Category Archives: Chicago White Sox

3 Teams that will be better in 2018

3. Chicago White Sox

I really like what the White Sox did this offseason as they made a few moves to try and make their team more competitive. Luis Avilan and Joakim Soria will make the White Sox bullpen much better and that should be a strength of the team in 2018. Also, the addition of catcher Welington Castillo will add some more depth and power ability to Chicago’s lineup. I’m not saying that Chicago will be a playoff team in 2018, but at least they will be more respectable of a team than last season. Chicago still will be reliant on young prospects like Yoan Moncada and Lucas Giolito to lead their team. However, the future is bright for the White Sox and also 2018 should be an improved year for the team as well.

2. New York Mets

The Mets have a good roster overall, but the health of their rotation is what really hurt the team last season. New York has a terrific starting rotation, but they were too reliant upon it in 2017 and that ended up costing them as their entire rotation basically dealt with injuries all year. However, the Mets starting pitchers head into 2018 completely healthy and hopefully it will stay that way as that is the key to their success. If the rotation can just stay healthy then that would automatically make them a better team. Also, the additions of veteran hitters Adrian Gonzalez and Todd Frazier should give the Mets some more offensive capability which would make this team even more dangerous. New York has the talent to be a playoff contender, but it all depends on if the injury bug hits them again in 2018.

1. San Francisco Giants

San Francisco had a combination of bad luck and poor offensive production that contributed to their awful 2017 season. Star pitcher Madison Bumgarner was injured for a large portion of the season and that hurt the Giants tremendously. Also, Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija had very disappointing seasons in the Giants rotation. The Giants also struggled offensively where they didn’t get much offensive production besides Buster Posey and Brandon Belt. However, the Giants made some major offseason moves this offseason in order to fix those offensive woes. The Giants acquired all-star caliber players Andrew McCutchen and Evan Longoria in trades this offseason. Both of those players provide very good power and tremendous offensive potential, so it should improve the Giants offense right away. San Francisco’s offense should be much better with the additions of Longoria and McCutchen. Also, if the Giants starting pitching can improve as expected in 2018 then this team could improve tremendously this season.


2018 AL East Predictions

  1. Cleveland Indians

The Cleveland Indians are one of the best teams in the MLB and they are the clear favorites to once again win the AL Central in 2018. Cleveland has arguably the best starting rotation in the MLB as they are led by star pitchers Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco. However, the Indians have a very deep starting rotation with pitchers like Trevor Bauer and Danny Salazar also being decent starting pitchers. Cleveland possibly has an even better bullpen with elite closer Cody Allen to go along with elite setup man Andrew Miller and quality late-inning option Dan Otero. Cleveland’s pitching staff is the strength of the team, but they also have a very good offense. Jose Ramirez, Francisco Lindor, and Edwin Encarnacion are all all-star caliber hitters. However, the Indians also have some quality depth in their lineup from top to bottom. Jason Kipnis, Michael Brantley, Lonnie Chisenhall, and Bradley Zimmer have all proven that they can be quality hitters. However, they will need to improve if the Indians lineup reaches its full potential in 2018. If those 4 guys can improve this season then Cleveland could make the case that they are the best team in the MLB.

2. Minnesota Twins

Minnesota surprisingly sneaked its way into the playoffs last season, but now they have made some improvements this offseason to possibly make their team even better. The Twins already had a very good lineup as they had breakout seasons from players like Eddie Rosario, Jorge Polanco, and Miguel Sano. Minnesota also has proven veterans Brian Dozier and Joe Mauer that can still produce at a high level on offense. The main concern for the Twins is their pitching. The Twins did acquire Jake Odorizzi via trade recently and that will provide some much needed depth for their rotation. Minnesota also has emerging star pitcher Jose Berrios who should continue to get better in 2018. However, the back end of the Twins rotation is a complete mess right now as they need more production from pitchers like Kyle Gibson and Adalberto Mejia. Minnesota will be without ace Ervin Santana due to injury until May, so the rest of the rotation will need to step up. The Twins starting rotation has the potential to be good, but they will need Santana to come back healthy and be the player that he was last season and they will need Berrios and Odorizzi to continue to improve. Minnesota’s bullpen wasn’t very good last season, but they made a few moves to improve in that area for 2018. Fernando Rodney is the team’s new closer, although he has been inconsistent in recent years. Addison Reed was a terrific addition for Minnesota as he will be a very reliable 8th inning option for Minnesota. Also, the addition of Zach Duke should provide some depth to Minnesota’s bullpen in the middle innings. Minnesota’s bullpen is a complete unknown heading into 2018, but it should be better than it was last season. Either way, Minnesota should be a playoff contender in 2018, although they likely don’t have the pitching to be able to compete with the Indians in the AL central.

3. Chicago White Sox

Chicago is a team on the rise despite starting the rebuilding process not too long ago as they have many elite prospects that could make an impact at the MLB level in 2018. Jose Abreu, Avisail Garcia, Matt Davidson, and Tim Anderson are the players that should carry the White Sox offense in 2018. However, they also added catcher Welington Castillo this offseason and that should make the White Sox lineup even better in 2018. However, the White Sox could be have really good lineup if elite 2nd base prospect Yoan Moncada improves in 2018. Chicago has major weaknesses in left field and center field heading into the 2018 season, but the rest of the lineup should be good enough to be an above average offense. The White Sox starting pitching rotation is unproven for the most part, but it does have the potential to be a very good rotation in 2018. The keys will be talented young pitchers Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez who will need to prove why they were such highly touted prospects. If those guys can pitch like we know they can then it will automatically make the White Sox rotation good. Carson Fulmer is another young pitcher with tremendous potential and he pitched well in 7 starts for the White Sox last season. James Shields and Miguel Gonzalez are the veteran pitchers of the group and Chicago is hoping that they can return to the players that they were several years ago. We’ll see if the White Sox rotation is good in 2018, but Fulmer, Lopez, and Giolito will need to be good if this rotation reaches its outstanding potential. The White Sox bullpen also could be decent as they have veterans Joakim Soria and Nate Jones at the back end of their bullpen. Soria is a proven closer and he should help to solidify that role and Nate Jones is an outstanding setup man as he proved once again last season. However, the rest of the White Sox bullpen is inexperienced and not very good. They will need somebody to step up in the 7th inning and middle relief roles if the White Sox want to have a good bullpen. Overall, Chicago should be an improved team in 2018 and they do have tremendous potential because of the great prospects that they will have on their team in 2018. However, this team is still rebuilding and they are likely a year or two away from playoff contention unless their pitching can make great improvements in 2018.

4. Kansas City Royals

It was a very rough offseason for the Kansas City Royals as they basically lost their 3 best position players Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain, and Mike Moustakas. However, that wasn’t the only players that they lost as they also didn’t retain Melky Cabrera, Jason Vargas, and Joakim Soria. The team still has Salvador Perez, Whit Merrifield, and Alex Gordon to carry the offense in 2018. However, the rest of the lineup is basically filled with unproven or unproductive players. Cheslor Cuthbert, Jorge Soler, and Jorge Bonifacio all need to make improvments if the Royals want to have a good lineup in 2018. Also, young players like Hunter Dozier and Paulo Orlando will need to make contributions in 2018. Perez, Gordon, and Merrifield are enough to make the Royals offense decent, but for their offense to be successful then they will need other position players to step up. The Kansas City Royals starting pitching rotation appears to have major issues as well. Danny Duffy is the clear ace of the Royals pitching staff, but the problem is he is the only reliable starter that they have. Ian Kennedy and Jason Hammel are both proven veteran pitchers in the MLB, but they both were absolutely terrible last season. The Royals need Kennedy and Hammel to improve quite a bit if they even want a decent starting rotation. It is unclear who the 4th or 5th starters will be in the Royals rotation, but Kansas City needs at least somebody else besides Duffy to step up and have a good 2018 season or else the Royals will have a very poor rotation. The Royals bullpen also could be a weakness in 2018 especially after they lost Joakim Soria this offseason. Kelvin Herrera is the team’s closer and he is a decent option in that role, although he struggled for the team last season. Brandon Maurer is the new 8th-inning guy for Kansas City after being acquired this offseason, but he was absolutely terrible last season. The Royals absolutely need Herrera and Maurer to be much better in 2018 or else the Royals bullpen could be very bad. Either way, the Royals need some more depth in their bullpen even if those two guys return to form in 2018. Kansas City is clearly rebuilding their roster once again and they don’t appear to even have a shot at making the playoffs this season.

5. Detroit Tigers

Detroit still has some big bats in the middle of their lineup with Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, and Alex Castellanos. However, the problem is that the rest of the lineup isn’t very good and they probably won’t help the other 3 guys out very much. Cabrera and Martinez also are getting older and they didn’t have very good seasons in 2017 especially by their standards. If the Tigers have any hope of scoring runs in 2018 then they will need Cabrera and Martinez to step up and return to the all-star caliber players that they once were. The bullpen also appears to be a weakness as they don’t have much depth besides Shane Greene and Alex Wilson. Greene was a very good late-inning option for the Tigers last season and he figures to provide the team with a good closer. Alex Wilson had a down 2017 season, but he is likely to bounce back in 2018 and he is still a quality setup man. However, Detroit needs another relief pitcher to step up if they even want to have a decent bullpen. The strength of Detroit’s team is clearly their pitching staff. Michael Fulmer is the new ace of their rotation and he should continue to get even better in 2018 as he gains more experience at the MLB level. Jordan Zimmermann once was a terrific pitcher, but since he signed with Detroit he has been absolutely terrible. However, Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris are the keys to the success of the Tigers starting rotation. Both Boyd and Norris are talented starting pitchers, although they both had a very disappointing 2017. If they bounce back and at least become decent pitchers then the Tigers could have a good starting rotation. Detroit still has some good players, but they are in a clea rebuilding mode and it doesn’t appear that they have much hope at all for the 2018 season.

White Sox trade Cabrera to the Royals

The Chicago White Sox traded yet another key veteran player as they sent outfielder Melky Cabrera to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for minor league pitchers A.J. Puckett and Andre Davis.


White Sox analysis/grade:

Melky Cabrera was one of the most productive players in the White Sox lineup this season, but Chicago made the right decision to trade him since he is about to turn 33 years old and he is going to be a free agent after the season. The White Sox added a couple of good young pitching prospects in this deal. The most notable prospect that the White Sox received in this deal is right-handed pitcher A.J. Puckett who was a 2nd round pick in 2016 by the Royals. Puckett hasn’t been very dominant in the minor leagues as he only has a 3.83 career ERA in 33 starts. He has struggled with his consistency at times and he walks a lot of batters. However, he he has a good fastball and a good change-up which should make him a successful starting pitcher. The White Sox will need to develop Puckett some more, but in a few years he should be ready to make an impact at the MLB level. The other prospect that the White Sox received in this trade is left-handed starting pitcher Andre Davis who was an 8th round pick by the Royals in 2015. Davis is a hard-thrower as he can throw mid-90’s consistently and that is likely why the White Sox are taking a chance on him. However, Davis is still a very raw pitcher as he struggles with his command at times and his 5.06 career ERA in the minor leagues isn’t very appealing. Davis is a starting pitcher right now, but ultimately the White Sox will probably have him to the bullpen because of his ability to throw hard. Chicago is getting two pitchers with very big potential and it is a good return for a player that they weren’t going to re-sign this offseason anyway.

Grade: B+


Royals analysis/grade:

The Royals are officially all in to try and make the playoffs this season before they have many key players that could leave in free agency. Cabrera is scheduled to be a free agent after this season, so he is basically a rental player for the Royals. However, Cabrera fills a big need for Kansas City in right field as they haven’t gotten much production out of that position this season. Cabrera doesn’t hit too many home runs, but he is a very underrated consistent hitter. He always seems to hit for a high average including this season when he hit .295 for the White Sox to go with 13 home runs and 56 RBI’s. Cabrera makes the Royals lineup pretty much complete as he adds just another dangerous hitter in the middle of their lineup. We’ll see how much of an impact Cabrera makes for the Royals as they chase a postseason spot this season, but he is probably an upgrade over Jorge Bonifacio in right field. My only concern with this trade is that the Royals gave up 2 pitching prospects with a high upside for a player who will likely only be with the team for a few months. This trade benefits the Royals immediately, but they might regret giving up Puckett and Davis in the future.

Grade: C+

melky cabrera


White Sox trade Dan Jennings to the Rays

The Chicago White Sox continued trading away their veteran players as they sent relief pitcher Dan Jennings to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for 1st baseman prospect Casey Gillaspie.


White Sox analysis/grade:

The White Sox have recently traded away most of the quality relief pitchers that they have and they continued that trend by sending left-handed reliever Dan Jennings to the Rays. Chicago didn’t really have to trade Jennings since he is under team control through the 2019 season at a very inexpensive price. However, the White Sox received a very good prospect in return and it was a deal that they just couldn’t pass up. The White Sox acquired 24-year old 1st baseman Casey Gillaspie who was the Rays 10th ranked prospect according to Gillaspie was drafted in the 1st round of the 2014 draft by the Rays mostly because of his offensive abilities especially with the above average power that he possesses. However, Gillaspie has struggled this season in Triple-A for the Rays as he is hitting only .227 with 9 home runs. Gillaspie is still a good hitter, but for whatever reason he is just not having a good season in 2017. If Gillaspie can continue to improve then he could make it to the major leagues very soon probably as a designated hitter for the White Sox since they already have Jose Abreu at 1st base. Gillaspie has the chance to be a very good starter for Chicago if he can overcome the hitting struggles that he has faced in Triple-A this year. Dan Jennings was a good pitcher for Chicago, but Gillaspie is a very good prospect and this could turn out to be a very good trade for the White Sox.

Grade: B+


Rays analysis/grade:

The Rays bullpen has been the weakness of their team this season and they especially have been searching for a good left-handed relief pitcher. That is why they acquired veteran left-handed pitcher Dan Jennings from the White Sox. Jennings was good for the White Sox this season as he had a 3.45 ERA, but he was particularly effective against left-handed batters as they only have a .169 average against him in 2017. Jennings is under team control through the 2019 season, so he will likely be a key part of the Rays bullpen for a couple of years. However, Tampa Bay gave up a very good prospect in order to acquire Jennings as they traded away their 10th ranked prospect Casey Gillaspie. There is no doubt that this trade should make the Rays bullpen much better, but the Rays probably gave up too much to get him.

Grade: C+

dan jennings

White Sox trade Swarzak to the Brewers

The Chicago White Sox continued selling their veteran players just prior to the trade deadline as they sent relief pitcher Anthony Swarzak to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for minor league center fielder Ryan Cordell.


White Sox analysis/grade:

This is a great trade for the White Sox as they signed Swarzak to a minor league contract in January and now they are trading him away for a quality prospect. Swarzak is going to be a free agent after the season, so the White Sox wouldn’t have re-signed him anyway. Chicago is also getting a good young outfielder in this trade as they acquired 25-year old outfielder Ryan Cordell who was an 11th round pick in 2013 by Texas. Cordell has been very impressive during his 5 minor league seasons as he is hitting .276 with 65 career home runs and 272 RBI’s. Cordell is in Triple-A this season and he has been really good at that level as he is hitting .284 with 10 home runs and 45 RBI’s. Cordell has good power and he is a good offensive player overall as evidenced by his impressive minor league stats. He also has good speed and he has above average arm strength for an outfielder, but the only thing that he could work on is that he strikes out too much. Cordell doesn’t have an elite skill in any area, but he is a good all-around player as he is able to do a variety of things well. Cordell projects very well as a good 4th outfielder for the White Sox and he is very close to making it to the MLB level as he could make his debut next season. The White Sox are getting a quality young outfielder that they can use for several years and that is a really good return considering that Swarzak didn’t have any trade value prior to this season.

Grade: A


Brewers analysis/grade:

The Milwaukee Brewers are shockingly in the middle of the playoff race in the national league, but they should still be building for the future instead of trading young prospects away. Swarzak is having a surprisingly good season as he had a 2.23 ERA coming out of the bullpen for the White Sox. However, Swarzak is just basically a rental player for Milwaukee as Swarzak is scheduled to be a free agent after the season. The Brewers are also giving up a prospect that has been dominant in the minor leagues so far. Milwaukee probably won’t make the playoffs this season and this trade isn’t one that will make much of a difference. The Brewers don’t need to sell their veteran players right now, but they certainly shouldn’t hurt their rebuilding process by trading young prospects away. The Brewers will probably look back at this trade in a few years and wonder why they thought it would be a good idea to trade a good young prospect for a relief pitcher that was signed as a minor league free agent not too long ago. It is difficult to see the logic of this trade for the Brewers and the Brewers gave up too much for Swarzak as well.

Grade: D

anthony swarzak

Todd Frazier and David Robertson traded to the Yankees

The New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox pulled off a major blockbuster trade on Tuesday as the White Sox sent Todd Frazier, David Robertson, and Tommy Kahnle to the Yankees in exchange for Tyler Clippard, Blake Rutherford, Ian Clarkin, and Tito Polo.


Yankees analysis/grade:

This is a good trade for the Yankees specifically with the acquisition of 3rd baseman Todd Frazier. The Yankees now have one of the deepest lineups in the MLB and this move will allow the Yankees to move Chase Headley from 3rd base to 1st base since that position has had terrible production this season. Frazier is only hitting .206 this season, but he is still a good power hitter as he has 16 home runs. Also, Frazier is still a solid defensive player at 3rd base and he is the type of player that will help the Yankees out in a variety of ways. The Yankees also made major upgrades to their bullpen in this trade by acquiring relief pitchers David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle. Robertson was the closer for the White Sox this season and he did well in that role as he had a 2.70 ERA and 13 saves. However, he won’t be the closer for the Yankees as New York has Aroldis Chapman as their closer and they also have quality setup man Dellin Betances in their bullpen. Robertson will likely be the 8th inning guy for New York and he will make their bullpen elite as the team now has 3 terrific late-inning options. Tommy Kahnle will add even more to the Yankees bullpen as he had a 2.43 ERA this season for the White Sox. Kahnle is an outstanding middle relief option for the Yankees and he will help add some quality depth to the bullpen. The Yankees did give up 2016 1st round pick Blake Rutherford and quality pitching prospect Ian Clarkin. However, this is a trade that makes the Yankees better immediately and it was a good trade for New York to try and make a push for a playoff spot.

Grade: A


White Sox analysis/grade:

It probably wasn’t easy for the White Sox to trade away all-star caliber players Todd Frazier and David Robertson. However, it was a deal that they had to make as they look to rebuild their roster and compete in a couple of years. Frazier was a free agent after the season and the team would have lost him for nothing. Also, Robertson is a free agent after the 2018 season and he is already 32 years old, so it wouldn’t make much sense to keep him around. Meanwhile, the White Sox are getting 3 good young prospects in this deal including outfielder Blake Rutherford who was the Yankees 1st round pick in 2016. Rutherford is a good all-around player as he is a solid defender and he also is an above average hitter. He has hit .302 so far in 104 career minor league games, but don’t expect much power from him as he only has 5 career home runs. If he can ever develop more power then he could be a very good MLB starter. Either way, he is still a good hitter and fielder which means he projects well as a decent starting outfielder at the MLB level. The White Sox also acquired another talented young prospect with left-handed starting pitcher Ian Clarkin who was a 1st round pick of the Yankees in 2013. Clarkin was the 19th best prospect in the Yankees minor league system according to He hasn’t made it past Class A yet in his career despite being 22 years old. However, injuries have stalled his career a little bit as he missed the entire 2015 season with elbow inflammation and he missed some of last season after having knee surgery. Clarkin has a good 3.19 ERA so far in his minor league career and he should continue to move up the White Sox minor league system as long as he can stay healthy. Chicago also acquired another interesting prospect with 22-year old outfielder Tito Polo who was signed originally by Pittsburgh in 2012. Polo has since continued to impress since being traded to the Yankees in 2016 as he hit .302 with 12 home runs for the Yankees High-A team. He recently was promoted to Double-A and he has been even better at that level as he is hitting .382 with 17 RBI’s in just 14 games. Polo isn’t a highly ranked prospect, but if he can continue to hit like he has the past couple of years then he might make it to the MLB in a couple of years. Finally, Chicago also received one major league player in this trade as they acquired Tyler Clippard from the Yankees. Clippard has been terrible this season as he has a 4.95 ERA, but he is expected to be the White Sox new closer for the rest of the season after the team traded away David Robertson in this deal. Clippard is just a temporary solution for the White Sox in their bullpen as he is a free agent after the season and the team likely won’t re-sign him since he turns 33 years old prior to next season. This is a good trade for the White Sox as they are continuing their fast rebuild by acquiring 3 quality young prospects.

Grade: A

todd frazier

Season Outlook: Chicago White Sox

Projected 2017 Starting Lineup:

  1. Tim Anderson – Shortstop
  2. Brett Lawrie – 2nd baseman
  3. Melky Cabrera – Left Fielder
  4. Jose Abreu – 1st baseman
  5. Todd Frazier – 3rd baseman
  6. Avisail Garcia – Right Fielder
  7. Cody Asche – Designated Hitter
  8. Geovany Soto – Catcher
  9. Charlie Tilson – Center Fielder

Projected 2017 Starting Rotation:

  1. Jose Quintana
  2. Miguel Gonzalez
  3. Carlos Rodon
  4. James Shields
  5. Derek Holland

Season Outlook:

The rebuilding is finally underway for the Chicago White Sox after they traded star pitcher Chris Sale and starting center fielder Adam Eaton this offseason. Chicago made their team worse for 2017, but they acquired some outstanding young prospects that will help them long-term. Jose Abreu will carry the offense for the most part and he is probably the future of the franchise for the White Sox. However, he isn’t the only good offensive player for the White Sox as they still have Todd Frazier and Melky Cabrera in the middle of their lineup. Chicago has big needs at a few spots in their lineup like at shortstop, catcher, designated hitter, and center fielder. However, if Abreu, Frazier, and Cabrera don’t produce consistently then their offense could be terrible. Chicago’s starting rotation obviously isn’t as good after they traded Chris Sale. However, Jose Quintana is still a very good starting pitcher and the starting rotation looks average overall. James Shields, Carlos Rodon, and Derek Holland all could be good starting pitchers, but they just can’t be counted on to be consistent. Chicago’s bullpen doesn’t look great except for closer David Robertson and I bet that he will be traded at some point this season. Todd Frazier, Melky Cabrera, and James Shields could also be traded in 2017 and that would make this team really terrible. The White Sox starting rotation seems like their best hope to be able to compete in 2017, but it is still highly unlikely as they have a clear direction to rebuild now.

Prediction: 4th place in the AL Central