Crosstown Disappointments

What went wrong with the Cubs, White Sox, and they need to do in the offseason

Logan Bland, Sports columnist

It was a lackluster summer for Chicago baseball. The “rebuilding” Cubs are going to finish under .500 and the World Series hopeful Chicago White Sox are on their way to an under .500 season for the 8th time in 10 seasons. So, what went wrong? For the Cubs, the pitching simply was not there this season. They went out and signed Marcus Stroman to a massive three-year $71 million dollar deal that quite frankly looked like a disaster in the first half of the season but was fantastic in the second half of the year. Drew Smiley and Wade Miley were disappointing pieces of the rotation. The offense was really expected to be anemic with the lack of talent on paper.

For the White Sox, what really went right? You had the disaster that was Tony La Russa managing the ball club, you had Lucas Giolito take a monster step back in regression, Lance Lynn was not his reliable self, the roster in a whole was just poorly constructed and the money was poorly spent on guys like Leury Garcia, who is the first utility man in MLB history that struggles to play defense and cannot hit the ball. So, what do the cross-town rivals do to take a positive leap in 2023?

Well, first, for the Cubs, spend money. It’s evident catcher Wilson Contreas will not be the catcher next year, so that leaves money for the Ricketts to spend. They need to focus on the shortstop market: they have a star already in Nico Hoerner, but you can never have enough star power in a lineup. The Cubs could sign Carlos Correa and move him to third or sign Trae Turner and stick him at second. They also need to address the rotation. Stroman is an obvious staple, but they need more. There aren’t a lot of household names on the 2023 winter starting pitcher market, but there’s some studs. The Cubs could target Just Verlander, Carlos Rodon, or Noah Syndergaard.

For the White Sox side of things, they have a bit more on the “to do” list. Firstly, they have to do the right thing and bring back Southpaw Carlos Rodon. The White Sox let him walk for nothing because of injury issues in the past and in 2022 he had just one IL stint and was dominant on the mound. They need to find a way to bring Elvis Andrus back to play second base. He was so good in the second half of the 2022 season — one of the true few bright spots. Perhaps most importantly, the Sox must fill out the outfield. You have to let legend Jose Abreu walk in free agency to allow Andrew Vaughn to play his rightful position first base, and you cannot have Gavin Sheets playing right field. Aaron Judge is the dream for every team but that is realistically a New York teams battle. AJ Pollock will presumably be back on his player option playing left field; Brandon Nimmo has to be a must target for Rick Hahn.