As things currently stand, the Chicago White Sox have the 6th best odds to win the World Series in 2022, per consensus odds.
The only teams ahead of them are the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Mets, Houston Astros, New York Yankees, and Los Angeles Dodgers. With an already extremely talented roster full of young stars, the South Side is primed to contend for years to come. The offense is led by veteran 1st baseman Jose Abreu, and while he's starting to get up there in age, is still a great mentor to all the young players on the team. Guys like Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez have the potential to be two of the brightest stars in the sport. Former top prospect Yoan Moncada has shown flashes of brilliance, a five-tool player who can do it all, but just needs to put it all together. Catcher Yasmani Grandal looks to improve offensively in 2022 but remains the best framing catcher in baseball. Last, but certainly not least, is Tim Anderson. The superstar shortstop has had plenty of clutch moments in his young career and is the face of a new wave of baseball excitement.
Those are the main hitters, but the depth is incredible on this team. I didn't even mention Andrew Vaughn, one of the best rookies in 2021. On top of that, they have a pitching staff that could rival any in the league. Lance Lynn, Lucas Giolito, and Dylan Cease highlight a talented group, with young Michael Kopech possibly taking the next step as a starting pitcher this season. The bullpen is locked down by closer Liam Hendriks, while also containing future HoF closer Craig Kimbrel. Up and coming young arms Garrett Crochet and Jonathan Stiever will play a significant role this season as well.
With newly signed international players Yolqui Cespedes and Oscar Colas, the future has never been brighter in Chicago. But what key piece could they add to solidify the lineup from top to bottom?
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The White Sox literally have a star player at every position on the field besides right field, which has been manned by guys like Leury Garcia and even big Jake Burger recently. Signing Castellanos immediately would make them the best offense in baseball, in my opinion. He's one of the best outfielders in baseball, coming off a career year at the plate. He set new highs in his home runs (34) and wRC+ (140) while posting the lowest strikeout rate of his career (20.7%). Since 2018, he ranks fourth among all outfielders in RBIs (296), 11th in home runs (98), and 15th in wRC+ (126), according to Sports Illustrated.
He may not be the best guy defensively out there, but that's where the center fielder Robert can cover him. Robert has elite speed and agility, able to cover massive ground in a short amount of time. Jimenez and Castellanos don't have to be great in right or left, just competent. The offense would be so good that they will be able to win with that most days anyway.
There's no reason to think he won't continue on this trajectory, especially now that he would be paired with some of the biggest stars around. Obviously adding another starting pitcher will be a priority as well, but passing up an opportunity to sign a guy who completes your offense would be foolish. The Sox have plenty of money to get the deal done too, having close to $40 million to spare under the luxury tax line.
If they signed him, they would probably pass up Toronto and the Mets to get into the top 5 favorites.
Rick Hahn, get it done.