Chicago Cubs stay quiet as the White Sox make another big move
While the White Sox continued their transformative offseason, Cubs fans are prepared for a second holiday season without any impactful moves by the club.
I never thought it would come to this. Well, maybe I did – but definitely not this soon. I anticipated the Chicago White Sox would ramp up their efforts to be competitive just as the Chicago Cubs saw their window close. I presumed, wrongly, that would be in two to three years.
Instead, as we get ready to close the book on 2019 and welcome in a new decade in just over a week, the Sox are making moves they hope will propel them back to the postseason in 2020. On Saturday, the team announced the signing of free agent left-hander Dallas Keuchel to a three-year, $55.5 million deal with an option for a fourth season.
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He’s just the latest addition to the young, promising squad that already inked free agent catcher Yasmani Grandal, veteran southpaw Gio Gonzalez and traded for high-ceiling outfielder Nomar Mazara. Meanwhile, the Cubs are yet to make any significant moves – instead betting on a bevy of minor league signings for the time being.
Of course, the North Siders had interest themselves in Keuchel, the 2015 American League Cy Young Award winner. With Cole Hamels joining the Atlanta Braves in free agency, the Cubs currently have a spot open in the rotation – one that could conceivably be filled by an in-house candidate like Tyler Chatwood.
Meanwhile, the White Sox have several candidates to round out the rotation behind Gonzalez, Keuchel and breakout right-hander Lucas Giolito, who finished sixth in AL Cy Young voting last year after tying for the league league with three complete games, including a pair of shutouts – while turning in a career-high 176 2/3 innings of quality work.
The stories surrounding these crosstown rivals so far this winter couldn’t be more different. On the South Side, general manager Rick Hahn is making moves, getting his team ready to make the jump in 2020. Meanwhile, Theo Epstein lacks the resources to even add players who’d make marginal improvements to the roster.
Epstein’s club has a new manager in David Ross, an aging rotation and a questionable bullpen mix. That’s not even getting into the rampant trade rumors that have hit everyone from two-time All-Star catcher Willson Contreras to former National League MVP and Rookie of the Year Kris Bryant.
Like I said, I didn’t expect things to be going this way this soon – but here we are.
I’m not like a lot of Cubs fans. I couldn’t care less if the White Sox are successful. Why? Because, believe it or not, it’s possible for both teams to be good at the same time and ultimately, that’s better for the city and the game, as a whole. Plus, as a guy who spends his summer weekends at the yard, I like quality baseball – no matter who’s playing or what stadium I’m at.
The White Sox don’t look like they’re done, either. So get ready to hear more reports from Guaranteed Rate Field about how the front office is hellbent on improving the team with an eye on the postseason in 2020, as we Cubs fans enjoy hot chocolate and the holiday cheer (or lack thereof) at the holiday market outside Wrigley Field at Gallagher Way.