The Chicago White Sox will face the Kansas City Royals in a three-game series beginning on April 4. Chicago will face their fair share of problems this year, so there’s no need to be negative or overly critical. Today’s a day for optimism, but it’s hard to ignore the problems that persist on Chicago’s roster.
Don’t place any bets on the White Sox until next year. This is the last season of a very unfriendly contract with Chicago slugger Adam Dunn. The 34-year-old outfielder batted .219 last year and struck out 189 times in 149 games. That was actually his highest average recorded since 2010. Dunn will receive $15 million from Chicago for his services this year.
Dunn isn’t alone when it comes to under-performing in the Windy City. John Danks, who hasn’t posted a season ERA below 4.30 in any of the last three seasons, will earn $14 million in 2014. Danks and Dunn are just fitting symbols of the rest of the team’s mediocrity. Chicago ranks in at 19th league-wide in both ERA and batting average.
Taking this $24 million chunk out of the Sox’s small-market payroll in the division severely limit’s Chicago’s chances at success. This is Dunn’s final year on contract as a member of the White Sox, which is great news for Sox fans, but they’ll be responsible for Dank’s contract until the end of 2016. Chicago’s farm system is filled with promise, but imagine how much that $20-plus million could be spent to better the roster. As they stand now, the Sox simply can’t afford to be competitive in 2014.