Chicago White Sox: 2016 Offseason Report Card

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As I’m sitting here putting together the offseason report card for the Chicago White Sox, I have MLB Network on the television just waiting for a “Breaking News” scroll across the bottom. Even though it will make me scrap what I have written thus far, it still feels like the correct grade for any report card is “incomplete” at this time. (Note – the Mat Latos signing occurred while I was writing this.) The fact that almost all of the key remaining free agents (Dexter Fowler, Austin Jackson, Marlon Byrd, Ian Desmond, and Yovani Gallardo) would slide in easily to a gaping hole on the White Sox roster is why it’s easy to assume/think/HOPE that the work is still yet to be completed.

The offseason has been productive but a lot of the questions that remain with the team are on the moves that weren’t made. Robin Ventura planted himself firmly on the hot seat last season as the White Sox finished well below expectations and missed the postseason for the seventh straight season, including all four seasons Ventura has been the manager. The White Sox did make one coaching move – they fired bench coach Mark Parent, the scapegoat for last season’s failures. The firing made the manager situation even more ambiguous. Certain candidates, namely Sandy Alomar Jr., did not accept the bench coach position due to the status of Ventura only having one year left on his contract. He didn’t want to be a distraction or cause there to be any more pressure on the current manager.

The team was still able to bring in a highly regarded candidate to fill Parent’s position – Rick Renteria, who will move nine miles south from his previous MLB position as manager of the Chicago Cubs. Renteria was highly regarded during his one season stint as the Cubs manager. Being of Hispanic descent, including being Spanish-speaking, should be an asset to the heavy-Hispanic roster of the White Sox. Ventura will still remain on the hot seat until he has success, but it looks fairly clear who would be taking over, possibly sooner than later.

The current pitchers and catchers will report a week from Tuesday to Arizona and there were more than enough transactions for a report card to cover. Below is a list of the new faces followed by the ones that are no longer around.

Key Acquisitions

Claimed SP Jacob Turner

Signed C Alex Avila

Signed C Dioner Navarro

Traded for 2B/3B Brett Lawrie

Traded for 3B Todd Frazier

Claimed OF Jerry Sands

Re-Signed RP Matt Albers

Signed SP Mat Latos

Key Departures

Free Agent 2B Gordon Beckham

Free Agent SP Jeff Samardzija

Free Agent C Geovany Soto

Free Agent SS Alexei Ramirez

Free Agent C Tyler Flowers

Traded 2B Micah Johnson

Traded OF Trayce Thompson

Traded P Frankie Montas

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