Playing a rebuild-centric edition of fantasy baseball is all the rage for South Side baseball fans.
After Baseball America forecasted the White Sox starting lineup for the 2021 season, it sparked a new round of projections, and we weren't going to be excluded.
So here's a guess at what the South Siders will look like three years from now, with some variables obviously being discussed such as additions the team could make through free agency or a trade — Manny Machado? Nolan Arenado? Christian Yelich? — and which of their bevy of young pitchers could be left out of the starting rotation of the future.
Also be sure to send us your future lineups on Twitter. We're @NBCSWhiteSox.
The White Sox rebuild is going just swimmingly, according to the fine folks at Baseball America.
The publication does its own rankings of each organization's top prospects every offseason, and their top 10 rankings of the players in the White Sox farm system is unexpectedly impressive, what with how general manager Rick Hahn has acquired so much minor league talent over the past year-plus.
But one of the fun things Baseball America also does is project a starting lineup for a few years down the road. That's been a favorite pastime of South Side baseball fans ever since Hahn kicked off the rebuild with those trades of Chris Sale and Adam Eaton more than a year ago. Now you can see how your fantasy future White Sox lineup matches up with Baseball America's.
They flash forward all the way to 2021, a year past when most White Sox fans have been dreaming about as the apex of the rebuild and when the South Siders start becoming perennial contenders. Notably, Baseball America also expects the White Sox to give long-term deals to Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia — not bad moves by any stretch — who are both currently under team control only through the end of the 2019 season.
Here's how Baseball America sees Rick Renteria's starting nine in 2021:
Of course, Baseball America goes a little more in depth than that, ranking the top 10 prospects in each farm system and laying out their picks for which players have the best tools in each organization.
Here are those respective lists for the White Sox:
Get ready, White Sox fans. The future's coming.
The White Sox avoided arbitration with four players, the team announced Friday night.
Agreeing to one-year deals with the South Siders were Jose Abreu, Carlos Rodon, Leury Garcia and the newly acquired Luis Avilan.
Abreu's $13 million salary for the upcoming 2018 campaign was reported earlier Friday. Rodon agreed to a $2.3 million deal, Garcia to a $1.175 million deal and Avilan to a $2.45 million deal.
Abreu was terrific last season, joining Joe DiMaggio and Albert Pujols as the only players ever to hit 30 home runs and drive in 100 RBIs in each of their first four big league seasons. Mentioned in trade speculation throughout the offseason, Abreu is highly valued by the White Sox not only for his production at the plate but also for his clubhouse presence, leadership abilities and mentorship role toward fellow Cubans Yoan Moncada and Luis Robert.
Rodon spent much of last season on the disabled list, not making his first start until the end of June. He was injured again in September and had shoulder surgery. His recovery could again knock him out for a good chunk of the campaign in 2018, but the young pitcher is obviously part of the White Sox long-term plans.
Garcia figures to be the White Sox first option in center field after he slashed .270/.316/.423 last season. His campaign was also limited by injury, though, as he appeared in just 87 games.
Avilan was acquired earlier this month in a three-team trade that strengthened the White Sox bullpen and perhaps added a couple potential midseason trade chips. Avilan was very good last season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, posting a 2.93 ERA in 46 innings of work.
Two players, Avisail Garcia and Yolmer Sanchez, remain unsigned.