Chicago White Sox priority debate: New stadium or winning titles

A title or new stadium for the White Sox?
San Diego Padres v Chicago White Sox
San Diego Padres v Chicago White Sox / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages

There seems to be a great deal of interest surrounding the Chicago White Sox these days.

The problem is, aside from possibly dealing pitcher Dylan Cease, none of it seems to involve the on-field product.

News of the team's interest in purchasing land in the city to build a new stadium created a huge buzz on sports talk radio and other media outlets over the last few weeks. The prospect of this plan coming to fruition even has Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred giddy as he proclaimed it to be a potential "game changer".

Around the same time that story broke, the team named a replacement for departed television play-by-play man Jason Benetti in the form of John Schriffen.

All of this put talk of the team doing little in the way of significantly upgrading the roster on the back burner, at least for a while.

The White Sox moves so far this offseason have not inspired a fan base hoping the team can turn things around from a disastrous 2023 campaign which culminated in a 61-101 record.

A question to pose here, then, is what is the team's priority: winning as soon as possible or getting a new stadium constructed?

Related Midwest, the company vying to be the ones the White Sox work with to construct the new stadium, met with Illinois politicians back in January to discuss options for the land referred to as The 78.

In other words, the wheels are in motion faster on figuring out plans for financing and construction of a new stadium than they are for getting a roster of players together who can win quickly.

Unlike the direction of the team, the direction of the plan for what the White Sox want to do with the land seems to have greater clarity and vision.

General manager Chris Getz has been fiscally prudent in addressing the needs of the ballclub by going after cost-effective players. Pursuing top free agents or making deals to fill holes with established players right now have not materialized as it doesn't seem to be a part of whatever rebuilding plan Getz has.

On a recent episode of "Inside the Clubhouse" on WSCR-the Score, Bruce Levine addressed the idea of moving centerfielder Luis Robert and pitcher Dylan Cease. Levine said moving Cease right now makes sense because of what the Sox could get for him and because the team isn't likely to win anything in the next two years, which is what is left on his current deal.

However, Levine believes the team has a chance to win with Robert before his contract, which has four years remaining on it, is up. Using that premise, the team can build around the all-star who is blossoming into one of the best players in the game and do so before construction on a new facility is complete.

If that is the case, though, one can expect two more years of mediocrity-at-best baseball from the White Sox and hope things get better shortly thereafter when prospects like shortstop Colson Montgomery and pitcher Noah Schultz join Robert.

But that timeline could change depending on what Getz can do in bringing in free agents or making deals that upgrade the roster. To date, the moves he's made have not been inspiring, but this is his first go-around in putting together a roster and opportunities may present themselves that could speed up the process.

Getz has smartly slow-played his hand in dealing Cease and is waiting out the best deal that provides the best return. Top prospects are a main priority from whoever Getz does business with, and that is a key is doing a successful rebuild.

Nonetheless, the main question becomes, what comes first.

A new stadium or a White Sox title?