The Chicago White Sox have been playing second fiddle to the Chicago Cubs in the rebuilding game over the past few years, but on Monday they launched a massive counter-attack as they signed relief pitcher David Robertson to a four-year deal and reportedly agreed to a trade that would send Jeff Samardzija to the south side of Chicago.
Going into this offseason, the Sox had needs at a slew of positions. They needed bullpen help from both sides of the rubber. They needed a powerful left-handed bat to help protect Jose Abreu in the lineup and to take advantage of the hitter-friendly confines of US Cellular Field. They needed a right-handed starter in their rotation to help balance out a rotation that is lefty-dominated with guys like Chris Sale and Jose Quintana.
Now, with the entire baseball world paying attention to where Jon Lester is going to end up, the White Sox threw a massive punch and put a huge dent into their shopping list. Yes, the money on Robertson is big, with $46 million going into his pocket after a 39-save season with the New York Yankees, and yes, there is no guarantee that Samardzija will be around long-term, as he becomes a free agent after the 2015 season. Despite those limitations, the moves that the Sox made on Monday not only make them an instant contender in a winnable AL Central, but it also signals that they mean business when it comes to being the dominant team in Chicago.