MLB Teams that will be buyers ahead of the 2020 season

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 28: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 and Bo Bichette #11 of the Toronto Blue Jays during the fourth inning of their MLB game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Rogers Centre on September 28, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 28: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 and Bo Bichette #11 of the Toronto Blue Jays during the fourth inning of their MLB game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Rogers Centre on September 28, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
(Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

 MLB Teams: Buyers in 2020

Chicago White Sox

The cheapest, most commonly made of-season prediction sees the White Sox making strides toward contention in 2020. After all, those kids they acquired a few years ago – Yoan Moncada, Eloy Jimenez, Lucas Giolito, Dylan Cease, Reynaldo Lopez, and Michael Kopech – either have arrived or are about to arrive. All you have to do is look at Jimenez, a 6-4, 205 lb 22-year-old and it’s impossible to imagine anything other than a burgeoning star.

The Sox enter 2020 with just $24 million in estimated ongoing commitments, so even if they begin by tying up several of those potential stars – something they’ve already done with Jimenez — they’ll still be left with room to flesh out a payroll that has historically ranged about $100 million.

Chicago’s first issue is deciding whether to re-sign potential free agent Jose Abreu, the linchpin of the lineup. Assuming they retain Abreu and their young stars mature in the normal way, the logical focus is on the rotation, where Kopech’s recovery from arm surgery is no sure thing.

The Sox are not a team normally associated with high-dollar free agent pitching. But if Stephen Strasburg opts out of his deal with the Nationals, Chicago’s South Side might be a very interesting dark-horse destination.

They could also make a move at catcher, particularly if Yasmani Grandal turns down his mutual option with the Brewers and enters the market. James McCann had a nice 2019 season and complements Abreu’s veteran presence. But Grandal also brings veteran presence, he’s only one year older, and Grandal’s 119 OPS+ beat McCann’s by 10 points.