The White Sox look different, but they looked different before 2015, too. The changes they made this time around, as low key as they seemed, might be the ones that get them back into the race for the AL Central crown, though. They did not land any of their major free-agent targets, but between trades and some patience on the market, the White Sox just might have picked up everything they needed to get to where they thought their splashes of a year ago were taking them.
Todd Frazier could be the first third baseman worth anything on the White Sox since Robin Ventura was still playing there instead of managing in Chicago's dugout. The White Sox were among the league's worst at the hot corner in 2015, while Frazier went deep 35 times for the Reds while putting up another high-quality season at the plate. This isn't the only move that could signify a major turnaround at a position for the White Sox, but it is the one with the largest gap between where they were and where they should end up.
All additions: Todd Frazier, Brett Lawrie, Alex Avila, Mat Latos, Austin Jackson, Jimmy Rollins
There has never been a clubhouse kid like Drake LaRoche, and now the nefarious Kenny Williams has made sure there never will be again. The White Sox lost a real leader this spring, so please join us in observing a moment of silence following the conclusion of this sentence.
All departures: Drake LaRoche, Tyler Flowers, Alexei Ramirez, Jeff Samardzija,
Todd Frazier and Brett Lawrie lead the White Sox in their quest to keep 2015's lineup disasters from happening again, while Mat Latos gives Chicago the fourth starter they need behind Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, and the emerging Carlos Rodon -- and all thanks to the tutelage of pitching coach/wizard Don Cooper. With that rotation, even the defending champion Royals can't stop Chicago from making it the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
It would be a very White Sox thing if all of their promising pickups faltered and kept Chicago in the middle once more.
Lineup: Adam Eaton, Brett Lawrie, Jose Abreu, Todd Frazier, Melky Cabrera, Austin Jackson, Alex Avila, Avisail Garcia, Jimmy Rollins
Rotation: Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, Carlos Rodon, Mat Latos, John Danks