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Inbox: What are White Sox plans for Deadline?

Beat reporter Scott Merkin answers questions from fans
MLB.com @scottmerkin

I hear rumblings that Avisail Garcia may be on the trading block. I feel this would be a huge mistake. Avi may finally be paying dividends for years to come.
-- Sol, New York

Garcia becomes one of those interesting decisions for Rick Hahn and Ken Williams in that he's 27 and is loaded with talent, but the team only has one more year of contractual control over him after 2018. I agree with you, Sol, and would work out a contract extension with Garcia.

I hear rumblings that Avisail Garcia may be on the trading block. I feel this would be a huge mistake. Avi may finally be paying dividends for years to come.
-- Sol, New York

Garcia becomes one of those interesting decisions for Rick Hahn and Ken Williams in that he's 27 and is loaded with talent, but the team only has one more year of contractual control over him after 2018. I agree with you, Sol, and would work out a contract extension with Garcia.

Garcia had a breakout All-Star campaign in 2017, and since returning from the DL, he has a 1.130 OPS, eight home runs and 13 extra-base hits in 17 games. It has clicked for him, not just physically but also mentally, and he can be a strong contributor on a winning team.

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What do you envision the White Sox starting lineup being in a few years, based solely on the current roster and players in the Sox system?
-- Scott, Ypsilanti, Mich.

This question would make for a good story, let alone an Inbox answer. But let's say 2021, just sticking with the position players, and go with Jose Abreu, Nick Madrigal, Tim Anderson and Yoan Moncada from first to third, Zack Collins at catcher, and Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert and Garcia left to right, with Micker Adolfo at DH. I could be very wrong, but in this context, that's a good thing. Numerous other candidates figure to arise with the White Sox developing such impressive depth during this rebuild.

Do you think the White Sox would make a package deal and send veteran players for a bundle of Minor League prospects? You mention Abreu and Avi could both bring in at least five prospects for the White Sox.
-- Rob

The White Sox certainly have been known to get creative in past dealings -- see the moves acquiring Todd Frazier from the Reds and then sending him to the Yankees as examples. But I really believe trades won't be as significant or quite as prevalent in 2018 as they were in '17 for the White Sox.

Sox aren't gonna trade Abreu, are they?
-- Julie, Flossmoor, Ill., @juliedawngordon

Chris Sale, one of the game's best pitchers under one of the game's best contracts, was traded by the White Sox. So there are no veteran untouchables during this rebuild, including Abreu. I'm still holding to my belief that the high value in which the White Sox hold Abreu won't be met by other teams potentially pursuing him.

Daniel Palka did great filling in for Avi when he was on the DL. Do you see him as an everyday player and somehow making room for him in the outfield?
-- Eddie F., Lake Hughes, Calif.

One thing is certain about Palka -- when he truly connects, the only question seems to be how far over 400 feet the ball is going to travel. As manager Rick Renteria mentioned, Palka was known as a power hitter when he joined the organization. To Palka's credit, he has worked tirelessly to develop his outfield play. He looks more comfortable in left field.

In a best-case scenario where Anderson, Moncada and Madrigal all result in above-average productive players, where does the odd man out play? Is Madrigal in the outfield an actual possibility? Moncada at 3rd?
-- Rick, @SportsByRick

Having roster versatility is not only a good thing for eventual contending teams but a necessity. As an example, Kris Bryant played at least one game at seven positions when the Cubs won in 2016. If Anderson, Moncada and Madrigal develop as the White Sox hope, there will be plenty of playing time for all three around the diamond. Anderson unequivocally wants to stay at shortstop but already has mentioned to me he could handle an outfield shift.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Chicago White Sox