After 2019, the White Sox had many top prospects, most of whom recently made it to the majors and were looking like very promising players. After a surprise 2020 playoff appearance, the White Sox competitive window had finally opened. But, less than three years later, that window is almost shut with no easy path back to contention.
What Went Wrong?
Many praised Rick Hahn for his savvy extensions of top prospects before they got to the majors and for young players like Yoan Moncada and Tim Anderson. These deals looked like steals, but now, a few years removed from those moves, it is part of what has ultimately sunk the White Sox.
Robert’s deal looks like a steal, but Moncada is due 24 million next year and he can’t stay healthy to save his life. Eloy has shown potential, but he also cannot stay healthy. That is two long-term guys who will be making the most money on the White Sox that cannot stay healthy.
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This graphic sums up the White Sox situation perfectly. If the names are in red, that means there is an option for that year. For a team who stressed having a large competitive window, and not wanting to “mortgage the future”, this is a bleak outlook.
You have DH(Burger), LF(Benintendi), CF(Robert), Eloy, and 1B(Vaughn) locked up for the foreseeable future, but besides Burger and Robert, the rest of those guys have been significantly underwhelming and have not lived up to their full potential, which is part of the reason why the Sox are stuck.
As it stands, the White Sox will look completely different by this time next year. They have a lot of housekeeping to do and if the front office wants to keep their jobs, they better do it well.
As of right now, the White Sox will not have a starting-caliber catcher, second basemen, or three starting pitchers. That list could grow depending on what they do at the deadline.
Yasmani Grandal has played great this year, as his average is as high as it has ever been. The White Sox should look to trade him to a contender who needs a catcher, and perhaps they could get something decent in return. But, the problem is the Sox have no catchers in the organization that can step in and be a starter right away.
Seby Zavala has his flashes, but he is better suited as a backup. And of course, there is nobody in the minors that could come in and start behind the plate. This will be a big problem if the Sox want to win, but if they are tanking it will help.
The same can be said for second base, as they also have no immediate prospects that will be available in 2024. Colson Montgomery is still a few years away and he will likely take over SS for Tim Anderson. This will be a hole they will need to address, as Romy Gonzalez is not a starting second baseman for a winning team.
As for the rotation, the White Sox again have no prospects ready to come in and start. Davis Martin would be, but it is likely he will remain out for the first few months of 2024 due to Tommy John surgery.
With this outlook, the White Sox need to sell everyone that has any value. They need to restock the farm system and get players who can stay on the field for more than 100 games. I would keep Robert and Burger as building blocks for the lineup, but everyone else should be on the block. Michael Kopech can be the one arm you have for the rotation, as Cease could potentially get you a haul.
It is not worth it for this organization to try and win this year because they will not go far, nor will it continue into next year. They need to do the right thing and trade everyone that has value and try again.