The long nightmare that is the 2022 Chicago White Sox season is thankfully coming to a merciful end.
After getting swept at home by the Cleveland Guardians, the White Sox are all but mathematically eliminated from the playoffs/ We no longer have to worry about this joke of a team giving us false hope.
Where the White Sox go from here on out is anyone’s guess but the front office has dug themselves into a hole that they may or may not be able to get out of.
They can’t just blame the manager because they used two different ones this season and weren’t consistently good under either.
They can’t blame injuries since they’ve only sustained an average amount. And they aren’t a young team anymore, with the average player age over 29 years old.
Originally the plan was likely to make Tony La Russa the fall guy and kick him upstairs to some other role in the organization while saying “we just didn’t have the right manager”. Unfortunately, Tony’s bad health exposed the White Sox, as a mid-tier team.
They couldn’t beat the Cleveland Guardians with Tony La Russa and they couldn’t beat them with Miguel Cairo. Neither manager was good enough to make them a playoff team.
Clearly, the Chicago White Sox’s problems are a lot deeper than just “change the manager”. The team is quite frankly not good. Regardless of what you are told, they are not “loaded with talent” or “stacked”.
With the exception of Dylan Cease every five days, when you watch the Chicago White Sox you don’t see where all these great players are that will help them win the World Series. They’re a mediocre baseball team.
Having a few good pieces here and there does not make you “stacked”. The Chicago White Sox are an overrated and overhyped baseball team. They are above average in some areas and below average in others.
At this point, they should probably give up on the current core and start another rebuild. These guys just aren’t as good as we thought they were going to be. The players are still overvalued enough that you could get some really good 18–22-year-old blue-chip prospects for them.
That version of a White Sox team could be really good in a few years. Additionally, those players might actually try and look like they want to be there which can’t be said about the current team.
The problem with doing a rebuild is it would put this team under the same general manager who screwed up this organization in the first place.
It would also be under the same owner that is allergic to spending on big-money players. Rick Hahn has gotten way too many chances at building a winner and has failed horrifically, despite his big mouth. He shouldn’t get another shot.
It’s obvious that Rick Hahn and team president Kenny Williams should just be fired (as has been the case since 2015) but this is Jerry Reinsdorf we’re talking about. He won’t get rid of either one of them.
The best we could hope for is for the Sox to bring in a new GM and move Hahn to a different position in the organization. They need to have a new GM hire a whole analytics department and use them to call the shots. It’s very unlikely, however, that it will happen.
The free agents who could’ve helped this core have come and gone (Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Kyle Schwarber, and Marcus Semien) and we’re at the point where the upcoming free agents don’t match up with the current squad in terms of the timeline and age.
If you finally make a big splash, you probably won’t be able to re-sign the members of the current core who are actually producing for you right now, unless ownership changes.
That being said, if the White Sox front office actually signs some big-name free agents, it’s probably the one way they could win some respectability with the fans.
There are a few things that the Chicago White Sox could do to change things up.
They could bring back Carlos Rodon on a 100-million-dollar contract and apologize to Carlos and the fans for letting him go last year. If that doesn’t work, try signing Jacob DeGrom on a short but highly expensive contract.
Then give another 9-figure contract to have Trea Turner play second base for you and possibly shortstop if they don’t keep Tim Anderson.
Then, do whatever it takes to acquire Mike Trout or Shohei Ohtani from the Los Angeles Angels to play right field for the Sox. Ohtani is more likely than Trout to be traded. After all of this, get the best manager possible to yell at Yoan Moncada for not keeping his head in the game.
If the White Sox made all of those moves, they might actually be World Series contenders. Not as good as they could have been if they had signed Harper or Machado at the time but it’d be close.
Unfortunately, they likely won’t make most or any of these moves with Reinsdorf likely angrily cutting the payroll after this year’s team failed to bring in that sweet playoff revenue.
What the White Sox will end up doing is probably more of the same. They’ll re-sign Abreu (an OK move) out of loyalty, try to bring in Jose Quintana as the fifth starter, and make Miguel Cairo the full-time manager without much of a job search.
If they’re really dumb, they’ll resign Elvis Andrus to play second base, mistakenly thinking he can replicate his September performance over a full season (he will not). Maybe, just maybe, they’ll release/trade Leury Garcia and/or Adam Engel.
Unfortunately, whatever the White Sox end up doing will be decided by Jerry Reinsdorf, one of the worst owners in professional sports.
He should definitely sell the team. Going into 2023, we’d better not see Yasmani Grandal and his 18 million AV as the highest-paid player on the team or the fanbase will be even angrier than they are now.
What Jerry needs to do is sign some 100 million-dollar contracts, hopefully, win another championship, and then sell the team and ride off into the sunset. That’s the best-case scenario for everyone involved.