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Frank Thomas Jersey White Sox

The Chicago White Sox have had some great players play for them over the years but not many were better than Paul Konerko.
The Chicago White Sox are in the midst of a very exciting offseason. 2020 is going to be a very fun year for them. With that said, a big part of the offseason this year is seeing Paul Konerko on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time. Konerko is one of the biggest fan-favorite players in the history of the franchise. He deserves lots of recognition from not only Chicago fans but baseball fans in general.

White Sox fans got to see first hand how good number 14 actually was but when you look at his numbers you can see it. He also put up these numbers during the steroid era and was never even in the conversation to be one of those users. His numbers might be a little bit short of some of those guys who did use PEDs but he chose to stay clean and got the job done for the White Sox.

He had 439 home runs and had 1412 RBIs on 2340 hits. He is second on the White Sox all-time home run list, only behind Frank Thomas. He won the World Series with the White Sox and was the ALCS MVP during that run. He hit a grand slam during the World Series that year and it is one of the most memorable moments in the history of the franchise. He also was an American League All-Star six times throughout his career.

RELATED STORY: Yasmani Grandal helps the team with walks
Konerko is on a Hall of Fame ballot that has some White Sox flavor on it but out of all of those former Sox players, he deserves it the most. He might not get in on his first ballot but he deserves to be in at some point. His number is retired and he has a statue at Guaranteed Rate Field which shows how important the organization believes he was. Paul Konerko had a great career and it is nice to see him be recognized to some degree by the baseball world.

Blake Rutherford Jersey White Sox

The FanSided Fake Winter Meetings are currently underway. As the Colorado Rockies representative at these simulated meetings, we came to the table ready to shake things up.
It has been well reported that the Colorado Rockies are looking to find some creative ways to enhance their roster without “making some great big splash.” It’s also well known that the Rockies are backed into a financial corner thanks in part to some large, underperforming contracts.

With all of this in mind, we decided to shop around one of those contracts around to start the meeting. And, we were happy to find a trade partner in the Chicago White Sox.

I talked in this article how Daniel Murphy would be a good fit for the White Sox knowing they needed a designated hitter. Lo and behold, our friends at SouthsideShowdown.com thought the same thing.

Knowing that, we traded Murphy to the White Sox (along with his $8 million contract this season and $6 million buyout from a $12 million mutual option for 2021, per Spotrac.com) in exchange for 22-year-old Double-A outfielder (and former first-round pick) Blake Rutherford. He is also ranked as Chicago’s ninth-highest prospect according to MLB.com. Last season, he slashed .265/.319/.365 and earned this line from MLBPipeline.com:

Rutherford still impresses scouts with his smooth left-handed swing, pitch-recognition skills and willingness to use the entire field.

Yes, Rutherford would be part of a future for the Rockies and still has some work to get to the Majors. However, the Murphy trade not only freed up some financial space but also will allow Colorado to move Ryan McMahon to first base and begin the official process of him becoming the team’s first baseman of the future. The second base competition is officially open between Brendan Rodgers (who has said he expects to be back from right shoulder surgery in time for spring training) and Garrett Hampson.

Murphy’s defense was a liability last season and his disappointing season at the plate (yes, thanks in part to a broken finger suffered in the season’s second game) will likely not leave a big hole in the lineup to fill.

All in all, the Rockies save money (which we’re investing into other needed areas, stay tuned for those moves) and acquire a prospect while strengthening the right side of the infield. We’re happy with the move. What about you? We would love to hear your comments below or let us know on Twitter (@RoxPileFS).

NEXT: Who will Colorado protect in the Rule 5 draft?
Again, please remember that this is a simulated move. This has not happened in real life. This trade was made as a part of the FanSided FAKE Winter Meetings (fake is the key word there).

More simulated moves are coming so stay tuned!

Carlos Rodon Jersey White Sox

Yolmer Sanchez’s tenure on the South Side is officially over.

After it was reported last week that the White Sox put the Gold Glove second baseman on outright waivers and that he was slated to become a free agent, the team announced they decided not to tender Sanchez a contract for the 2020 season. They announced the same decision for relievers Ryan Burr and Caleb Frare, while saying they tendered contracts to all other unsigned players, including arbitration-eligible guys Alex Colome, Evan Marshall, Leury Garcia and Carlos Rodon.

Certainly the White Sox moving on from Sanchez wasn’t difficult to foresee. Nick Madrigal, the team’s first-round pick in the 2018 draft, is on the doorstep of the major leagues and is expected to be the starting second baseman on the South Side for the bulk of the 2020 campaign. While Sanchez plays some exceptional defense, he can’t match what Madrigal — a top-40 prospect in baseball who has also been touted as an elite defender — can do with the bat. Sanchez slashed just .252/.318/.321 in 2019, while Madrigal tore up the minors to the tune of .311/.377/.414 and struck out only 16 times in 120 games. In the end, Sanchez would have been an expensive reserve infielder, projected to make $6.2 million in arbitration.

Despite some potential red flags given the first- and second-half splits, the White Sox made the expected decision to stick with Colome in 2020. Though opposing hitters slashed .265/.347/.422 against him after the All-Star break in 2019 — and he’s projected to received $10.3 million through the arbitration process — Colome has been one of the more productive ninth-inning men in baseball in recent seasons, with a 2.78 ERA and 126 saves since the start of the 2016 campaign. His remaining at the back end of the bullpen gives the White Sox stability and prevents another potentially expensive item from being added to Rick Hahn’s offseason to-do list.

Marshall was also a key member of the White Sox late-inning corps in 2019, with a 2.49 ERA in 50.2 relief innings. Hahn is always reminding us about the volatility of relief pitching, so it’s difficult to say we should expect a repeat performance from Marshall. But he’s slated to hold a key bullpen position in 2020, as well.

Garcia is likely destined for the role of utility man on the 2020 roster after playing in 140 games in 2019 and starting in 135 of them. He can play all three outfield positions in addition to three positions on the infield Sanchez can play, providing versatility off the bench — once Madrigal and Luis Robert arrive from the minors — for Renteria and the White Sox.

The White Sox are still hoping that even after a long layoff while recovering from Tommy John surgery that Rodon can become the pitcher they envisioned he’d be when they took him with the No. 3 pick in the 2014 draft. That has been a bit of a challenge for Rodon, who’s shown flashes of strikeout-heavy brilliance, as well as frustrating bouts of ineffectiveness. Prior to having the surgery this year, he had a 5.19 ERA in seven starts. But the White Sox figure to crave all the starting pitching they can muster in 2020. On the hunt for a couple offseason additions, they also have plans to limit Michael Kopech — who’s returning from his own Tommy John surgery — and can’t be 100-percent certain what they’ll get out of still-promising youngsters Dylan Cease and Reynaldo Lopez. The contributions of pitching prospects Dane Dunning and Jimmy Lambert remain mysteries, too, as they return from Tommy John in the middle of the season, making Rodon a valuable piece of depth, if nothing else.

Burr and Frare were, at a time, part of a group of young relief pitchers who might’ve made some impact in the White Sox bullpen. Burr had a 4.58 ERA in 19.2 innings before his 2019 season ended in Tommy John surgery. Frare was knocked around in limited big league action in 2019, tagged for a 10.13 ERA in just 2.2 innings over five different appearances. In 27 appearance at three different minor league levels, he had a 6.35 ERA in 28.1 innings.

The White Sox also announced they released relief pitcher Thyago Vieira in order for him to pursue an opportunity in Japan. Earlier Monday, they announced a one-year, $5.4 million deal for All-Star catcher James McCann.

Got all that?

The White Sox 40-man roster now stands at 36, allowing the White Sox to continue their aggressive pursuits this offseason without further trimming. Two starting pitchers and a right fielder — and possibly a DH and more relief help — remain on Hahn’s to-do list, and he has four open spots to work with a week out from the Winter Meetings.

It’s not outside the realm of possibility that any of the three players non-tendered Monday could return to the White Sox organization in one form or another. But they are free agents now.

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Michael Kopech Jersey White Sox

The Chicago White Sox made a huge trade that sent their organization back by design so they can move forward. This was three years ago today.
The Chicago White Sox will forever see December 6th, 2016 as the day that the rebuild began for the organization. They were a mediocre team for the first half of the decade and they had finally had enough. They started off the 2016 season on a high note but fell way off as the season went on so they decided to make a bunch of changes.

It started by sending their superstar pitcher Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox. December 6th, 2019 is the three year anniversary of this transaction that sent Sale to Boston for Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech. This trade has done wonders for the organization and is a symbol of what they have built and are currently building.

From that moment on they were embracing the idea of trading everyone away and being bad. They were pretty bad over three years but now they are looking up. Yoan Moncada has emerged as not only one of the best players in the organization but one of the best players in the league. He came in third place in the American League batting title race which shows how impactful he can be.

The Red Sox ended up winning the World Series in 2018 with Sale as their ace. He also threw the last strike that earned the victory. You can never say that Boston lost the trade for that face and they have Sale locked up for a long time. He didn’t really have a great year in 2019 while Moncada was tearing it up but that doesn’t mean he can’t bounce back in 2020.

Michael Kopech got his call up at the end of the 2018 season and was really good. He was shut down for the end of that season after a few starts and all of the 2019 season to recover from Tommy John surgery. This was a bit of a setback but there is no doubt that he can go on and be a top of the rotation level pitcher. That would make the White Sox really happy with how this trade worked out. They are already happy with having one of the best third basemen in the league with Moncada but a great starter in Kopech is even sweeter.

The White Sox made this trade and put all of their faith in Rick Hahn to break down the roster to nothing and build it back up. That has now happened as they believe that they are going to be a great team in 2020. It all started three years ago today when they pulled the trigger to send Sale to Boston.

Leury Garcia Jersey White Sox

Yasisdsdsdsel Puig is a powerful hitter in the league but never shines bright amongst his peers. Here’s how Puig can reach his glory with the White Sox.
Yasiel Puig has always been effective at the plate but continues to fly under the radar. This year, the one-time All-Star has elected free agency and the Chicago White Sox could be a destination for him. The Sox could add Puig to add some power to the lineup and give him the chance to become a star.

The Sox have a nice squad of batters but could use a more prominent fielder to create a big three in the outfield. Eloy Jimenez has held his own at the plate and Leury Garcia has done the same. But this past season, the Chicago White Sox fielded by a committee. Jon Jay was by far the most consistent hitter between himself, Ryan Cordell, and Daniel Palka, but with Jay and Cordell gone the Chicago White Sox are more exposed in the outfield.

Cordell’s performance for 2019 was underwhelming with a .645 OPS. Unfortunately, Palka was even more disappointing as he posted a .372 OPS. The addition of Puig could make up for that poor hitting in the lineup by becoming a sure starter in the outfield while providing a much more dangerous threat at the plate, even though Jay was able to get on-base. However, Jay lacked power and did not record any home runs last season. The 2018 Gold Glove finalist totaled only 9 RBIs in 165 at-bats.

It is worth mentioning young power hitter Luis Robert when bringing up the need for improvement in the outfield. Robert has had an outstanding minor league performance with a .328 batting average, a .376 OBP, and a .624 slugging percentage. He has shown in the past two years that he is ready for the main stage but his future is unclear in the 2020 regular season because the spotlight is on free agency. The Chicago White Sox had a chance to call Robert up last season when Jay hit the 60-day injured but he was not promoted.

Puig experienced two trades in one season, but it did not affect his game. His stats for the 2019 season consisted of a .267 batting average, a .327 OBP, and a .458 slugging percentage. With runners in scoring position, he averaged a .847 OPS, which means that Puig can be that clutch hitter the Chicago White Sox need to increase their chances to win close games.

Having hitters that aren’t productive in the lineup hurt the Chicago White Sox in 2019 and breaking that cycle will pave the way to becoming a winning franchise. Puig would be a great addition to the Chicago White Sox. He’s also a much more realistic addition because fielders with Marcell Ozuna‘s has a much higher value on the market.

Besides batting average, Puig and Ozuna’s statistics last season were close even though it’s rarely mentioned. Puig is just as good as Ozuna and he runs cheaper. FanGraphs predicts a three-year $38.3 million offer for him and a four-year $64 million offer for Ozuna. Puig is capable of filling the void as a star center fielder for the Chicago White Sox and a player fans can be excited about if it were to happen.

Luis Alexander Basabe Jersey White Sox

It’s been about two weeks since the White Sox signed Yasmani Grandal to a four year, $73 million deal and Jim wrote about how it was a sense-making overload for a fanbase that’s been deprived of it. Between the Sox beating the market to a premium free agent, recognizing the unique value that said free agent provides to their organization, and showing themselves willing to upgrade over a cheaper, passable-but-flimsy incumbent, it all still feels surreal. The euphoria was dampened a bit by their failure to land Zack Wheeler, but the Grandal success brought back emotions that Sox fans have not felt in awhile.

There’s no question that it’s an excellent move, and inking Grandal should rate as a good idea regardless of how the next four years go. Viewed from that lens, I’ve been wondering where this decision ranks against the best moves the Sox have made this decade. Things like drafting Chris Sale or signing Jose Quintana as a minor league free agent would have a strong case if we’re allowed to use hindsight, but it would have been difficult to forecast the boon either would provide when they entered the organization. Instead, I’m looking at this from the perspective of the quality of the decision at the time it was made. Here are the contenders I can see for this discussion.

Something-for-Nothing Robberies

June 24, 2012: Acquired 3B Kevin Youkilis from the Boston Red Sox for UTIL Brent Lillibridge and SP Zach Stewart

This one seemed too good to be true when the Sox pulled it off. It was obvious that the Sox weren’t getting the star version of Youkilis, but given the state of the third base situation, getting a guy who could sniff league average was a huge upgrade. Brent Morel had turned the position into a sinkhole, and Orlando Hudson was just as bad when Morel succumbed to back injuries. Unfortunately, the 2012 White Sox sputtered late and never reached the promised land. Youkilis breaking down had a fair amount to do with that (.219/.306/.344 in September), but it was still unquestionably a great move to bring him in.

December 9, 2015: Acquired 2B/3B Brett Lawrie from the Oakland Athletics for LHP Zack Erwin and RHP J.B. Wendelken

The Sox had long-standing issues at both second base and third base, and this move seemed like another case of the Sox bringing in an average guy to solve their problems at minimal cost. One key difference from the Youkilis trade was the fact that Lawrie was young and still had some upside. Unfortunately, another key difference is that the low cost was in the form of unproven fringe prospects rather than proven rejects. While Erwin never reached the big leagues, Wendelken has had some success out of the A’s bullpen in the last couple years. Still, there was nothing to dislike about this move when the Sox made it.

Despite both of these trades seeming like victories, neither ultimately had the trajectory-altering scope of bringing in a star like Grandal.

Needle-Moving Trades

December 10, 2013: Acquired OF Adam Eaton from the Arizona Diamondbacks in a three team deal for LHP Hector Santiago

The Sox sold high on Santiago and acquired Adam Eaton, a former B-grade prospect who hit well in a cup of coffee with the 2012 Diamondbacks but sputtered the following season, in part due to injuries. It was a good gamble that paid off handsomely, as Eaton’s three seasons with the White Sox averaged 4.5 fWAR. When the trade was made, there was considerable risk that Eaton’s bat wouldn’t materialize, but Rick Hahn did extremely well to get a player this interesting for an asset as questionable as Santiago.

December 16, 2015: Acquired 3B Todd Frazier from the Cincinnati Reds in a three-team deal for RHP Frankie Montas, 2B Micah Johnson, and OF Trayce Thompson

Frazier was the perfect centerpiece of the 2015-16 offseason that the White Sox never decided to complete. The Toddfather had shown an ability to hit bombs and deliver 4-WAR seasons at a position that the Sox have generally failed to solve in the ten years between Joe Crede and Yoan Moncada. The cost of the deal seemed very manageable, and only now that Montas has shown some juice as a starter (rather than the reliever we all thought he’d be) can one look back on any semblance of regret.

Compared to trading for Eaton, signing Grandal gets you a star who’s already established a high level of play, making him lower-risk. When measured against the Grandal signing, the Frazier trade feels like a lesser move due to the time horizon (two years of Frazier vs. four of Grandal), the prospect cost, and the fact that the Sox stopped augmenting their roster and failed to position themselves to take advantage of his presence.

The Big Sells

December 6, 2016: Acquired 2B Yoan Moncada, RHP Michael Kopech, OF Luis Alexander Basabe, and RHP Victor Diaz from the Boston Red Sox for LHP Chris Sale

December 7, 2016: Acquired RHP Lucas Giolito, RHP Reynaldo Lopez, and RHP Dane Dunning from the Washington Nationals for OF Adam Eaton

July 13, 2017: Acquired OF Eloy Jimenez, RHP Dylan Cease, 1B Matt Rose, and INF Bryant Flete from the Chicago Cubs for LHP Jose Quintana

All three of these moves rated extremely well when they were made. All of them look even better in hindsight due to the development of the players and the fact that Hahn seemed to be able to cash in on his elite assets just before teams became more cautious about paying a high prospect cost for established stars. Hahn did as well as he possibly could with each of these sales, but given how much the Sox gave up in each (along with the associated feelings of resignation), the Grandal signing is arguably a bigger success than any of them.

If you’re like me and still feel like inking Grandal tops all of the above, there’s just one move left to consider:

The Previous Largest Free Agent Contract

October 17, 2013: Signed 1B Jose Abreu for six years, $68 million

After a disastrous 2013 that necessitated a rebuild, the Sox were in a perfect position to take a big gamble on a guy like Abreu and beat the market to a very exciting talent. In the process, they extended their connection with Cuban players to a new era of White Sox teams, which continues to pay dividends to this day. Abreu has certainly exceeded expectations in his time with the White Sox, but unlike breakouts from guys like Jose Quintana or even Adam Eaton, there was a very strong possibility that Abreu would become a stellar run-producing bat from the second the ink dried. This was exactly the move the Sox needed to begin to rebuild their team, and while little has worked out in the last six years, you can’t blame Abreu.

***

There’s still time for the White Sox to add another contender to this list before the calendar flips to 2020, and let’s hope they do. Barring that, for me, the best move the Sox have made in the 2010s is down to signing Grandal and signing Abreu. It’s admittedly hard to discard emotions when comparing the logic underlying a signing that has already worked out very well and one that hasn’t been tested yet, but let’s try. Without considering actual results, what is your pick for the best move of the decade?

Micker Adolfo Jersey White Sox

Come mid-April, an interesting thing will happen in the White Sox organization. The majority of attention will turn from the farm system to the major league team. With Dylan Cease, Michael Kopech, Luis Robert, Nick Madrigal and Eloy Jimenez in the big leagues, the farm system will not be the main attraction of the organization for the first time since the rebuild began.

This does not mean there will be nothing to watch for on the farm. There are still plenty of prospects that will be looking to make their mark on the next contending White Sox team before it’s all said and done. Let’s take a look at some of the names to watch as the White Sox rebuild begins to slowly transition into what the team hopes is its competitive stage.

The biggest name for fans to watch in the system this year will be Andrew Vaughn. The Golden Spikes Award winner and third overall pick figures to fly through the Sox system much like Madrigal did. If Vaughn follows the Madrigal path, he will likely start the season at a low-level affiliate and finish the season in Charlotte.

The White Sox hope Vaughn cements himself as the heir apparent to Jose Abreu at first base and can showcase his plus power and plus hit tool at every level in 2020. If all goes according to plan, Vaughn should be in a position to break camp with the team in 2021 or be called up shortly after the service deadline in April.

Beyond Vaughn, the White Sox system offers plenty of intrigue. Dane Dunning and Jonathan Stiever highlight the next wave of pitching prospects who the Sox hope will be making major league contributions sooner rather than later.

Dunning appeared on the fast track to the bigs in 2018, striking out 100 batters in 86.1 innings across two leagues, but Tommy John surgery sidelined the promising pitcher in 2019. He posted his first bullpen video since the surgery on Monday, and a return to the mound in 2020 seems on track. The White Sox hope Dunning returns to his pre-injury form quickly and reestablishes himself as the next talented starter to join the big-league rotation.

Stiever presents another potential middle-of-the-rotation starter for the Sox and their fans to monitor in 2020. While Stiever has only pitched in high-A for the White Sox, his promising numbers across 12 starts are worth monitoring, and he could potentially position himself as the top pitching prospect in the entire system by season’s end. Stiever is likely at least a year away from reaching the majors, but he is a name to watch in 2020 as fans look for the next wave of premier Sox pitching prospects.

In the field, the Sox farm system offers a crowded outfield picture that should begin to clear up in 2020. Steele Walker, the team’s second round pick in 2018, had an impressive campaign in 2019 and established himself as possibly the premier outfielder not from Cuba in the Sox system.

Walker may open the season in Birmingham and potentially knock on the door of the major league team towards the end of the year. He has a plus hit tool and strong intangibles which make him an intriguing prospect to watch closely in 2020. Walker has experience primarily in center, but has shown the versatility and instincts to play right field and his flexibility is something the team will consider when evaluating the 5’11, 195-pound left-handed hitter.

Behind Walker is a crowded outfield group featuring Luis Alexander Basabe, Blake Rutherford, Luis Gonzalez and Micker Adolfo. Rutherford is the outfielder in this group with the highest pedigree, being a former first round pick and crown jewel of the David Robertson Yankees trade in 2017.

However, Rutherford’s inability to unlock his natural power has caused him to lose his status as the most promising lower level outfielder in the system. Turning 22 in May, Rutherford still has time to translate to a big league talent, but at this point his future may lie as a trade piece around the deadline.

Basabe was the lottery ticket prospect acquired for Chris Sale, and has shown some promise since being acquired. The 23-year-old figures to be knocking on the door of the big-league club as soon as late 2020 and could find some time in the field at any of the three outfield positions for the White Sox. During an injury ridden season, Basabe slashed .246/.324/.336 in 69 games in Birmingham.

Adolfo, meanwhile, who signed as an international free agent in 2013, had his development set back by two elbow surgeries last year. But the 255-pound corner outfielder is still a name worth watching. His plus power has enticed the Sox since they signed him and will continue to allow him an opportunity at some of the organization’s higher level affiliates.

Luis Gonzalez, despite some promising numbers and positional versatility, finds himself the odd man out of the equation. With average tools, the 2017 draft pick offers some intrigue from the left side of the plate.

While he won’t likely be fighting anyone for at bats this season, Gonzalez needs to take another step from the plate to compliment his ability to play all three outfield positions. Otherwise, Gonzalez likely slots as trade bait for organizational depth. But, he has shown some flashes of being an intriguing prospect and will have a say in the results of the outfield logjam in 2020.

So, while there is no doubt it’s time for fans to turn their attention back to the big-league club, the farm system is still as healthy as ever, and will be worth watching to see who emerges as the next top prospects in the organization.

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Yoan Moncada Jersey White Sox

Vinnie Duber of NBC Sports Chicago reports that the Chicago White Sox have talked with the Los Angeles Dodgers about a deal for Joc Pederson to bring him to the south side.

Pederson, 27, is coming off a very good season for the Dodgers in which he hit .249/.339/.538 with career-highs in both homers (36) and RBI (74). That gave him a 127 wRC+ and 3.0 fWAR for the 2019 season.

The left-handed hitter and fielder spent most of his season in the corner outfield spots, but did have a brief stint where he started at first base for the team.

In 789 2/3 outfield innings, Pederson rated above-average with a 6.2 UZR and 11 DRS according to FanGraphs.

The only spot in the outfield that he hasn’t fared well is in center field where he has -16 DRS and a -7.1 UZR for his career (3,149 innings).

For the White Sox, he could help fill out an outfield that is expected to have Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert patrolling left and center field before the end of April.

In the article by Duber, it’s mentioned that the team is also considering signing Nicholas Castellanos to play right field in 2020, but there is one major difference between the two that should make the team prefer Pederson.

Castellanos is a pretty dreadful defender with -35 DRS and a -26.2 UZR in right field for his career.

While he has seen some improvement from that number with only -9 DRS in 2019 over 1,171 innings, there is still some serious work to be done for him to become a league-average defender.

Pederson, meanwhile, would represent an improvement for the team defensively and considering they ranked 25th in all of baseball in DRS (-49), they could certainly use a plus defender.

Furthermore, the team is only projected to have two left-handed-hitting options in their lineup in Yoan Moncada and Yasmani Grandal (both switch-hitters) which means that Pederson could help balance the lineup more.

Now, the reason to not pursue Pederson would be if a trade for him requires giving up too much to acquire him.

That being said, Pederson only has one year of control left before hitting free agency for the first time in his career after the 2020 season.

According to Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors, Pederson is expected to make $8.5 million in his final season of arbitration.

Having only one year of control strongly limits his value in a trade and given the Dodgers have a glut of outfielders, it makes little sense not to trade him this offseason.

On top of it, the White Sox have a very strong farm system which should help in finding a match that is good for both sides.

If the White Sox can acquire Joc Pederson for a reasonable price, he should be their top choice to fill their right field vacancy in 2020.

Danny Mendick Jersey White Sox

CHICAGO –- José Abreu, Tim Anderson, Lucas Giolito, Yasmani Grandal, Eloy Jiménez, James McCann and Yoán Moncada headline a list of 14 current White Sox players scheduled to appear at McCormick Place West on January 24-25 for SoxFest 2020 – presented by Beggars Pizza, Guaranteed Rate, Old Dominion Freight Line, Securian Financial and Wintrust.

White Sox Manager Rick Renteria and members of the coaching staff are also scheduled to join players Aaron Bummer, Dylan Cease, Zack Collins, Leury García, Michael Kopech, Evan Marshall and Danny Mendick, as well as prospects Micker Adolfo, Dane Dunning, Luis González, Tyler Johnson, Nick Madrigal, Luis Robert, Blake Rutherford, Andrew Vaughn and Steele Walker.

Additional special guests scheduled to attend the event will be announced in early January.

SoxFest two-day and single passes are available at whitesox.com/SoxFest. Fans are encouraged to purchase early for the 28th annual fan fest in its first year spanning the 100,000-square-foot McCormick Place West showroom floor.

With more opportunities for autographs and player interactions, SoxFest 2020 builds upon the family-friendly programming fans have come to know and love. This year’s experience includes a new mini-field, offering clinics for kids from White Sox youth instructors, a batting cage and speed pitch area, video gaming stations, face painting, balloon artists and more.

For the latest information about the event, including the full list of scheduled appearances at SoxFest, please visit whitesox.com/SoxFest.

Tim Anderson Jersey White Sox

The Chicago White Sox are looking to make drastic improvements this offseason and are reportedly interested in both Zack Wheeler and Joc Pederson.
So much of the Chicago White Sox rebuild reminds me of what the Chicago Cubs were doing at this time five years ago. A young team, loaded with potential, on the cusp of being competitive and entering the offseason ready to make some noise. For the Cubs, the Jon Lester signing was the franchise-changing move that ultimately got the team over the hump, and the White Sox are looking to do the same. But their Jon Lester is Zack Wheeler, according to several reports.

Wheeler, 29, struggled to stay healthy from 2015 to 2017 but lived up to his potential in both the 2018 and 2019 campaigns that saw him post a 3.31 and 3.96 ERA, respectively. The former sixth-overall pick of the 2009 MLB Draft made 60 starts over the previous two seasons and is reportedly receiving offers from teams in the nine-figure range. While it seems like a risky price to pay for a pitcher who missed the better half of two seasons, he’s shown both the durability and dominance that a team like the White Sox would love to have in their rotation.

“Wheeler, 29, has received at least one $100 million offer and will land a five-year deal in excess of that amount, according to major-league sources.

The White Sox, Twins, Reds, Rangers and Blue Jays are among the clubs pursuing Wheeler, who is the leading free-agent alternative to fellow right-handers Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg even though his career ERA+ (ERA adjusted to park and league) is exactly league average.” – The Athletic

The White Sox are arguably one starter away from fielding a competitive team, after already adding Yasmani Grandal in free agency last week. The offense, on paper, looks legit with the highly-anticipated arrival of Luis Robert next season to go along with Jose Abreu, Yoan Moncada, Eloy Jimenez, and Tim Anderson. But it appears that White Sox GM, Rick Hahn, isn’t banking on all of his prospects to flourish as the team is reportedly interested in trading for Dodgers outfielder, Joc Pederson, as well.

The 27-year-old was a highly-touted prospect coming up through the Dodgers organization and posted his best season in 2019. Pederson slashed an impressive .249/.339/.538 with 36 home runs and 74 RBI (127 OPS+) and is projected to make $8.5 million in arbitration this offseason. He’s under contract through next season, so any trade would likely include a contract extension to keep him in on the south side for years to come.

And while the White Sox could certainly entertain the idea of signing both Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg, I believe it’s a smart strategy to aim a bit lower while still allowing the financial flexibility to keep improving the roster. Keep in mind that the White Sox will eventually need to re-sign their key free agents, with several of them set to become unrestricted free agents after the 2022 and 2023 seasons.

The American League Central division appears to run through Minnesota for the time being. Still, many executives around the league believe that the Cleveland Indians could potentially part ways with both Francisco Lindor and Corey Kluber this offseason. Combined with the rebuilding Kansas City Royals and Detroit Tigers, the arrow appears to be trending up for the White Sox, and they could take advantage quicker than most anticipate.

Signing Wheeler and trading for Pederson could accelerate the process, and the Chicago White Sox would officially put the league on notice.