With one week remaining in the White Sox's 2014 campaign, one of the most important things I've been paying attention to is the team's position in next season's MLB Draft.
Since the White Sox fell out of the race what feels like many moons ago, they've been firmly entrenched among the bottom 10 records in the league. This is an important factor, as you may know, for two reasons.
The first and most obvious reason is that a Top 10 pick means the White Sox will have a chance to add another impact piece to their farm system next June. With this season's first-round pick, Carlos Rodon, potentially making his way to Chicago as early as the start of the 2015 season, building on a system that has been slowly rising from moribund to respectable will be of utmost importance.
The second, and maybe less obvious reason, is that a Top 10 pick means the White Sox won't have to forfeit their first-round pick if they sign a free agent who was given a qualifying offer by his former team.
As has been detailed both here and here, the White Sox will have money to spend this offseason, so it's entirely possible they will be in the market for a Max Scherzer, James Shields, Hanley Ramirez or Russell Martin.
So where do the White Sox stand?
As of writing, the White Sox are tied with Cincinnati for the No. 9 spot (the Reds were playing the Cardinals on Sunday Night Baseball). As you can see, both teams remain three games clear of both Miami and San Diego, meaning it would take a pretty wild swing over the final seven games for the White Sox to drop to No. 11. Finishing somewhere between 8-10 seems the most likely scenario.
It should also be noted that if the White Sox were to finish the season with the same record as the two teams closest them in the standings (Cincinnati and Philadelphia), they would be awarded the higher draft pick by virtue of having the lesser record in 2013. Yes, that's how the tiebreaker works. No, I'm not sure why.
Follow The Catbird Seat on Twitter @TheCatbird_Seat