David Fung of Beyond the Box Score put together a handy graph of the White Sox window to win, looking at player control through 2017. Take a look at it, although remember than Dayan Viciedo is under team control for six more seasons and should hit arbitration in 2015.
It's a good representation of the team's building blocks for the future. John Danks certainly is one. Players without as much big league experience like Brent Morel, Chris Sale and Addison Reed certainly factor in. Alexei Ramirez is under control through 2016, though he could become an attractive trade target if the White Sox fall out of contention in any of the next few years.
Beyond that, there are plenty of question marks -- and plenty of money coming off the books. Adam Dunn and Alex Rios will probably be out after 2014. Paul Konerko's contract is up after 2013, along with Gavin Floyd, Matt Thornton (if his option is declined) and Jesse Crain.
But the White Sox don't have a stable of young prospects that could be busting down the door in a few years. They have plenty of question marks -- some with upside, like Trayce Thompson -- that could fill the void left by departing veterans.
If some or all of those guys -- Thompson, Tyler Saladino, Jake Petricka, Nestor Molina, Keenyn Walker and Jared Mitchell, to name a few -- don't pan out, the Sox will have to look elsewhere to fill those holes. The good news is that there will be money to spend.
The future of the White Sox isn't necessarily bleak. There are still plenty of things that could break in the organization's favor over the next few years. Having some good luck in 2012 would be a nice start.
The White Sox made some adjustments to their 40-man roster ahead of Monday's deadline to protect players from the Rule 5 Draft.
Rules stipulate that a player who signed when he was 18 or younger and has played five seasons of professional baseball is eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 Draft if he is not on his team's 40-man roster. Because of that, the White Sox — like the rest of the teams in the league — made some moves Monday to protect certain players.
The White Sox announced Monday afternoon that they purchased the contracts of infielder Casey Gillaspie from Triple-A Charlotte, outfielder Eloy Jimenez from Double-A Birmingham, outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe and pitcher Ian Clarkin from Class-A Winston-Salem and outfielder Micker Adolfo from Class-A Kannapolis.
Simultaneously, pitchers Chris Beck and Tyler Danish were outrighted to Charlotte.
The most notable name on the list is of course Jimenez, the highly ranked outfielder acquired from the Cubs in July's trade that sent Jose Quintana to the North Side. Jimenez was a no-brainer to be protected after he slugged 19 homers and hit 22 doubles with 65 RBIs in his 89 games in the minors last season, splitting time between Birmingham and Winston-Salem in the White Sox system and Class-A Myrtle Beach in the Cubs' system. Jimenez is ranked as the White Sox No. 1 prospect by MLB.com.
Gillaspie was acquired in the trade that sent Dan Jennings to the Tampa Bay Rays. The brother of former White Sox infielder Conor Gillaspie, he hit 15 homers and 20 doubles in 125 games all at the Triple-A level. Gillaspie is ranked as the White Sox No. 11 prospect by MLB.com.
Basabe, the White Sox No. 17 prospect, was in last offseason's Chris Sale trade and hit .221 with five homers and 12 doubles at Winston-Salem. Adolfo, the White Sox No. 14 prospect, was signed as a free agent in 2013 and hit .264 with 16 homers and 28 doubles at Kannapolis. Clarkin, the White Sox No. 22 prospect, was acquired in the seven-player trade with the Yankees in July and posted a 2.60 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 86.2 innings of work at the Class-A level.
The 27-year-old Beck posted a very high 6.40 ERA in 64.2 innings out of the White Sox bullpen last season. Danish made just one appearance with the big league club last season, getting his first major league win in the second game of a doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers.
Only three more months till the White Sox are back in action.
The South Siders announced their spring training schedule Monday, with Cactus League play commencing Feb. 23 out in Arizona.
The White Sox have the unenviable task of opening the exhibition schedule against the defending National League champions, the Los Angeles Dodgers playing hosts to the Pale Hose in Glendale. The White Sox will be the visitors, though they share the Camelback Ranch facility with the Dodgers, so they'll still be in their home ballpark. Their first official home game comes two days later, in a Feb. 25 matchup against the Cincinnati Reds.
The White Sox will face off against the Cubs in three "Cactus Crosstown" games on Feb. 27 and March 10 in Mesa and on March 16 in Glendale.
And in a cool wrap to the preseason, the White Sox will square off against their own Triple-A affiliate March 26 in Charlotte. The game against the Knights should be a fun watch considering all the future White Sox expected to make their way to the big leagues over the next couple seasons. The Knights' roster could be loaded with highly ranked prospects depending on how things shake out.
Here's the full schedule: