The Chicago White Sox, who can contend for a World Series, should try doing so with their current roster.
The 2020 Chicago White Sox is not a perfect team, but despite their flaws, they are a pretty good one. So far, they have been better than any team in the AL besides the Cleveland Indians but the White Sox have the second-best winning percentage and best run differential in their league. This is important as the World Series is usually between the 2 teams that are ranked either first or second in run differential in their league.
This White Sox team can definitely make it to the World Series, and if they can make it, there’s at least some chance they can win it (though it would certainly be hard to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers). Given that the White Sox could win the World Series this year, this means this is the year to go all-in and trade the prospects to win, right?
Not so fast – first of all the championship winner this year will have an unofficial asterisk because of the shortened season and likely no fans in the stands. Which isn’t to say that the White Sox shouldn’t try to win it all this year – they should – but they should try doing it with the roster they have right now.
Yes, between Lucas Giolito, Dallas Keuchel, and Dylan Cease, it would be nice to add two more ace starters so that the rotation is more of a sure thing. That should wait until this offseason when the White Sox should sign Trevor Bauer or bring back Jose Quintana. For now, they should try to work with the young guys they have right now and transform them into capable and dependable starters.
For the playoffs, you don’t need five starters. You can get by with four or sometimes three starters. I don’t know who starter #4 is going to be for the playoffs, but I would prefer them not to trade any position player prospects to get that guy which is something that has been a mistake in the Rick Hahn era.
Both the trades for James Shields and Jeff Samardzija continue to haunt the White Sox. The players the White Sox traded to Oakland have put up a combined 27.2 Baseball-Reference War since 2015 and two of them are still active on the Athletics and adding to that total. The James Shields trade with the Padres cost the White Sox a perennial MVP candidate.
As a general rule, don’t make trades with Billy Beane, but more importantly, don’t trade your prospects for veteran starting pitchers. The White Sox need to keep building for the future and they will need both their hitting and pitching prospects to become the perennial 100 win team they are aiming to be.
The Angel’s Dylan Bundy is a good pitcher but it’s unlikely he’d be worth the value of the prospects the White Sox would have to give up for him. I feel even less confidant saying that about Lance Lynn who is already 33 years old. However, if the Angels don’t mind trading Mike Trout to the White Sox to play right field, then there’s one guy I wouldn’t mind giving up a lot of prospects for.