Direction of White Sox will determine FA targets

Club could make a run at postseason in 2017 or commit to rebuild

Direction of White Sox will determine FA targets

CHICAGO -- White Sox organization meetings finished up Sunday afternoon in Arizona, further shaping the immediate future of the team -- a shape which has yet to be made public.

That direction, even in a full rebuild, could include the addition of a free agent or two. But regardless of the path chosen, the White Sox probably won't be major spenders in the open market.


3B Todd Frazier, 2B Brett Lawrie, RHP Zach Putnam, RHP Jake Petricka, LHP Dan Jennings, OF J.B. Shuck, RHP Jacob Tuner, RHP Miguel Gonzalez, OF Avisail Garcia, RHP Daniel Webb.

Free agents:

OF Austin Jackson, C Alex Avila, DH Justin Morneau, RHP Matt Albers (buyout exercised Thursday).

Biggest potential free-agent loss:

Each of the free agents made some sort of contribution to the 2016 roster. However, none of them figure to return in '17, unless Avila is back behind the plate in a reserve role. Jackson would be the biggest loss of the group after proving to be an important defensive anchor in center field before being lost with a left knee injury on June 9 that required season-ending surgery.

Potential free-agent targets:

Center field and catcher stand as spots where the White Sox need to upgrade, but those changes could come in the form of younger players acquired in trades if the team decides to rebuild. If the White Sox go for it again, fans would like to see the team pursue a player of Yoenis Cespedes' ilk. That commitment seems unlikely, but even in a rebuild, the White Sox could add someone like near World Series hero Rajai Davis to potentially platoon with Charlie Tilson in center, as an example.

Wild card scenario:

If the White Sox embark on a rebuild, veteran players from starting pitchers Chris Sale and Jose Quintana to third baseman Frazier to closer David Robertson to right fielder Adam Eaton would be made available. Moving any or all of these players, though, doesn't mean the White Sox would turn to free agency to fill their voids. They have in-house options, such as Matt Davidson at third base, but also would be looking at younger players they would get in return for traded veterans. The White Sox have not shied away from free agency in trying to upgrade the roster, and that probably won't change much in '17.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.