Status: On their way back
After an ambitious offseason, the Chicago White Sox are coming to the end of their rebuild, despite free agent disappointment.
Alonso is expected to share first base and DH with Jose Abreu, who is a free agent at season’s end. Jay gives an option in the outfield while the South Siders wait for prospects to come through.
Ivan Nova and Alex Colome, like Alonso, were traded for from Pittsburgh and Seattle respectively. Nova will complement a young rotation with plenty of okay innings. Colome joins Nate Jones and free agent signing Kelvin Herrera at the back of the bullpen.
James McCann was signed on a one-year deal and will split catching duties with Wellington Castillo.
Lindgren and Delgado will compete with bullpen jobs, while Tucker and Guyer are in the mix for an outfield spot.
Santana was a decent pickup. The veteran missed most of 2018 with injuries but was very good in 2016 and 2017.
What to watch
Eloy Jimenez will arrive in The Show this summer after some service time manipulation. Jimenez is MLB Pipeline’s third ranked prospect, with raw power to all fields and great pitch recognition. He’s probably a DH long-term, but he has the potential to be one of the sport’s best hitters. Jimenez is one of the Rookie of the Year favourites. His performance will have a huge bearing on how the White Sox perform post-rebuild.
Yoan Moncada’s plate discipline needs to improve and Chicago need greater production from him. Moncada’s upside is slipping with every disappointing month – he is projected to be around a league average hitter next season, which is a long way short of what the White Sox hoped for when he arrived from Boston.
Chicago need something from their young pitchers. Lucas Giolito was terrible last season, as was Reynaldo Lopez, and their projections are pretty ugly. Carlos Rodon was not as bad, but he’s got a long way to go to live up to his potential. Top 100 prospects Dylan Dunning and Dylan Cease should both contribute this year.
Michael Kopech’s injury was gutting. Luis Robert’s progress has been slowed by health issues. There’s still talent aplenty in the organisation, headlined by Jimenez, and the White Sox could be good soon.
It is unlikely to be in 2019, though. Third is within reach in a terrible American League Central, but it’s possible they lose 100 again if their young pitchers continue to struggle.
Development is the key this season. The 2019 season will tell us a lot about the success of the White Sox rebuild.