In 2020, the Chicago White Sox came on as a true dark horse in the American League. Finishing 35-25, the team made its first playoff appearance since 2008.
2020 Chicago White Sox Season Recap
The White Sox Make Themselves Known In Offseason
Until free agency, the White Sox of 2020 were not expected to do much of anything. They still were in a long and painful rebuild. Well, some solid free agent pickups would change the image of the White Sox.
Their biggest splash on the free-agent market was signing catcher Yasmani Grandal to a four-year/ $73 million deal. Along with that, they also re-signed 3x All-Star first baseman Jose Abreu and extended catcher James McCann.
Besides those two signings, the Sox would beef up their starting rotation. With Lucas Giolito as the ace along with Reynaldo Lopez and Dylan Cease in the back end, the team signed veteran starters Dallas Keuchel and Gio Gonzalez to solidify the middle of the rotation. Awaiting improvements from Cease and Lopez, the White Sox would have a solid pitching rotation.
White Sox Break Playoff Drought
2020 was the season where the White Sox officially turned the corner. The Sox finished second in the AL Central behind the Minnesota Twins at 35-25. At one point, they were leading the American League Central and the American League with their record.
After being re-signed, first baseman Jose Abreu won MVP honors, hitting .317 while slashing 19 home runs and 60 runs batted in.
Veteran lefty Dallas Keuchel excelled in his role with the White Sox. He went 6-2 pitching to an earned run average of 1.99, striking out 42 batters in 63 innings.
The other free agent signings like Edwin Encarnacion and Steve Cishek didn’t go as planned. Grandal had a slow year as well.
The rookies on the team started to make an impact and show their potential. Youngsters like Nick Madrigal and Luis Robert began to uplift the team after a 1-4 start.
Eloy Jimenez had an amazing 2020 season and took his game to the next level, slashing 14 home runs while driving in 41 runs, while hitting .296.
Shortstop Tim Anderson put up strong numbers for the second consecutive season. Being runner-up to the winner of the American League batting title to DJ LeMahieu, Anderson found himself in the middle of MVP talks again.
Lucas Giolito and Dallas Keuchel anchored the starting rotation. Giolito provided himself the pitching highlight of his career by throwing a no-hitter on August 25 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Keuchel proved he was worth his while by ranking second in the AL in ERA at 1.99.
On September 17, the White Sox clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2008 after a victory against the Minnesota Twins. Unfortunately, the regular season culminated with the team losing eight of their final ten games.
White Sox Fall To Athletics & Aftermath
The Chicago White Sox hoped to start the postseason with a clean slate, going up against the Oakland Athletics in the Wild Card round. Lucas Giolito dominated, taking a perfect game into the eighth inning, eventually culminating in a 4-1 victory.
Unfortunately, the White Sox would drop the next two games and be eliminated from the playoffs.
After the series, the team fired manager Rick Renteria and replaced him with Hall Of Famer Tony La Russa..? No one in the world expected the Sox to hire La Russa. Chicago really went outside the box with the hire.
Free Agency and Preview
Then, the team reunited with outfielder Adam Eaton on a one-year deal.
After that, the White Sox made their biggest signing in reliever Liam Hendriks. Hendriks is strongly considered to be the best reliever in the MLB and even won Reliever of the Year in 2020. He also made the All-MLB First Team.
With the offseason over and baseball being back to a normal 162-game season, the Chicago White Sox now have high expectations. You don’t just pull Tony La Russa out of retirement for nothing, right? This team can do great things.
A solid rotation combined with a balanced lineup makes this team fun to watch.