The deadline for the extra-league baseball competition has officially passed. We now have a complete and comprehensive picture of the players on the free market. In general, there were no major surprises as some analysts had predicted, given the economic uncertainty now facing the sport. In the meantime, however, other names have appeared on the open market that can provide teams with goals in an attempt to build a club at divisional level.
Hopefully with this passage we can witness the thawing of the cold plate, which used to be a seasonal MLB. Numerous people have written that this winter offers an aggressive organization an opportunity to position itself as a competitor in the coming years, simply by adding talent, while many clubs are on the sidelines because of alleged economic problems due to the pandemic. One of the clubs that should fall into this category is the Chicago White Sox.
The belief that we will see lower prices on the open market this winter for the reasons mentioned above gives the White Sox a huge opportunity to hire talented people at prices lower or equal to the market, which will make a certain person issuing cheques very happy.
picture : Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune
However, the Sox cannot be the only team that sees this opportunity to enter a market that will not be saturated by competition. Teams like the Mets, who now have the richest owner in the sport, who has sworn to open his huge wallet, the Blue Jays, the Dodgers – they all seem ready and willing to spend money, while others consider their chequebook their expensive lives.
For a team like the White Sox, who officially participate in the competition, this winter will be one of the most important in the history of the franchise. We all know a young and exciting group that has come together in recent years. Many of these players, such as Ioan Moncada, Luis Robert, Eloy Jimenez and Tim Anderson, have been with the team for a long time. That is why it is so important to complete this list, so that the South Siders can reach the public declared goal of Rick Khan to participate in multiple championships.
I think, in order to expand that core, the Sox must attack the market quickly and aggressively. We experienced this last winter with the signing of Yasmani Grandal for Thanksgiving. I’m sure it would be great if they would do it again this winter and right away. We now have a complete picture of the market, so it’s time to look and strike.
Simply put, this team cannot afford to sit back and wait for the negotiations to be won, as has often happened in the past. A repetition of the disastrous winter of 2018-19 would be the worst conceivable outcome for this organization. They were waiting for Manny Machado to make a decision, because he was their plan A, B and B for this winter. In my opinion, this winter’s passivity is directly responsible for the fact that the 2020 season has not been maximized because they have added ZERO talent to their long-term roster. History must not be allowed to repeat itself.
I wear my sunglasses so you can’t see the shock in my eyes. – Kenny Williams
Photo: Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune
If the team’s main targets are George Springer or Trevor Bauer (I don’t think it’s Bauer, but I’ll add him here for the sake of discussion), they should have a sense of urgency and come to an agreement. If they really want to create a club of champions, they can’t wait until January, when prices drop. If they can’t agree on Springer, for example at Christmas, they have to go to plan B. The longer they wait, the more likely it is that an aggressive owner like Steve Cohen (who, I believe, will make it his mission to stick it to Jerry Rainsdorf at every possible turn) will invade and get it from under their noses, like the San Diego Padres did two winters ago. Now is not the time to worry about winning negotiations, but to win a pennant.
Of course, some prices may fall for the players if their markets collapse in the New Year. But for a team that is about to become a viable opponent in the championship, the risk is not worth the reward. Staying without a dance partner, like two winters ago, would be a sad failure for this organization. We all know that the White Sox like to work in stealth mode when it comes to making lists, so let’s hope they are now aggressive with the goals they have set.
For an organization that is too concerned about the cost-effectiveness of playoffs, it is time to reverse this trend. Jerry Rainsdorf likes to present herself in public as the owner who wants to win at all costs. Those of us who live and die with this team know they don’t. If he really wants to change the story around him, especially after ESPN’s documentary The Last Dance, then the time has come. Many domestic observers have finally gotten an idea of what we’ve all known for a long time, and everything indicates that he hasn’t got a good idea of it. If you don’t like it, it’s time to do something about it.
By entering the market and using the best talents such as Springer or Bauer, the White Sox would gain a real competitive edge. It would also allow them to take the heavy burden off the track to provide flexibility in building up the rest of the team while the other teams fight. God, wouldn’t that be a nice change?
The moral of the story is this: If the White Sox really want to maximize the next 3-5 years of the match window with Tony La Russa at the top, they need to provide him with some ammunition. It will be of the utmost importance to lock and load the ammunition before the other teams know what is happening to them. We all know the White Sox aren’t a fashionable organization, so they can’t afford to sit back and wait to win the bidding war. Now you know who your target is. Go to the market and do your job.
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