The White Sox need changes, how about these?


Caden Sexton

Chicago currently has two options, do nothing and cross your fingers that something magically changes next year, or get up and start making some moves.

Caden Sexton, Freelance Writer

In the bottom of the ninth with two outs, Cesar Hernandaz came to the plate for the Sox. He hits a ground ball to Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, who throws it over to first basemen Yuli Guriel for out number three. That’s it, the games over, and the White Sox season ends with it.

While the White Sox made the playoffs in both of the last two seasons, there is still work to be done this offseason. No organization can be a first round exit in the playoffs back-to-back years and tell themselves that their team is perfect and doesn’t need any adjustments. Chicago currently has two options, do nothing and cross your fingers that something magically changes next year, or get up and start making some moves.

The Sox had several holes on offense this year due to injury, and some might argue that the season would have gone a lot differently without them. However the Sox still made the playoffs, and even though Yasmani Grandal was still fighting off a knee injury, the Sox played in the postseason with all of their starters on the field.

The only players with ending contracts on the roster are Carlos Rodon, Leury Garcia, Billy Hamilton, Brian Goodwin and Ryan Tepera. This poses a problem since Garcia played almost every position while holding the offense together with those bottom of the lineup at bats. Rodon pitched the best season of his career, and until getting hurt three weeks before the end of the season, he was projected third place for the American League Cy Young award.

Hamilton and Goodwin both played every outfield position with gold glove caliber defense, as well as hitting in big moments even though that’s not a strong suit in either of their careers. Tepera was traded from the Cubs to the Sox in exchange for Bailey Horn one day before the trade deadline. In 2021 he pitched the best year of his career with a 2.79 ERA, and 74 strikeouts over 61.1 innings pitched.

So now you have multiple questions- what should this front office do?

Priority number one has to be re-signing Rodon. Without Rodon in the rotation the only southpaw the Sox will have left is Dallas Keuchel, who had an atrocious 2021 to say the least. Rodon on the other hand had the best season of his career due to many factors, including throwing more fastballs and less breaking balls. He struck out 185 in 25 games, with a 13-5 record.

If the Sox are unable to re-sign Rodon, then they will need to go after another starter. Max Scherzer is a candidate, especially since he just drank from the fountain of youth. But going after a left handed starter would be smarter, and the second best lefty free agent is Clayton Kershaw.

Kershaw does bring a veteran precanse to the clubhouse with playoff and World Series experience, but he will be turning 34, and you also have to take into consideration that in his entire career he hasn’t called any team besides the Dodgers his home.

The only other quality lefty is Robbie Ray, but he came off his best season as well, so good that he is currently the favorite to win the AL Cy Young award. I would love to have him, but Rodon is the best candidate for the Sox knowing their biggest need is a lefty starter. If the White Sox can only spend big bucks once, spend it on Rodon without a doubt, and bring the no-hit pitcher back.

Now there are more holes than just this. If you look at the roster, their first basemen, catcher, left fielder, center fielder, bullpen, and starting rotation are all in the top three respectively out of the entire MLB. On top of that, their shortstop and third basemen are both in the top five.

Through the 2021 season, the White Sox had 11 different players out in right field, and it wasn’t due to injury but inconsistency. They also had five different players start at second base, however second base had more issues overall.

Because of this, the White Sox biggest need behind re-signing Rodon is signing a new second baseman. The best available would be Marcus Seimein. Seimein homered 45 times this season, the most by any second baseman and fourth in the MLB.

The one complication would be that Seimein actually used to play for the Sox. Seimien was drafted by the Sox, but after hitting .261 in 2013 and .234 in 2014 he was traded to the Oakland Athletics for Jeff Samardzija.

There’s one more issue, right field. The Sox can switch between Andrew Vaughn and Gavin Sheets in right due to the hand of the pitcher, playing with Adam Engel as the relief fielder. However if they don’t feel like going that route, then they need to make a hard pitch to Nicholas Castellanos.

Castellanos has an opt-out, in other words he personally gets the choice of either staying with the Cincinnati Reds or going into free agency and signing with whoever he wants. If he opts-out, then the Sox should consider giving him an offer.

Castellanos played every game in right this season having the fourth highest National League batting average hitting .309. Castellanos would be a great fit for this team, especially since he spent the majority of his career playing against the Sox in the American League Central while with the Detroit Tigers for seven years.

The White Sox need to add some new pieces to the puzzle or else they’re going to be looking at the same picture this time next year.