Even though initial remarks from Chicago White Sox general manager Chris Getz indicated that the team may be eyeing contention in 2024, their actions over recent days would suggest that the team may be anticipating a step back.
Most notably, the White Sox announced on Saturday that they have declined the $14MM club option for shortstop Tim Anderson next season. Given the thank you messages that the White Sox shared on social media after announcing the news, it would seem that the team is ready to move on from Anderson.
The team may have been ready to move on from Anderson at the MLB Trade Deadline this past season. Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that the White Sox made a push to trade Anderson last July but could not find a deal.
Within the same report, Nightengale noted that while the White Sox are not shopping starting pitcher Dylan Cease, they are willing to listen to offers for their ace.
Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dylan Cease likely will draw trade interest this off-season as teams wonder what the direction of the White Sox will be.
Cease was a popular name at the deadline this past season. There was a sense that the White Sox and Baltimore Orioles were working toward a deal involving Cease before the Orioles pivoted to Jack Flaherty of the St. Louis Cardinals.
For a White Sox team that, despite what they say, is not expected to contend next season, there should be serious consideration of moving Cease. Cease does not reach free agency until 2026 and considering the philosophy of team chairman Jerry Reinsdorf in terms of not paying starting pitchers, there is no doubt that the team could jumpstart their rebuild by moving their ace this off-season.
The White Sox’s starting rotation was depleted at the deadline and the team also announced this weekend that starting pitcher Mike Clevinger declined his mutual option for 2024. Regardless of a trade of Cease this season, the team will need to address their starting rotation this winter.