Stop me if you’ve heard this before: The White Sox had some real promise and then they just go and screw themselves and the fans. Oh, it’s happened before? It happened in 2011 with the “All In” catchphrase. It also happened in 2012, when the team was in first place for all but seven days from May 29th-September 25th, and still ended up missing the playoffs. In 2016, it happened when when they acquired James Shields from the Padres for Erik Johnson and a “throw in prospect”. There are no moves worse than that in recent memory, because not only did James Shields have a whopping 5.31 ERA in 3 seasons on the south side, that prospect turned into MLB’s 2nd ranked Prospect, Fernando Tatis Jr. Who knew? What a double blow to the team though. The positive to come out of that trade? The front office finally decided it was time to start a “rebuild” and trade some of the best players the fans had seen play since the 2005 team to win the World Series. Of course, the team hasn’t made the playoffs since 2008 and has played second fiddle to the Cubs since pretty much forever, but especially since the Cubs have come roaring back onto the scene, including their 2016 World Series win. This could’ve finally been the time for the White Sox to do something.
The White Sox only have about 80 million on the payroll, with 35+ of it coming off the books in the next few years. The team could finally sign one of the “big fish” of free agency. They had always messed up free agency, always going with the bandaid, bloop single option rather than a true home run option. They had 3 of the best young players in baseball with Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, and Adam Eaton, and chose to supplement the trio with players like Melky Cabrera, Adam LaRoche and so on and so on. Sox fans have always been getting disappointed, but General Manager Rick Hahn and company had been getting people excited for this offseason since the rebuild started, really. Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, even someone like A.J. Pollock could make sense for them. They could finally get their home run player. All good championship run teams aren’t fully homegrown, like the White Sox currently are. Cubs have Jon Lester, Astros had Carlos Beltran, Red Sox have Chris Sale. The Dodgers, winners of the last two National League pennants, are constantly grabbing players like Manny Machado and Yu Darvish to supplement their homegrown players. It’s a model that the White Sox needed to follow and failed in doing so miserably.
Manny Machado made a lot of sense for the team, and signing someone like Bryce Harper also makes a lot of sense for pretty much any team. Both players are young, superstars in the league and would bring national attention to the south side of Chicago, something they haven’t had in years. They had the opportunity to hand either of them a blank check to help bring the White Sox back from mediocrity, something they’ve been mired in for way too long. Of course, Manny Machado just signed his new 10 year-300 million dollar deal with the San Diego Padres. Then, reports came out the Sox would no longer be bidding for Harper’s services. After the disappointment of not landing Machado, not willing to bid on Harper is arguably worse. Of course, the team can come out and announce that they’ve signed Harper to a 10-year deal and I’ll delete this article, but the likelihood of that happening is slim to none.
Not signing Machado, not bidding on Harper, and signing players like Jon Jay and Ervin Santana just continue to show that the front office continues to mess with our emotions. I’m not mad, just disappointed.
Featured Photo: Keith Allison, Flickr