Analysis MLB

Comparing the Yankees and White Sox rosters

The New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox appear to have the most complete rosters in the American League, how do they compare? 

With spring training drawing ever so close, it appears the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox will be the two teams to beat in the American League in 2021.

The defending AL Champions traded away former Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell and let veteran starter Charlie Morton walk in free agency and AL runner-up and 2019 league champion Astros lost George Springer and ace Justin Verlander will miss the entire season due to injury.

Other contenders include the Toronto Blue Jays but they’re still fairly young and have several questions in both the starting rotation and bullpen, the Minnesota Twins, whose postseason woes make them impossible to rank above New York and Chicago and the Oakland A’s while the favorites in the AL West lost former MVP finalist Marcus Semien in free-agency to Toronto.

Thus, it’s Chicago who went 35-25 last season and improved their team with a flurry of moves this offseason that pose the biggest threat on paper to the Yankees this season.

How do the Yankees and White Sox rosters compare? Here’s a look:

Starting Lineup

White Sox Projected Lineup

  1. Tim Anderson, SS
  2. Yasmani Grandal, C
  3. Jose Abreu, 1B
  4. Eloy Jimenez, DH
  5. Luis Robert, CF
  6. Yoan Moncada, 3B
  7. Nick Madrigal, 2B
  8. Adam Eaton, RF
  9. Adam Engel, LF

Yankees Projected Lineup

  1. DJ LeMahieu, 2B
  2. Aaron Judge, RF
  3. Giancarlo Stanton, DH
  4. Luke Voit, 1B
  5. Gleyber Torres, SS
  6. Gio Urshela, 3B
  7. Clint Frazier, LF
  8. Gary Sanchez, C
  9. Aaron Hicks, CF

Along with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Yankees and White Sox have the two best lineups on paper in all of baseball.

Chicago’s lineup features three-time All-Star and reigning AL MVP Jose Abreu, one of baseball’s top shortstops and best base-stealers in Tim Anderson, two-time All-Star Yasmani Grandal and two of the games best young sluggers in Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert.

The Yankees lineup is a battle-tested right-handed heavy group guided by defending AL Batting champion DJ LeMahieu, two-time All-Star Aaron Judge, 2017 NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton and last year’s MLB home run leader Luke Voit.

While the White Sox offense features some proven commodities, they’re still awaiting to see just how bright Jimenez and Robert’s futures are while also planning on starting top prospect Nick Madrigal, who has yet to play an MLB game in-front of fans and Adam Engel, who hit .295 last year but historically is a better defender than a hitter.

The Yankees offense, while streaky, has far more proven pieces and experience, giving the Bombers an edge.

Advantage: Yankees

Starting Rotation

White Sox Projected Starting Rotation

  1. Lucas Giolito
  2. Dallas Keuchel
  3. Lance Lynn
  4. Dylan Cease
  5. Carlos Rodon or Reynaldo Lopez

Yankees Projected Starting Rotation

  1. Gerrit Cole
  2. Corey Kluber
  3. Jameson Taillon
  4. Jordan Montgomery
  5. Deivi Garcia

One through three, the White Sox rotation is as good as anyone in the AL.

Lucas Giolito has soldified himself as Chicago’s ace as he was named an All-Star in 2019 and in 2020 posted a 3.48 ERA and tossed a no-hitter during the 2020 season; Dallas Keuchel is a former Cy Young Award winner who posted a tremendous 1.99 ERA in 11 starts for Chicago last team and the Sox traded for Lance Lynn who posted a 3.32 ERA for the Rangers last season.

In addition, Chicago has young right-hander Dylan Cease who posted a 4.01 ERA in 12 starts last season and was once one of the organization’s top prospects and Carlos Rodon returning who, when healthy, is a solid fifth starter.

The Yankees rotation features the AL’s best pitcher in Gerrit Cole but afterward has a world of question marks. Both Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon have been among the games best when healthy, but last season the pitchers combined to log one inning as injuries have plagued their last two seasons.

Then, it’ll be a competition for the fourth and fifth spots with Jordan Montgomery and Deivi Garcia, the most likely to emerge as the arms to round out the Yankees rotation.

With so many question marks and Chicago having more proven arms, the White Sox have the better rotation right now.

Advantage: White Sox

Bullpen

White Sox Projected Bullpen

Closer: Liam Hendriks

8th: Matt Foster

7th: Aaron Bummer

Mid Relief: Jace Fry

Mid Relief: Codi Heuer

Mid Relief: Jimmy Cordero

Mid Relief: Jose Ruiz

Long Relief: Garrett Crochet

Yankees Projected Bullpen

Closer: Aroldis Chapman

8th: Zack Britton

7th: Darren O’Day

Mid Relief: Chad Green

Mid Relief: Luis Cessa

Mid Relief: Jonathan Loaisiga

Mid Relief: Nick Nelson

Long Relief/Opener: Clarke Schmidt

When looking at the White Sox bullpen, only one name stands out but don’t let that fool you into thinking their group of relief arms is bad.

The team signed former A’s closer Liam Hendricks to a four-year $54 million deal to replace Alex Colome (signed with Twins) and anchor a bullpen that also includes left-hander Aaron Bummer who posted a 0.96 ERA last season, Matt Foster, who went 6-1 with a 2.20 ERA in 21 relief outings as a rookie in 2020 and Codi Heuer who posted a 1.52 ERA and also made 21 relief appearances.

Still, it’s hard not to give the Yankees bullpen the edge. When on, Aroldis Chapman is one of the most feared relievers in baseball, Zack Britton is perhaps baseball’s best set-up man, Chad Green is a consistent mid-relief/late-inning arm and the team added Darren O’Day, who has posted an ERA within the two’s nearly every year of his career.

Advantage: Yankees

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