Earlier this offseason—which now seems no less than 14 years ago—I said that the Chicago White Sox could shock some people in this upcoming season. I thought they had enough young players and enough spending money to really make some special things happen in 2019.
It’s now February, and I’m beginning to see that my aspirations for the south siders were drastically over exaggerated.
This team, with or without Manny Machado, is a 75-win team, at best.
The White Sox are fresh off of another 100-loss season and have done nearly nothing to improve the on-field product. In fact, at this moment, the Sox may actually be a worse team than they were last year. After losing both Matt Davidson and Avisail Garcia, two men who accounted for 39 home runs and over 170 runs created, the White Sox never really filled their positions. They traded for Yonder Alonso, who is fresh off of a down year, and platoon outfielder Jon Jay, someone who isn’t synonymous with run creation. Perhaps the team is banking hard on Eloy Jimenez and Luis Roberts to make an immediate impact upon getting called up, but still, that’s a dangerous gamble.
It seems the White Sox’s plans for the season are hinging on Manny Machado’s decision. But everything is so unclear. If they sign Machado, are they looking to compete in 2019? If last season was any indication of the White Sox’s future, then no—they will still suffer from Machado. The White Sox had the 24th-ranked offense in baseball last year, and, as I said previously, lost two of their better offensive players and didn’t really replace them. The team didn’t address pitching either, from a staff that was downright pitiful in 2018. While the Reds have been smart in their personnel decisions this offseason, adding quality veterans to supplement the young arms with plenty of potentials, the White Sox are content to let their young starters get shelled the same way they did last year.
So, let’s recap: The White Sox, who didn’t fix their offense and still have atrocious pitching, are expecting to sign Manny Machado to a mega-contract and, poof, all problems are gone??
We saw what happens when you surround Machado with scrubs and the results were less than great in Baltimore. Are you going to pay Machado $30 million a season to still be a sub .500 team? I’m baffled. While I think getting an established superstar like Machado definitely could help improve the team in the future, it seems like the White Sox faithful are putting a lot of stock in a player that likely won’t put them over the hump this year.
What I’m saying is that this whole Manny Machado sweepstakes might be completely pointless. If Machado goes to the White Sox, and the team keeps the roster the same as it is right now, Chicago still might lose 90 games even with the perennial all-star.
Maybe this offseason has just made me a cynic who thinks everyone is going to suck next year—or maybe I’m actually onto something.
Machado, in my humble opinion, is not the answer for the White Sox. You’re better off hoping and praying you can steal back Chris Sale next year in free agency. Crazier things have happened.
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