But Aaron Bummer, the guy who will be setting up Hendriks in the South Side bullpen, doesn't even consider his team the favorite to win the AL Central crown.
The White Sox have made a couple huge additions this winter to complement a mighty impressive group that came a win away from the division title in 2020. Meanwhile, the reigning-champion Minnesota Twins have not yet re-signed the heart and soul of their lineup, Nelson Cruz. And the Cleveland Indians, who finished with the same record as the White Sox last season, traded away their best player, Francisco Lindor.
But Bummer's not yet ready to jump the White Sox into the division's driver's seat before the games even start.
"I’m a believer that you’ve got to take down the champs. You’re not the favorite until you’re standing on the top," Bummer told Our Chuck Garfien on the latest edition of the White Sox Talk Podcast. "Even in the American League Central, I don’t know how many years the Twins have won it, they’ve won it two or three years in a row, and the Indians are always right there.
"To say we’re the favorites, that might be the betting odds, but I want to go out there and take it from them. So I’m not going to call myself the favorite, and I’m not going to crown ourselves anything until we go out and take it from them.
"That’s the mindset that I have is that I want to go out there and take it, I don’t want to be handed anything."
Certainly that's not a bad mindset to have, and it also happens to be the truth. The White Sox can have the best roster on paper, but that alone won't win them any kind of championship, be it the AL Central crown or the World Series trophy they have their sights set on this year.
So while right now they might be predicted to finish ahead of the Twins, they'll need to beat them on the field and in the standings in order to truly be the kings of the hill in the Central.
And Bummer, it seems, wouldn't have it any other way.