Over the past few seasons, the Chicago White Sox have tried just about everything under the sun to win. In 2015, the ChiSox brought in Jeff Samardzija, Melky Cabrera, David Robertson, and Adam LaRoche with much fan fare. MLB pundits anointed the roster moves as the perfect answer to an American League Central that was witnessing the torch being passed from the Detroit Tigers to the Kansas City Royals.
Of course, the moves didn’t pan out, much like the addition of Todd Frazier and James Shields has brought more of the same. It seems as if the White Sox are stuck in a perpetual state of middling. Such becomes the status quo when a general manager refuses to blow things up and completely rebuild. And it’s not like general manager Rick Hahn doesn’t have what others want.
It seems as if we’ve heard constantly about Jose Quintana being a trade target, much like the endless speculation over Chris Sale before he was shipped over to Boston this past winter. The ChiSox could sell relatively high on Jose Abreu, before his numbers dip even more from his stellar rookie season. Todd Frazier has a very appealing price tag attached. At 1yr/$12 million left on his contract, he would be the perfect addition for a playoff team looking for some pop. Any of these moves could bring some sizeable returns.
Yet when the White Sox do make moves, they seem to sit on the pieces they acquire, favoring roster control over results. Players like Yoan Moncada, who has spent the season, much like the last, watching as players like 23-year-old Corey Seager and 21-year-old Cody Bellinger mash their way into record books. It would be an entirely different matter if Moncada wasn’t clearly ready. The numbers he’s put up at every stop along the way has been more than enough to prove he’s prepared, but the White Sox seem destined to hold off on his promotion until after the All-Star break. If the ChiSox do delay Moncada’s arrival to the big club, they can stave-off his free agency for an additional season.
It may seem a moot point to argue against another year of control for a team heading down the reboot rabbit hole, especially when considering the chances of making the postseason, even at this early point of the season, are all but gone. However, it feels worth noting that when the waiting game is played on the Southside of Chicago, things haven’t generally seemed to pan out.
All criticism aside, the buzz about the future for the White Sox, should the best of intentions actually play out, is worth the attention. It won’t be long until we again find ourselves awash in lofty predictions and expectations for this franchise. Should the likes of Lucas Giolito, Dane Dunning, Reynaldo Lopez, Victor Diaz, Michael Kopech, and Yoan Moncada successfully traverse through the White Sox system, Southsiders will carry Rick Hahn through the streets on their shoulders.