It was a small move, but a successful one: The White Sox sent Vance Law to Montreal for relief pitcher Bob James. “Bullet” would come of age in 1985, with 32 saves and a 2.13 ERA. He’d remain with the team through 1987, but was never the same after a knee injury in Baltimore in July 1985.
In a separate but same-day, same-team trade, the White Sox swapped reliever Bert Roberge to Montreal for infielder Bryan Little. That trade was a mild win for the White Sox, as Roberge had his customary 0.5ish WAR for the Expos while Little provided 1.1 WAR in just 73 games and was swapped to the Yankees during the 1986 season.
The next step in Rick Hahn’s rebuild came as a heist of the Washington Nationals. The GM sold high on Adam Eaton, restocking the pitching coffers with Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo López and Dane Dunning. Eaton’s four years with the Nationals yielded just 2.6 WAR over 310 games, while Giolito and López made significant contributions to the big club and Dunning was sent to Texas for 2021 Cy Young finalist Lance Lynn.
Dick Allen, the 1972 American League MVP who was credited by some (including White Sox GM Roland Hemond) as being the man who saved the franchise, died at the age of 78.
Allen was acquired in a 1971 Winter Meetings trade with the Dodgers by Hemond and manager Chuck Tanner. His impact was immediate, as he played the 1972 season at a near-Triple Crown pace, leading the league in home runs and RBIs and finishing third in batting average. He was named MVP that November.
In three years with the Sox, Allen led the league in home runs twice and was named to the All-Star team in all three seasons. His exciting play kept fans attending games at Comiskey Park and helped keep the team financially solvent.
Twice, Allen has missed induction into the Hall of Fame by one vote. In one of his last interviews, he said if ever elected he wanted to go in wearing a White Sox hat on his plaque.