The Chicago White Sox actually have a bright future for a team that is coming off a 100-loss season. Trades in recent years have netted them promising young players like second baseman Yoan Moncada and flame-thrower Michael Kopech, and they now boast arguably the best prospect pipeline in the game.
The South Siders still have a little more work to do before their rebuild is complete, but they are well on their way. These three moves will take them that much closer to a resurgence in the AL Central.
3. Trade Jose Abreu
In 2018, Jose Abreu failed to play at least 145 games for the first time in his career, and he failed to reach 100 RBIs for the first time in his five-year MLB tenure as a result. All told, the 31-year-old first baseman remains one of best run-producers out there, and should still fetch a haul on the trade market. He has one last year of arbitration before becoming a free agent, making this offseason Chicago's last real chance to trade him unless they're content to hold out for a deadline deal next summer.
2. Sign David Phelps and A.J. Ramos
David Phelps and A.J. Ramos are were both once elite back-end bullpen arms for the Miami Marlins. Both relievers were beginning their first full seasons as Marlins when injuries derailed their respective seasons.
These two will enter their age 32 seasons in 2019, but could very well rediscover their quality stuff and become real weapons out of the pen for the White Sox. Since they are coming off injuries, neither will command top dollar, and one-year deals ought to be enough as they aim to rebuild their value. Ramos and Phelps would provide much-needed relief help while also providing Chicago a couple extra deadline trade chips.
1. Buy Out James Shields
James Shields has a $16 million team option compared to a $2 million buyout for the 2019 season. The White Sox must pay to send him packing, because Shields just wasn't effective atop their rotation, pitching to a 4.53 ERA and losing 16 games this season.
There are plenty of other starting pitching options on the free agent market that will cost a lot less than the bag it would take to keep Shields, who turns 37 in December.