The Chicago White Sox could find themselves playing in a new division in 2020 and that would be very bad for the organization’s hopes of making the playoffs.
The Chicago White Sox might not call the AL Central their home for the 2020 season and there would be major ramifications for them if that happened.
As reported by Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the league could be divided by spring training sites, meaning the Cactus League and Grapefruit League would essentially move into the regular season.
However, the leagues would turn into six total divisions, ones in which the National League and American League would not exist for the 2020 season.
The current scenario under discussion would see the Chicago White Sox in the West with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds, and Los Angeles Angels.
That division would be an absolute nightmare for the South Side.
All four of the teams they would be dealing with are expected to be teams capable of earning a playoff spot this season, with the Los Angeles Dodgers almost certain to win the division after going 106-56 in 2019 while also adding Mookie Betts this past offseason.
That would leave the Chicago White Sox fighting for a Wild Card spot and that fight doesn’t appear much easier either.
The Los Angeles Angels (72-90 in 2019) and Cincinnati Reds (75-87) are expected to be much-improved teams after having strong offseasons, just like the White Sox.
Anthony Rendon joined the Halos while the Reds added Mike Moustakas and Nicholas Castellanos, the latter of which I thought would have made a major difference for the Chicago White Sox.
Cleveland has taken a step back, but still went 93-69 last season, so there’s no reason that the White Sox should sleep on them.
There’s a very real chance that, even after a phenomenal offseason for the White Sox, that they could find themselves finishing in last place this season if this scenario comes to fruition.
Not being able to beat up on the Detroit Tigers (47-114) and Kansas City Royals (59-103) will also be an absolute killer for the both the White Sox and Indians. However, the White Sox only went 21-16 against those two teams in 2019.
Nonetheless, if the Chicago White Sox were going to compete this season, the expectation would have been that they would have taken advantage of those weak opponents and hoped that the Indians would fall farther backward.
In this scenario, though, there are no easy teams to beat up on. Every one of them legitimately could make the postseason in 2020.
The Cactus League will also see competitive teams like the crosstown rival Chicago Cubs, Arizona Diamondbacks, Oakland Athletics, Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres, and Texas Rangers in the mix.
Sure, this scenario sees the Minnesota Twins, Houston Astros, New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays, and Boston Red Sox leave their world for this season, but this situation is still quite problematic.
Going into this season, the hope was that the White Sox could leapfrog the Indians and challenge the Twins for the AL Central division crown.
They won’t even sniff the division lead with the Dodgers’ presence, though.
That will leave them, from day one, looking to simply get a Wild Card spot which, as previously said, will be a tough maneuver in itself for them.
Everyone wants to see baseball come back as soon as possible, but the Chicago White Sox should hope this idea is not how they choose to go about making that happen.