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White Sox 2017 preview: Future is bright for Chicago, but this season will be a struggle

White Sox 2017 preview: Future is bright for Chicago, but this season will be a struggle

The White Sox committed to a full-scale rebuild this offseason and are in great position to be contenders ... in about four seasons.

The White Sox committed to a full-scale rebuild this offseason and are in great position to be contenders ... in about four seasons. 

Chicago traded ace Chris Sale and star outfielder Adam Eaton for a boatload of quality prospects, including the Red Sox's Yoan Moncada and Nationals' Lucas Giolito, among others. The club probably isn't done making deals, and if the White Sox can score more prospects for their studs, who can blame them? All-Stars Jose Quintana, David Robertson, Melky Cabrera and Todd Frazier are expected to be dealt this summer, as is Brett Lawrie. 

Despite the subtractions and pending moves, Baseball Prospectus actually doesn't expect the Sox to finish last in the AL Central. That honor belongs to the Royals, per BP. (We respectfully disagree and see the White Sox struggling to reach 70 wins this season.) 

Here's what 2017 holds for the "other" MLB team in Chicago. 

Chicago White Sox schedule 2017

The White Sox begin the 2017 schedule on baseball's opening day April 3 against the Tigers in the first game at the rebranded Guaranteed Rate Field. Following a three-game series against the Tigers, Chicago hosts the Twins for a three-game set beginning April 7. The White Sox then spend 19 of their next 25 games on the road. Ouch.


Chicago White Sox roster

White Sox projected opening day lineup

1. Charlie Tilson, OF
2. Yoan Moncada, SS
3. Melky Cabrera, OF
4. Jose Abreu, 1B
5. Todd Frazier, 3B
6. Avisail Garcia, OF
7. Cody Asche, DH
8. Geovany Soto, C
9. Tim Anderson, 2B

White Sox projected rotation

1. Jose Quintana, LHP
2. James Shields, RHP
3. Carlos Rodon, LHP
4. Miguel Gonzalez, RHP
5. Derek Holland, LHP

White Sox projected bullpen 

Closer: David Robertson, RHP
Setup: Nate Jones, RHP
Setup: Zach Putnam, RHP

White Sox fantasy baseball sleeper

Carlos Rodon, SP — The prized southpaw isn't expected to be ready for the start of the season as the club slowly brings him along and will subsequently be passed upon in fantasy drafts. The No. 3 overall pick in 2014 owned a 4.04 ERA and 168:54 K:BB ratio in 165 innings last season but is expected to miss only one start and could still reach 180 innings, providing quality stats for your team. Just don't expect a lot of wins. 

White Sox top prospect(s)

Where to begin? infielder Yoan Moncada and pitchers Lucas Giolito, Michael Kopech and Reynaldo Lopez highlight a deep and talented minor-league system for the White Sox. Don't forget about pitcher Carson Fulmer, who the Sox envision as a future starter. 

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