The Chicago White Sox made headlines again Thursday when the signed their top prospect Luis Robert to a contract extension. The extension ensures that Robert will start the season with the White Sox and not be held down due to service time. It is one of many impressive moves made by a White Sox organization that has become Chicago’s best chance for a championship in 2020.
For the last three seasons, the White Sox have been mired in a rebuild and have worked on acquiring and developing young, talented players. Heading into 2020, it appears that the collection of young players are ready to break out. Robert will join a team that features Yoan Moncada, Tim Anderson, Lucas Giolito, Eloy Jimenez, Dylan Cease, and Michael Kopech. General manager Rick Hahn has worked relentlessly to sign prominent free agent veterans this offseason including former Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel, All-Star catcher Yasmani Grandal, Edwin Encarnacion, and Nomar Marzara.
It is because of this offseason that Hahn and the White Sox are in the best position in nearly a decade to contend for the post-season. Of the five Chicago sports teams, the White Sox appear to have the most promise and upside.
The Chicago Bulls are also in a rebuild and have upside with a young core of players that features Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen, Wendall Carter Jr, and Coby White. The only problem is that they have the worst coach in the league in Jim Boylen. The team has blown several double-digit fourth-quarter losses this season and management has no urgency to remove Boylen as the head coach. Their coach is a massive hindrance to the development of the young players.
Their United Center partners are faring no better as the Chicago Blackhawks are in no better situation. Unlike the White Sox and Bulls, they are not able to begin any rebuild until they can get out from underneath the big contracts that they signed their core too. They are one of the worst teams in the NHL’s Western Conference with no promise of a contending season in the next few seasons.
Chicago’s other baseball team in the Cubs are projecting downward for 2020 as they have not made a single move this offseason. They have been frugal with their spending due to luxury tax restrains, despite having added revenue expected from the launch of the new Marquee sports network. The Cubs are also actively trying to trade one of their best players in Kris Bryant for prospects.
The only other team in Chicago that has any potential chance at making the post-season in 2020 is the Chicago Bears. They just wrapped up a disappointing 8-8 season and have major upgrades to make on offense. The Bears still have a strong defense and will have an easier schedule next season. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky remains their biggest concern as he will be the deciding factor in their success in 2020.
Although everything appears on paper to be great for the White Sox, it does not matter until they prove it on the field. Back in 2015, they had a similar great offseason but finished with a 76-86 record. Right now though, they have the most promise and potential excitement of any of the Chicago sports teams not just for 2020, but for the decade also.