Every Sox fan needs to watch that right now and if you're not a Sox fan, watch it anyways, because you're going to get a heavy dose of "Liam Hendriks Is A Crazy Person" blogs heretofore. I understand the qualms of not wanting to spend at the top of the market for closers and closers only, but if you push that aside the White Sox now have arguably the best reliever in all of baseball at the back end of their bullpen. That's a good think, a really really good thing. This bullpen is pure, unadulterated filth. Imagine getting this motherfucker in the 9th after seeing Gio shove baseballs down your throat for 6 innings then giving way to Heuer, Crochet, Marshall, Bummer and Foster? Jesus Christ that will NOT be fun for opposing lineups. Check out this video too:
I talked to the guys at Codify yesterday, and they said that the White Sox have embraced their science as good or better than any organization in baseball in 2020. To the hoards of people who think the White Sox lack in science, just know that they have caught up to the rest of baseball. They embrace is as well as any team out there, and that was a BIG reason they were able to sign Hendriks. Obviously money is the end all, be all but Hendriks said the embracing of science and analytics was a must for the team he signed with.
In 2020, the Sox were a top 10 bullpen:
and now, with the addition of Hendriks, you can comfortably slot them in the top 5. It's a beautiful thing. But the White Sox are not done - they still have to add back end rotational help and then we go. No it's not gonna be Bauer. We've beaten that drum ad nauseam and it's not not happening.
With Manfred saying baseball will start on time though…
…and with a LOT of free agents still available, you can look to someone like drum roll Jose Quintana to fill in the gap as a back end starter. Maybe Tanaka, Porcello or Homer Bailey. I don't know, but it'll be someone that can eat innings (gag) and make Kopech and Cease compete for the last slot in the rotation. It's not a perfect world, but it's a realistic world. There's always the possibility for a trade too, but the White Sox farm is SO top heavy at this point. You have Madrigal, Kopech, Vaughn and Crochet at the top, with Stiever a rung below them and then the rest of the rest. It would be hard to headline a trade for a Tier 1 pitcher without including any of them for the Sox. Impossible even. So look for the White Sox to sign a stop gap and reassess at the deadline.
Now, the White Sox should be the best team in the division. The Twins are assholes and have a really good squad, but top to bottom the White Sox are more talented. That's just a fact. They are still looking up as the Twins won the division in 2020, but Robert will be a year more mature, Moncada will bounce back and the Twins still might lose Nelson Cruz. Vegas agrees. These are the most recent World Series odds that I could find:
Those odds are only going to approve as more moves are made, and make no mistake about it, the White Sox are not done. Their depth will be better than it was a year ago when they were on pace to win 95 games over a 162 game season. The White Sox are better today than they were yesterday, the AL Central is weaker today than it was in 2020, and that gap will only continue to widen.
Today's a good day to be a White Sox fan. Let's hope Manfred wasn't bullshitting when he said the season should start on time. With the vaccine rollout sucking complete ass so far, there might be a few hiccups, but 162 games or bust. They proved they could make baseball work last summer and other leagues have proved they can make their leagues work as well. Come March, hopefully enough people are vaccinated that are at legit risk from coronavirus so we can really get the ball rolling on this season, because the White Sox are going to fuck up team after team night after night.
Cannot wait. It's a White Sox town right now - I mean that sincerely. They are the best team in Chicago and there's not one argument that can be made otherwise. I'm going to shove them down the entire country's throats a LOT moving forward, so brace yourself.