The White Sox have a lot of holes still left to fill even after adding All-Star catcher Yasmani Grandal earlier this offseason. Most Sox fans know that those needs are Starting Pitching, Right Field, and Left-Handed Bats. Fans are expecting this team to spend, and they have every right to have those expectations. After a failed run at Manny Machado last offseason, they are expected to push for the top dogs on the market again this offseason.
With the Winter Meetings beginning today, it is the perfect time to go through the remaining free agents that are realistic possibilities for the White Sox and what my predictions are at positions of need.
The Options: As discussed earlier, the positions the White Sox need help at are undeniable, and they are looking to contend in the AL Central with the likes of the Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians. To compete with those two teams, the White Sox need to add some players that will provide an impact to the team. (Unlike last offseason when they added Yonder Alonso and Jon Jay) Let’s get into those possibilities:
Starting Pitching is probably the deepest position this winter, which should lead to the White Sox adding at least one of top names this winter. Now some of the pitchers on the market that can provide that impact, which leads to contention, are Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, Zack Wheeler, and Madison Bumgarner. These four starters, in my opinion, are the A-Tier pitchers on the market. According to Baseball-Reference, Gerrit Cole finished with a record of 20-5, an ERA of 2.50, a WHIP of 0.895, and his bWAR was 6.8 on the season. Cole is the best pitcher on the market this winter, and will be pursued by almost every team in the league. The next best option is RHP Stephen Strasburg, who I hope will end up on the Southside of Chicago. He finished with a record 18-6, an ERA of 3.32, a WHIP of 1.038, and his WAR was 6.5 for the 2019 season. I don’t see the White Sox pursuing Madison Bumgarner but never say never. Unfortunately for the White Sox, however, Zack Wheeler decided to stay close to home, signing with the Phillies for 5 years, $118 million last week. So, one option fell off the board there.
My Hope: Stephen Strasburg
Who they’ll probably end up with: Hyun-Jin Ryu/Madison Bumgarner/Dallas Keuchel
The White Sox have a couple of options here: Nick Castellanos, Marcell Ozuna, Yasiel Puig, and Kole Calhoun. Calhoun and Puig are far better defenders than the other two. However, Calhoun’s bat is nowhere near comparable to the alternatives. However, he is a lefty bat that the Sox lack. My personal choice here is Yasiel Puig. His defense is the best part about his game, and the White Sox need a good defender in right field. Puig’s bat is inconsistent, but he can have an impact on the White Sox lineup. Although Marcell Ozuna has primarily been a left fielder in his career, there might be a home for him on the South Side. Currently, there are still rumors swirling about the possibility Ozuna signs with the Sox as soon as Monday. Lastly, Nick Castellanos is the hitter most Sox fans want in Chicago. Castellanos is an outstanding hitter – one of the best on the market. After he got traded to the Cubs at the MLB 2019 Trade Deadline, he provided an immediate impact to their lineup and could easily do the same for the White Sox.
My Hope: Marcell Ozuna or Yasiel Puig
Who they’ll probably end up with: Marcell Ozuna
Who knows if the White Sox will sign any of these players, but we can all hope they do. My final predictions for who the White Sox sign are as follows: Marcell Ozuna, Yolmer Sanchez (gets brought back on a cheaper deal), and Dallas Keuchel.
Marcell Ozuna: 4 years, $68 million
Yolmer Sanchez: 1 year, $4 million
Dallas Keuchel: 2 years, $30 million
Hopefully, all these come true, as White Sox fans need an offseason like this to make up for last offseason. All we can do is hope that, as Rick Hahn said: “The money will be spent.”
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