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.

Eloy Jimenez Jersey White Sox

Eloy Jimenez will start winter ball in the Dominican Republic this weekend — a surprise development for a player of his pedigree after a relatively successful rookie season with the White Sox.

To Jimenez’s credit, though, he knows he’s far from a polished left fielder. In fact, he wasn’t very good in the field while slugging 31 homers, posting a .267/.315/.513 hitting line and finishing strong for the Sox in September. So he’ll grab his glove and get to work trying to make himself more serviceable.

“I would rather he just have a little break, get himself ready for the next season,” Sox manager Rick Renteria said Tuesday. “But this kid’s not going to stop until he reaches what he wants to be.”

Renteria, who was in town with his wife, Ilene, to serve Thanksgiving dinners at Mercy Home for Boys and Girls in the West Loop on Tuesday night, is among those who believe Jimenez can be a capable left fielder.

“This young man is going to be a really, really outstanding major-league baseball player on both sides of the baseball,” Renteria said. “It’s just continuing to stay sharp, get experience and play. You don’t usually have a lot of guys play winter ball. But he’s a guy just loves playing.”

The Sox are entering a season in which they could contend, should they bolster their roster with two or three significant free agents or additions via trade, and they took an important step when they signed catcher Yasmani Grandal to a team-record four-year, $73 million deal last week. They likely will have to improve defensively to be the kind of team that plays meaningful games in September. In 2019, they ranked 25th among the 30 teams in defensive runs saved, according to FanGraphs. Only four teams committed more errors. What’s more, the Sox’ Gold Glove second baseman, Yolmer Sanchez, was placed on waivers Monday, his expected $6.2 million salary via arbitration deemed too pricey for an infielder who hit two homers in 2019.

“He’s going to help somebody,” Renteria said. “Maybe it’s us still.”

If Sanchez isn’t claimed, it’s possible he comes back on a smaller deal, Renteria suggested. But Sanchez probably wants to be a starter.

“This kid is an outstanding personality and a player who knows how to play the game,” Renteria said. “He can do little things to help you win.”

Renteria, who has managed the Sox through three losing seasons in their rebuild, hopes the front office does bigger things to help them win in addition to nabbing Grandal. Renteria said it’s time to think postseason.

“The organization has pivoted,” he said. “We are at a turning point and a very important phase of who we are as an organization. It’s time. It’s time to start being on the winning end more than the losing.

“Now you’re starting to go out and get some guys who have been around and have talent. I can’t speak for [general manager] Rick [Hahn] and everybody, but they’re working very, very hard to put things together for us. And it’s time. It’s time for us to start showing the promise that we’ve talked about. I think we started seeing little bits and pieces of it last year.”

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.

Adam Engel Jersey White Sox

In a whirlwind of events on Wednesday, the Chicago White Sox lost out on both Zack Wheeler and Cole Hamels. Wheeler signed a five-year, $118 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies and Hamels signed a one-year, $18 million deal with the Atlanta Braves.

It burns. It really freaking burns that Wheeler — a no-brainer acquisition — spurned the White Sox to sign with Philly for less money than the White Sox offered him.

The one time the White Sox don’t sign or trade for a major free-agent target’s family member(s), the player actually signed with a team because of the wishes and desires of their family member!

frustrated the shining GIF
Frustration and jokes aside, I’m married, so I get that Wheeler heavily considered his fiancee’s desire to stay on the east coast near her family, but that doesn’t make it hurt less from a roster construction standpoint.

It does, however, tell me that the White Sox were genuinely serious about landing Wheeler and continuing their push to become contenders in the very near future, which gives me hope that they will still make the moves necessary to make that a realization.

Wheeler took $118 million from Philly while the offer from the White Sox was above the $120 million threshold, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports.

Despite those two variables, the Sox still missed their target, so they do not get a reprieve because “they tried.” If the White Sox are ever going to be taken seriously, they cannot continue to get outbid in the open market. That’s just a fact.

Now onto the burning question: where do the White Sox start in their continued search to make the leap to the next level of the rebuild? That question is much more mucky with Wheeler in Philadelphia than it would have been with him heading up a young, promising rotation in Chicago. Nonetheless, let’s dive into a potential path to contention in 2020 and beyond.

Starting Pitching
With Wheeler and Hamels off the board, the attention must immediately turn to the remaining options available on the open market.

According to Andy Martino of SNY, the White Sox and Twins are the suitors “heaviest involved” in the Madison Bumgarner talks as of Wednesday afternoon. Bumgarner, along with Hyun-Jin Ryu, become the two obvious choices for a “front-end” type of free-agent pitching acquisition, so it’s nice to hear that the Sox are back to work and making a push for one of those two guys.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, Madison Bumgarner scares the crap out of me as a long-term, big-money signing.

The soon-to-be 31-year old southpaw has logged 1,846 innings in his career to this point, and if he stays healthy, he’ll eclipse the 2,000 inning mark in 2020. According to Spotrac, Bumgarner’s current market value — largely due to the inflation of Wheeler’s market — is in the ballpark of five-years, $105 million (or an AAV of $21.1 million).

This is a lot of money to invest in a high-mileage pitcher.

Add in the fact that since 2016 — Bumgarner’s last full season prior to 2019 — his ERA is up over a full point (3.90 from 2.74), his xFIP is up nearly the same margin (4.31 from 3.54), his fly ball rate is troubling in the park he’d make half his starts in, and his hard-hit rate is up a whopping 12.2 percent (43.8% from 31.6%). Madison Bumgarner, at his current market value, is an absolute disaster waiting to happen.

That’s going to be a hard pass from me, and it should be from the White Sox front office as well.

Hyun-Jin Ryu’s numbers don’t scream regression like Bumgarner’s do, but a four-year, $110 million deal (current market value according to Spotrac) would be an equally giant risk for Chicago. Some have tossed the idea of a shorter deal around, but the current perceived AAV of $27.6 million at five years would certainly rise, and I don’t see any discount deals on the horizon for the Sox from any Boras client, which unfortunately is the case with Ryu.

Dallas Keuchel, who will turn 32 before Spring Training, posted a 2 WAR season (according to Baseball-Reference) for the Braves in 2019 after sitting out the start of the 2019 season due to his reluctance to undervalue himself.

Spotrac has the former Astros’ hurler at $103 million over five years or an AAV of $20.7 million.

No thanks.

The big three left on the starting pitching board are all going to be a “no” for me, which means we’re going to have to get a little more creative than a singular splash this winter.

Alex Wood is 28, and a back injury essentially washed away his 2019 campaign in Cincinnati, but his years in Los Angeles saw him post a 3.40 ERA over the course of 839 innings of work. Over that time, Wood holds an 8.2 K/9 compared to a 2.6 BB/9. He was a Cy Young Award finalist in 2017 when he posted a 2.72 ERA over the course of 27 games to comprise his career-best campaign.

At $77 million over four years, or an AAV of $19.3 million, the left-handed Alex Wood is a much better investment for the White Sox at this point in the game.

With Wood, the White Sox could add another starting pitching piece and have more money to play with around the diamond than they would have if they signed Wheeler or any of the three aforementioned “front-line” guys.

The Sox can also take a look at the likes of Homer Bailey, Tanner Roark, and Gio Gonzalez in the way of 1-2 year deals to provide depth to the back end of the rotation.

Right Field
In the midst of the pitching frenzy that was taking place on Wednesday, Jon Morosi reported that the markets for Marcell Ozuna and Nicholas Castellanos were heating up. He named the White Sox and Texas Rangers as two teams with interest in the top free-agent outfielders on the market today.

This is a crucial spot that the White Sox need to get right, and unlike the current starting pitching direction, this one is much easier.

I was super hot on Marcell Ozuna at the start of the offseason, and I still love the idea of him landing in Chicago. I also like Castellanos coming to the South Side of town, so either option is viable in my opinion.

Spotrac has the 29-year old Ozuna pegged at five years, $97 million ($19 million AAV), which would become the White Sox’s (new) largest free-agent deal in club history.

Despite having two less than overwhelming years in St. Louis, I believe that Ozuna could still remain a 25 HR/ 85 RBI bat in Chicago, which would make his deal justified and add to what looks to be a potent Sox lineup with the additions of Yasmani Grandal, Luis Robert, and continued growth of the likes of Eloy Jimenez, Yoan Moncada, and Tim Anderson.

Castellanos, 27, could cost the White Sox less than Ozuna — big emphasis on could, as he’s a Boras client — but he’s less of a threat both offensively and defensively than Ozuna in my opinion. Castellanos’ career numbers at Guaranteed Rate Field are surprisingly underwhelming for a guy who has played so many games there, but he would be more than serviceable at the right price.

The third option that would work in right field would be a potential trade for Joc Pederson, a move that we know the White Sox have interest in. Pederson is making $8 million in 2020 and set to become a free agent next winter, so a deal with Los Angeles would need to hinge on a contract extension getting done unless the price was rock-bottom due to the Dodgers looking to simply offload his 2020 salary in the pursuit of a big-ticket item like Anthony Rendon or Gerrit Cole.

Outside of those three options in right field (and lord help us if no player included in that trio pan out), the open market offers a handful of semi-worthy names for consideration:

Yasiel Puig (29)
Kole Calhoun (32)
Corey Dickerson (31)
Kevin Pillar (31)
Beyond that, the Sox might as well pocket or otherwise invest their cash at a later date. It wouldn’t be considered a victory as far as the offseason is concerned, but Adam Engel and Leury Garcia can provide more 2020 bang-for-buck than the other outfielders on the market.

Bullpen
The bullpen is such a volatile area that it’s really hard to predict the market for it. Couple that with the fact that the Sox currently employ Alex Colome, Aaron Bummer, Kelvin Herrera (if he doesn’t end up in jail), and a handful of other could-be bullpen items in the system, and I don’t expect to see many — if any — big-name relievers inking deals with the Sox.

Blake Treinen, who had a tough 2019 in Oakland that led to him being non-tendered by the comparably frugal A’s, would be worth a 1-2 year deal. I wouldn’t count on it though.

Other Depth
I mentioned on Wednesday morning that Travis Shaw would be worth a look at the right price for the White Sox. With Yolmer Sanchez‘s departure, Shaw could provide the Sox with a left-handed power bat that could play second base until Nick Madrigal‘s impending arrival. After that, Shaw could spend time at second, third, first and DH to spell the regulars.

Shaw, 29, and posted excellent 2017 and 2018 campaigns in Milwaukee before struggling in 2019. A 1-2 year deal with an AAV in the $5-8 million range could prove to be a steal for the White Sox if the left-handed slugger can have a bounce-back campaign.

Down, but not out (yet)
Sure, the Zack Wheeler miss was a big blow to the White Sox’s overall plan this winter, but there are enough ways to get creative. Rick Hahn and co. can still pick themselves up off of the mat and continue to build a team that can be competitive in 2020.

No excuses, just get back to work and get it done. You made a promise to the fanbase, and it’s one that won’t be forgotten anytime soon.

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.

Jose Abreu Jersey White Sox

Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox is a fan favorite, power hitting first baseman. That sounds awfully similar to another first baseman in Chicago.
Less than a month into the 2019-20 offseason, the Chicago White Sox signed veteran first baseman Jose Abreu to a 3-year, $50 million extension.

Abreu had already accepted the one-year, $17.8 million qualifying offer from the team. With that in mind, the 3-year extension is essentially a 2-year, $32.2 million deal through 2022. He’ll become an unrestricted free agent after the 2022 season.

We’ve already talked about the similarities between the Chicago Cubs and White Sox rebuilds, and the clubs’ first basemen are quite similar.

Abreu and Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo have many things in common, from their game to their personalities.

As for their style of play, both are power-hitting first basemen. While Abreu’s HR% is an impressive 4.6%, Rizzo isn’t far behind with a solid 4.2%.

Though it’s true that Rizzo is better at getting on base while Abreu is yet to log under 100 strikeouts in his career, they’re still solid power hitters who can get on base at the top of the order, typically at the three-spot.

Their fielding is similar as well, although Rizzo has an edge over Abreu. Nonetheless, both guys come in at single-digit errors on average each season. Rizzo’s .995 fielding percentage is just .003 higher than Abreu’s .992. Though Rizzo is a bit flashier and has two Gold Gloves to his resume, their range factor per game (calculated by put outs and assists divided by games) is an astoundingly equal 8.82.

For those wondering how they compare in the wins above replacement, they’re also strikingly similar. After six major league seasons, Abreu checks in at 21.2. In that same span of Rizzo’s first six years in the league, he totaled 21.8 WAR.

Just look at Abreu’s and Rizzo’s projections for 2020 according to Baseball-Reference:

Jose Abreu: .276/.330/.501, 28 HR, 94 RBI, 77 runs scored
Anthony Rizzo: .277/.380/.494, 24 HR, 87 RBI, 76 runs scored
There are…not many differences there.

Even their personalities are quite similar. Both players are three-time All-Star first basemen who are excellent leaders in the clubhouse and respected around the league. They’re solid centerpieces to center a rebuild and championship team around, especially in terms of their leadership and work ethic.

Thanks to all of their similarities, Rizzo and Abreu earned very similar paydays for the next couple of seasons. Each year, they’ll both earn between $16-18 million (though Abreu will receive a bit under that in 2020).

Both organizations are fortunate to have such talented fan-favorites at first base, and they’re both great for the game in many ways.

But don’t get us started on Anthony Rizzo’s pitching abilities. Abreu could only dream of such a stellar pitching record.