The Chicago White Sox are a professional baseball organization based in Chicago, Illinois. They are Major League Baseball (MLB) members and compete in the American League Central Division.
The White Sox were initially known as the Sioux City Cornhuskers and played in the Western League. After their first season, the club was purchased by Charles Comiskey and relocated to St Paul. After a brief stint in Minnesota, they moved to their permanent home Chicago, in 1900. The Western League was renamed the American League and elevated to major league status. Chicago became one of the eight charter franchises of the American League during their inaugural season in 1901. The Chicago incarnation of the franchise became known as the White Stockings until they were renamed to the White Sox in 1904.
The White Sox franchise saw immediate success. They captured the American League's first pennant in 1901. In 1906 they beat their Crosstown rivals the Chicago Cubs in the World Series. In 1917 they won their second World Series title beating the New York Giants. The team’s image was tarnished after losing the 1919 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds, despite being heavy favorites. It was later discovered that the team had gambling connections, and the series was fixed. Eight members of the team, including one of the best hitters in franchise history Shoeless Joe Jackson, were banned from baseball. It became known as the Black Sox Scandal and damaged the reputation of the sport. The organization went through a rough stretch until the team captured the pennant in 1959. It was an exciting team nicknamed the “Go-Go Sox,” known for their speed, pitching, and defense. Unfortunately, they lost to the Dodgers in the World Series in six games. The White Sox also won a division championship in 1983. The battle cry of that team was “winning ugly.”
After another mediocre stretch, the White Sox finally became relevant again, winning the 2005 World Series. They sweep the Houston Astros in four games snapping an 88-year title drought in the city of Chicago. Jermaine Dye won World Series MVP and is the only player to do so in franchise history. The team was managed by Ozzie Guillen and is one of only two teams to win eleven postseason games in a span of 12 games. They also had four consecutive, complete games thrown in the ALCS, a feat that has yet to be accomplished since.
The White Sox would return to the postseason in 2008 after winning a thrilling winner-take-all game over the Minnesota Twins known as the “Blackout Game.” They were quickly knocked out of the playoffs and would not return until 2020.
The White has five MVP award winners. Nellie Fox won it in 1959, and Dick Allen took it home in 1979, then Frank Thomas back to back awards in 1993 and 1994.
Chicago White Sox News
The White Sox were mired in mediocrity following their 2008 playoff appearance. The next nine seasons were filled with losing and underperforming. General manager Rick Hahn finally decided to blow up the roster and start a rebuild. During the 2016 offseason Hahn traded Chris Sale, arguably the best pitcher in White Sox history, to the Red Sox in exchange for Yoan Moncada, Micheal Kopech, Luis Alexander Basabe, and Victor Diaz. They then dealt left fielder Adam Eaton to the Nationals. In return, the Nationals unloaded Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Dune Dunning. The three right-handed pitchers were the club's Nos. 1, 3, and 6 prospects. In the span of 24 hours, the White Sox had acquired the number 1,3,30 and 38 overall best prospects in the game. He hired Rick Renteria to serve as the team's new manager. Renteria was the bench coach for the White Sox in 2016 and the Chicago Cubs' former manager. Hahn also signed young Cuban superstar Luis Robert to a 26 million dollar deal. He immediately became one of the best players in the White Sox farm system. They were not done, however. Before the 2017 trade deadline, the White Sox traded Jose Quintana to the Chicago Cubs and netted four players that included Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease.
The White Sox finished 65-95 in 2017, which gave them the fourth overall pick. Rick Hahn strengthened this core by drafting second baseman Nick Madrigal in the first round of the 2018 draft. In 2018 the White Sox were an abysmal 62-100. However, under Rick Renteria’s guidance, there were signs of development. The White Sox pursued Manny Machado and Bryce Harper during the 2019 offseason but could not land either. However, despite the setback, the White Sox took a huge step forward in 2019. The White Sox selected the best hitter in college baseball, Andrew Vaughn, with their first pick of the 2019 draft. On the field, they improved their record to 72-89, which was good enough to finish 3rd in the AL Central. Yoan Moncada emerged as one of the team's best hitters. Tim Anderson blossomed at the plate and wound up with a .335 batting average. He was rewarded with the batting title for his efforts. Jose Abreu led the league in RBI’s, driving in 123, and Lucas Giolito transformed from the game's worst starter statistically to an All-Star. The White Sox felt they were ready to take the next step.
Rick Hahn got to work during the 2020 offseason. He opened up the free agency by signing catcher Yasmani Grandal to the richest free-agent contract in franchise history. He then added former Cy-Young winner Dallas Keuchel to the rotation. On Christmas night, he inked veteran slugger Edwin Encarnacion to fill the hole at DH. Unfortunately for the White Sox, the season was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The season was shortened to 60 games, but that didn’t stop the White Sox. With a revamped roster, the White Sox was one of the American Leagues' most feared offenses. They finished second in team average, first in home runs, second in RBIs, second in runs scored, fifth in OBP, and first in slugging percentage. Lucas Giolito continued his dominance from the previous year and tossed a no-hitter on August 25th against the Pirates. Luis Robert also made his debut with the team and made an immediate impact. He won a Gold Glove for his play in center field and finished second in voting for the rookie of the year. Tim Anderson and Jose Abreu were at the forefront of the MVP conversation for their high caliber. Anderson finished with the second-best batting average in the league. Abreu took home the award in November. It was well deserved after he finished in the top five of every major offensive category. The White Sox clinched their first playoff berth since 2008, on September 17th. The victory over the Twins put them atop the Central Division. They had a 33-17 record and a three-game lead over the Twins. However, the White Sox sputtered down the stretch going 3-9 in their final 12 games. That dropped the White Sox from the one seed down to the seven seed and booked them a date with the postseason's Oakland A’s. The White Sox won the first game behind a masterful performance from Lucas Giolito. However, they dropped the next two games heartbreakingly and were eliminated. Following their abrupt departure from the playoffs, manager Rick Renteria and longtime pitching coach Don Cooper. On October 30th, the White Sox announced that Hall of Fame manager Tony La Rusa would be coming out of retirement to manage it.
Top 10 Current White Sox Players
1B Jose Abreu (Preseason-#1)- (Proj Finish- #3)
Jose Abreu has been the face of the franchise since 2014. All he has done since he has come to Chicago is mash baseballs. He has led the American League in RBI’s two years in a row and is the front runner for MVP this season. Along with his offensive prowess, his defense has improved each season. He is 33 years old, so it is likely his seven year run as the team's best player will come to an end now that he is surrounded by young talent. But his leadership and power at the plate will make him a staple in the middle of the lineup when the White Sox make a championship run.
SP Lucas Giolito (Preseason-#2)-(Proj Finish-#2)
Lucas Giolito went from being one of the worst starters in the league statistically in 2016 to evolve into one of the games most feared. In 2019 he made his first appearance in the All-Star game. In 2020 he built upon his dominance by throwing a no-hitter against the Pirates and stifling the A’s in his postseason debut. With a fastball that can reach the upper 90’s and a devastating changeup, he should remain in the Cy-Young contention for years to come.
SS Tim Anderson (Preseason-#3)- (Prj Finish-#1)
Tim Anderson is blossoming into one of the game's biggest personalities. His unique combination of power and speed make him the ideal leadoff man. While he has received some criticism for his defense, his numbers have steadily improved each year. His range and athleticism also mean he can get to more balls than the average infielder, which inflated his error total. His breakout season came in 2019 when he took the baseball world by storm after bat flipping his way into the hearts of White Sox fans. He is one of the clubhouse's vocal leaders and backs up his talk with his play on the field. He won the batting title in 2019 and was the runner up in 2020. During the postseason, he logged three hits in all three games. This should warn the rest of the league that Anderson is only getting better with age.
LF Eloy Jimenez (Preseason-#4) - (Prj Finish-#6)
Eloy Jimenez is only 23 years old, but he already has a Silver Slugger award to his name. He has the rawest power on the team by far. During his rookie season, he hit 31 home runs despite missing some seasons due to injury. He hit 14 during a shortened 60 game season in 2020 and also improved his batting average. Jimenez should continue to develop into an offensive force. Unfortunately, his defense has become a liability in left field. He lacks range and awareness. Jimenez has already injured himself on multiple occasions trying to track down balls in left field. His bat is too valuable to be left out of the lineup, and he is too young to become a full-time DH, so the White Sox hope his defense will improve. Regardless of his flaws as an outfielder, his offensive capabilities keep him high in the rankings.
SP Dallas Keuchel (Preseason-#5) - (Prj Finish #8)
Dallas Keuchel made his presence felt on the Southside immediately during his first season with the White Sox after signing a three year 55 million dollar contract. He picked the team's first win of the season and continued to be a reliable starter every fifth day for the remainder of it. He had the third-highest WAR (wins above replacement) on the team. The veteran southpaw also led White Sox starters in wins and ERA. However, he only made it into the seventh inning or beyond twice in his 11 starts. He also got knocked around in Game 2 of the Wild Card series against Oakland, which was one reason the White Sox were eliminated. While he should still be a reliable starter next season, his numbers will probably not look as good as they did in 2020.
CF Luis Robert (Preseason- #7) - (Prj Finish #4)
Luis Robert is the ultimate five-tool player. He has power, speed, a great arm, a magnet for a glove, and the ability to hit for contact. White Sox fans have been anticipating Luis Robert's debut ever since he was signed in 2017. He was worth the wait. Robert entered the league with lofty expectations placed upon him, magnified by the fact that every game mattered in a shortened season due to the pandemic. Despite being thrust into a difficult situation, he still performed at a high level. He put his range on full display over the course of the season, filling his highlight reel with acrobatic catches in center field. He was recognized with a Gold Glove award. He also started the season white-hot at the plate. At the end of August, he had a .298 batting average with 10 home runs, including a walk-off against Kansas City. Pitchers started to change their approach against Robert that resulted in a late-season slump. Growing pains are expected for a rookie, and unfortunately, the kid nicknamed La Pantera did not have a full season to work through them. However, Robert has the talent to develop into the best player on the White Sox and the entire league as well. The sky's the limit for Robert.
3B Yoan Moncada (Preseason-#6) - (Prj Finish #5)
Yoan Moncada had a down year in 2020. The aftereffects of being infected with COVID-19 lingered with him throughout the season, and he could never fully recover. Moncada has the potential to be the best overall player on the team. Despite battling through COVID-19, he was named a Gold Glove finalist for his work at the hot corner. In 2019 he was also arguably the team's best hitter. He hit .315 with 25 home runs and 79 RBIs. The White Sox hope he can return to form and show everyone why he was the former number one prospect in baseball.
C Yasmani Grandal (Preseason- #8) - (Prj Finish #7)
Grandal was signed to the richest free-agent contract in team history during the 2020 offseason. While many fans were disappointed by his offensive performance in 2020, he lived up to expectations with his work behind the plate. Grandal gunned down 46 percent of runners trying to steal on him. According to Fangraphs, he was statistically the second-best catcher in baseball. He also ranked top three in defensive runs saved this season. His numbers did not jump off the page offensively. But he did what he does best, and that gets on base. Grandal ranked third on the team with a .351 OBP. With more consistent at-bats next season and not having to split time behind the plate, Grandal will remain a solid option at catcher for the White Sox.
Aaron Bummer (Preseason- #9) - (Projected Finish #9)
Aaron Bummer is the most talented reliever in the White Sox bullpen. The lefty has the ability to work in high leverage situations and lockdown games in the ninth inning. He primarily throws the sinker but also has a cutter and a devastating slider in his arsenal. A left bicep strain forced him to miss some time during the 2020 season. But with a full offseason to get back to 100 percent, he should continue to be the White Sox's most valuable relief pitcher.
Nick Madrigal (Preseason -#10) - (Projected Finish #10)
Nick Madrigal was the White Sox first-round draft pick in 2018. He made his debut last season but was immediately sidelined with an injury. When he returned, he showed why the White Sox regarded him so highly. He hit .340 and was a great two-strike hitter, living up to his reputation of being hard to strikeout. Madrigal is also a sure-handed defender at second base who compliments Tim Anderson at shortstop nicely. The two will likely be the White Sox double-play tandem up the middle for years to come.
White Sox FAQ
Will the White Sox spend money this offseason?
Jerry Reinsdorf owned teams are not known for spending lots of money on players. It would look like the White Sox would be unwilling to spend money once again. The league experienced severe revenue losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and its effects on how it will affect the market this offseason are unknown. However, the White Sox are in a unique situation that allows them to withstand the unknown. The White Sox were below the league average in payroll in 2020. They have some money coming off the books in 2021. They also season and smartly locked up most of their core pieces long term. They feel they can win now, as evidenced by them spending big money last offseason. They probably won’t spend as much as last season, but their flexibility should add some impactful talent.
Will Tony La Russa work as a manager?
The Tony La Russa hire came as a shock. He did not fit Rick Hahn’s description of an ideal manager who has recent postseason experience. However, the White Sox hired him for two reasons. The first being he has a good relationship with Jerry Reinsdorf. The second being, the White Sox felt they were constantly out managed with Rick Renteria at the helm. With La Russa in the dugout, they are getting a great baseball mind who knows how to win games. It is hard to see anyone winning a chess match with La Russa in the late innings of a close ball game. The concern will be how La Russa plays in the locker room. The White Sox do not follow the unwritten rules of baseball. The bat flip, play loud, and like to have fun. La Russa is more of an old-school manager, so their styles may clash. Another concern is that La Russa has yet to reach out to Tim Anderson. Tim Anderson is an outspoken player. He was one of five White Sox players to kneel for the national anthem on opening day. In the past, La Russa has said that he does not support that form of protest but backtracked those comments during his introductory press conference. Anderson also liked a Twitter post about AJ Hinch becoming the next manager the day the team announced it was hiring La Russa. It is safe to assume Anderson was less than thrilled with the decision. As the team's vocal leader, it is important that he is on the same page as the manager.
Who are the White Sox free agents, and will they resign any of them?
Closer Alex Colome, catcher James McCann and backup outfielder Jarrod Dyson are all free agents this offseason. None of them received a qualifying offer. However, it is still possible the White Sox bring at least one of them back. Dyson was a rental the White Sox acquired for bench depth last season, so it is unlikely they will spend money bringing him back. It would also be a surprise if James McCann returned. He plays a premium position, and his performance last season warrants a starting role. The White Sox already spent big money on Yasmani Grandal, so they will not be able to provide McCann the playing time and salary he has earned. While the White Sox would love to bring him back, they will probably be outbid by a team like the Yankees or Phillies. Alex Colome is the most likely to return. He was excellent out of the White Sox pen last season, and losing a premium arm like Colome would be a tough pill for a contending team like the White Sox to swallow.
What will the starting rotation look like next season?
Lucas Giolito and Dallas Keuchel are locked to be at the top of the rotation next season. Starters three through five become more difficult to predict. While there has been some buzz surrounding the White Sox acquiring Trevor Bauer and Marcus Stroman in free agency, it is more likely that the roles are filled within the organization. During Rick Hahn’s end of the season press conference, he alluded that bringing in a new pitcher will take away opportunities from some of their talented young arms. Dylan Cease will get another opportunity in the rotation this season. Dane Dunning impressed during his limited action last season, so he should see some time in the starting rotation. Highly touted prospect Michael Kopech will be returning from his two-year hiatus, so he will also get a shot in the rotation. Jimmy Lambert may also compete for a spot during spring training. The White Sox may get a guy like James Paxton to sure up the rotation's back end.
Will the White Sox sign George Springer?
There is no reason for them not to. Rick Hahn has traditionally been aggressive in free agency, and the White Sox have money to spend. The White Sox also have a hole in right field, and Springer would be a perfect fit in the middle of the lineup. The COVID-19 pandemic complicates the free-agent market, but with Jerry Reinsdorf’s approval, the White Sox should make a strong push to acquire Springer.
Is Nelson Cruz an option for the White Sox?
Nelson Cruz has been tormenting the White Sox for years with the Twins. He exclusively plays designated hitter, a position the White Sox need. Adding him to the White Sox sounds like a match made in heaven. However, he is 40-years old and apparently wants a two-year deal. The White Sox have Andrew Vaughn waiting in the wings, and the Sox are eager to see what he can do. If the Twins want to keep contenting, they will not just let Nelson Cruz walk away, especially to a division rival. Cruz is too valuable to the Twins lineup, and the White Sox already have a guy that can play DH.
Are there other free-agent options for White Sox?
If the White Sox do not resign Alex Colome, Liam Hendricks would be a great replacement. He was an All-Star in 2019 and had a 1.78 ERA in 2020. A good bullpen is a key to postseason success. Bolstering the back end of the bullpen is sure to be on Rick Hahn's to-do list. Another good player to add is Micheal Brantley. The 34-year-old wants to play for a winning team, and the White Sox checks off that box. Brantley would provide a much needed left-handed bat to the White Sox lineup along with postseason experience. That is something Rick Hahn values, as seen by the additions he made the last offseason. Brantley has also been a professional hitter throughout his career. The four-time all-star has a career average of .297, has driven in 640 runs, and hit 114 home runs. He would give the White Sox games in left field if the injury-prone Eloy Jimenez misses time and can DH until they decide to call Vaugh up. Another plus is that Brantley is no stranger to the AL Central, spending 12 years with the Cleveland Indians. Joc Peterson is another outfielder the White Sox could target. The White Sox have been linked to Joc Peterson for years. There were rumors the White Sox were trying to trade for him on multiple occasions. Now he is a free agent and could be looking for a full-time gig after platooning for the Dodgers. Especially since the Dodgers tried to trade Peterson to the Angels last February, but Angels owner Arte Moreno overruled the deal. Peterson would also provide the White Sox with a left-handed bat.