Will the White Sox win the AL Central seems to on the mind on every Sox fan and the answer is YES! The fact that they have a three game lead to start off the second half of the season helps their cause, but offseason and last season spending by their rivals will actually help their cause even more.
The Indians gave away top prospects last season at the trading deadline for Jimenez and it has yet to pay dividends. They will not be making any big trades this break because they can’t afford to prospect-wise.
The Tigers have an extremely bright future and scratched their way back to respectability going into the All-Star break, but they are not going to deplete their farm system for another bat or starter because if they do not make it this season they will most certainly be right there again next season. They were also big spenders in the offseason, so funds will be limited. The risk/reward would not be there with a decent farm system that should pepper in nicely over the next few years with their stable of talented veterans. The Tigers are rumored to be looking for another starter, but it doesn’t seem like anyone in the AL Central will be big spenders. I know there are Justin Upton rumors that popped up today, while the other day it was starting pitching for the Tigers; who knows for real. I think pitching is more important for them, but that’s just my opinion.
If the White Sox are going to keep Chris Sale on a strict second half pitch count then they might be most likely to make a starting pitching move to help solidify their staff and push them to an AL Central Title. While Chicago sports radio has suggested that the Sox can’t afford to add by subtraction I think they can. Phil Humber and a draft pick might be enough to get Zach Greinke out of the Brewers. Humber isn’t eligible for free agency until 2016, he’s pitched a no-hitter this season, and for the most part gives you at least a solid six innings. The question is who else the Brewers might want for Greinke, besides the fact they would be shaving roughly $7 million. That also could be the drawback for the Sox with limited funds available due to limited attendance much like 2005.
Williams will most likely add a veteran arm to the bullpen and roll with what he has with his rotation with the idea that John Danks will be back for the stretch run in August. That will be the veteran arm that the Sox add to their rotation.
The Sox can win the division with what they have especially with a healthy Humber coming back after a brilliant start on Thursday. The Sox made the most important move by getting Kevin Youkilis from the Red Sox. He has sparked the team and has given them the veteran presence at third they’ve lacked since Joe Crede left. This post will be moot if the Tigers or Indians make an unsuspecting big move to make then an elite team, but since that seems unlikely the Sox are doing what they were suppose to do last year, win the the AL Central. Not only are they best team on paper, but they are the best team in Central in reality. As I write that I’m still very surprised!