in exchange for Sale. Expect some activity during the Winter Meetings. For Sox fans, this could be an offseason to remember.

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