Chicago Cubs/White Sox Baseball: Can Combining Rosters Produce a Playoff Team?

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Chicago Cubs/White Sox Baseball: Can Combining Rosters Produce a Playoff Team?
Brian Kersey/Getty Images
The Cubs and White Sox each have had their struggles in 2013

Newsworthy Chicago baseball headlines happen about as often these days as Starlin Castro draws a walk—few, and painfully far between.

It doesn’t take Jonah Hill posing as a sabermetric baseball guru in a Hollywood film to point out the obvious: The Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Cubs are very, very bad.

So bad, in fact, the Cubs and Sox are currently on pace to win 138 games...combined. That’s their lowest total since 1980, when the two squads combined for 134 victories.  

And sure, we can talk about Golden Spikes finalist Kris Bryant’s estimated major league arrival time until we’re blue in the face. Or we can talk about the jaw-dropping display put on by Cubs infield prospect Javier Baez last week, where he belted not one, not two, not three (I hope you’re reading this, LeBron), but four home runs in one game.

Awfully impressive.

But the city of Chicago needs to be gratified, and it needs to be gratified now. After all, Kenny Williams ran a baseball organization on this philosophy for years and look where it got him! (maybe not the best example.)

Anyway, the futility of both teams in the 2013 campaign raises an interesting thought: Even if you combined the two teams, would they still not make the playoffs?

Luckily for you, I have set out to answer this difficult and seemingly condescending question. However, all jokes aside: Combining the best of two Major League Baseball rosters should, in almost all cases, field a team that would at least be top five in the league as currently constructed.

It’s like playing in a 15-team fantasy league where the rest of the leagues owners are competing against 29 others: should be a walk in the park.

Unfortunately, the terms “walk,” “Cubs” and “White Sox” are rarely synonymous with each other, as it relates to either team’s offense, which makes putting together a team of Chicago All-Stars no simple task.

 

*All stats in this slideshow are taken from Baseball-Reference.com. For the sake of this article, this is simply taking this season into account and whether these two teams combined would make the playoffs, thus making age and future beyond this season irrelevant.

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