Prince Fielder Signs with Tigers: How the White Sox Offseason Looks Now

Eli GreenspanSenior Analyst IJanuary 24, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 11:  General Manager Kenny Williams of the Chicago White Sox, speaks after the hiring of Robin Ventura to be the next manager during an introductory press conference at U.S. Cellular Field on October 11, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

With Prince Fielder signing a nine-year deal with the Tigers, it drastically changes the outlook in the AL Central. The Tigers were looking to make a move this offseason, but likely didn't see a Fielder signing coming until Victor Martinez went down.

They were looking for an upgrade in the rotation, but losing Martinez changed their plans and produced an overwhelmingly large contract for Fielder.

The White Sox have some questions that will only be answered with time. But the hard road ahead just got a lot harder, and the Tigers tandem of Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder looks very troublesome.

The White Sox traded away pitchers Sergio Santos and Jason Frasor, as well as outfielder Carlos Quentin this offseason. The team is fairly young, with a combination of scrappy on-base guys like Alejandro De Aza and Alexei Ramirez and power hitters like Paul Konerko, Adam Dunn and Dayan Viciedo.

It will be up to guys like Gordon Beckham and Brent Morel to meet expectations as well.

The White Sox still have strong pitching even with the loss of Mark Buehrle to the Marlins.

John Danks, Gavin Floyd, Jake Peavy, Chris Sale and Phil Humber are an impressive rotation, but the Tigers rotation just added a huge insurance piece with Fielder, who is a true game changer for them, especially considering Victor Martinez could be healthy by the end of 2012, if not ready for the 2013 season.

The White Sox do not have the deepest farm system, with their best guys in recent years with the club right now. Tyler Flowers is one guy that could emerge this season and have a huge impact.

But Fielder to the Tigers does not mean the White Sox need to make a move. Adding an extra outfielder would probably be in their best interest considering De Aza and Viciedo are no guarantee.

But overall, Fielder is joining a similar team in a similar division.

Yes, the Tigers look a whole lot better, but the White Sox did not getting any worse from this move.

There is still a lot of potential surrounding this team, and if the bullpen does not regress, there is no reason they cannot contend in 2012 and beyond.