New Year’s Wish List for White Sox Fans
As the new year is soon upon us, let’s take a look at some hopes for our White Sox in 2019
Like myself, I’m sure many if not most White Sox fans have been checking Twitter daily, hourly or even minute by minute looking for news of Bryce Harper or Manny Machado signings. Well, as they both seem to be waiting until at least January to make their decision, let’s look at what Sox fans can realistically hope for next season.
Sure, we all hope that the Sox sign both of the big fish. But, that’s just not realistic. I personally still believe that Machado signs with the Sox but if that doesn’t happen, there is still much to look forward to.
Who else still available on the free agent market will the Sox make a late push for?
Adam Ottovino‘s name has been linked to the Sox the last week or so and it does make sense. The bullpen has been decimated by trades the last few years and Ottovino is one of the top names still left. By adding him with Alex Colome, whom the Sox acquired earlier this offseason, the Sox would have a very tough back-end tandem.
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Both players could be part of a surprise contending team or be turned, as Joakim Soria was this past season, at the trade deadline for other teams top prospects. Either way, it works out well for the franchise in 2019.
As of right now, the outfield looks to be a weakness going into the season. Even with Eloy Jimenez coming up in April, there aren’t strong offensive numbers currently on the roster. The Avisail Garcia era seems to have run its course at long last and it’s time for a new era of outfielders. Guys like Luis Robert, Blake Rutherford, Luis Basabe and Luis Gonzalez are all still at least two years away. So, do the Sox just plod along with placeholders on the current roster or dip into the free agent market?
The biggest name still out there, besides Harper obviously, would seem to be A.J. Pollock. When healthy, he’s one of the top center fielders in the game. But that’s the issue. He can’t seem to stay healthy. He’s looking for a long-term contract. The question is, would the Sox be the team to take the chance on his health? Possibly. Or could we go through another season of Adam Engel manning center field with his gold glove caliber glove but below average offense. The Sox may be waiting on the Harper decision before making that call.
Pitching is still a concern. Could Rick Hahn spend money on another starter as well?
Dallas Keuchel would be a great, veteran addition to the young core. Money, as always, could be the issue here though. Keuchel appears to be looking for a five-year deal and at his age, 31, teams aren’t willing to make that commitment. And the Sox, especially, don’t usually give long-term contracts to pitchers in free agency.
Another couple names out there that could add veteran presence and experience at perhaps a cheaper price would be Wade Miley (32) and Clay Buchholz (34). Perhaps a two-year deal for either of them would be perfect to help guys like Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez at the major league level while giving the team solid performances while waiting on youngsters like Dylan Cease, Dane Dunning and Alec Hansen to be ready,
Next June’s draft will also add another top prospect to the future
At this point the Sox are still planning on Zack Collins being their catcher of the future, either full time or as a platoon with Seby Zavala. However, both are still far from finished products. Last years top draft pick Nick Madrigal‘s former teammate at Oregon State University Adley Rutschman would be a perfect addition.
At this point, he’s considered the best catching prospect in college as both a receiver and a hitter. He will not need as much time to “develop” his skills behind the plate as Collins is having to do. If Collins makes it, great, but if he doesn’t (as many scouts predict he won’t), then the Sox could have a guy ready to jump right in.
So, for my wish list at this point, here’s what I’d like to see the Sox add to their current roster:
That gives the Sox a lineup looking something like this:
Jose Abreu 1B
Daniel Palka RF
Yoan Moncada 2B
Tim Anderson SS
And a rotation of:
Back end of the bullpen with:
I believe that’s a roster that could potentially surprise some teams in 2019!!