Article Written by: Julian Beck
Chicago White Sox
2013 Record: 63-99 (5th place in AL Central)
Key Additions: Jose Abreu, Adam Eaton, Scott Downs, Ronald Belisario
Key Loses: Addison Reed, Hector Santiago Gavin Floyd
Most important players for 2014: Chris Sale, Paul Konerko, Adam Eaton, Alexi Ramirez
It may not be enough to make them contenders in 2014, but the Chicago White Sox have had as successful an offseason as anyone. They set out looking to add young talent to a rebuilding roster, and they did just that by signing Cuban slugger Jose Abreu and acquiring a promising young bat from the Arizona Diamondbacks in Adam Eaton.
Adam Eaton will be a legitimate leadoff hitter for the White Sox, moving De Aza to the number 9 hole or dropping him down to number 2 in the lineup. Eaton is able to make great contact with the ball and can slap the ball to all fields. He has great power to the gaps and is lightning fast, with the ability to stretch a double into a triple at anytime. Once Eaton reaches first you might as well place him at second, since it won’t take him long to steal second.
The signing of Scott Downs and Ronaldo Belisario will give the bullpen a much needed lift. Downs is a left handed specialist that can get one batter out or pitch a full inning at any time, while Belisario relies on his fastball and movement on his other pitches to strike people out. He has the potential to be the White Sox closer after trading Adison Reed to the Diamondbacks.
For the White Sox to have any success they will have to rely on veterans Alexi Ramirez, Paul Konerko, and Chris Sale. Alexi Ramirez is a great table setter when he is in the batters box. He is capable of starting a rally at anytime in the game, his speed being a major reason to that. His defense out at shortstop is some of the best in the league, making great play after great play. Konerko will have to bounce back from a down 2013 season. He wasn’t his usual home run and RBI threat and was striking out at a uncharacteristic rate. Chris Sale is the heart and soul of his ball club. Sale may be the best left handed pitcher in all of baseball, with his unorthodox motion and side arm delivery. He can dominate any team on any day, and looks to carry his success in 2013 into 2014.