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Retool or Rebuild: Are the White Sox poised to compete soon?

by Tim Moran

From that fateful 2016 day when Chris Sale was traded until the start of the 2023 season, the White Sox had a clear direction. 2017 through 2019 were rebuild years, and 2020-2023 were contention years. Easy enough. But today, the waters are far murkier.

Following the promotion of Chris Getz in August of 2023, Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf was fairly explicit that he hoped the team could get back to being competitive as early as 2024. Getz, for his part, noted in December that “retool” would be an accurate phrase to describe the front office’s aim. Otherwise, he’s refused to put a label on the team’s direction.

Instead, the general manager has focused on touting specific improvements to the major league roster. But with the departures of Dylan Cease, Aaron Bummer, and Gregory Santos, the roster appears worse than when Getz took over. Combine that with Getz’s lack of explicitness, and Sox fans may wonder what a practical timeline for contention is.

The verdict

Realistically, 2024 is not happening. Sorry Jerry! After that, it’s arguable—but I believe the South Siders can begin winning consistently in the latter half of the 2025 campaign. Perhaps not enough to make the playoffs in ’25, but certainly enough to enter 2026 with real hope.

Why? Simple: Getz and his predecessor Rick Hahn were on the same page in targeting polished prospects or current major-leaguers. Newly acquired talents are already set to make their mark in Chicago. Nicky Lopez, Michael Soroka, Erick Fedde, Nick Nastrini, Dominic Fletcher, and Jordan Leasure are all primed for big roles in 2024.

Additionally, and more importantly, there’s a bevy of prospects behind them ready to debut in the next 18 months. Take a look at the Sox’s premier farmhands compared to other teams. Scrolling through MLB Pipeline reveals that nearly every team’s top ten prospect list features four or more players scheduled to arrive in 2026 or later. As for the South Siders, only two have a 2026 ETA—every other prospect is marked as a 2024 or 2025 arrival.

Not to mention the team’s best player, Luis Robert Jr., is signed through 2027. Garrett Crochet, Andrew Vaughn, and Eloy Jimenez are all under club control through 2026 too, and despite struggles, I’d expect one or two to produce in that timeframe.

The blueprint

The infusion of young talent to the major league club will be a gradual buildup if things go according to plan. First there’s Leasure and Nastrini, acquired together from the Dodgers for Lance Lynn. The former is already confirmed to have an Opening Day spot, while the latter is projected to snag one too. Flamethrower Prelander Berroa should be a bullpen mainstay by the All-Star Break as well.

Not far behind is another trade buddy pair, former Padres arms Drew Thorpe and Jairo Iriarte. Thorpe is Chicago’s new first or second best pitching prospect, depending on your assessment of Noah Schultz. Currently placed with Double-A Birmingham, he figures to crack the majors at the end of this season or the start of the next. Iriarte, meanwhile, will start the year at Triple-A Charlotte and most certainly plans to pitch for the Sox in 2024.

Then there’s an exciting pair of infielders, Colson Montgomery and Bryan Ramos. Both will take the field with Charlotte in a few days, and both will play for a mid-season 2024 promotion. Montgomery, alongside Luis Robert Jr., is a cornerstone of the franchise, so trade deadline piece Paul DeJong does not stand in his way. Ramos, though, has Nicky Lopez and Yoan Moncada to deal with, so he’ll have to earn his way at some point.

Moving ahead, there’s another cluster of talent eyeing a 2025 debut with the South Siders. Edgar Quero, just 20 years old, is a shoo-in for this timeline, having already played 100 games at the Double-A level. He could sneak in during 2024, but that seems unlikely. Then there’s trade acquisitions Samuel Zavala and Jake Eder, who each have a bit more to prove.

Zavala is just 19 years old, but proved enough in Low-A ball to see time at the High-A level in 2023. The outfielder could easily be a September 2025 call-up with good linear development. Eder, on the other hand, has 40 innings under his belt in Double-A. Yet he struggled with Birmingham, meaning he needs to show consistent quality to advance to Triple-A and beyond.

All in all, that’s a lot of potential improvements to Chicago’s roster in the next two seasons. Of course, it needs to be supplemented with quality free agent signings and quality veteran play! Sox fans have learned that lesson the hard way recently. So don’t misunderstand me—these young guns won’t be enough by themselves to form a World Series contender.

Getz and Co. will have a lot of money to work with, especially given the options on Jimenez and Moncada. If they can maximize output from new signings and current talent alike, the White Sox have a legitimate future. Obviously, Sox fans have every right to doubt this outcome. But one thing they can count on is that this won’t be drawn out like Rebuild 1.0.

Mark my words—by the end of the 2025 season, we’ll have a good idea whether Getz’s master plan is coming to fruition. Let’s pray that the front office manages to get it right this time.

For more updates, be sure to follow us on social media @SoxOn35th!

Featured Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

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I can appreciate your optimism Tim…. but I have been a Sox fan since birth. I was in KC the night Fisk tied Benches HR record for a catcher, I was in Chicago two nights later when Fisk surpassed Bench. I was at the Cracker Jack’s Old Timers game at Old Comiskey… I got to see Ted Williams hit HR… He was in his mid-60’s at the time (if I am not mistaken). I saw Wilson Alverez’s no hitter in person.

Unfortunately… I do not see the Sox being competitive any time soon. Not while the Reinsdorf stench permeates on the Southside. Getz is nothing more than a glorified “Yes Man”. He will not risk getting kicked off the gravy train from Uncle Jerry. Besides, I believe the one who is pulling all the strings right now is La Russa. And, he gets do it from the shadows. Sox have Getz as the whipping boy for the fans and media.

While they have hired a few new faces… the status quo still remains. Until we see the results proving otherwise…. Sox still cannot develop their prospects. They have far too many former “FAILED” players and former prospects managing/coaching within their minor league system. And, this has been the recipe for Ebenezer Jerry for sometime now. Again, he refuses to invest the resources within the minor league system.

Also, Ebenezer will continue to NOT, spend on legit free agents. While we will never see another premier FA signing as long as Jerry is drawing breath… it has reached a point now he won’t even allow the signings on mid-tier level free agents. Bottom line Jerry is penny-wise and dollar stupid. He is going to follow the same rule book he has always done. Spend just enough and try and lure the “suckers” to the park. If the team finishes relatively good.. he is content with the small profits generated. If the team is fortunate and they get one or two home playoff games… that is his bonus. But that is the extent. Even if they do develop this next core…. once they become eligible for FA… the player(s) will be good as gone.

So, until there new ownership in control and the Reinsdorf Cabal is gone… nothing will change with this team.

Last edited 3 months ago by mcv7272
John Anderson

Reinsdorf should be ashamed of himself for the team they have put together- this is a AAA team at best; and then the audacity to ask taxpayers for a billion dollars for a new stadium

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