The end of the Chicago White Sox rebuild has seemed close, but their offseason activity suggests they are coming to take the AL Central in 2020.
The Chicago White Sox lost nearly 90 games for the third straight season last season (72-89). But there has been light at the end of the rebuild tunnel, with a group of young players and room to spend over the next couple offseasons.
The White Sox got an early start this offseason, signing catcher Yasmani Grandal to a club record contract (four years, $73 million) and extending incumbent first baseman Jose Abreu. They then acquired outfielder Nomar Mazara from the Texas Rangers, and signed veteran left-hander Gio Gonzalez to bolster the starting rotation.
Last weekend, another move to fortify the starting rotation came as the White Sox signed Dallas Keuchel to a three-year, $55.5 million deal. But they are not done trying make moves, with a shift toward right-handed bats to bolster the lineup.
The AL Central had a 101-win team (the Minnesota Twins) and a 93-win team (the Cleveland Indians) last year. The two were 20.5 games clear of everyone else, as the White Sox finished in third place.
But the Indians have traded two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber, and they may be ready to move shortstop Francisco Lindor and/or starter Mike Clevinger for the right offer. It seems they want to bail and reset, with trade rumors regarding key players going back to last offseason, but it’s been a clunky process.
The Twins have a clear need for starting pitching, and the theoretical ability to spend with plenty of payroll flexibility now and going forward. But the signings of Keuchel and Hyun-Jin Ryu has left the free agent market bare, and fans have been left wondering what if any notable moves are coming this offseason.
While the Indians and Twins are languishing in relative inactivity, the White Sox have been one of the most active teams this offseason with no indication they’re winding down. The South Siders are coming for the AL Central at some point, and it seems to be there for the taking as soon as next season.