American League Central Preview: Can Anyone Stop the Tribe?
#4 Chicago White Sox
Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn made the decision to take the White Sox in a different direction this past offseason. After trading ace Chris Sale and outfielder Adam Eaton, it became clear the Sox are committing to rebuilding in 2017. Hahn made many trades and free agent signings in 2015 & 2016 to try and get the White Sox back into the postseason for the first time since 2008. Just about every possible thing that could go wrong did, and now Sox fans are going to have to wait a little longer for a playoff team.
The Sox still have solid pieces going into 2017. Pitcher Jose Quintana, and power hitting infielders Jose Abreu and Todd Frazier. Having these three players are the reason why the Sox are not going to be as bad as the general public perceive them to be. That can all change as they could get traded and the Sox receive an incredible amount of young talent in return. The Sox lineup will be an eye sore. Melky Cabrera, Tim Anderson, Abreu and Frazier are at the heart of the Sox order that will have a hard time scoring runs.
The departure of Sale turns the staff over to Quintana. Him, along with young lefty Carlos Rodon could possibly head this rotation through this rebuild. An interesting core of starting pitchers in James Shields, Miguel Gonzalez, and Derek Holland fill out the rest of the rotation. Closer David Robertson and elite set-up man Nate Jones create a solid bullpen for the Sox this season. Two more trade pieces that Hahn can dangle with. Just like the Twins, losing seems to be in the cards for the White Sox in 2017.
Expect younger players and top prospects for the Sox to appear and contribute at some point during the season.Many veteran players will be leaving Chicago as a new era of White Sox baseball will begin in 2017.