The Chicago White Sox have made the decision to rebuild their roster this offseason, after several years of waffling back and forth. Ace Chris Sale and outfielder Adam Eaton were dealt to other teams, in favor of seven prospects, tasked with bolstering the farm system from the MLB basement up to the penthouse. Fans and Chicago White Sox ticket holders may not see the massive changes take effect until 2019, but this squad is certainly headed in the right direction.
Rick Renteria, Chicago’s manager, is faced with replacing Sale, after sending him to Boston in exchange for four prospects. The White Sox pitching rotation is set to start with the solid arm of Jose Quintana, followed by Carlos Rodon, a guy with tremendous potential if he can keep hitters in the park. Perhaps their best free agent get this offseason was pitcher Derek Holland, who sat out most of 2014 and 2015 with knee and shoulder injuries, but won seven games last season upon his return to the mound. It appears that James Shield, along with Miguel Gonzalez will fill out the rotation at the start of the season, however, could lose out to young prospects Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Carson Fulmer or Spencer Adams by as early as midseason of 2017. Shortstop Tim Anderson’s early arrival in 2016 was an incredible surprise for Chicago’s infield, as the pure talent stole 10 bases, racked up 57 runs, and was solid defensively. At second this season, the White Sox are looking at a battle between powerful Brett Lawrie, Tyler Saladino, who’s speedy with a good glove, and Yoan Moncada, a new member of the roster who came over in the Sale trade and has real potential as a starter at some point in 2017.
As part of the rebuild, the corners could see more changes as well, but for now Jose Abreu has the first base job with Todd Frazier at third. In the outfield for Chicago, Melky Cabrera can still swing a powerful bat, but struggles in right field, while Charlie Tilson seems to have the job at center, for now. The White Sox also have Avisail Garcia, who is still developing, Rymer Liriano- a former Padres prospect who was hit in the face by a pitch before the 2016 regular season and never made it back to the outfield, and Peter Bourjos and Cody Asche, two veterans who could potentially be called up at some point this season.
The rebuild of the roster and culture in Chicago for the White Sox is going to require patience, but could pay off big time in the next few years. While they may not contend in 2017, it will still be an exciting year to watch this team develop and gel into stars. This summer will be a fun one, so be sure to purchase all your Chicago White Sox tickets in advance and head out to support these guys in 2017.
The Chicago White Sox are actually one of the oldest baseball teams in the MLB. They began playing in 1894, though they had their first professional season in 1901. Those first few teams were some of the best in the young American League. The White Sox only had two losing seasons in the first two decades of the 20th century and won two of three World Series. That one loss would proof to be a huge black mark on the franchise. Chicago’s top players threw the World Series, resulting in the suspension of the “Black Sox” and beginning a championship drought that lasted until the 21st century.
In between the 1917 and the 2005 World Series wins there were plenty of clubs that were contenders. The White Sox of the late 1950s and the 1960s featured Luis Aparicio and Nellie Fox. These two future Hall of Fame players took the club back to the World Series in 1959 and finished the season in second place with shocking consistency.
The Chicago White Sox of the 1990s should have had at least one World Series appearance. They had one of the best hitting first baseman of all time in Frank Thomas and a solid complement of hitters that included Robin Ventura and George Bell. They also had pitchers in their prime in Jack McDowell, Wilson Alvarez, and Alex Fernandez. However, the team came close in 1993 and perhaps would have in 1994, but a strike ended the season.
Chicago would have to wait for the year 2005 until the White Sox not only returned to the Fall Classic, but also finally won it again. The team was an underdog from Game 1 of the regular season. Yet, Jermaine Dye and Scott Podsednik led a no-name offense and Mark Buerhle and Jon Garland led an underrated pitching staff. The Sox easily took out the Red Sox, the Angels, and the Astros in the postseason. The club has yet to find its way back, but soon the baseball team is sure to get back in the playoffs.