Inbox: Who is on the White Sox offseason radar?

Beat reporter Scott Merkin answers early offseason questions

October 16th, 2018

CHICAGO -- Here's a look at this week's White Sox questions, with the answers coming fresh off Monday's Eagles concert at the United Center.
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With the impending wave of young arms in the system, what kind of deal makes the most sense for a free agent pitcher this season?
Ryan, @Dunt1

Locking up a younger, veteran-type pitcher makes sense for the overall White Sox position, with maybe a two-year deal and an option for a third. Someone such as , the 28-year-old who started Game 3 of the ALCS for Boston, fits that mold. The White Sox have an apparent strong core of young starters, with , , and already in the Majors, and , MLB Pipeline's Pitcher of the Year and the White Sox Pitching Prospect of the Year, not far behind.
But the White Sox know a more experienced type of presence is needed in the group. They will probably go after a couple of starters, but one might be more of the bridge variety.
What is your assessment of the results produced by the current batting coach during his five seasons in that role?
Bill, Williamsburg, Va.

Paul Konerko once dubbed baseball's hitting coach position as the worst job in sports. Or maybe it was the toughest job in sports, but he isn't wrong in either direction. If the hitters come through, it's because of their talent. If they fail, a new hitting coach is needed.
White Sox hitters need to make more contact after a record-breaking strikeout season. At the very least, they need to do more with the at-bats where they aren't striking out. I don't necessarily think a change from Todd Steverson is needed in relation to that fact, if the hitters are connected to his work and there seems to be a central theme throughout the system.
This might be a stupid question, but here goes: Would the Sox consider using Matt Davidson out of the bullpen on a somewhat regular basis next season?
Sol, New York

Davidson has spoken about expanding his role to include part-time reliever and spoke of a planned offseason conversation with the White Sox to potentially explore that new role. He was not scored upon in three relief outing during the 2018 season and certainly looked more polished than a position player filling innings in a blowout, but the White Sox didn't seem quite as devoted to the added pitching responsibilities. It would have been interesting to see Davidson pitching in a somewhat higher leverage role for at least one game in September.

In reference to 's extension early in his career, should we be expecting (general manager Rick) Hahn to try and extend guys like Giolito, (Yoan) Moncada and Lopez anytime soon?
John, Hinsdale, @jbomba14

The tremendous contracts involving Chris Sale, and locked down key core players, and eventually enhanced their trade return, and in turn, the rebuild. The White Sox have been good about targeting the right players for these sorts of contracts and will almost certainly try again.
Which free agents do you think the Sox should target either this offseason or next offseason to finish the process?
Troy, Mokena, IL, @TroyTeske1

I've already mentioned Eovaldi. Going after Manny Machado this offseason or after 2019 obviously makes sense, as does or out of the bullpen. A multi-purpose player such as also fits well, or maybe a reunion with infielder . These are just a few names, and remember, trades are also in play as part of the finishing process.
Better fit in free agency -- McCutchen or (A.J.) Pollock?
Jeremy, Highland, Ind., @jeremyrat47

I'd go for for a couple of years. He would be a good fit with the younger players, although he's not a center fielder any longer, which would fit more of the White Sox need. The White Sox are prospect rich in the outfield, so it will be interesting to see how deep they go with outside additions in that area.