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Todd Frazier is great, but the White Sox need to do more to win in 2016

Chicago is trying to climb out of a pretty big hole, and if anything goes wrong, they're going to wind up right back at the bottom of it.

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The White Sox were a sexy pick last year for a club to make a big jump into the postseason race, what with acquiring Jeff Samardzija, David Robertson, Melky Cabrera, and Adam LaRoche added to a core of Jose Abreu, Adam Eaton, and Chris Sale. The Sox fell flat, however, thanks to the collapses of Samardzija, LaRoche, Avisail Garcia, and every infielder they tried not named Abreu. They lost 86 games and finished just ahead of the Tigers in the AL Central.

Still, the Sox must believe that they're close. Otherwise, why go out and get Todd Frazier from the Reds in a three team deal that cost them a couple prospects? It's hard not to like what the Sox are getting out of this deal, sending away what are essentially spare parts for an All Star caliber third baseman who should be worth at least a five win swing for the South Siders. Sox third basemen hit .226/.277/.345 last year with 13 homers. Frazier has hit .264/.322/.479 with 64 homers over the last two years. He also has made himself into a very good fielder at the hot corner.

That five win swing is huge, and certainly we've learned that, with the second wild card, teams who get off to a good start are capable of playing meaningful games in September. Clubs like the Astros, Cubs, and Twins have proved it's possible to make big jumps over one offseason. But it's probably not enough for these White Sox yet. The addition of Brett Lawrie is also an upgrade over the collection of second basemen who hit .222/.275/.305 last year for Chicago, assuming he can handle the position switch full time. We don't have a lot of defensive data on Lawrie at the keystone, but what we have isn't good. So let's be conservative and call him a one win upgrade.

We're getting closer, but given that the Sox played more like a 90 loss team, we're still pretty short of a team that can compete for that second wild card. Is there any more help on the horizon?

Chris Sale started more games in 2015 than he ever had before, and his fielding independent numbers were as good as they ever were, so asking for more from him is probably a losing proposition. Maybe Erik Johnson can outperform Samardzija last year, though both he and young Carlos Rodon need to work on refining their control. Speaking of which, an additional 7-10 starts from Rodon will help, assuming the rookie doesn't slump in his sophomore campaign. And if Tim Anderson is able to make the jump from double-A to the Majors by May or June, perhaps even shortstop will be better than it was in 2015 under Alexei Ramirez.

And maybe Melky will bounce back. And maybe LaRoche won't play like the titular star of Weekend At Bernies (I'm old; this is an ‘80s reference, kids). And maybe Avisail Garcia will finally develop. And maybe Dioner Navarro and Alex Avila will outperform Tyler Flowers and Geovanny Soto behind the plate.

That's a lot of maybes. That's a lot of ifs and a lot of moving parts. And there's almost no depth on this club that is acting like it's going to contend in 2016. If the plan goes wrong anywhere, the Sox will find themselves patching holes with players who are barely replacement level. And then they're right back to where they started.