Chicago White Sox 2016 Season Preview

Off-Season Overview

Additions

Todd Frazier, Brett Lawrie, Austin Jackson, Alex Avila, Jimmy Rollins

Losses

Jeff Samardzija, Alexei Ramirez, Tyler Flowers

The White Sox know that they need to build a team to win now around Chris Sale, and Jose Abreu. The addition of Frazier could be a big one if it pays off and the back to back of him and Abreu is a huge combination, Lawrie is a former prospect who will get a final chance of sorts now at age 26.Jackson and Avila are decent veteran additions, but neither really have much upside overall.

Projecte Playoff Lineup

  1. Adam Eaton
  2. Jimmy Rollins
  3. Jose Abreu
  4. Todd Frazier
  5. Melky Cabrera
  6. Avisail Garcia
  7. Brett Lawrie
  8. Austin Jackson
  9. Alex Avila/Dioner Navarro

The White Sox on paper look like a team that is going to peak in 2017. In the minors they have a highly rated prospect at shortstop in Tim Anderson. They have stated they wanted to let him develop and the addition off Rollins buys that time, but Rollins was below average last year and at 37 it is tough to spot the bounce back. They don’t have much of a strong defense and aside from Frazier and Abreu aren’t going to get consistent hitting elsewhere. That punch can keep them competitive, and can make the rest of the lineup kick, but you look at the depth and you look at the defense and think that they are going to be tinkering with their roster this off-season again.

Rotation

Chris Sale

Jose Quintana

Carlos Rodon

John Danks

Mat Latos

Another thought pointing to a 2017 break out for the White Sox is that if all goes well Rodon will be breaking out this year and is a trusted threat next to Sale in 2017. Rodon is only 23, and while he performed in his MLB debut last year, he also saw the differences of MLB hitters. He should get through the year, but it would be tough to expect a full breakout this year. Quintana is a nice pitcher, but on a team that would be competitive is best suited a third pitcher. Latos and Danks are really just guys in the backend, but the good thing is both of them are good to eat innings and ease the bullpen. Sale, at 27 could be in the running for the Cy Young, but the thought of the Sox eliminating one of Danks or Latos and upgrading with a budding Rodon heading into next year would seem like the prime goal here.

Bullpen

As mentioned the back end of the rotation, and the rotation as a whole should be able to go deep into games and that is good because the pen isn’t necessarily the strongest. They cleared up the backend with Dave Robertson, but now need to find some strong arms to set up before him. They really don’t have much for depth or long relievers either, so it may put more pressure on them to make decisions on how many innings the 23 year old Rodon will pitch.

Overview

The bottom line is this team has a chance to contend, but really looks to be a team ready to go for 2017. They have young talent at shortstop and in the outfield, as well as Rodon, and really are just experience, and depth away from being a complete team. If someone like Lawrie, or Garcia can come through for their lineup they will certainly remain competitive, but in a tough AL, they just seem a tier below the best.

5th in the AL Central

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