White Sox could rebuild this offseason or retool. What players will certainly be with the team next season?
With the offseason underway, Chicago White Sox GM Rick Hahn has been rumored as “listening on everyone.” However, who are the least likely players the Sox will ship out this winter? Here is a look at the group that should stick around 35th and Shields for 2017.
Assuming the Sox are to ship out both Chirs Sale and Jose Quintana, Rodon would become the anchor of their rotation. When Rodon was drafted 3rd overall in the 2014 draft, he was expected to become another ace to join Sale and Quintana, however his development has been slower than many had hoped.
Heading into 2017, Rodon will only be 24 years old, and have five years of team control left. So far in just 54 career games, he has a record of 18-16 with a 3.90 ERA. Rodon has big time swing and miss stuff, and that is without elite fastball command. To illustrate this point, he has fanned 307 batters in 304.1 innings pitched.
Rodon makes perfect sense to hang on to. In the scenario of a rebuild, the Sox will need a front-line caliber starter. There is no question Rodon can be that, however he has a ways to go before he can reach that status. Alec Hansen may end up being his sidekick, but he is a couple years away from the MLB ranks. Hansen was selected in the second round of this years draft, 49th overall.
Anderson could end up anchoring the infield for many seasons, as his combination of athleticism and arm strength give him all the tools to be a great shortstop. On top of that, he has big upside with the bat. While he hit nine home runs in 410 at bats in 2016, don’t be shocked if his power numbers improve as he develops.
The big concern with Anderson is the fact his game is a bit raw around the edges. Moving forward, pitchers will make adjustments to him and his lack of contact will hurt him. With 13 walks and 117 strikeouts in 2016, he needs to improve his plate discipline or he will be badly exposed.
Keep in mind if the Sox sell everyone, many young players of Anderson’s ilk will be on the ballclub in 2017. The key will be to surrounding him with enough talent to develop a core the Sox can win with.
It was a bit of a challenge to put Fulmer into this group due to lack of service time. However the Sox will not move their first round draft pick from 2015 this quickly. On top of that he has versatility, as he can start and relieve for the Sox.
Since Fulmer can do either, the team is going to have to make a decision on how they want to develop him fairly soon. Another key is not to rush him into a key role, even though he spent a short time with the Sox this past season. While sounding contradictory, choosing the direction they want to develop and bringing him to the majors are different issues altogether.
Overall, just about everyone might be traded elsewhere this offseason. The front office needs to make sure they get equal value in return.They do not have the ability to blow this opportunity. If they blow it, the Sox will be rebuilding for a decade. However, assuming Hahn runs the show properly the Sox could have a Houston Astros type team within a few years.
Now the question becomes how will the Sox end up? They have not rebuilt for a long time, and have plenty of valuable assets to do so. Keep in mind teams now build around young stars. If the South Siders can bring a handful over, expect a renewal of success. Get ready for a brand new club next spring, Sox fans.
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