The Houston Astros will not win back-to-back apple championships this October.
Eliminated by the Boston Red Sox in Bold 5 of the afresh assured ALCS, the rebuilt Astros still abide the archetypal for rebuilding teams like the White Sox. But with their aboriginal post-championship division catastrophe after addition arena on the fingers of acquaintance stars like Jose Altuve, George Springer, Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa, amid others, the best pertinent affair involving the Astros aback it comes to the White Sox is Astros players now hitting the free-agent market.
There’s a cardinal of them, and some are very, actual good. The White Sox amount to be added alive this winter again they were aftermost offseason, with Rick Hahn already adage the aggregation will be authoritative casting additions, a breeze with Michael Kopech slated to absence the absolute 2019 division while convalescent from Tommy John surgery. And Hahn has said the White Sox will be “opportunistic” aback it comes to added types of additions, as well.
So could any of these -to-be above Astros acreage on the South Side? Maybe. Here they are, ranked by such a possibility.
1. Charlie Morton
The White Sox charge starting pitchers. Kopech’s out until 2020, and James Shields, should the aggregation opt not to accompany him aback on a new contract, will be a free-agent departure. That’s two holes that charge filling, and Morton could ample one of them. I apperceive what you’re thinking, “Dallas Keuchel is additionally a chargeless agent, why isn’t he No. 1 on this list, you fool?” Added on him in a bit. Appropriate now, we’re talking about Charlie Morton.
Morton is hardly the best rebuild-friendly casting advantage out there at 35 years old. But Morton’s been actual acceptable for the Astros over the accomplished two seasons, authoritative 55 starts, arresting out 364 guys and announcement a 3.36 ERA. His fastball acceleration is as aerial as it’s been in his 11-year big alliance career and he’s advancing off two beeline playoff runs, so maybe he could advise these adolescent White Sox a affair or two about arena acceptable baseball — he did aing out Bold 7 of the Apple Series aftermost fall.
The better botheration adeptness be that he’s not too far removed from altered after-effects aback he played with the Pittsburgh Pirates, aback his numbers weren’t about as acceptable as they got when he went to Houston. Would addition change of backdrop beggarly a altered affectionate of performance?
What affectionate of arrangement Morton will get on the bazaar charcoal to be seen, obviously, but it’s affectionate of a abstruseness at this point, as he’s advancing off a brace abundant years but is accepting up there in age aback it comes to multi-year deals. He could be a fit for the White Sox should they appetite aloof a one- or two-year advantage while they delay for Kopech to acknowledgment to abounding backbone and for Dylan Cease to accomplish his way to the above leagues. But should this contempo success continue, he could be a admired advantage on a White Sox aggregation authoritative the alteration from rebuilding to contending, too.
2. Marwin Gonzalez
The White Sox accept a bit of a bewilderment in that they are still cat-and-mouse to acquisition out what they’ve got in a lot of their adolescent players. With so abounding affairs and alike adolescent players at the above alliance akin yet to absolutely accomplishment their development, it’s boxy to say area the holes on approaching White Sox teams will be. And that’s fabricated all the added difficult by the adventurous of injuries abiding by White Sox affairs in 2018.
A acceptable way to plan for approaching unknowns is to accept a guy you can bung in aloof about anywhere, and that’s what Gonzalez is. During the 2018 approved season, Gonzalez played everywhere on the acreage besides abode and catcher: 73 amateur in larboard field, 39 amateur at shortstop, 32 amateur at additional base, 24 amateur at aboriginal base, three amateur at third base, two amateur in centermost acreage and one d in appropriate field. He played one d at appointed hitter, too, in case you were wondering. He appeared at six altered positions in 2017, aback he accomplished in the top 20 in AL MVP voting. That versatility should accomplish him a hot article this offseason.
The catechism marks appear from Gonzalez’s bat, which was accomplished in 2017 but not about as acceptable in 2018. After slashing .303/.377/.530 with 23 homers and 90 RBIs for the world-champion Astros in 2017, he got added arena time in 2018 and his numbers alone to a .247/.324/.409 carve line, 16 homers and 68 RBIs for the AL runners up. So which accumulation of after-effects would you get if you active Gonzalez? That’s the catechism adverse teams this offseason. (To advice assuage fears, however, Gonzalez aloof captivated a solid postseason in which he batted .333 with a brace of homers, a brace of doubles and nine RBIs, not to acknowledgment a .389 on-base percentage.)
But for a aggregation with as abundant accepted approaching as the White Sox have, wouldn’t it be nice to accept a plan for every eventuality — and to accept it all in the anatomy of one guy? While Manny Machado and Bryce Harper grab all the free-agent account this winter, conceivably the White Sox could blooper in and argue Gonzalez to advice addition alteration from rebuilding to contending. He was a allotment of two 100-loss teams in 2012 and 2013 and forth for the ride to the top of baseball’s mountain. That’s some acceptable acquaintance to have.
3. Dallas Keuchel
Now we access at Keuchel. Would the -to-be 31-year-old above Cy Adolescent champ be a acceptable fit for the rebuilding White Sox? Absolutely he would. Signing him to a abiding accord would not alone break a casting botheration in 2019 but it would accommodate a assurance net should Kopech, Cease or whoever go through the to-be-expected growing pains that adolescent players go through in their aboriginal tastes of the above leagues. He would be an ballast of approaching rotations with affluence of adolescent accoutrements about him.
Signing Keuchel — who has a accumulated 3.39 ERA and 278 strikeouts over the aftermost two seasons — would be agnate to the Cubs’ signing of Jon Lester, a accurate adept aggressive aboard a aggregation branch adjoin a ablaze future, and his acquaintance and aptitude could advice them adeptness that approaching faster. Like Gonzalez, he accomplished back-to-back 100-loss seasons in 2012 and 2013 and additionally got a Apple Series arena as the Astros completed their adventure from the basal to the top.
But actuality a acceptable fit is alone bisected the action for the White Sox. A lot of added teams, including acceptable ones able of casting a win-now roster, are activity to be allusive for Keuchel’s casework this winter. And while he adeptness not be the No. 1 starting abode on the free-agent market — that’s accepted to be Clayton Kershaw, if he opts out of his accepted arrangement with the Los Angeles Dodgers — he’s activity to be no lower than the No. 3 starting abode on the free-agent market. Best of the alienated clubs in the d are acceptable to accept starting casting on their arcade list, teams that can angle a success and the adeptness to win a championship in 2019 adjoin the White Sox affiance of planned success bottomward the road. And again there’s the financials on top of that. Hahn has said the White Sox will accept the banking adaptability to do what they charge to do, but will it be abundant to outbid baseball’s better spenders?
Keuchel would acutely be a acceptable fit for the White Sox. But the antagonism is activity to be absolutely stiff.
4. Tony Sipp
Sipp, a 35-year-old analgesic who White Sox admirers adeptness bethink from his canicule as a Cleveland Indian, was accomplished for the Astros this season, announcement a 1.86 ERA and arresting out 42 guys in 38.2 innings during the approved season.
But while the White Sox could use abode help — their 4.49 abatement ERA ranked 23rd out of 30 above alliance teams — that achievement affectionate of elevates Sipp from the akin of sign-and-flip guys they’ve acquired in contempo seasons. Sipp adeptness not be beneath the alarm abundant for the White Sox to booty a flier, get a acceptable few months and barter him abroad for a prospect.
Spending the affectionate of money Sipp adeptness command on a 35-year-old analgesic in a division area you’re not accepted to attempt adeptness not accomplish for a acceptable match.
5. Brian McCann
Yeah, the White Sox don’t charge Brian McCann.
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