After struggling for many seasons, the Chicago White Sox have acquired a group of veteran players this off-season in an attempt to finish the rebuild.
How good are this year’s Chicago White Sox going to be? Will the collections of veteran additions and young players take them to the promised land, or will they disappoint like many White Sox teams of the recent past?
I’d wager that the squad 6 of veterans the White Sox acquired this off-season are much better than the quartet of veteran players the White Sox acquired heading into 2015. Of those four, David Robertson managed to be a somewhat average closer, and the rest were busts. In hindsight, Adam LaRoche and Melky Cabrera were only average players for their careers, and you can’t say the same thing about Yasmani Grandal and Edwin Encarnacion, who is in fact very good. So yes the White Sox are doing it better this time than last, which would make sense because Rick Hahn has more experience as a GM now. They’ll improve to have much more than 75 wins.
A good goal for the White Sox this year would be to win 88 games or more because that would at least match the 2010 team which was the best White Sox team of the last decade. 88 wins might be enough to make the playoffs, but given that the Twins and Indians are still competitive at this point it will probably require at least 90 to win the division. That is a total the Sox hasn’t reached since 2006.
Will they be able to reach it? We can’t say for certain until they start playing games. We don’t know how well these players are going to play with each other and baseball is a very hard sport to predict. You can’t measure how good a team is in a year until you start getting actual in-game results, especially considering there are too many players on the team who haven’t played for the White Sox yet. There are some that haven’t even played in the MLB yet.
However, if I were to make a prediction I would expect the White Sox to win about 85-88 games and fall just short of the playoffs. Hopefully, they will be better than that as the franchise desperately needs some more playoff appearances. At the very least I would expect them to be .500 at 81-81. If they seriously can’t even do that this year after all these acquisitions some people should be fired.