A young Chicago White Sox team emerged as a legit powerhouse in 2021, as the South Siders won 93 games and won the AL Central for the first time since 2008. Chicago entered 2022 as division favorites, but inconsistent performances from key veterans, coupled with questionable management in the dugout pushed the Sox down the ladder. The White Sox won just 81 games last year, and could only watch as an upstart Cleveland Guardians team leapfrogged the Sox in the division. So, how do the White Sox shake out for 2023? Here’s what the White Sox did to improve its squad this winter.
- RHP A.J. Alexy
- OF Andrew Benintendi
- RHP Mike Clevinger
- OF Billy Hamilton (MiLB Deal)
- RHP Gregory Santos
The White Sox beefed up its outfield in the winter, a positive step given the less-than-stellar production received from last season. Outfielder Andrew Benintendi will head to the South Side after signing a four-year deal earlier this year. Benintendi possesses very impressive bat-to-ball skills, and will look to be a sparkplug for the Sox in 2023. Additionally, the White Sox will bring back Billy Hamilton on a Minor League deal. The speedster saw 71 games in Chicago in 2021, in which he swiped nine bags and hit .220 during that campaign.
On the pitching side of things, Chicago acquired reliever Gregory Santos via trade. Santos didn’t receive much time in the Majors with the Giants, but the righty did boast a slider and a hard fastball that sat in the upper-90s. However, the 23-year-old has walked 46 over 92 career MiLB innings.
The White Sox also signed veteran starter Mike Clevinger in free agency to shore up Chicago’s rotation. However, Clevinger’s status for 2023 is unknown at this time. As of this writing, Clevinger is currently being investigated by MLB for violating the league’s domestic violence policy.
- 1B José Abreu
- RHP Kyle Crick
- RHP Johnny Cueto
- OF Adam Engel
- INF Josh Harrison
- INF Danny Mendick
- OF AJ Pollock
Former AL MVP José Abreu had been a rock in the White Sox lineup since his first season in the league in 2014. That, however, will change for 2023. Abreu signed a multi-year deal this past November with the defending World Series champion Houston Astros, ending his run in Chicago. The Sox lost a terrifying hitter in Abreu, but do have former top draft pick Andrew Vaughn — an OF/DH in the Majors thus far, but someone who is a natural first baseman — to fall back on in 2023.
The White Sox also saw veteran Johnny Cueto head to free agency after last season. Cueto didn’t record many strikeouts in Chicago but did excel with his control and command to turn in a solid 2022 campaign. The 36-year-old signed with the Marlins in January.
It was an interesting offseason in Chicago, as the Sox did bring in a very talented hitter in Benintendi to boost an outfielder that is also set to include Luis Robert, Gavin Sheets, and possibly Eloy Jimenez should the team comfortable sticking him in the field. On the other hand, the White Sox did lose Abreu and still have a hole in the back end of rotation left behind by Cueto. Clevinger appeared to be the solution, but it’s more than likely that the right-hander won’t be around to fill it.
The White Sox will need its young core to come through in 2023, much like Robert, Jimenez, and Cease did in 2021. The competition in the AL Central makes the division a rather tough one to predict, but the Sox do have a strong team.