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White Sox value development over acquisition

Rebuild in motion, Chicago will sell at Deadline only for long-term return
MLB.com @scottmerkin

CHICAGO -- The White Sox are not going to win it all in 2018, not with a 33-62 record coming out of the All-Star break as they start the second half Friday in Seattle. Then again, as part of their ongoing rebuild, the White Sox were not designed to win it all in '18.

This year is about talent development, with second baseman Yoan Moncada, shortstop Tim Anderson and pitchers Reynaldo Lopez, Jace Fry and even Lucas Giolito of late taking steps forward at the big league level, albeit on a less-than-linear path. Top prospects such as outfielder Eloy Jimenez and right-handed starter Michael Kopech should be on their way to the White Sox in the second half.

CHICAGO -- The White Sox are not going to win it all in 2018, not with a 33-62 record coming out of the All-Star break as they start the second half Friday in Seattle. Then again, as part of their ongoing rebuild, the White Sox were not designed to win it all in '18.

This year is about talent development, with second baseman Yoan Moncada, shortstop Tim Anderson and pitchers Reynaldo Lopez, Jace Fry and even Lucas Giolito of late taking steps forward at the big league level, albeit on a less-than-linear path. Top prospects such as outfielder Eloy Jimenez and right-handed starter Michael Kopech should be on their way to the White Sox in the second half.

Year 1 of the rebuild centered on talent acquisition, with players such as Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and Adam Eaton being moved. Although the focus has changed, the White Sox still could have trades to make over the coming weeks. Here's a look at where Chicago stands at the season's halfway point.

Current status: Seller
The White Sox will continue to evaluate what they have among their vast young talent and figure out what they might need. They could trade some of their young talent for other controllable young talent, but that sort of deal seems destined for moves made further along in the process. While talent acquisition isn't nearly the priority it was last year, the White Sox have veterans who could draw attention.

Video: KC@CWS: Soria K's Duda, records 14th save of season

What they are seeking
If the rebuild plays out as planned for the White Sox, they legitimately have every position covered with talent. So they aren't necessarily looking for players at any specific positions. The key is controllable talent to add to the strong critical mass already built.

What they have to offer
Jose Abreu, with one year of contractual control beyond 2018, would probably get the biggest individual return for the White Sox. But the American League All-Star starter at first base is extremely valuable to the team, and there's much doubt as to whether that high internal value will be matched by other teams' offers.

Video: KC@CWS: Abreu's 451-foot HR leaves bat at 110.6 mph

Right fielder Avisail Garcia, also with one year of control remaining after 2018, is putting together another solid season following his '17 All-Star breakout year, but he has battled right hamstring problems that have sent him to the disabled list twice. At 27, he also could be deemed part of the team's future core.

Veteran right-handed hurler James Shields provides a solid back-of-the-rotation option for contenders, with Shields working at least six innings in 14 of his past 16 starts. Closer Joakim Soria, who has allowed two earned runs over his past 21 2/3 innings, would serve as a late-inning relief option.

Video: CWS@HOU: Garcia belts a mammoth homer to left

Possible scenario
Abreu heading to the Rockies makes sense on paper for a team with previous interest in the White Sox first baseman and in prime National League West contention. Abreu alone would demand about three prospects, including at least one highly touted prospect, although again, Abreu doesn't seem likely to be moved at this point.

But the White Sox have been known for their creativity on the trade front -- note the three-team deal involving the Reds and Dodgers to bring Todd Frazier to Chicago in 2015, and the seven-player deal sending Frazier, David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle to the Yankees and returning outfielder Blake Rutherford among others to Chicago last July 19. The White Sox best return might come from packaging a couple of their players.

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