Originally posted on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 3/3/14
The Chicago White Sox have had their share of stars over the years - Carlton Fisk, Frank Thomas, and Paul Konerko are just three of them. But the times are changing, and Chicago hasn't really had a solid supporting cast around Konerko i the last couple of years, with the possible exceptions of the constantly broken down Carlos Quentin and the notoriously streaky Alex Rios. In 2014, things could be a little different, even if Konerko has been banished to the bench. Chris Sale Sale is one of the best pitchers in baseball, and he has more than replaced Mark Buehrle as the ace of Chicago's rotation. He's signed through 2019 (assuming two club options are exercised), and White Sox fans don't have to worry about him jumping ship to the highest bidder in a matter of years. And really, Sale is the most important part of Chicago's success in 2014. If Sale doesn't pitch well, the best White Sox starter will probably end up being Jose Quintana, who had a fine year in 2013 but just isn't on the level of Sale. If you take away the best pitcher from any team, they'd suffer. But if you take away Chicago's best pitcher, the White Sox would simply be a disaster. Jose Abreu Another no-brainer, Abreu was signed this offseason to essentially serve as the heir apparent to Konerko, who is retiring after the 2014 season. Early returns on Abreu are promising, but there's still a lot unknown about the Cuban's skills and how well they will translate to the major leagues. When you're talking about a six-year, $68 million investment, you had better hope for the best. The signing of Abreu was a gamble because of the uncertainty of his true talent level. Abreu got more money than both Yoenis Cespedes and Yasiel Puig, and expectations will be high going into 2014. If Abreu lives up to the hype, the White Sox will look like geniuses. If he doesn't, then add another burdensome contract to Chicago's ledger. Adam Dunn Dunn's three seasons in Chicago have ranged between "horrible" and "OK, but not worth the money". So needless to say, as Dunn moves into the final year of his four-year contract with the Sox, expectations are low. I'm sure many fans would simply hope that he doesn't stink. Dunn may not even be an every day player this year - Paul Konerko is going to end up stealing some at bats from him in his new role on the bench. If Dunn plays like he did in 2012, when he at least contributed positive value to the team, maybe Chicago won't simply release him sometime over the summer. It's probably silly to count on Dunn to produce much this year for the White Sox, and if he's not, there's really no reason for the team to keep trotting him out there every day this season and taking playing time away from Konerko in his farewell tour or a young player that may have some future like Dayan Viciedo.  Jose Quintana Quintana was fine for the White Sox in 2012, but improved across the board in 2013, becoming one of the league's most dependable starters out of nowhere. He improved in the second half, pitched equally as well against lefties and righties, and at home and on the road. If you're the White Sox, you need a second banana in the rotation behind Chris Sale. Last year, Quintana was that guy. He's only 25, and all signs point to him being able to replicate his 2013 production into the year 2014 and beyond. The Sale/Quintana duo could be one of the best in baseball if Quintana takes another massive step forward this season. [follow]
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Five most anticipated September MLB call-ups
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Bednar named head coach of Avalanche

Olympian auctions off medal to help young cancer patient

Report: Dodgers have turned down lowball offers for Puig

Jason Pierre-Paul’s lawsuit against Adam Schefter, ESPN will proceed

The Rock, Vin Diesel to settle 'rivalry' at WrestleMania 33?

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Browns trade former No. 6 overall pick Mingo to Pats

Harden organizing players-only minicamp with Rockets

Raiders file trademark applications for ‘Las Vegas Raiders’

U.S. Soccer hands Solo six month suspension for Olympic comments

Report: Josh Gordon will be restricted free agent after 2016

Chargers release statement on Joey Bosa situation

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

A look at 2016 college football conference changes

The 20 best boxing movies ever

Will Perriman help Ravens find elusive WR success?

Jay Bouwmeester’s selection to Team Canada’s World Cup roster is a head-scratcher

Five MLB players with a lot to lose down the stretch

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for our favorite football movies

Bruce Arians on sideline video use: 'It helps bad coaches'

Hard not to be cynical about LeBron's 'Cleveland Hustles'

Familiar faces that won't be seen in the NFL this year

Junk Diver: Yasiel Puig

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

A look at 2016 college football conference changes

The 20 best boxing movies ever

Can Perriman's return help Ravens find oft-elusive WR success?

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for our favorite football movies

Hard not to be cynical about LeBron James' 'Cleveland Hustles'

Ranking the uniforms of the NFL from worst to best

Familiar faces that won't be seen in the NFL this year

The 24 quintessential moments of Kobe Bryant's career

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker