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Inbox: Will White Sox make big move for '18?

Beat reporter Scott Merkin answers questions from fans @scottmerkin

CHICAGO -- Happy New Year to everyone, as we delve into the last White Sox Inbox of 2017.

How excited should I be for Spring Training this year? Plan on going to at least 10 games.
-- Mike, Phoenix, Ariz., @Be_Like_Mike20

CHICAGO -- Happy New Year to everyone, as we delve into the last White Sox Inbox of 2017.

How excited should I be for Spring Training this year? Plan on going to at least 10 games.
-- Mike, Phoenix, Ariz., @Be_Like_Mike20

I always preach how Spring Training is a great time of the season for fans. They have great access to players, from big leaguers to the Minors. They can watch workouts, and all those players are a little more laid back during the preparatory time.

:: Submit a question to the White Sox Inbox ::

But this year's White Sox Spring Training should be especially interesting with top prospects such as Luis Robert, Micker Adolfo, Eloy Jimenez and Michael Kopech, to name a few, in action. Ten games might be a little low.

Hey Scott, how many of these questions were about Manny Machado (Including this one)?
-- Owen, Chicago, @The_XSport

Approximately one-fifth of questions received centered on attempts to acquire the Orioles third baseman. Not much is known concerning the White Sox interest, but I can tell you any offer would not have slowed the rebuild momentum expertly built by the organization.

This Machado pursuit backs general manager Rick Hahn's expressed desire to be opportunistic in adding veteran players who ultimately will help toward achieving sustained success. Keep in mind that sustained success sits at the core of any White Sox move, big or small.

If the White Sox are actually willing to make big deals, why not acquire [Christian Yelich]? Long-term guy, affordable and probably increases chances of Machado next year.
-- Matt, Chicago, @mjnowac

Video: White Sox GM Hahn on the team's long-term vision

Contractual control seems to be the buzzwords for White Sox trades at this point, and Yelich potentially has five years of that control remaining. The White Sox could move in that direction with the depth of prospects to make it work, but the club's rebuild is about patience and development this season, trying to get a better understanding of what it has and doesn't have. So I agree with Hahn in that they are probably one year off from that sort of trade.

Why not get a bullpen arm from Rule 5?
-- Simeon, Chicago, @Simpossible

Hahn explained the White Sox targeted two players in the Rule 5 Draft. One was selected before them at No. 4 and another needed to undergo surgery in the coming days according to a standard e-mail disclosure Major League Baseball sent to all the clubs the previous evening. They ended up trading their pick, outfielder Carlos Tocci, to the Rangers for cash considerations.

Do you see the White Sox being true contenders for the pennant and/or World Series in 2019-21 against teams like the Yankees, Cubs, etc.?
-- Shawn, Gilman, Ill., @Shawncnda

They eventually will need to finish the rebuild with veteran additions, much as the Cubs, Astros and Royals did prior to World Series championship seasons, and of course, other top-notch teams simply won't back away because it's the White Sox projected time for a coronation. They appear to be stridently moving in a postseason direction.

Video: Hahn impressed with top prospect Kopech's progress

Will Kopech be a September callup or does he have a legitimate shot of making the team out of Spring Training?
-- Tony, Sudbury, Ontario, @CTVTonyRyma

Don't look for Kopech to break camp with the team, but he will be up before September. As I've said in other Inbox answers, think of Reynaldo Lopez as an example for Kopech's progression if his success continues. Kopech is a very popular White Sox topic.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

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