The Chicago White Sox roster has undergone some massive changes over the last year, and that process will continue in earnest as the team gathers in Glendale for spring training.
Which players will be viewed as full-time contributors? Who will be placed on the trade block by the organization? We’re taking a deep dive into the Sox as they move into Season 2 of their rebuilding project.
There was plenty of speculation as to whether or not the team would consider moving Jose Abreu for more prospects, but with his leadership and with his historically consistent production levels, the team decided that they wanted to hold onto him, and he’ll be the starting first baseman for the club.
Guys like Matt Davidson could spell Abreu at first if he needs it, but look for him to play a heavy amount of innings throughout the year.
The White Sox will be absolutely thrilled to get a full season out of Yoan Moncada at second this season, as the young sensation will break camp with the club. He’ll look to build on his eight home runs and 22 RBI a season ago, and he’ll be backed up by Tyler Saladino and Yolmer Sanchez at the position.
Tim Anderson will get the bulk of the time at shortstop, but after hitting just .257 last season, a guy like Sanchez could see a bit more playing time if he shows he can do more with the bat than Anderson did in the first year of a new six-year pact that he signed with the team.
One of the more intriguing battles to watch in spring training will be at third base, as Davidson will serve as the incumbent but could feasibly be unseated by Sanchez or Saladino. The White Sox have a lot of infield depth, and it could work to their advantage as Rick Renteria shifts around his lineups to find the right combination.
Davidson was a negative WAR player a season ago, batting just .220 with 26 home runs and 68 RBI. The power numbers were good, but his lack of consistent contact certainly leaves his job status at least somewhat up in the air, with Sanchez showing good development and with Saladino likely getting at least some playing time with the team.
Kevan Smith and Omar Narvaez god some serious action last season with the White Sox, but they’ll both be playing second fiddle to new acquisition Welington Castillo after the Sox picked up the backstop in free agency.
Castillo clubbed 20 home runs and drove in 53 RBI with the Baltimore Orioles last season, and did so in only 365 plate appearances. He provides an instant upgrade at the position for the Sox, who lacked consistency behind the plate last season.