You may or may not be familiar with the cuckoo bird. It is a species of bird that looks for empty nests of other bird species and lays its eggs in the unoccupied nest. Bascially, the other species does all the work of building the nest and the cuckoo swoops in and uses it for its own needs. That is what the White Sox have been up to the last few days, taking advantage of resources already found by other teams. During these winter meetings, the Chicago Cuckoos came calling.
By no means am I against these deals. Quite the contrary, I've been waiting for this at least since the 2013 season. It is a dismantling that is long overdue. Before spring training 2017 I think we can expect more flipping of assets. These moves aren't the classic shed salary, rebuild strategy we've seen from many teams. Both Sale and Eaton had team friendly contracts and Jose Quintana isn't expensive either, just to name another who is probably gone by February. No, it is more about changing direction, of realizing the teams position in the world relative to 2017.
That position, with Chris Sale, Adam Eaton and the other soon to be departed, wasn't particularly good. The White Sox as constructed these past few seasons was built to compete and simply didn't. To borrow Rick Hahn's phrase, they were mired in mediocrity.
Now, it probably is going to get bad for a little bit. We probably should circle our calendars for 2019 or even 2020. What's more, even the best prospects don't always work out so every name we've learned over the last few days might be trivia answers in five year's time.
And not to throw more cold water on what is a happy time, but it's more than just raiding the cupboards of other teams, taking over their nests as it were. It's also about prospect development once the pieces are in place, something that hasn't been the White Sox strong suit for close to a generation. What happens in the White Sox farm system from Class A to the majors? If it isn't a pitching prospect, the answer is, "not much." Tim Anderson was the exception, not the rule and the jury is still out. I do recall another sharp middle infielder who had a good rookie season and wound up every spring coming in "with a new outlook and attitude." He finished his career with Atlanta I think.
But enough of that down talk. The rebuild has begun. Watching this has got to be better than the last few years. Failing forward beats just failing.
My podcast working the way I'd like, so if you'd like to hear some US History presented in a lively, fun way, check it out! (warning! the first two episodes audio is not good, but by episode three, I got it!) Episode 38 is up! Road to Revolution Part 3 Get Your History On! Oh and you can get it on iTunes too!