6 budget free agents the White Sox should target this offseason

While the White Sox aren't going to be players for the big names, they could still make some interesting moves this offseason.

Sep 24, 2023; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Whit Merrifield (15)
Sep 24, 2023; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Whit Merrifield (15) / Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports
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Kenta Maeda

With Dylan Cease likely getting traded away in the not distant future, the White Sox are going to need guys to fill out their rotation. They do have a couple interesting names down in the minor leagues like Nick Nastini that could help in 2024, but one name on the free agent market that should be on the White Sox's radar is Kenta Maeda.

Maeda has had an up and down major league career so far with his 2020 season where he finished second in the Cy Young and posted a 2.70 ERA being the highlight thus far. Unfortunately, Maeda did have to have Tommy John surgery which cost him the entire 2022 season. However, he did return last season and pitched reasonably well. Assuming that he is willing to accept a short-term "prove it" deal, Maeda's splitter has a ton of upside and he could prove to be a bargain.

James Paxton

James Paxton is just one of those guys that always seems to produce when he is on the field, but isn't healthy enough to really capitalize on his success. Case in point: in 19 starts with the Red Sox this season, he posted a 4.50 ERA, although he was absolutely dominant in the first half of the season. However, he also had issues with his knee that cut his season short.

Chicago should absolutely not give Paxton a long-term deal as nothing in his history suggests he could hold up for that long physically. However, on a one or two year deal, Paxton has the ability to bridge the gap in the rotation to the future while also being more than just a placeholder. Moreover, if he can somehow stay healthy and return to being the guy he was in Seattle, Paxton could help Chicago get back to being competitive pretty quickly.