Chicago White Sox: 2020 doesn’t have to be the year

(Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images) /

The 2020 season could be a very difficult one to navigate for the Chicago White Sox, but the good news is that this doesn’t have to be the year they break out.

It’s been 12 years since the Chicago White Sox have made the playoffs.

Obviously, that is a lot longer than anyone was hoping to see this team have to wait for a playoff spot and that’s assuming they make this year, whenever this season starts.

While we’d all love the wait to end as soon as possible, the Chicago White Sox are in a rare case where they can honestly argue that this upcoming season isn’t make-or-break for them, despite trying to compete.

Most teams enter a “window” of opportunity when they make a competitive team, limited to around five years in many cases as evidenced by the Chicago Cubs who got back on the winning side of things in 2015, won a World Series in 2016, and now appear headed back into a rebuild.

However, the White Sox are just beginning their window of opportunity and there’s a good chance it might last longer than the average one.

The Chicago Cubs window has come to a close partially because their younger players such as Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, and Anthony Rizzo have become expensive pieces while they’ve added players on large contracts such as Jason Heyward and Jon Lester.

While winning a championship justified both of those signings, the Cubs’ large contracts in addition to their younger players getting expensive has put them in a rough position, one the White Sox are unlikely to find themselves trapped in.

Just this offseason, the White Sox have extended Luis Robert, Yoan Moncada, and Aaron Bummer, all of which could save the team massive amounts of money in the future.

That isn’t even counting the extension handed out to Jose Abreu shortly after he re-signed with the team.

Add in the extensions given to Eloy Jimenez and Tim Anderson and the team’s core is pretty much locked up long-term (Spotrac).

Sure, the team will still have to lock up Lucas Giolito at some point as well as possibly Nick Madrigal, Michael Kopech, and Dylan Cease.

But, the White Sox should have plenty of flexibility going forward with their payroll because of the cost-efficient moves they’ve made with many of their players.

The 2020 season, because of this, really isn’t a make-or-break season for the Chicago White Sox.

In fact, this upcoming season could very well really be more of an experimentation season for the team, with the future of Rick Renteria as manager of the team possibly in question long-term as well as the potential need to add more significant pieces to the mix to really make a playoff run.

Now, obviously, finishing 10-15 games under .500 this season would be detrimental as it would make everyone wonder if the organization really has progressed to where they need to be.

On top of it, that would mean the White Sox either had a very injury-riddled season or multiple players regressed, putting the future of the team in doubt.

Nonetheless, this season doesn’t have to be “the year” they eclipse the Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians in the standings, especially with the circumstances that will surround this season.

If the Chicago White Sox even finish above .500 in 2020, this season could be deemed a success that could be the start of something special.

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While it would be nice for the Chicago White Sox to make the playoffs in 2020, this season is only the start of something special in the South Side.