White Sox: Which Free Agent Starting Pitchers Are Good Fits?

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 25: Starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez
CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 25: Starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez /

White Sox still need to add some starting pitchers to its rotation for next season. Which current free agents would be good fits for 2018?

The Chicago White Sox haven’t addressed their lack of starting pitching for next season thus far this offseason. Although the Sox have been relatively quiet this offseason, there’s still time for the team to make some additions to its starting rotation for 2018.

Currently, the Sox starting rotation consists of James Shields, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Carlos Rodon. Rodon could miss the start of next season due to injury, and Carson Fulmer who performed well to end 2017, will likely have to earn a rotation spot during Spring Training. With a spot in the rotation possibly up for grabs, which current free agents would be good fits to start for the Sox in 2018?

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According to James Fegan of The Athletic, there are few free agent starting pitchers that could make sense for the Sox entering 2018. Fegan lists starting pitchers Brett Anderson, Miguel Gonzalez, Trevor Cahill, Hector Santiago, Jake Peavy and even Lance Lynn as potential fits for the Sox next season. Gonzalez, Peavy, and Santiago all have experience as starting pitchers for the Sox.

Gonzalez pitched 2016 and part of the 2017 season with the Sox. After going 7-10 with a 4.31 ERA for the Sox this past season, Gonzalez was traded to the Texas Rangers in late August. He didn’t fare too well with Texas as he went 1-3 with a 6.45 ERA in five starts. However, he’s familiar with the Sox and could be a solid fourth or fifth starter for them in 2018.

Peavy, 35, hasn’t pitched in the major leagues since 2016 with the San Francisco Giants. That season, Peavy went 5-9 with a 5.54 ERA through 21 starts. Peavy was an All-Star with the Sox in 2012 and compiled a 36-29 record with a 4.00 ERA through 83 starts. The Sox should most likely look elsewhere if they want a pitcher that can start consistently, however.

In 2017, Santiago went 4-8 with the Minnesota Twins to go with a 5.63 ERA In 14 starts. Santiago could be a nice option on a one-year contract as he would provide the Sox with another left-handed starter in its rotation. A reunion with Santiago wouldn’t be a bad idea and he could be flipped at the trading deadline to a contender.

The Sox probably won’t target signing Lynn as he could command a multi-year contract. Lynn, 30, went 11-8 with a 3.43 ERA for the St. Louis Cardinals this past season. He will most likely command more than a one-year deal, but as Fegan pointed out, the Sox have a low payroll and could afford to sign Lynn. Don’t expect the Sox to do so, however, as they’re still a year or two away from contending.

Next: White Sox Still Need to Address Lack of Bullpen Depth

This offseason, the Sox have the chance to add temporary depth to their starting rotation. Hopefully, they do a better job at signing a free agent starting pitcher than they did last year when they signed Derek Holland. Rick Hahn will address the Sox need of a starting pitcher eventually, we just have to be patient as fans.