As expected, the While Sox took a big step forward in 2021, running away with the AL Central before losing to the Astros in the ALDS. Now the focus will shift to the White Sox offseason for 2021 and 2022 with Chicago likely the preseason favorites in the AL Central next year. But if they want to repeat as division champs and push for a World Series in 2022, the White Sox have some work to do during the 2021-22 MLB offseason.
It won’t be easy for the White Sox to maintain the same level of playing with several upcoming Chicago White Sox free agents hitting the open market.
While the core of the team is young and will remain intact, there are still several White Sox offseason needs that need to be addressed this winter.
White Sox Offseason Needs
After all, there are reasons why the White Sox came up short in the ALDS.
Their roster was good but far from perfect and clearly not enough to win a World Series. But after tasting success this season, it should make for an interesting White Sox offseason in 2021, so let’s take a closer look at the biggest White Sox offseason needs this winter.
Those two combined for 24 wins with a 2.69 and 2.37 ERA, respectively in 2021, creating a big hole in the rotation.
Granted, Lucas Giolito and Dylan Cease remain, as do Reynaldo Lopez and Dallas Keuchel. But Chicago’s rotation is still set to lose two all-stars who pitched like bonafide aces this year. The White Sox still have some young arms in their farm system that are coming. However, they’ll likely need to re-sign at least one of them or find a replacement for Lynn and Rodon at the top of their rotation.
Before he got hurt in June, Nick Madrigal looked like the long-term solution at second base.
The Chicago #WhiteSox are expected to pick up reliever Craig Kimbrel's $16 million option and then trade him during the winter. He badly struggled as a setup man, allowing 31 baserunners in 23 innings, including a 5.09 ERA. There will be plenty of teams looking for closers.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) October 13, 2021
However, the White Sox sent him across town to the Cubs in the Craig Kimbrel trade at the deadline. Cesar Hernandez and Leury Garcia did a fine job of filling in down the stretch, but both are free agents, so second base is wide open.
The good news is the White Sox have enough offensive prowess at other positions that they don’t need an elite offensive player at second base. Instead, they can find a more affordable player who’s strong defensively. But they don’t have any second base prospects in the minors who are ready, so this position will have to be addressed one way or another this winter.
In addition to being a part-time second baseman, Garcia helped to fill in at right field this year.
But this is another position where the White Sox will have a vacancy.
Andrew Vaughn is an option in right field, but he’s primarily a left fielder with Eloy Jimenez likely to see a lot of action at DH. With Jimenez, Vaughn, and center fielder Luis Robert all being right-handed hitters, it’d benefit Chicago to find a left-handed hitter who could play right field every day. Otherwise, they might need to sign two players who can fill that one spot.