Tha Sports Junkies 101

Chicago White Sox: Off-Season Preview

Chicago White Sox Mac1968 via


Chicago White Sox

After watching idly by as their north-side counterparts brought home the ultimate glory, it seems the Chicago White Sox are not too far behind representing the South Side of Chicago in the fall. A step-by-step outline of what the Chi-Sox need to do to contend in a merciless AL Central.


Top Priority: Fire Kenny Williams

White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf is a legend in his field. Though he’s mostly known for his six NBA championships with Michael Jordan and company, many forget (including ESPN) the 88 year drought he and the 2005 White Sox broke.

That 2005 team has the best postseason record (11-1) the league has ever seen. And it was led by a fan favorite: Ozzie Guillen.

Unfortunately, GM at the time Kenny Williams and Guillen did not get along very well. And that led to Gullen’s departure from the organization. To replace a fan favorite, Williams put his entire faith into hiring a manager who has no experience managing. He vouched for him…

The manager with no experience, Robin Ventura, would have been fired this year if he had not resigned. Now, Williams is sitting in the front office, now as VP of Baseball Operations, left looking like a fool.

Remember that king’s ransom a team offered the Sox for Chris Sale? Well GM Rick Hahn was working on figuring out a deal that would benefit the Sox greatly. Well, Williams shot it down and rejected the offer before the GM Hahn could even negotiate.

This, since Williams accepted the job as VP of Baseball Operations, was not the first time he has shot down offers time and time again.

The problem is, Reinsdorf is too loyal. That’s why he didn’t want to fire Ventura sooner, and the reason Williams is still employed. In order for the Sox to make moves in the offseason, the first action they need to do is Fire Kenny Williams.


Next Move: Drop The Dead Weight

I believe in Avisail Garcia. Or, I did, at least. I want to have faith in him, but his sub-par performances these past few full seasons cannot continue.

They can get a few prospects, maybe two at most, out of Avi, if the Sox find the right partner. They should, if the deal is two prospects, get two pitchers; one reliever and one starter. The starter needs to be ready if he’s called up in the middle of the season because they need to drop a pitcher, and I think you know what I’m about to say.

Drop James Shields. No team will trade for him, so they need to cut him. If that means buying out the rest of his contract, which it actually does, then pay the guy. The San Diego Padres were stupid enough to draw up a contract worth that much and the Sox are just as stupid for trading for him. That means they need to buy him out. It is the only way. Fortunately, previously mentioned Padres are still paying a portion of Shield’s contract. 

Last, and certainly the least, reliever Matt Albers needs to go. He, time and time again, has been horrible out of the Sox bullpen. The blame can be placed on Ventura for subbing in Albers in important situations, but he’s already been handled with. Albers and his 6.31 anchor of an ERA. Fortunately, Albers declined his option, so that’s one less dead arm in the bullpen.

Once Avi, Shields and Albers are gone, the focus needs to be on improving through free agency.


Finally: Take Advantage of the Free-Agency

So here we are. They’ve fired Williams and dropped what was holding them down. Now it’s time for the fun part.

Last year, closer David Robertson was bad. Like, really bad. I don’t know if the Sox need to get rid of him, there still is a role he can play out of the White Sox bullpen, but they need a top-notch closer if they believe they can contend next year.

Mark Melancon and Aroldis Chapman are two noticeable names.

If it were up to me, I’d pursue Melancon. Chapman is a lights out closer, but the issues he had off the field last offseason concern me. Also, the Sox catchers are rookies (once top prospect Zack Collins is brought up) and giving them a ball to catch going 102+ MPH when the game is on the line seems a bit unfair.

Melancon put up decent numbers as a part of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Nationals organizations. He held a 1.64 ERA in 71.1 innings pitched with 47 saves. Melancon also knows, not any more than Chapman though, what it’s like to pitch not only in pressing matters, but in the playoffs.

Getting Melancon will upgrade an already shaky bullpen. Acquiring another arm for the bullpen wouldn’t hurt either.

I’m looking at relievers Boon Logan, 3.69 ERA in 46.1 innings, Drew Storen, 5.23 ERA in 51.2 innings, and Tom Malone, 5.71 ERA in 69.3 innings.

Another reliever that could pay dividends would be Jerry Blevins, 3.79 ERA in 42 inningsJust another guy to keep your eye on this offseason

I’d prefer Logan for the team, but at this point, I’m sure they’d settle for any one, or more, of these three.

Then re-sign Austin Jackson to fill the empty spot in center when Avi is cut and Adam Eaton takes over at right (where he belongs).

But, if they are willing, they have the opportunity to upgrade massively in center field.

World Champion Dexter Fowler rejected his qualifying offer and is a free agent. If the Sox are willing to open the check book and take the high road and give the Cubs their 14th pick in the draft, a one-two punch of Eaton and Fowler could be insanely amazing (and deadly).

Finally, get a DH. Edwin Encarnacion or Carlos Beltran are the big names in the DH spot. I see Encarnacion going to the Boston Red Sox, so the White Sox need to aggressively pursue Beltran. The fact that he’s 39 years old and can hit .295 with 29 home runs and drive in 95 RBI’s means he’s not slowing down. Those numbers replacing the White Sox sub-par numbers at the DH position give the White Sox that last push they need to contend in a very difficult AL Central.


If all goes to plan, the White Sox 2017 25-man roster:


Chris Beck – Jerry Blevins – Carson Fulmer – Miguel Gonzalez – Dan Jennings – Nate Jones – Mark Melancon – Jose Quintana – Boone Logan – David Robertson – Carlos Rodon – Chris Sale


Zack Collins – Omar Narvaez


Jose Abreu – Tim Anderson – Matt Davidson – Todd Frazier – Brett Lawire – Tyler Saladino


Melky Cabrera – Adam Eaton – Austin Jackson – Charlie Tilson


Carlos Beltran



The only way for the White Sox to move forward successfully is to actually move forward. Normally, I don’t like it when a team builds themselves in the free agency, but the pieces are right in front of GM Rick Hahn and the Sox front office.

Building off of players like Tim Anderson, Chris Sale, Jose Abreu, Todd Frazier and Adam Eaton can be done. And should be done.

Look out Chicago, the White Sox are coming back.