First of all, despite being pretty funny, the meme above is a tad misleading. In no world are White Sox fans ever holding hands in boyfriend-girlfriend fashion with the national baseball media. In fact, it’s probably the opposite, as the White Sox in recent years have been routinely ignored by national media outlets.
But it does serve as a good illustration in this case, where national baseball media members have made unwarranted attempts to provide tweaks and ideas to move the rebuild along faster than anyone around here desires.
Much like the Machado trade rumors, the recent rumors surrounding the Sox signing Mike Moustakas and trading for Christian Yelich have been widely received with ire from White Sox nation. It’s not that we don’t think they are quality players, it’s just that the means of acquiring either of them do not remotely fit what the Sox are trying to do right now.
On Thursday, MLB Network analysts debated over whether or not the Sox should sign former Royals 3B Mike Moustakas. As Sox Machine’s Patrick Nolan put it so eloquently on Twitter: when you take away the likelihood of seriously competing in the near term, next year’s free agent class, the need to forfeit a draft pick, and the fact that you can have Yolmer Sanchez play the same spot with similar production for much cheaper… then it makes total sense.
Overpaying for Moustakas would surely get the national outlets fawning over the White Sox’ sexy signing for a few days. Sure that would be good for headlines and selling jerseys, but it makes no sense for the long term aspirations that this team has (later in the day Barstool’s Dave Williams reported that the Sox were in fact not in on Moustakas).
Speaking of headlines, the Sox found themselves there for the second time in a single day. MLB.com columnist Phil Rogers proposed that the White Sox should trade away prospects for Marlins star CF Christian Yelich.
Yelich is a nice player, and definitely a star on the rise in baseball. But exactly like the Machado reports, it just doesn’t make any sense from the current White Sox perspective.
Rogers talks about the potential price the Sox would have to pay for Yelich (it’s high), and it centers around some combination of Anderson, Giolito, Cease, Rutherford, and Collins. Would you be willing part ways with those guys right now (or others)? I’d say absolutely not. We still have significant development to see from a bunch of those guys, why push the envelope and take an unnecessary gamble?
I understand that at some point the Sox are going to have to trade from their haul of top prospects. But now is absolutely not the time to be doing that. You’re not even expecting to be ready to seriously compete for two more years (2020). That’s the time to start dealing whatever prospects have become blocked or expendable to fill gaps on a major league ball club that is ready to contend immediately.
The weirdest part of that piece was when he made the notion that “Yelich could be the Sox’ Anthony Rizzo.” Um, I could buy that argument if the Cubs had to trade Baez, Almora, Schwarber, Hendricks and Jimenez for him (I realize some of those guys came after Rizzo, just making a point). Instead the Cubs only had to trade Andrew Cashner and a bag of balls for “their Rizzo.”
I’m all for Sox-Cubs rebuild comparisons, but that one just holds no water.
The point isn’t that trading for Yelich or signing Moustakas is outright stupid. They’re good ballplayers. It just makes zero sense from the perspective of where the White Sox are in early 2018.
That’s why I think the trade the Sox made last night (INF Jake Peter for relievers Avilan, Soria and cash) was partly a statement from Rick Hahn and the entire front office. They are not going to cut corners and rush this thing. They’re going to stick to the plan, do it the right way, and not be swayed by big headlines.