White Sox leave Winter Meetings on a high note after making two successful trades. The South Siders began rebuilding with trades of veteran players in return for top prospects.
It’s safe to say that the Chicago White Sox have gone into full rebuild mode. The Winter Meetings proved this, as the club dealt ace Chris Sale and outfielder Adam Eaton for a slew of top prospects. Should White Sox fans be excited for the first time in a while? Let’s take a look.
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The initial response to that question is yes. With the two players they dealt, the team accomplished one key objective. That would be choosing a direction, and going in head first. Over the last several seasons, the White Sox have been trying to plug holes with solid veterans, with mediocre results.
Looking at the direction the White Sox are heading in now, they are trying to acquire every stud young prospect that they can. This makes perfect sense, as there are far too many holes on the roster to compete without ending up awful for a decade. Rick Hahn is doing the right thing here, which is taking a step back, and building for the future.
Now, let’s look at the prospects the club acquired. First, the headliner in the Sale trade was Yoan Moncada, who many believe to be the top prospect in all of baseball. Moncada has the ability to play anywhere on the field (outside of pitcher and catcher), and be an impact player. He is a five-tool player, and could be Robinson Cano, with more speed.
The other piece significant piece in the Sale trade was another top 50 prospect in MLB, that being Michael Kopech. Armed with a fastball that can touch 105 MPH, it is unclear where his role will be, as he has Aroldis Chapman-like ability in the bullpen. While Hahn has stated that Kopech could be a starter, don’t be surprised if he ends up as a dominant late-inning reliever.
Moving to the Eaton trade, all three pieces were right-handed pitchers. Lucas Giolito, who checked in as high as number three on the mlbpipeline.com overall prospect list, has top of the rotation stuff. With a fastball that can touch 100 MPH, not to mention a good curveball and changeup, it is quite possible that he could be the next ace of the White Sox.
The White Sox also brought over Reynaldo Lopez and Dane Dunning in the trade, and neither are throw ins. Lopez is also a top prospect, not to mention can reach triple digits on the radar gun. Dunning is fairly new to pro ball, as he was just drafted in 2016, however it was at 29th overall. Dunning also has good stuff, considering he can reach the mid 90’s with his fastball and compliments it with a changeup that is about 10 MPH slower.
Keep in mind that while Luis Alexander Basabe and Victor Diaz came along with Moncada and Kopech, they are not touted as highly, but do have some upside. While Basabe is fast, and Diaz throws hard, they need to make some major improvements before making a difference at the big league level. Basabe needs to work on making contact (119 K’s at A ball in ’16), not to mention that Diaz needs to work on his control (41 BB’s in 87 IP at A ball ‘14).
All in all, this is a great start to a long process. If Hahn can continue to work the trade market the way he is, these next two seasons might be worth it in the long run. Keep in mind that more trades are forthcoming, and the White Sox will have a wealth of future stars in the minors in short order. Two years is a short time, White Sox fans.