White Sox Offseason: Looking For Success In 2014
By ‘White Sox Correspondent’ Brian Madsen Follow @brianm731
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Rumors are flying. This team wants that guy. That team wants this guy. The Major League Baseball GM Meetings in Orlando have come and gone.
The Winter Meetings in January are on the horizon. Trades have been proposed. Some trades have already been made. Ideas have been shared. Laughs have been had. Who’s going where?
Fans of every MLB team want answers all of these questions regarding their respective favorite team.
Sometimes, one team’s move directly affects a given move of their competitor. It’s uncanny how it can happen, without it being glaringly obvious.
Garcia Hits Another Double
All White Sox fans knew that Jake Peavy would be traded before the non-waiver trade deadline of July 31st. The only question was, where?
The Cardinals were supposedly interested, along with several other teams.
He ended up being traded to Boston, with whom he won his first World Series ring along with his former White Sox teammate, Matt Thornton.
Who did the White Sox receive from the Red Sox in return for Peavy?
Well, nobody actually. What some forget is the Peavy deal was a three team deal also involving the White Sox division rivals, the Detroit Tigers.
While the deal helped all three teams involved, it certainly will benefit Chicago and Detroit long-term. While Boston is rumored to have discussed trading Peavy this off-season.
Once the 2013 season came to an end, it seemed apparent the White Sox may turn to rebuilding mode.
It turns out, according to White Sox GM Rick Hahn, that they may be in “re-tooling” mode.
While there are some major holes to fill for the White Sox, primarily positional player roles, they have some quality youth on the roster.
The “re-tooling” Rick Hahn mentioned started when the White Sox signed Cuban prospect Jose Abreu to a 6YR/$68 million contract last month.
While many other teams were involved in discussions with Abreu, the Sox landed him for what could be considered a bargain down the road.
One of the other teams rumored to have been interested in Abreu was the Texas Rangers.
Though they fell short of acquiring the Cuban slugger, they still had their sights set on a power hitting first baseman.
Who would have thought that, a month later, they would acquire Prince Fielder from the Tigers?
Detroit received 2nd baseman Ian Kinsler in exchange for Prince (there was also $ exchanged in the deal as well).
The trade came as a surprise to most, and it still hasn’t been decided who “got the better end of the deal”.
Time will determine that of course, but the deal could have a lasting effect on a few teams.
So, as it turns out, the White Sox beating out the Rangers for the services of Jose Abreu, lead directly to Texas acquiring Prince Fielder from the White Sox divisional rival Tigers.
It’s amazing how these things work themselves out.
The question is, are the Tigers are better or worse team since trading Fielder? Nobody knows for sure, but I’m on the side of them being better.
Sure Prince is a monster at the plate. Sure he’s an adequate 1st baseman. Sure he’s “quick for his size”.
But the huge contract that came along with those positives, was a huge negative. And somehow,
Dave Dombrowski was able to unload the contract on the Rangers. It also allows Detroit to put Miguel Cabrera, and his deteriorating legs, at 1st base, and eventually, maybe DH.
So Cabrera at 1st, Kinsler at 2nd, and future Gold Glove winner Iglesias at shortstop.
Now, they can consider putting their high prospect Nick Castellanos at his natural position of 3rd base (yes he’s been playing in the outfield, but he’ll be fine at 3rd).
Sounds like a much improved, possibly really good, infield defense doesn’t it?
Look no farther than the 2013 White Sox to see how a porous defense can lead a team down a dangerous path.
The large amount of $ freed up for the Tigers in the Fielder deal, may also allow them to be more active in the free-agent market, not to mention lock up Max Scherzer for the foreseeable future.
As I mentioned earlier, the White Sox have a few holes to fill. Jose Abreu fills one of those holes at 1st base.
Third base is still a huge question mark, as is catcher.
With Brian McCann signing with the Yankees, that’s just one less catching possibility for the Sox gone to the wayside.
While the Red Sox lost out on McCann, they may now refocus their attention on Jarrod Saltalamacchia, someone the White Sox have reportedly had ties with.
Curtis Granderson is another rumored possibility on the south side of Chicago.
But, potential free agent targets for the White Sox are dwindling.
Rick Hahn may have to get creative on the trade market, as he did when he acquired Avisail Garcia.
The Sox are said to be “re-tooling”, while acquiring players/prospects that can help them now, and in the future.
Though signing Robinson Cano to a $300 million contract isn’t going to happen (nor should it), added a few quality pieces could lead to success, both now, and in the future.
The problem is, the Tigers seem to be one step ahead with every move the Sox make.
Let’s hope the next move the Sox make, doesn’t trigger something bigger for Detroit.
*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***
A big thank-you goes out to our ‘White Sox Correspondent’ Brian Madsen for preparing today’s featured article. Brian was born and raised in Chicago Heights, IL, a south suburb of Chicago.
He attended Illinois St. University, majoring in education/teaching. Brian now lives in Joliet, IL with his wife Suzanne two daughters, Abby, 9, and Grace, 4.
He has worked at The Little Guys Home Technology for 12 years as a salesman/system designer/custom integrator.
Brian is an avid White Sox, Bears, Blackhawks, and Bulls fan. Follow @brianm731
Please e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions and feedback. To subscribe to our website and have the Daily Reports sent directly to your inbox, click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.Follow @mlbreports
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Posted on November 25, 2013, in MLB Teams State Of the Unions, MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged 1B/DH Jose Abreu, @brianm731 on twitter, adam dunn, al central, alex ríos, avisail garcia, Brian Madsen, Brian McCann, brian wilson, curtis granderson, dave dombrowski, ian kinsler, jake peavy, jarrod saltalamacchia, Jose Iglesias, Matt Thornton, miguel cabrera, paul konerko, prince fielder, rick hahn, robinson cano, shin-soo choo. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.