Nothing went right for the Chicago White Sox in 2022. They entered the season as the favorites to win the AL Central, yet missed the MLB Playoffs entirely with a pedestrian 81-81 record. It's time to start looking toward 2023 and hoping new manager Pedro Grifol can lead the squad back to glory.
The White Sox have an opportunity to upgrade the roster through the free agent market, but they will need to be smart given their current 2023 payroll already ranks as the seventh-highest in baseball. With that in mind, here's a look at three players Chicago needs to sign when free agency opens.
Chicago White Sox Free Agency
1. Martin Perez, SP
Dylan Cease has emerged as the White Sox's ace on the mound, but the depth behind him is lacking. Lucas Giolito posted a dismal 4.90 ERA in 2022 and Michael Kopech logged just a 1.84 strikeout per walk rate. Adding an exciting veteran should be the strategy here. Martin Perez broke out this past summer with a dazzling 2.89 ERA across 32 starts (196.1 innings). He also tied a career-high mark with 7.7 strikeouts per nine innings and was named to the AL All-Star team for the first time. His price tag is going to be lower than most other SP options because some teams believe his latest campaign is an outlier. That's something the White Sox should take advantage of with a 2-year offer.
2. Christian Vazquez, C
While veteran Yasmani Grandal is under contract with the White Sox for one more year at a $18 million cap hit, the front office has to start searching for a better option behind the plate. Wild pitches and passed balls were up for Chicago in 2022, so seeing the team add a defensive-minded free agent like Christian Vazquez would make a lot of sense. Vazquez is praised as one of the best pitch-framers in the league and always establishes good relationships with starting pitchers. Not only that, but he has proven capable of getting on base, too. The 32-year-old posted a slash line of .274/.315/.399 this past season to go along with 9 home runs and 52 RBI.
3. Josh Bell, 1B
The biggest White Sox storyline to keep an eye on this offseason is whether or not the team re-signs first baseman Jose Abreu. Early reports suggest it is not likely, meaning Chicago would be on the lookout for a power bat. Josh Bell fits that mold after hitting 44 home runs across the last two seasons. He smacked 37 home runs in 2019 alone and hitting in Guaranteed Rate Field could help him find that kind of swing again. Bell's 15.8% strikeout rate in 2022 was his lowest mark since his rookie year (2016), showing that his discipline at the plate is top-notch right now. Bell owns a career slash line of .262/.351/.459 and could slide right into the middle of Chicago's lineup.
Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.