CHICAGO – AUGUST 26: Johnny Cueto #47 of the Chicago White Sox looks on against the Arizona Diamondbacks on August 26, 2022 at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images)

These three Chicago White Sox free agents will not return for the 2023 season.

The Chicago White Sox have a tight core which is both a blessing and a curse. The good thing is they should enter next season with a strong team. On the negative side, they haven’t executed this season with those lofty expectations many of us had for them at the start of the year.

Chicago’s downfall in 2022 relates to injuries, some strange decisions by the manager, and underperformances from many of its players. The offseason could be an active one for Chicago as they look to improve their misgivings from this year.

There are a couple of White Sox free agents we can already expect to leave. It’s these three that are most likely to part with the team.

1. White Sox only had a temporary need for Johnny Cueto

Who knew Johnny Cueto had this much left in the tank? One of the team’s most consistent starting pitchers this season was signed to only a one-year deal which seemed to be nothing more than an opportunity to pitch as a result of some injuries.

Cueto ended up going above and beyond the call of duty. At age 36, he experienced a bit of a renaissance with the White Sox this season. It may have been his last chance to show the league he had something left. Clearly, he does.

Does Cueto fit in with what the White Sox will need next year? It’s kind of like trying to pull the same magic trick on an audience twice in one show. He’ll be a year older, a few more innings deeper into his career, and the risk might be too great.

The White Sox have a lot of other guys already under contract and room for bigger improvements they can sign for multiple seasons. Cueto remains someone that would fit best with a team on only a one-year deal. His time with the San Francisco Giants wasn’t strong enough to justify a long-term deal.

If the White Sox are serious about winning, any free agent starting pitchers they add to the club need to be better and younger than Cueto.

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