After spending years trying to spackle gaping holes in their lineup with second tier Free Agents, the White Sox have tried a different approach and traded for a bunch of prospects. The Sox dispatched the ace of their staff, Chris Sale, to the Red Sox for infielder Yoan Moncada, outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe, and pitchers Michael Kopech and Victor Diaz. The Sox then traded their best position player, outfielder Adam Eaton, to the Natoinals for pitchers Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Dan Dunning. Yoan Moncada is considered one of the best hitting prospects in baseball and Basabe may eventually see some action in the Sox outfield because they are woefully thin there.

Sale is gone, but if Quintana stays, the starters will be okay.

The Sox rotation, even with the loss of Sale, could be okay. Jose Quintana may or may not still be on the Sox roster throughout the 2017 season, but if he is, he’ll be an anchor for the starting rotation. Carlos Rodon has the makings of a top of the rotation starter. Miguel Gonzalez has proven to be a nice pick from the Orioles and is a decent middle/back of the rotation starter. James Shields was absolutely shelled last season and it will be interesting to see if he’s really that back. Free agent, Derek Holland, is a nice rotation filler. Some of the guys the Sox picked up in trade, Giolito and Lopez in particular may see action for the Sox sometime in 2017.

David Robertson is a second level closer who had a slightly down season last year. It seemed like whenever he did blow a save, it was a monumental meltdown in a critical time. He might be on another team at some point during the season. Nate Jones has a fastball that reaches 100 mph on occasion. Unfortunately for him, it’s sometimes as straight as Chuck Norris.

Dan Jennings is the primary lefty out of the pen, but he’s short on stuff. Beyond that, the Sox have some middlin sinker/slider types and some more guys with big arms and no control. Tyler Danish is still with the team, but shouldn’t be a factor.

Why can't the Sox get a decent catcher?

When Tyler Flowers left the Sox to go to the Braves, I thought the Sox would improve behind the plate.

Instead Alex Avilla and Dioneer Navarro were just bad. Geovany Soto is back and figures to split time with Omar Narvaez. This is not a position of strength.

The infield is a strength, relatively speaking

The Sox infield has some talent, but is uneven. First baseman, Jose Abreu, had his worst season in the majors, but still had a slash line of .293/25/100. Not bad, but he’s capable of more. Third baseman Todd Frazier seems to be in his own private version of the Homerun Derby. He launched 40 homeruns, but hit only .225. Shortstop Tim Anderson looked good in his first year in the bigs. He’s a rare position player that came through the Sox system with a chance to be a star. Brett Lawrie missed a lot of last year with leg problems, but should be ready to go in 2017.

He offers some power but a shaky glove. Hopefully for the Sox, Moncada will make his mark on the team soon. Tyler Saladino has proven to be an exceptional utility player. He has some power and speed, with an outstanding glove at short and third.

At least the outfield makes the infield look good.

The Sox outfield is a mess. Melky Cabrera brings a good bat and throwing arm to left field, but limited range. Center field, right field and DH will be a scramble. Charlie Tilson is the leading candidate for center field. He projects as Adam Eaton lite. Avisail Garcia is in play DH or right field. That’s not a good thing. Why can’t the Sox at least find a decent DH?

Outlook: Better, in two or three years.

Replacing Robin Ventura with Rick Renteria should help the Sox. If nothing else, he can explain losses in two languages. The progress of the Sox young players should at least make this year’s losses more interesting and maybe even give Sox fans a glimmer of hope.

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