Red Sox Rival #4: Chicago White Sox
The White Sox entered the offseason with one of the best rosters in baseball and without a prominent area of need. Many of their issues last year were caused by freak injuries to key players such as Eloy Jimenez, Yasmani Grandal, and Luis Robert. Despite this, they easily won the AL Central with 93 wins and look like clear favorites to repeat as AL Central champs.
Even with their rosy outlook, the White Sox continued to add this offseason. They began this offseason by signing reliever Kendall Graveman, who broke out with a 1.77 ERA in a season split between the Astros and Mariners. It was quite the surprising season for Graveman, as he entered 2021 with a career 4.44 ERA.
It’s hard to bank on a guy with one season to his name, but Graveman added over two miles per hour to his fastball and had a career-high strikeout season, so there is a solid chance that Graveman’s breakout was for real.
Since the lockout has ended, the White Sox have made a pair of minor moves, signing former Red Sox reliever Joe Kelly and veteran utility man Josh Harrison. I wrote last month about why Kelly would be a good-free agent for the Red Sox, and he will make a strong White Sox bullpen even stronger.
Harrison, meanwhile, has produced two straight above-average offensive seasons to go along with his defensive versatility and speed. He’s not the All-Star player he was in Pittsburgh, but he is still worthy of everyday at-bats.
These moves don’t jump off the table, but they take a true contender and take them to an even higher level. The White Sox will undoubtedly be one of the Red Sox’s greatest threats in their race to a pennant.