White Sox Transformation May Lead to Kyle Schwarber

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The Chicago White Sox, fresh off their first playoff appearance in 12 years, are looking for more. They were as active as any team during the winter meetings, as they addressed two major areas of need. The acquisition of righty Lance Lynn from Texas and the free-agent signing of outfielder Adam Eaton helps to fuel the White Sox transformation toward World Series contention.

White Sox Transformation: Unfinished Business

The additions of Lynn and Eaton are an upgrade over 2020, by any measure. Lynn brings a solid resume, as well as a veteran presence to the Southside. In 2020, after Lucas Giolito and Dallas Keuchel, the White Sox lacked any real consistency from their young starters. Lynn also led all of MLB in innings pitched the last two seasons, which will be a major boost to the Chicago bullpen. In terms of their rotation, Lynn greatly aids the White Sox transformation.

Adam Eaton, if he becomes the starting right fielder, can not possibly be worse than what the White Sox had out there in 2020. Nomar Mazara struggled to a slash line of .228/.295/.294 in 2020. His OPS+ was a 64. While Sox fans had their eyes set on bigger names, such as Michael Brantley or Joc Pederson, they have to acknowledge that Eaton will bring more to the table than Mazara did.

That said, the White Sox transformation is not complete by any measure, as Sox fans would be quick to point out. While signing a closer is a must, Sox fans, as well as Sox brass, would love to add another left-handed bat. Perhaps it could be a DH, or maybe a left fielder, but a left-handed bat would be a major plus to a right-hand heavy lineup.

A Former Cub On The South Side?

As the White Sox consider acquiring a left-handed bat, one possibility is less than ten miles away. Kyle Schwarber, a former North Side hero, was non-tendered by the Cubs on December 2nd and is now available. Some White Sox fans will stop reading now, but hey, his name is in the title. Needing a left-handed bat, the White Sox should seriously consider bringing the former Cubs’ slugger to the South Side.

The White Sox transformation would be accelerated like Walmart shoppers on Black Friday with the addition of a left-handed slugger. Kyle Schwarber has put together an interesting, if not always consistent, resume. From 2017 to 2019, he averaged 31 home runs a season and has a career OPS of .816. This is in spite of a disastrous 2020 season, where he posted an OPS of .701. Optimistic fans will view his 2020 season as an outlier, and, at his age (27), that would seem fair.

But ..But..But, He’s A Cub!

White Sox fans and Cubs fans have had a running feud for many years. While it is not clear if the teams themselves share those sentiments, that matters not to White Sox fans. The very idea of a Cub who Sox fans love to poke fun at, actually donning a White Sox uniform will sound repulsive to many Sox fans.

They are hard-wired to resist anything that is even remotely related to their North Side enemies. Yet, the Sox front office must be willing to risk minimal alienation of fans if the White Sox transformation is to complete its mission of winning a World Series.

It may be an even greater feeling for White Sox fans if they were to win a World Series with Schwarber on the roster. That would surely add fuel to the fire that is the Chicago rivalry. What better way to show off the White Sox transformation than to win a title with a former Cub?

Will White Sox Pull the Trigger on Schwarber?

This may be the ultimate question for the Sox front office. Logistically, Schwarber would fit in well at DH, as well as sharing time with Eloy Jimenez in left field. In today’s sports economy, the cost would likely not break their budget. In many ways, Kyle Schwarber could, along with a closer, complete the White Sox transformation to World Series Champions. Rick Hahn, Sox fans are waiting. What do you say?

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Mike Fisk is a lifelong baseball fan. For him, there is nothing like being at a baseball game, with the sights, the sounds, the smells. Writing about baseball is a bonus!