The Chicago White Sox’s fascination with the Kansas City Royals approach appears to be the theme of the moves that they will look to make this off-season.
The idea of following the Royals’ blueprint was a popular joke of the White Sox when they decided to promote Chris Getz to the general manager’s post. Getz spent time with the Royals front office before returning to the White Sox organization and his rise along with Pedro Grifol, a former Royals’ bench coach, returning for his second season as the White Sox’s manager seems to push the team fully in the direction of their American League Central counterpart.
The ideology does not appear to be resigned to only the White Sox’s front office and coaching staff. It would appear that the White Sox want to target former Royals’ leaders as the team’s initial off-season targets have been identified.
Bruce Levine of 670 The Score is reporting that the White Sox are expected to resume trade talks with the Royals around veteran catcher Salvador Perez while also eyeing White Merrifield.
"So what will that mean? It might start by making an offer for veteran Royals catcher Salvador Perez on the trade market and with a pursuit of second baseman/outfielder Whit Merrifield in free agency. The White Sox have discussed both of those possibilities at length, sources said.-Bruce Levine via 670 The Score"
At the Major League Baseball Trade Deadline last season, the White Sox and Royals were reportedly in talks regarding a trade involving Perez. Of course, a trade did not materialize in time but there was a a belief that the two sides would revisit talks this off-season.
The Chicago White Sox have a misguided obsession with the Kansas City Royals and that has fueled their targets of Salvador Perez and Whit Merrifield.
With the White Sox focused on resetting their culture after losing over 100 games in a season that was meant to be a part of their contention window, the team is looking for new leaders within the clubhouse and that is likely why Perez has been identified as an early target. The veteran catcher is not the offensive player that he once was as he registered a negative fWAR for the first time in his career in 2023 but his leadership traits have often been praised by those around the Royals.
In a similar sense, Merrifield has trended down offensively in each of the past three seasons, wRC+ of 93 last season, but would be a temporary stopgap for the White Sox at the second base position.
Neither of these potential moves would do much in terms of changing the five-year outlook for the White Sox and that is where the problem lies with the direction that the team is headed in. The White Sox, under Getz, appeared destined to go back to the team that signs an aging veteran or two each off-season as a way to give their fans the false impression that the team is hopeful of contention. It’s a blueprint that has failed the White Sox since 2005 and likely won’t garner much success moving forward.