It is safe to say that the Chicago White Sox need to make some changes this offseason. Chris Getz has stated publicly that he does not like the design of the current White Sox roster, and with the additions of Nicky Lopez and Paul DeJong, he has shown that he is willing to back up his words about improving the defense. However, with the team's desire to trim payroll and the fact that the team has already made most of the roster available in trades, it is fair to assume that they won't be in play for big name free agents this offseason.
However, that does not mean that the White Sox don't need to make some additions this offseason. They just may need to be...a bit more creative in who they target in free agency. There is still a lot of work for Getz to do this upcoming offseason, but these three free agents should be on his Christmas list to improve the squad in 2024.
The native of Camaguey Cuba, Yariel Rodriguez played in Cuba from 2015-2020, and then in Japan from 2020-2022. He was originally a starter but has recently been converted into a reliever where he has been dominant. With Chunichi from the Japanese Central League, Rodriguez posted a 1.15 ERA, 9.9 SO/9, and a sub 1.0 WHIP.
Another free agent from Cuba, Soler has been one of the premiere power hitters in the MLB. He won the World Series MVP in 2021 with the Atlanta Braves and is coming off this past season with 36 home runs. Once he declined his option with the Marlins and hit free agency, he instantly became one of the more intriguing power bats on the market. The White Sox need an outfielder and with Eloy Jimenez in constant trade rumors, Soler would be a great addition to the team.
The Japanese talent pipeline has been tremendous the last few years. Promising players such as Shohei Ohtani, Kodai Senga, and Masataka Yoshida have shown they can contribute right away for MLB teams. Imanaga might not have the name recognition of Ohtani, Senga, and Yamamoto, but he has been very solid for the Yokohoma Bay Stars of the NPB.
This past season he posted a 2.80 ERA and a 10.6 SO/9, in addition to a 7.25 SO/BB ratio, which is something White Sox starters struggled immensely with in 2023. The Sox have not had a prominent lefty starter in their rotation since Carlos Rodon in 2021, so there is no better time than now to dip their hand in the ascending Japanese talent pool.