Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn must prioritize how he allocates his resources this offseason. It really is that simple.
The White Sox can be competitive in 2014 with a couple of targeted offseason acquisitions given the state of their starting rotation. More realistically, however, they will need two years to bring in free agents and develop minor league talent before a legitimate run at an AL Central title can be made.
Hahn’s first step should be to improve the club by position group, and the best way to identify which ones should be addressed first is to rank them by their collective wins above replacement (WAR).
This list cannot focus on individual players, per say. That would be a subjective exercise. After all, Alexei Ramirez (2.4) and Alejandro De Aza (1.7) had the highest oWAR numbers on the team, but there is a distinct possibility that neither of them will be on the 25-man roster next season.
It is also impossible to power rank individual players because there are so many holes on the team. Do the White Sox need a third baseman more than a catcher, or should a center fielder be at the top of Hahn’s list? Unfortunately, the answer is all of the above.
Now, starting pitching will be excluded from the list. Led by Chris Sale and Jose Quintana, the rotation had a collective 16.4 WAR and is so deep that Hahn may be able to trade one of them this offseason for a position player. Either way, starting pitching is not a need this offseason.
Here is B/R’s power ranking of the White Sox’s biggest needs heading into free agency.
Unless specifically noted, all general and advanced statistics are courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.