The White Sox may be going young, but that doesn't mean they don't expect to compete in 2014.
Optimism can be heard across fan conventions and spring training sites as winter melts into spring. Even teams going through massive rebuilds -- like the Houston Astros -- aren't willing to punt a season before it kicks off. The White Sox, then, are no different than their other 29 major league counterparts.
"We are not going to write off any season, especially one where we feel we have quality starting pitching and a solid bullpen, as is the case right now," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. "We’re also realistic. We’re coming off a 99-loss club. It’s imperative that we show improvement, it’s imperative that we show growth, especially on the position player side of things."
Atop the White Sox rotation is an ace in Chris Sale, and behind him is a solid No. 2 starter in Jose Quintana. And since 2008, no American League bullpen has amassed more WAR than the White Sox (31.9, via FanGraphs).
Hahn, though, preached tempered expectations in that 2014 may be defined less by wins and losses and more by progress from young players like Matt Davidson, Avisail Garcia and Jose Abreu. It's not all about winning in the immediate future -- building an annual playoff contender is a larger part of the focus.
"If we’re in a position to do (win), we’ll find additions come the deadline as the needs arise," Hahn said. "At the same time, we’re trying to keep a longer-term focus. This is about an extended period of success, and in 2014 we want to see progress and steps toward making that extended period of success realistic."