The Chicago White Sox let a lot of salary walk away in the offseason. Despite losing some key pieces of their 2011 club, the White Sox are much better off.
A quick look at the standings is all it should take. At this point in 2011, Chicago was sitting at 52-53, three games behind the Tigers in the AL Central. After 105 games in 2012, the White Sox are 58-47 and 2.5 games ahead of Detroit.
Following the 2011 season, four key starters were allowed to walk away. Juan Pierre and Mark Buehrle left for free agency, while Carlos Quentin and Sergio Santos were traded.
Rebound seasons from Alex Rios and Adam Dunn are a big part of the improvement. However, equally as important is the way Chicago has replaced the departed players in the lineup. Here is how the White Sox plugged the holes of the four departing players and how it has worked out.