It’s finally happened. After much speculation, the White Sox have sent their ace Chris Sale over to the Red Sox for a whole haul of prospects. Among those prospects are IF Yoan Moncada (#1 Red Sox prospect), RHP Michael Kopech (#4 Red Sox prospect), OF Luis Basabe (#8 Red Sox prospect), and RHP Victor Diaz (#28 Red Sox prospect.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) December 6, 2016
Fantastic news. Now you may or may not know, but Divac here is a White Sox fan — a very big White Sox fan. One of those “I hate the f****** Cubs more than ISIS” White Sox fans (OK, not really. F*** ISIS). This past month of baseball has easily been far and away the worst month of baseball of my entire existence. S***, it may have been the worst month of my entire existence period. Living in Chicago while witnessing the Cubs win the World Series and at the same time also witnessing this:
Depression is really the only way to describe that. 13 years of a goddamn “down” arrow. But today — December 6, 2016 — is a good day to be a White Sox fan for the first time since they were somehow in first place back in April. Chris Sale has been traded and the Sox have finally decided to settle for something else than mediocrity. Since 2012, Chris Sale has been one of the best pitchers in the American League and the Sox have averaged 75 wins while winning more than 81 games once. That isn’t even mediocrity. It’s just bad.
The main incentive to keep Sale was his ridiculous team friendly contract that owed him only $38 million over the next three years. Rich Hill just signed with the Dodgers for three years and $48 million. RICH HILL! The issue was that building a team around Sale and fellow lefty starter Jose Quintana was nearly impossible due to the fact that the White Sox are literally void of any young talent whatsoever, particularly when it comes to position players. It’s basically Tim Anderson and nothing else. This stems from the White Sox inability to draft players that have any sort of pulse for a span of 20 years. In between drafting Alex Fernandez in 1990 and Chris Sale in 2010, the Sox best first round draft pick was undoubtedly Aaron Rowand in 1998 and after that it’s Gio Gonzalez in 2004 who never pitched for the White Sox because they traded him not once, but twice. After that we’re looking at Gordon Beckham, Brian Anderson, Joe Borchard, Kip Wells, Josh Fields, and a collection of other busts whose names aren’t even worth mentioning. Trying to mix and match veteran players through free agency and trades worked once in 2005 (you may not remember, but the White Sox did win a World Series), but it has been a colossal failure since resulting in one playoff appearance over the last decade (2008).
The White Sox were doomed for years of 70 to 80 win baseball unless something was done now and the trade of Sale signals that change. The haul is a good one as it should be. Moncada has the potential to be an MVP-caliber player while Kopech can reach triple digits. Yes, there may be a couple of 60-win seasons on the horizon, but the bottom line is that the Sox were wasting away the prime of Chris Sale’s career and continuing to do so without getting anything in return would have been an egregious mistake. More trades are on the horizon for the White Sox that will bring in more young talent. Hopefully, Todd Frazier and his .220 batting average is next and Jose Abreu may be on his way out which wouldn’t be all too bad since he only hits once the Sox are dead and buried in the standings. The White Sox aren’t going to be good — maybe not for three or four years — but these potential 60 win seasons will lead to high draft picks which GM Rick Hahn and the Sox may finally be able to get right.
Don’t forget that the Cubs averaged about 66 wins from 2012-2014 and two years after that won the World Series. So you’re saying there’s a chance.