The White Sox started the offseason with their GM Slick Willy Ricky talking about where improvements needed to be made. He said 2 starters (1 top end and 1 bottom end), RF and DH. Anyone that watched the Sox last year is well aware of the struggle we had at those positions. For starters our starting pitching was dreadful to watch (pun intended, maybe?). Carlos Rodon went down early in the season after needing Tommy John surgery. Ivan Nova was no peach until a decent stretch towards the end of the season. Reylo had the occasional game that made you say “fuck this dude can pitch” but most games he had an inning or two that made you say “fuck can he pitch?!?!”. Dylan Cease debuted on July 3rd and definitely struggled with losing control and giving up walks the rest the season. Lucas Giolito became the Ace we didn’t deserve after how fans talked about him in previous years. But dammit he’s my Ace now and I’ll run through a brick wall for the man. Then the rest of the starters were…I don’t even know where to begin. I’ll just list the names and let you form your own opinions.
Ross Detwiler 12 starts
Dylan Covey 12 starts
Manny Banuelos 8 starts
Hector Santiago 2 starts
Ervin Santana 3 starts
Odrisamer Despaigne 3 starts
Slick Ricky tried and failed very publicly to sign Zack Wheeler, who went on to sign with Philly. The Sox had a higher offer with reports claiming anywhere from 5-10 million more. However, Zack being the head of his family listened to his wife and stayed on the east coast where she’s from. Because everyone knows wives are the necks of family’s and turn the head whichever way they want. Ricky was able to rebound nicely after being rejected for the trashy girl at the bar (looking at you Philly) and picked up two solid starters. Gio Gonzalez for the back end of the rotation, and Dallas Keuchel to be our number #2. Gio in his 3rd stint with the team will finally have a chance to play for the big league team that drafted him albeit at the ripe age of 34. He’s a solid big league pitcher who will throw solid innings and give you a chance to win the game when he’s on the mound. He’s not going to blow the doors off guys but again he’ll keep your team in the game. And if you watched a lot of the games started by the dudes on the list above, you know we had too many games that were over by the 4th inning. Then we got the Southside’s newest beard in town with Dallas Keuchel. Now he’s not pitching at a Cy Young level anymore but A) he still won the award in ’15 and B) he’s a World Series Champion (let’s ignore the sign stealing controversy since DK is a pitcher after all). Now, I hate to be one of those guys that’s always comparing ourselves to the Cubs because who cares about the losers on the North side really? I heard they don’t even have real urinals up there, but I’ll digress. Point being is people are comparing the signing of Dallas to the Cubs bringing in Jon Lester. And you know what? I ain’t mad at it. We got a groundball pitcher for our launching pad of a ballpark that knows how’s to win in the postseason. I’ll eat that shit up all day long baby! Now if my boy Timmy Anderson improves on his defense as I expect, then Dallas is going to fit in perfectly.
Then when it came to improving RF, Big Willy Ricky opted to trade prospect Steele Walker for Nomar Mazara. I get that this wasn’t everyone’s favorite move, but I loved it. First of all, Steele Walker is a year younger than Mazara and hasn’t even made it to AA ball yet, while Nomar has 4 years in big leagues. How do you not take that trade every day of the week? I get that Mazara hasn’t lived up to the hype of being a top prospect yet but I believe he’s going to unlock that potential starting this year. In the second half of 2019 he started to simplify his approach at the plate and cut down on movement before the pitch and saw his slugging % go up nearly 100 points. Not to mention he gives us a left handed bat with power that we’ve been missing since Thome left town. Although, my boy Palka filled the whole for a brief but beautiful moment in time. Now, I don’t know if anyone has said it yet, but I’m predicting Mazara will be the biggest surprise of this team and belts out 30+ dingers and 90+ RBI’s. And the best part is if this trade doesn’t work out the Sox aren’t committed long term to Mazara, which means we’re still in the race for Mookie 2021. Regardless of how you feel about it though, having Nomar on the team means the days of a Tilson/Cordell platoon are over. And that’s something everyone can be happy about.
DH for the Sox in 2019 was basically a guaranteed out. It started with everyone’s favorite brother-in-law Yonder Alonso being so bad he didn’t make it to the All-Star break before being cut. However, it didn’t really matter because for the year the Sox DH cut a collective slash line of .205/.285/.356 from a position that’s only job is to hit the ball. The DH literally only has ONE JOB. They tried Jose Abreu in the DH occasionally to give him a day off which he hated. They attempted the same thing with James McCann but he was too busy having a terrible 2nd half at the plate anyway. Eloy was also given chances, but it was more to protect himself from his colorful fielding in LF. There was others that were trotted out, but let’s be real everyone was as useful as a limp dick. So leave it to the ole gunslinger Slick Ricky to sign Edwin Encarnacion! The man is a proven DH and will be a great addition just like Nelson Cruz for the Twins. You can put down 30+ parrot trots for Edwin and add in at least 90+ RBI’s for the man.
I sure do and like that all the holes Rick set out to fill are filled. BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!!!
The biggest signing that tricky bastard was able to pull off came early in the offseason when he signed Yasmani Grandal. The best catcher on the open market and Ricky came out hard and fast to get his man. With aggressiveness we haven’t seen from the Sox front office since Kenny was GM. Grandal is one of the best pitch framers in the league, and oh yea dude is a switch hitter that hits bombs! This signing shocked me, because I just didn’t see it coming. Shit, I mean who really did? If you have your hand up, you’re definitely full of shit. I figured the Sox were sticking with James McCann because of the way he handled the pitching staff last year, and on top of the great first half he had at the plate. I was sure they were going to give him another year to figure out if that first half was an anomaly or his new norm. Plus they have Zack Collins pegged as the catcher of the future, even though defensively he’s terrible. But Ricky blew me away with this signing, which Dallas even mentioned, factored into his decision on signing with the Sox. When compared to the colossal failure of last offseasons attempt to sign Manny and all his family and friends, Big Dick Ricky went out and spent the money just like he promised. And he didn’t blow it all in one place, like we all did with our Christmas money as kids. He spread it around and filled all the holes baby!