The White Sox won’t contend in 2018. Will they try to be aggressive during free agency or just stand pat with the roster they have?
The Chicago White Sox enter the offseason with lots of questions surrounding the roster. Who will they trot out to start games and who will be in the bullpen? Those are the main questions that Rick Hahn has to address this offseason. With free agency opening up it begs the question how aggressive will this team be?
Traditionally this organization isn’t very active during free agency. We rarely see them in on the top tier free agents. They have flirted with big names in the past but we’ve yet to see them make a real splash. This offseason doesn’t feel like it will be much different than the past.
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This team does have some needs that they’ll need to address during free agency. But I would expect them to add value guys that they could potentially flip at the trading deadline next year. If they follow this path, it’s possible we could see the entire bullpen traded away again. The fact remains this team isn’t ready to win now, so what’s the sense in spending money.
The window for this organization should really open in 2019. And with the 2018 free agency class looking like it’ll be loaded, I would hold out until then to spend the big money. If that’s something ownership is willing to sign off on. Rick Hahn has done a phenomenal job adding to this club via trades. But big free agent signing could help expedite the rebuild.
Just look at what the Cubs did. Jon Lester, Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist and John Lackey were all free agent acquisitions. All four of those guys contributed to the Cubs’ World Series title in 2016. Sure, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer acquired a ton of talent through trades but they also added key contributors in free agency.
If Hahn and Ken Williams want to contend sooner rather than later, then they’ll need to convince Jerry Reinsdorf to open the checkbook. There’s no doubt they have a ton of talent to be good. But right now they’re all prospects. It’s no guarantee everyone will pan out. A young core of Yoan Moncada, Tim Anderson coupled with Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Michael Kopech should be able to lure top tier free agents. And let’s not forget Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert.
Don’t expect the White Sox to make any splashy free agent signings this year. But next season the gloves should come off and they should be going after the top guys.