White Sox rebuild could lead to a long 2017 season. Will a season with 100 or more losses matter to fans?
Since the end of the 2012, the Chicago White Sox have been mediocre at best. Therefore, would it really matter if they lost 100 games in 2017? Since they haven’t made the postseason since 2008, would it help if they went the route of tanking for the next couple of years, loaded up on prospects, and then went for it?
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So far this offseason, the club has dealt away ace Chris Sale and outfielder Adam Eaton. Both of which were integral parts to the team in 2016, as Sale was a 17-game winner, not to mention Eaton posted an overall 6.2 WAR with a 1.8 dWAR. On top of that, Sale was counted on to end losing streaks, considering that he is one of the most dominant starters in all of baseball.
Eaton may have been among the best all-around players in all of baseball in 2016, as he homered 14 times, scored 91 runs, and had an OBP percentage of .362. Defensively he was elite as well, gunning down 15 men from right field while providing plus range. The Sox will dearly miss Eaton in 2017, however this upcoming season is about development, not championships.
Keep something else in mind as well, that being the Sox are likely to move a few other players at minimum. With rumors swirling about Jose Quintana and David Robertson being moved, that would be another large chunk of wins gone from last seasons win total, mostly due to the way Quintana keeps the Sox in low scoring games.
Once the dust is settled, it will be obvious that the Sox are looking at future seasons, not 2017. With the current core, it would be slightly possible to win in 2017, however very unlikely minus risking becoming the 2013 version of the Sox down the road. However for a longer period of time. Since that is an unwise trail to go down, this is the clubs’ only true option.
Even though the Sox were one of the American League’s best teams in the early portion of 2016, they only ended up with 78 wins total. So regardless of their hot start, it ended no different than many of the past seasons over the last decade, with them watching the playoffs from home. The purpose of baseball is to win in October, not April, which the Sox have failed to do a lot recently.
All in all, don’t expect a postseason birth for the South Siders over the next couple of years. From 2019 on it is very possible, but patience is the key in the rebuild, as adding young talent to the core is what matters, nothing else. I guarantee all Sox fans are not going to enjoy this process, however the result may produce excellence. Or at least we hope.