Despite a current 43-29 record, the Chicago White Sox still aren’t where they need to be right now. They’ve proven that they can demolish pretty much all the bad teams in the AL but they have struggled against good teams, posting a losing record against teams over .500. This will matter if and when they get to the playoffs.
The main cause of these problems is the team’s truckload of injuries to key position players. Adam Engel can hold down the center field position until Luis Robert is ready to come back but the White Sox still have question marks at left field, right field, second base, and designated hitter.
The combination of injuries and a refusal by ownership to sign a power-hitting outfielder in the offseason has left the Sox empty-handed when facing dominant offensive teams like the Houston Astros.
They have fallen to sixth in the league in runs scored, only have a 2.5 game lead over the Cleveland Indians, and currently don’t have a good enough team to get past the ALCS. Simply put, the White Sox need to make upgrades and get better because they currently aren’t good enough to meet their goals.
One solution could be to call up infield prospect Jake Burger, who has a .874 OPS in AAA. He could help with the team’s problems at second base and DH, while also giving Yoan Moncada an occasional day off at third base. With all of the injuries and everything he’s gone through, Burger deserves a chance. However, calling up Burger or another prospect is not going to cut it. The White Sox should strongly consider trading for an outfielder and infielder (and possibly adding another reliever as well).
For second base, Danny Mendick is good enough to be a backup but he doesn’t provide enough offense to replace Nick Madrigal, who’s lost for the season. Trade options could be Adam Frazier, Ketel Marte, Eduardo Escobar, or Marcus Semien. Escobar and Semien were with the White Sox before they traded them away in awful deals during the 2010s.
Hopefully, if they trade back for them, they won’t make the mistake of giving up an important piece for the future. It would also be great to trade for the Colorado Rockies shortstop, Trevor Story, and play him at second base. That doesn’t seem realistic right now but after seeing the Rockies trade Nolan Arenado for nothing, maybe it’s a possibility?
As for the outfield, Kyle Schwarber of the Washington Nationals would be a good fit. The White Sox should have signed him in the offseason but they cheaply decided they didn’t need him, re-signing Adam Eaton and calling it a day as far as the outfield was concerned. If the Sox finally get Schwarber, they can use him in a platoon with Andrew Vaughn in left field and use Eloy Jimenez as the team’s primary DH when he comes back.
The Nationals might not consider themselves sellers yet but they could really use Schwarber’s power. Ketel Marte could also be used in the outfield if the White Sox trade for him. The Diamondbacks are going nowhere and the Sox are trying to go somewhere so they could be great trade partners. The Marlins’ Starling Marte would also be a good addition to the Sox outfield, assuming the White Sox don’t give up too much for a guy with only one year left on his contract.
With this being the best White Sox team since at least 2006, they can’t afford to stand pat with the guys they have now. They must take advantage of this opportunity and make moves to get better.