My Chicago White Sox, after having another miserable 78-84 season, finally decided the take the rebuild route this offseason, and the results have already been exciting. Below, I’ll break down each of General Manager Rick Hahn’s key moves that were made since the season ended in late October, and my take on them in italics.
(Note: The following transactions were found using ESPN.com, and can be found here)
November 3rd – Declined 2017 contract option on RHP Matt Albers. Good, he had to go. Even after a decent season that included a game-winning run scored by him, he couldn’t get anybody out when it mattered most.
December 2nd – Agreed to terms with 2B Brett Lawrie and OF Avisail Garcia on one-year contracts. I like the Lawrie move because he brings fire to the locker room, despite being streaky with his bat. The Garcia decision seems to just be because it’s cheap. He has certainly overstayed his welcome in Chicago after being looked at as a potential five-tool player when acquired from Detroit in 2013.
December 6 – LHP Chris Sale was shipped up to Boston in exchange for 2B Yoan Moncada, RHP Michael Kopech, OF Luis Alexander Basabe, and RHP Victor Diaz. Regarded as one of baseball’s best pitchers in either league, Sale hauled the White Sox prospects that rank as the #1, #5, #8, and #28 best players in Boston’s farm system respectively. In a clear rebuilding move, Rick Hahn was able to get the most out of giving up his best player in Sale. Yoan Moncada is expected the become the franchise’s cornerstone for years to come.
December 7 – OF Adam Eaton was the next fan favorite to pack up and leave Chicago, but this time to Washington. Hahn moved Eaton, who is our best outfielder, for RHPs Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Dane Dunning. Another fantastic, yet necessary move made by the team, and they certainly brought back a major haul again. According to MLB.com, Giolito ranks as the league’s 3rd best prospect, Lopez ranks 38th, and Dunning, while lesser known, still ranks as the 6th best prospect in the Nationals’ system. Group together Moncada, Kopech, Giolito, Lopez, and not to mention the others, it’s clear that this team is headed in a very strong direction.
December 14 – Signed LHP Derek Holland to a one-year contract worth $6 million. A cheap, serviceable pitcher who can eat up plenty of innings; this was a zero risk, smart pick-up by Rick Hahn.
Additions – 2B Yoan Moncada, RHP Lucas Giolito, RHP Michael Kopech, OF Luis Alexander Basabe, RHP Reynaldo Lopez, RHP Victor Diaz, RHP Dane Dunning, and LHP Derek Holland.
Subtractions – LHP Chris Sale, OF Adam Eaton, RHP Matt Albers, RHP Daniel Webb, RHP Blake Smith, and of course, Manager Robin Ventura.
An exciting offseason thus far for White Sox fans, and it very well may not be over yet. Expect another move or two to be made by Rick Hahn before the season begins, from potential players such as LHP Jose Quintana, RHP David Robertson, 3B Todd Frazier, and maybe 1B Jose Abreu. Things are changing on the South Side, and it’s certainly a good time to continue to follow the team as it adjusts to its new plan. In 2-4 years, this team should undoubtedly be ready to compete for a long-term playoff run.
Patience, people, patience.