Entering 2023, the White Sox could be the favorites in the American League Central.
It looks like the Cleveland Guardians will win the American League Central in 2022 after the Chicago White Sox won the division in 2021.
However, the White Sox could have an advantage over the Guardians and even the Twins next season for one simple reason: money. The White Sox have a bigger market and a bigger payroll than those clubs. With a fair amount of money coming off the books (or potentially coming off the books) this offseason, the White Sox can spend some money on some top-flight free agents, if they want, to make their chances at winning the Central much stronger next year.
After all, if they don’t win the Central this year, it will partially be due to injuries and/or regression of some of their players.
Here are three White Sox players that could be replaced by a major free agent signing.
3 White Sox who could be replaced in free agency
1) White Sox outfielder A.J. Pollock
The White Sox acquired A.J. Pollock from the Dodgers in a trade on April 1 to improve their outfield offense. While Pollock has been as healthy as he has been in years (his 125 games entering Monday is the most he has played in the majors since 2015), he has not been a productive bat.
He entered Sunday hitting .242/.290/.377 on the season with 11 home runs, 50 RBI, and an OPS+ of 88. He has a $10 million player option for next season that he will likely exercise but the White Sox should look to find a better replacement and either put Pollock on the bench or trade him.
One suitable replacement would be Andrew Benintendi. The 27-year-old was an All-Star this season and he has hit .304/.373/.399 this year for the Royals and Yankees. He wouldn’t be a huge power bat but he would be a good option for the White Sox at the top of their lineup.