Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

A 101-loss season later, the Chicago White Sox can finally wipe the slate clean.

Chaos no longer reigns now that executives Rick Hahn and Kenny Williams’ toxic office culture forced both out the door. Former infielder and new general manager Chris Getz is now tasked with building a ChiSox dynasty. As in one that doesn’t simply take an occasional turn being the prized trout in an AL Central lake full of perch.

Of course, this still means the White Sox are in for a long, long season. If anything, they may be headed even deeper into a rebuild. Banged up outfield slugger Eloy Jimenez is a year away from free agency and Luis Robert broke out with 38 home runs last year. Come July, they’ll be trade chips so the White Sox can restock their farm system.

Thus, it’s going to be another long season on the South Side, but hopefully one with a sliver of Chicago hope.

Greatest Addition: Chris Getz. The White Sox were smart in doing very little roster-wise this offseason. Getz clearly understood that adding anyone to the roster wasn’t going to improve matters. Better to get a lay of the land for part of a season and then go from there.

As such, Getz’s job this year is largely trading for value this summer. Chicago can’t fill certain holes without trading away some veterans. Be it Robert, Jimenez, or even Yoan Moncada, the already youthful White Sox will only get brighter and younger under Getz.

Greatest Loss: Aaron Bummer. On paper, Bummer had an awful 2023. He posted an abysmal 6.79 ERA in 61 games, just one year after managing a 2.36 in 2022. His being a year away from free agency gave Getz the perfect reason to ship him to Atlanta. In return, the White Sox received bounceback candidate Michael Soroka.

Chicago may regret this one. Bummer’s expected ERA (xERA) in 2023 was a more palatable 3.53. That was in the 76th percentile, and the White Sox still traded away an excellent groundball specialist just for the sake of a fully clean slate.

Some veterans are worth keeping around. Bummer, a Chicago White Sox lifer, is (or was) one of them.

Greatest Strength: Dylan Cease. If you’re a rebuilding team and all else fails, take solace in having an ace pitcher. Cease has worked his way up towards that role since debuting in 2019 and is now one of the better strikeout pitchers in the game. He has 667 of them since 2021. His ERA only jumped to 4.58 in 2023 because his hard contact rate increased six-and-a-half points. A year before, he posted a stellar 2.20.

Even in being a Blake Snell type who sacrifices walks for whiffs, Cease’s trade value will be off the charts in July. He has a year of team control left, so don’t be surprised if at least one team offers to gut its farm system to acquire him.

Greatest Weakness: Jerry Reinsdorf. In a way, Reinsdorf defines Chicago professional sports. He’s owned the White Sox and NBA’s Chicago Bulls for nearly 40 years each. His track record in that role is well-established, which makes his recent decisions all the more puzzling. The White Sox were getting better and better under former manager Rick Renteria, yet Reinsdorf fired him for the aging and out-of-touch Tony La Russa. All because he regretted firing La Russa back in the ’80s.

La Russa, who later won World Series in Oakland and St. Louis en route to Cooperstown, overachieved to an AL Central crown in 2021, and it went downhill from there. He was losing the room before stepping aside for health reasons the following year. One year under Grifol, and the inmates are running the asylum.

All because Reinsdorf wanted to help a friend. And now, the Chicago White Sox rebuild again with no clear path ahead.

What’s the key to the White Sox rebuild? Easy. Trade the veterans at the deadline and then focus free agency on veteran journeymen. This keeps some adults in the room while prospects like shortstop Colson Montgomery and catcher Edgar Quero develop.

This is where Getz’s playing experience is an asset. He knows the season is a marathon, not a sprint. The division is weak enough that, under the craziest circumstances, Chicago may even rally to a playoff spot! So long as everyone in the front office commits to a vision and taking it slow, there is a path to success on the South Side.

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.