The Chicago White Sox are hoping to bounce back following a disappointing 2022 season. Chicago entered the 2022 campaign with sky high expectations. The majority of experts around the MLB world picked the White Sox to win the AL Central. There were a number of experts who also predicted that they would win the World Series. Instead, the White Sox ultimately missed the playoffs after a year full of injuries and under-performances.
The White Sox’s high-profile addition in free agency was OF Andrew Benintendi. They inked the outfielder to a 5-year, $75 million dollar deal. But their depth chart, per MLB.com, still has a number of questions with Spring Training right around the corner.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at one last-minute move the White Sox must make ahead of the 2023 season.
1 last-minute move White Sox must make
White Sox’s pitcher Mike Clevinger’s future with the team is unclear as a result of recent allegations made against him. With or without Clevinger, Chicago’s starting rotation has no shortage of uncertainty.
Dylan Cease is fresh off of a tremendous season and figures to be in line for another big performance in 2023. But Lance Lynn and Lucas Giolito both struggled last year. Additionally, injuries plagued both pitchers throughout the campaign.
Michael Kopech is the wild card. He’s a young hard-throwing right-hander who has the potential to emerge as a star. But he’s difficult to rely on given his youth and inexperience.
The offense for Chicago dealt with it’s own share of issues last year. But much of that was due to injury. Chicago would benefit from adding a starting pitcher prior to Opening Day.
Chicago caught lightning in a bottle last year after signing Johnny Cueto late in the offseason. They should look to do the same with free agent starting pitcher Michael Wacha this year.
Michael Wacha will not make or break Chicago’s chances of contending in 2023. But he’s a former All-Star and proven big league arm capable of playing a crucial role in the rotation. His presence will be even more impactful if Clevinger ends up missing time following MLB”s investigation.
Wacha spent the 2022 season in Boston with the Red Sox. He pitched to the tune of an impressive 3.32 ERA over the course of 23 games. Wacha had struggled in 2021 and many people around the MLB world wondered if his career was winding down. But Wacha proved he still has something left in the tank last season.
He’s reportedly looking for a 2-year deal in free agency. Chicago can afford to make the move with a number of contracts set to come off the books following this season.
Again, this move won’t place them head and shoulders above the Cleveland Guardians and Minnesota Twins in the AL Central. But Cleveland, the team that won the AL Central in 2022, features plenty of starting pitching depth. Chicago needs to be able to pitch at a high level to win the division.
If Lynn and Giolito can rebound, the White Sox will feature a legitimate big 3 in the rotation along with Cease. Wacha’s presence in the back end of the rotation would only help matters in the long run.
It will be intriguing to see whether or not the White Sox pursue Michael Wacha with Spring Training set to begin shortly.