While neither team had an extraordinary off-season, the Cubs’ was … less bad.
Let me introduce you to the two new Sox players who will be playing third base and center field this year, replacing Nick Swisher and Joe Crede.
Brian Anderson, a player who has been around for four years, suddenly becomes a starting outfielder after hitting .232 last season – 11 points higher than his career average.
Josh Fields is even worse.He hit just .156 last season, which is well below his career average of a whopping .233, and the Southsiders are suddenly depending on him.
The Cubbies signed Aaron Miles, who hit .313 last year, to replace DeRosa and have a budding Carlos Marmol ready to take over the closer duties.
Not to mention the acquisitions of Milton Bradley and Joey Gathright, as well as pitchers Kevin Gregg, Aaron Heilman and Luis Vizcaino.
Chicago White Sox
Even though the White Sox let go of beloved veterans such as Joe Crede, Ken Griffey Jr. and Juan Uribe, I still believe they had a good off-season.
General Manager Kenny Williams replaced major positions with youthful grinders in Josh Fields and Jerry Owens and the defending AL Central champions groomed themselves for another successful season.
When Crede went down in ‘07, Fields took over hitting 23 home runs, batting .245 and played great defense despite being moved around in the minors. He should have no problem stepping up at the starting position.
Another factor the Sox have going for them is Chris Getz – the favorite to win the second base position. Getz is a speedy base runner who hits for average, which is exactly what the White Sox need.
Now with a completely different starting lineup, the Sox should be able to be successful this year. They still have Jermaine Dye, A.J. Pierzynski and Paul Konerko to lead the Sox to victory.