White Sox have a “damn good team” but a lot of off-season work – NBC Chicago


“Damn Good” Sox still have a lot of offseason work to do, which originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

What’s next for the Chicago White Sox this off-season?

Whatever it is, it will have to wait a while.

Baseball will go into hibernation Wednesday night when the collective agreement expires and players are locked out in the game’s first work stoppage in a quarter of a century. With this, transactions are expected to come to a standstill – not ideal if you’re looking to sign a free agent pitcher or swap for a new second baseman.

RELATED: Why Free Agent Kendall Graveman Chose The White Sox

While teams across the league posted record numbers last week and pulled the best free agents off the board in lightning-fast succession, the White Sox took milder, if still important, steps: Kendall Graveman went on a critical need at the back end of the game Bullpen, and Leury García came back to showcase his signature versatility.

Fans were less than thrilled that this rundown of White Sox activities prior to the lockdown didn’t include a signature with big names.

“The duty roster for the opening day is not due in December, but on the opening day,” said Hahn during a press conference on Wednesday and reminded – a much needed plea for patience – that there is still work to be done. “We assume that there will be more additions in the next few months and that the team will look better on the opening day than it does today.”

It remains to be seen whether this will go hand in hand with another Hahn reality check that was carried out at the GM meetings last month. In Southern California, he described the choice his front office faced this winter: whether to spend the team’s financial resources in one place or to split up several newcomers.

Several additions so far, not a big name.

Obviously, in Hahn’s offseason work, it is still too early to find out exactly which path has been taken. And there are still plenty of big names out there that could live up to the demands of the White Sox. But while those needs are certainly there, it’s clear that this roster is already being created for the win that the teams that awarded some of these record-breaking deals last week could only dream of.

It shouldn’t be an “either-or” decision for this White Sox. But it’s also important to remember that “or” still exists.

“We are all excited about this idea of ​​a lively move with big names. And to be honest, we like to follow it and see where things come together. It’s just in the nature of all of us (in the front office),” said Hahn . “At the same time, we must not lose sight of the fact that we have a damn good team, that we will be able to fight for the championship with what we have achieved over the next year and beyond.” last several years.

“There are ways for us to get better. We’ll keep trying to get better. … Honestly, there will never be a time when we don’t try to improve what we have put together.” At the same time, I don’t want to lose sight of the fact that we’re currently in a pretty good position.

“We will continue to build on that. But this is a damn good club that we have here.”

It’s true. The White Sox have “a damn good club”. But while Hahn’s post-playoff claim that the White Sox simply had four bad days in October is reasonable, so is the realization that they couldn’t challenge the Houston Astros, which means improvements are needed to reach the ultimate goal from . to achieve a World Series championship.

Some of these improvements will be made without touching the transaction page. For example, an entire season of Eloy Jiménez doing what he can will be very beneficial to the White Sox’s championship chances and a huge improvement over what the team achieved last season.

But even now holes have to be filled. Or rather, there are holes to be filled when this lockdown comes to an end. There’s a scenario where a month-long lockout ends just before spring training begins, which would put the White Sox – and many other teams – in a tough spot, with a short window of time to take the steps necessary to improve the roster a championship hunt.

“So be it. Let’s go,” said Hahn of this hypothetical situation. “Seriously, that’s fine. There is something to be said for having a short time in which to get everything done. We don’t want our cause to drag on a normal off-season.

“If there is a shortened time on the other side in the end, so be it. We are ready to go.”

This to-do list is not short either.

It’s about the second base, where names like Marcus Semien, Javy Báez and Eduardo Escobar have been picked up in the past few days.

There is an option for an upgrade in the right area where the free agent market has developed much more slowly and Nick Castellanos, Kris Bryant and Michael Conforto are without a contract.

There is the Bullpen, who, even with Graveman on board, still needs reinforcement after so many descents in the off-season.

There is the rotation, full and promising, but the focus of a lot of fan consternation after four straight postseason clunkers.

What’s next for the White Sox this off-season? All that.

The problem is, how and when it will all come is a complete mystery as the off-season of baseball turns into a pumpkin on Wednesday night.

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