Last off-season, it was pretty obvious what the White Sox needed to do to build a dynasty team for the ages. Sign both Bryce Harper and Manny Machado as two superstars in their prime and build a new core around them. Instead, the White Sox only considered signing one or the other and ended up getting neither of them. This year, they are going to need a different strategy.
It should be noted that the Chicago White Sox need starting pitching more than anything else. The White Sox were worse at hitting than pitching last year, but FanGraphs projects them to be near the bottom of the league in pitcher WAR and around the middle of the pack offensively. Despite this, the White Sox still have a few holes in their lineup and need to improve in both areas in any case. This article will suggest the ways they can best do so.
The White Sox need to aim higher than they did last offseason. If they shoot for the stars they might at least hit the fence, but if they aim for the fence they’ll hit the ground. This time around, the White Sox should aim for the stars.
While they can’t simply just sign two young superstars, the talent is available for the White Sox to build a super-team. They really have to go all-in this time. Here’s a look at how their team might look if they shoot for the stars:
- Mookie Betts RF – Would the White Sox really trade for a guy with only one year of control? In the case of Betts, it would be worth it. They should obviously try to sign him after this year otherwise it might not be worth it, but it would be worth it to get him as soon as they can. The White Sox have tried to trade for Betts before as they did in 2016, though they had Chris Sale to work with back then. Simply put, Betts is one of the best players in the game and the opportunity to acquire him can’t be passed up.
- Yoan Moncada 2B – While he was better defensively at third base than second, the truth is he wasn’t exactly fantastic at either position. He is probably an above-average third baseman and a slightly below-average second baseman.
- Anthony Rendon/Kris Bryant 3B – The White Sox should try to use the Machado money to get Rendon. Yes, 250 million/8 years couldn’t get Machado, but it might get you, Rendon. If that isn’t enough, the White Sox should try trading starting pitching to the Chicago Cubs for Kris Bryant. They can’t get both of these players but they should make a sincere effort for at least one of them.
- Jose Abreu 1B/DH
- Eloy Jimenez LF
- Nicholas Castellanos DH/OF/1B – Castellanos has been an above-average hitter for the last four years as he knocked in 58 doubles last year. He is the best right fielder on the market but if the White Sox trade for Betts then he should DH, given that Castellanos is a poor fielder. Whether it’s for the right field slot or designated hitter, the Sox should get him.
- Tim Anderson SS – See? All the batting seventh that Rick Renteria had him doing was just preparation for THIS season. In all seriousness, Tim should bat first or second if they don’t get Betts.
- Luis Robert CF – Luis should make the opening day roster, however, he’ll start out near the bottom of the order.
- Yasmani Grandal C – provides the team with a left-handed bat and gives them three catchers, which will probably be a good thing to have on a 26-man roster.
Next, the rotation. The White Sox have said they want to get two starters, well why not get the best two starters? Also, they should add Rich Hill on a one year deal, as he provides good insurance.
A rotation like this would make the White Sox instant contenders and allow them to trade pitching prospects/surplus to acquire the superstars who are coming to their lineup. Carlos Rodon could be used in a trade for Bryant if the Cubs were interested. The problem with this team is that they would have a payroll near 200 million dollars or more, which isn’t likely to happen. On the other hand, they would easily blow passed 100 wins and set a team record while becoming instant championship contenders. White Sox fans have been waiting forever to win, so why not right now?
Of course, it shouldn’t be expected that the White Sox will get all eight guys listed in this article (Hill, Strasburg, Cole, Rendon, Castellanos, Bryant, Betts, Grandal), but they should aim to get as many of those eight guys as they possibly can. Getting a chunk of them would likely provide the boost they need to finally get back into the playoffs.