How Far Can the White Sox Go Next Season?

How Far Can the White Sox Go Next Season?
Jose Abreu #79 of the Chicago White Sox. Hannah Foslien/Getty Images/AFP

Last season, the White Sox went 35-25, which was one game back of the Twins and good for second place in the AL Central, tied with the Twins. The White Sox were a balanced team in 2020 with a winning percentage at home and on the road. However, they couldn’t finish the season strong, losing eight of their last 10 games before the playoffs. Once the White Sox made the playoffs, they lost to the Oakland Athletics in the first round, 2-1, in a best-of-three series.

The White Sox have already lost James McCann to the Mets. McCann signed a four-year deal worth $40 million and left Chicago for New York. He’ll absolutely be missed in Chicago but the White Sox did make a couple solid moves during free agency thus far that make them worthy of your MLB picks. The team stayed busy during the Winter Meetings and signed Lance Lynn, the former Texas Rangers starting pitcher.

Lynn will be the third pitcher in the rotation for the White Sox along with aces Lucas Giolito and Dallas Keuchel. They’ll also have a choice between a couple young pitchers like Dylan Cease, Michael Kopech, Reynaldo Lopez and Dane Dunning, who impressed in a short period of time last season. But enough about the rotation.

Lance Lynn
Former Texas Ranger Lance Lynn, who recently signed with the Chicago White Sox – Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images/AFP

This team has the reigning and defending AL MVP in Jose Abreu, who was just in a groove last season, hitting 19 home runs and 60 RBI’s along with a .317 average. The lineup consists of veterans and younger players who are highly touted. Yasmani Grandal will take over catching duties for McCann on a more-than-likely full-time basis. Then there’s young studs like Tim Anderson, Eloy Jimenez, Yoan Moncada, Luis Robert and Nick Madrigal. All of these players have true star potential making the lineup absolutely deadly.

White Sox fans have been waiting for this moment. Chicago has been stockpiling prospects for quite some time. Now it’s time to showcase the talent and get closer to a World Series. The White Sox have also added Adam Eaton to the mix, another veteran that will give them a bat from the left-side, which is something they lacked a bit last season.

In the bullpen, the White Sox shouldn’t be concerned. Alex Colome might not return to the White Sox after signing a one-year 10.5 million dollar deal last season. He’s now going to test the market as a top free agent closer. That’s fine. The team also has Aaron Bummer, who would be considered one of the better arms in baseball and especially for the White Sox. He only pitched 9.1 innings last season due to a biceps strain but when he pitched, hitters were 5-for-33 and he allowed no extra base hits.

Aaron Bummer #39 of the Chicago White Sox
Aaron Bummer #39 of the Chicago White Sox . Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images/AFP

If Bummer is healthy, there’s a chance he’ll be given the closer role if Colome leaves. Bummer also signed a five-year, $16 million contract before the season began last year, so he’s not going anywhere. Other potential closing options would include Codi Heuer, Matt Foster or Garrett Crochet.

Heuer went 3-0 with a 1.52 ERA last season and tailed 25 strikeouts in 21 appearances. Meanwhile, Foster went 6-1 with a 2.20 ERA in 23 games, along with two starts and had 31 strikeouts. He’s versatile and while they don’t need another starter at this time, in a long season, you never know.

Lastly, Crochet is a former first round pick from 2020 and didn’t allow a single run in six innings. He even got to taste postseason baseball with a couple strikeouts against Matt Olsen and Khris Davis. Crochet’s long term goal will be to start but the rotation has plenty of arms that would make it hard for Crochet to start this season.

Jose Abreu #79 of the Chicago White Sox.
Jose Abreu #79 of the Chicago White Sox. Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images/AFP

The one questionable decision for the White Sox was signing Tony LaRussa as manager. In a game where analytics and technology play a factor, LaRussa did not seem like the right hire. The manager was caught drunk driving earlier this year and just reached a plea deal one day ago. He’s had questionable behavior throughout his career, yet the White Sox ownership has stayed quiet about the hire.

There’s plenty of talent on this White Sox team. I’m eager to see how Tony LaRussa manages this team. Does he manage like it’s 1991 or does he manage like it’s 2021? This team can go extremely far. They’ve got a solid rotation mixed with a ridiculous lineup that can produce when needed along with a bullpen that has some very nice young arms.

Currently, the White Sox are +1400 on BetOnline to win the World Series. The oddsmakers believe the White Sox will make the playoffs over teams like the Minnesota Twins, Houston Astros, and Oakland Athletics. We’re going to have a long season but if the White Sox can sustain the success they had last season, the sky is ultimately the limit.