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Inbox: Are White Sox buyers or sellers in 2019?

Beat reporter Scott Merkin answers questions from Chicago fans
@scottmerkin
June 24, 2019

Popular question, but buyers or sellers at the Deadline? -- Sam, Kenosha, Wis., @skuchta28 I’m sure the White Sox will listen to potential offers for players such as closer Alex Colomé, center fielder Leury García, catcher James McCann and first baseman José Abreu, to name a few veteran possibilities. But

Popular question, but buyers or sellers at the Deadline?
-- Sam, Kenosha, Wis., @skuchta28

I’m sure the White Sox will listen to potential offers for players such as closer Alex Colomé, center fielder Leury García, catcher James McCann and first baseman José Abreu, to name a few veteran possibilities. But with another year of contractual control over McCann, Colome and Garcia and the high esteem with which Abreu is understandably held by the organization, they will only make those moves if the return absolutely makes sense and significantly adds to their core. Ask for exactly what they want, if not above what they want. If that return isn’t possible, hold on to them and move forward.

They also could buy, but it will be nothing short term to try to bump the team into the second American League Wild Card spot. General manager Rick Hahn has made that point clear. Additions will be controllable players for the next two or three years at least.

Will the Sox finally and for the first time in franchise history make consecutive playoffs in this upcoming contention window?
-- Leonard, Orland Hills, Ill., @Leonard42

While I can’t guarantee anything, the goal of this rebuild -- as expressed many times by Hahn -- is to contend for multiple championships, not just make the playoffs in back-to-back years.

When do you think Luis Robert will make it to the Majors?
-- Mason, Crown Point, Ind., @MasonEaton16

There’s a chance Robert could break camp with the White Sox as the 2020 Opening Day center fielder. With the high level of production he’s currently hitting and playing at, he might even see the Majors in ’19. That scenario isn’t likely with Robert's injury-plagued ’18 season costing him valuable playing time. So let’s go with early on in ’20.

Zack Collins is proficient catching at MLB level or he wouldn't be here, correct?
-- Mike, Homewood, Ill., @MJK171002

Zack Collins will begin to show what he’s really all about over the remainder of the 2019 season. He has already exhibited an ability to change a game with one swing of the bat with his three-run homer in Friday’s victory over Texas, but while he will get to catch, that job still belongs to McCann. So Collins will be the catcher/first base/designated hitter hybrid.

Why don’t you wear your Michigan hoodie when covering Sox games?
-- Teddy, Chicago, @TeddyGreenstein

I have four or five Michigan hoodies, so be more specific. Any of them would have been nice to have during Wednesday’s wind-chilled game at Wrigley Field.

A hearty congratulations goes out to the Michigan baseball team for reaching the College World Series championship series, and special congrats to the four players from the White Sox Amateur City Elite program playing a part on that team. That quartet would be outfielder Christian Bullock, infielder Ako Thomas, catcher Jordan Rogers and left-hander Angelo Smith.

Aside from Dylan Cease and Michael Kopech (maybe leave out Dane Dunning and Alec Hansen too), if you had to pick a sleeper pitching prospect to make an impact on the Major League team in the next couple years, who would it be?
-- Tom, Los Angeles, @tom_paints

I’ll go with Kade McClure and Konnor Pilkington. And Kyle Kubat has been very impressive with what he’s accomplished this season.

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