Sox Take a Page Out of Cubs Playbook

Dominic Pellegrini

February 7th, 2018

White Sox players celebrate a victory. —
Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune/TNS

A 95-loss season never felt so good for the White Sox. It’s been a decade since the Sox last postseason appearance, but people are smiling again. General Manager Rick Hahn has adapted a “lose now, win later” plan. The Sox are in total rebuild mode after several years of signing aging veterans hoping to be a quick fix to the team’s struggles.

The Sox traded away many of their main stays to get an abundance of prospects that will help them become a force in the American League for years to come.

Shipping off ace starter Chris Sale last winter to Boston, the White Sox managed to get Yoan Moncada, the top prospect in baseball at the time, and flame-throwing right hander Michael Kopech in the deal.

The White Sox finally had talent in their farm system, but the moves wouldn’t stop there. The aqustitions of Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez from Washington helped the solidify their pitching rotation for the years to come.

The signing of 20 year old Cuban, Luis Robert, gave them a speedster with power.    

Trading away number two pitcher Jose Quintana to the Cubs for Eloy Jimenez, a potential middle of the lineup power hitter who hit a ball so far in a minor league home run contest he broke a light, an even balance of hitting and pitching prospects.

Though the future looks bright, there’s never a guarantee in baseball. Prospects fail, it’s just a fact about baseball. Gordon Beckham was once the prized possession in the Sox farm system in 2009, but he failed to live up to expectations and the fans only fond memory of him is his walkup song “Your Love” by The Outfield. After Beckman, the farm system was never among the top of scouts lists.

The success of the Cubs and Astros does give a light at the end of the tunnel. Both teams were in the same position as the Sox a few seasons back and after years of losing and stockpiling prospects, they won the World Series in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

Moncada and Jimenez will have to be the 1-2 punch that Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo were for the Cubs. Bryant and Rizzo’s success propelled the Cubs from pretenders to contenders due their quick transition in the major leagues, something that the Sox management is hoping to happen to their hitters.

With the future depending on the young players, the Sox still need to rely on veterans to get them over the edge as well. Astros brought in veteran catcher Brian McCann to bring leadership and a locker room presence of a player who’s played in big games before. 

Sox fans are already proclaiming 2020 as the year the team contends for a championship, but these upcoming years will be important as well. The record should not matter too much for fans this season, but how the young players play is crucial.

Most of the highly touted prospects should be called up before the season ends and fans just want to see a little hope for the future.

Hopefully it works, because the potential of a White Sox-Cubs World Series will be truly special for the city. The Cubs have 10-1 odds to win the World Series this season, while the White Sox have 50-1 odds.

Pitchers and catchers report for the White Sox and Cubs February 13 and the regular season starts March 29.

Dominic Pellegrini

Sports Reporter

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