White Sox: Will 2019 Be The Year This Team Becomes Contenders?
White Sox hardest year of their current rebuild could be followed by a year in which they move closer to becoming contenders.
White Sox fans have suffered for 10 long years of not seeing their favorite team in the postseason. After another 90-plus loss season, the team could be closer to playing better baseball in the 2019 season.
This upcoming offseason, the Sox will have the chance to add key veterans to a young team for 2019 and beyond. The Sox have a lot of payroll flexibility and could very well add players through free agency that will complement their young players. There will be some impressive free agents this offseason, but the Sox will be looking to add long-term solutions according to Scott Merkin of whitesox.com.
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According to Merkin, Sox general manager Rick Hahn would like to add long-term solutions that would make sense for next season and beyond. Hahn mentioned the Sox ability to fill certain needs and that the team put themselves in a perfect position to have economic flexibility going forward.
"“If we see long-term pieces that make sense, in addition to augmenting the pitching or filling certain needs for 2019, we have the flexibility to pursue them and we are going to be opportunistic and respond to the market accordingly. We have, as part of this process, purposely put ourselves in a position where we have a great deal of economic flexibility moving forward.” Rick Hahn"
The Sox will need to make additions to their starting rotation, bullpen, outfield and at third base. They can complete this over the upcoming offseason, but many Sox fans might want the team to make a big signing with Bryce Harper and Manny Machado being on the market as free agents at the end of the season.
With other free agent options such as Patrick Corbin, Craig Kimbel, and even Josh Donaldson, the Sox don’t have to break open the bank to add veterans this offseason. While some fans want to see the Sox sign marquee free agents, those players might not make sense for the long-term success of this team.
While adding free agents this offseason will be important for the Sox, the continued development of their young players will be of equal importance going into 2019. Yoan Moncada and Tim Anderson both showed signs of improvement this season but they also struggled at times offensively. Their development next season will be vital for the Sox.
Carlos Rodon, Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez each showed they’re capable of providing the Sox with quality outings. Lopez has had a solid final month of the 2018 season and had his best starts against playoff teams down the stretch. Rodon was doing well up until September and Giolito had six consecutive quality starts on the road this summer.
The Sox will need each of the aforementioned starting pitchers to maintain consistency in order for the team to have success next season. If the Sox are going to be competitive in 2019, they will need to add veterans that will fit into their long-term plans along with getting solid contributions from their younger players. Expectations for 2019 shouldn’t be high, but the worst is behind us Sox fans.