The Chicago White Sox need to be aiming higher than Zack Wheeler
Recently the White Sox missed out on free agents Zack Wheeler and Stephen Strasburg. The front office needs to prove that they actually care about winning a championship and make a run at the remaining top players.
The Phillies beat the Chicago White Sox in the quest to sign Zack Wheeler last Wednesday, meaning that the Sox have failed at acquiring their biggest off-season target. The problem with this is that the White Sox really needed to be aiming higher than Wheeler who is probably a #3 starter in a good rotation. You don’t shell out 125 million dollars for a #3 starter as that type of money should go towards the creme of the crop.
Now that they still have lots of money in the bank, the need to be making a run at all the top free agents, especially Anthony Rendon and Gerrit Cole. If the White Sox want to make a run at the playoffs those are the kinds of guys they will need to make a big enough jump where they are a contending team. Otherwise, Rick Hahn should stop talking about winning multiple championships.
When the off-season began, GM Rick Hahn said the team needed a right-fielder, a DH, and two starting pitchers. Now you can never truly predict how the season is going to go, but that seemed about right at the time. Unfortunately, since then the White Sox have managed to yet another catcher and re-sign their star first basemen. Nothing against those solid moves but they don’t really fit into the White Sox areas of need that they claimed they had at the beginning of the off-season.
A fascinating article from FiveThirtyEight showed that while the White Sox are projected only to win 72.3 games next year, they would add 6.9 wins by getting Gerrit Cole and another 6.6 wins by getting Anthony Rendon. If they just signed Rendon, their odds of making the playoffs would improve from 0 to 8%. These are the type of players the White Sox need to be throwing lots of money at if they want to actually compete next year. The White Sox can’t just think that spending medium money on medium players is going to put them in the playoffs.
It’s true that signing Rendon would cause the White Sox to move Yoan Moncada to either second base or the outfield which is something he’s said he is willing to do. While that may be awkward, Rendon is the type of player the White Sox are going to need if they want to jump from 72 wins to the playoffs. Really, what they need is to land one of the big fish and surround them with other talented veterans. For Rick Hahn and Jerry Reinsdorf, it is time.