Most of the attention this year is on the Northside, but the Southsiders have a potentially big building year if they can make the right decision when it comes to draft picks and spending wisely. Carson Fullmer and Carlos Rodon look like very good arms that can anchor a staff. The White Sox have SS Tim Anderson who enters spring training with a lot of expectation on him after the departure of Alexi Ramirez. Courtney Hawkins is a former top-15 pick from a couple years ago and he’ll soon be a major leaguer nipping at the heels of players like Garcia and Cabrera.
In Arizona players have begun to fill in and the first official workout day is tomorrow. The White Sox have three picks in the top 50 in June and they have an up and coming pitching staff. Chicago’s pinstrippers needs to get offense from the top of their lineup while allowing for Jose Abreu to hit with runners on. Melky Cabrera is getting paid too much money to hit .273 to go along with a .314 OBP. Those are the numbers Avisail Garcia should be putting up with Cabrera hitting up over .300.
The pitching staff is still anchored by lefties with Sale, Quintana, Danks, and Rodon. Dave Robertson was good when given the opportunity to shutdown games despite having seven blown saves. The White Sox have a good bit of money coming off the books at season’s end with LaRoche and Danks going to free agency. Danks is wrapping up a five-year deal worth $65 million, and with LaRoche it’ll clear $25 million from the clubs payroll.
The White Sox have some very good prospects and they’re about to clear two bulky contracts, if the White Sox hit a home run with the three picks at 10, 28, and 49 they can rebuild quickly. Carson Fullmer and Carlos Rodon are not that much younger than Chris Sale. Chris Sale is still under a very team friendly contract for a long time and if the White Sox can get some good talent up at the big league club quickly, they can still catch Sale in his prime to dominate a postseason if he were ever to get there. Now more and more these prospects are coming right from college and making an impact. Chicago’s Rick Hahn was very smart with some of the moves he made last offseason to set himself up for a good draft day this spring. He traded for Samardzija with one year left on his deal. Hahn then qualified him knowing he would sign a long term deal which is what he did with the Giants who gave him $90 million.
Hahn now has a treasure trove of picks and good players already in his farm system. Rodon is already in the majors that’s why the White Sox farm system doesn’t rank high. If he was in the rankings he’d be a top-5 player overall. Three players can the make the difference in a farm system, now while they won’t qualify LaRoche or Danks, they will be free of that salary which should allow them to facilitate a trade or sign another player.
Chicago may not be winning a pennant this year, but they shouldn’t be far off if Rick Hahn can get three top prospects with those picks now only three months away.