White Sox could open their contention window early in 2019 with some good acquisitions this offseason. The team has already added a new closer.
The White Sox ended the 2018 season with 100 losses. This was the first time the franchise had lost 100 games in a single season since 1970. The Sox haven’t made the postseason since 2008 and some fans have started to doubt whether the team’s current rebuild will be successful.
With a lot of payroll flexibility this offseason and a division rival that could be trading away some of its best players, the Sox have a golden opportunity to begin contending earlier than expected. The Cleveland Indians have already traded catcher Yan Gomes and they lost Josh Donaldson to free agency and will likely see Michael Brantley sign with another team.
In 2019, the Indians could look like a completely different team. They will still have Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez, but they could be missing top-notch pitchers such as Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer. This could be the opening the Sox need to begin contending. However, the Sox still need to add quality talent to support their young roster.
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According to Tim Brown and Jeff Pasan of Yahoo Sports, the Sox are one of a dozen teams that have traveled or will travel to Las Vegas to meet with free agent Bryce Harper before the upcoming Winter Meetings. The Sox reportedly sent Jim Thome, who was inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame this past summer, to meet with Harper.
This should be good news for Sox fans as the team continues to show they’re serious about fielding a competitive team for 2019 and beyond. The Sox already made a trade for a high-leverage relief pitcher late last week when they traded Omar Narvaez to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for Alex Colome.
The Sox should figure to make some more moves to bolster their starting rotation which needs a veteran starter or two, the bullpen and to fill holes at third base and in the outfield. With a bevy of free agents available, the Sox have many options to help fill voids going into next season. If the Indians continue trading their best players and other teams in the American League Central division don’t make any significant improvements, the path to contention in 2019 could become easier for the Sox.
That is if they don’t stand pat this offseason. It doesn’t appear the Sox will be complacent in adding more talent to the team. Many Sox fans want to see the franchise add top free agents. It will be up to the front office to entice players to sign with a team that could be contending sooner rather than later.