“Where To Now?” The White Sox Have Spiraled Without Tim Anderson | But They Aren’t Likely To Pay Him What He’s Worth When The Time Comes

“Where To Now?” The White Sox Have Spiraled Without Tim Anderson | But They Aren’t Likely To Pay Him What He’s Worth When The Time Comes

This was supposed to be the start of something great on the Southside. 

 

The Chicago White Sox, led by their superstar shortstop Tim Anderson and a core of young talent, were destined to step out of the shadows cast by historic Wrigley Field and finally take the reins as the best ball club in Chicago.  After consecutive trips to the postseason in 2020 and 2021, many believed that this team was finally gaining the playoff experience all young teams need before they finally reach their final form as World Series contenders. 

 

Unfortunately for Anderson’s White Sox, they actually took a major step back in 2022. Injuries hampered this team all season as they limped to an 81-81 finish, missing the playoffs for the 11th time in 13 years. The team whose slogan “Change the Game” seemed to rally around its superstar shortstop and the new era of Chicago baseball suddenly resembled a group of players who didn’t really enjoy playing together.

 

Anderson’s attempt to address the failures of last season took an interesting turn during spring training, when he and Chicago White Sox reporter Chuck Garfein somehow ended up discussing the lack of support the team felt from the fans and media.

 

“There’s a lot of room to grow and just a lot of confusion, a lot of people pulling from different angles,” Anderson said. “Not just in the clubhouse, fans as well, a little bit of everybody. So the ultimate goal is to try to dominate and get it back on.”

 

 

Coming into this season, new manager Pedro Grifol has looked to revive the culture that led to those consecutive playoff berths just two years ago. After a hot start, Anderson found himself in a familiar place, the injured list. Without TA, this team has gone from mediocre to damn near unwatchable, going 1-9 in their last 10 games, and only collecting eight total wins so far this season.

 

This team has regressed even with the departure of Tony LaRussa, whose tenure was just as mediocre as everyone expected. Now, their proverbial “championship window” has slammed shut before it ever had an opportunity to truly open. No longer the best young team in the American League (which honestly, they never were), the White Sox aren’t even the best young team in the AL Central.

 

Those team friendly deals that the core signed? Suddenly they don’t look as promising as they did previously. Especially Anderson, who is currently under contract for two more seasons, the latter of which is a team option.

 

Now if you’re an avid MLBbro.com reader, then you probably think mentioning Anderson’s contract situation really shouldn’t matter here. He’s one of the best leadoff hitters in the game and the face of the franchise. Surely they are going to lock him in for the long term, right?

 

This is where things get tricky.

 

The White Sox have been so bad that the majority of their prospects’ trade value has plummeted. Whether it be injuries or simply underperforming, as it currently stands, the only pieces with enough value to return anything promising would be starting pitcher Dylan Cease and most certainly Anderson.

 

Another reason we could see TA in another uniform is something that White Sox fans know all too well–this franchise simply doesn’t spend money like the other big markets. Over the past two offseasons we’ve seen several shortstops get PAID. While Anderson and his representatives have certainly been monitoring those numbers being tossed around, for Sox fans that is certainly a terrible feeling. 

 

Is Tim Anderson About To Blow This Windy City Joint?

 

The largest contract ever given out by the White Sox happened just last year when outfielder Andrew Benintendi signed a five-year, $75 million deal, a number that certainly won’t get things done in the eventual Tim Anderson sweepstakes. If White Sox leadership isn’t ready to hand over the first $100 million-plus deal in team history, then Chicago should do both Anderson and themselves a favor–trade him.

MLBbro All-Star Tim Anderson underwent successful surgery in Chicago to repair a sagittal band tear on the middle finger of his left hand on Thursday. His timeline to return remains in the six-week range.

Chicago White Sox MLBbro Tim Anderson will undergo surgery and is expected to miss 4 to 6 weeks with a tear in his left middle finger, the club announced Tuesday.

Tim Anderson’s Suspension Reduced | TA7 Is Still Confident The White Sox Make A Playoff Run

Tim Anderson’s Suspension Reduced | TA7 Is Still Confident The White Sox Make A Playoff Run

Over the weekend, Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson reached a settlement with Major League Baseball which saw his three-game suspension reduced to two. Anderson was suspended by the league for making contact with an umpire during an argument over balls and strikes in late July. 

White Sox Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa was adamant that there was fault on both sides and that any suspension should take that into consideration. “Did you see how the interaction happened?” asked La Russa after the incident. “The way we see it, there’s an argument to be made that the umpire didn’t move back, he was moving forward as well.”

 

 

Given the reduction of Anderson’s suspension by a game, clearly someone in the league office felt the same. 

Now suspensions are never a good thing, but for TA this may actually serve as a much-needed break to reset. The White Sox struggles have been well documented this season, but as of late their superstar shortstop has also been on the skids. 

While Anderson remains in the 98th percentile in expected batting average, he has struggled since the All-Star break. Over his last 15 games, Tim is slashing .258/.281/.290 with just 16 hits and seven runs scored in 62 at-bats. 

One glaring difference is his batting average against fastballs this season. In 2021 TA hit a blistering .331 against fastballs, but so far this season he’s seen that average drop to .286.

Now Anderson is still seeing the fastball at the plate 56 percent of the time, but the production simply isn’t there. A .286 average may be respectable for most of the league, but not for TA. His batting average isn’t the only issue, as his slugging percentage versus the fastball has plummeted 100 points from .495 to .393.

Even with his struggles now mirroring the team’s underwhelming season, Anderson has continued to tell whoever’s willing to listen that there are no issues in the White Sox clubhouse. 

“Nobody really knows what’s going on,” said Anderson. “It’s just a lot of people with a lot of opinions, and we’re on the inside laughing. But we understand when you’re going through a lot of things, there’s going to be a lot of opinions, and the biggest thing is to not really buy into those opinions. Just stay the course and stay focused and keep rallying around each other.”

Anderson and the Sox will need more than rallying around each other if they want to make the playoffs this season. They’ve battled back to two games above .500 and are only two games behind the Twins, but without a return to their early 2021 form, it may be impossible for Chicago to live up to preseason expectations.