Following up: Actual hot stove activity

Thanks to the Milwaukee Brewers for remembering that teams usually try to get better over the course of an offseason.

The Brewers took advantage of their positioning (a middle-class team with room and reason to add) by pulling off a one-two combo. First, they traded four prospects to Miami for Christian Yelich. Then, they signed Lorenzo Cain to a five-year, $80 million deal, which is this winter’s biggest free agent contract by far After watching the Cardinals load up at their weak spots to make a run at the NL Central, the Cubs now have to pay more attention to Milwaukee.

These moves naturally lead everybody to wonder what David Stearns has in mind after crowding his outfield on purpose, but I’m guessing he saw his former organization just win a World Series by drastically reducing strikeouts and decided the whiffs of Domingo Santana, Keon Broxton and Brett Phillips are just too much for one outfield.

Yelich was a popular idea among those who either had 1) grown tired of the farm-building phase of the White Sox rebuild, 2) grossly overestimated how much talent the Sox have on hand, or 3) grossly underappreciated what it would take to acquire him.

The trade illustrates the kind of dent it would have put in the White Sox farm system if the Marlins wanted to build outfield depth. Lewis Brinson is firmly between Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert in prospect rankings, and closer to the former if you believe he has healthier days ahead. There isn’t a good equivalent for Monte Harrison in the Sox system — in terms of stock, it’d be Blake Rutherford if he has an encouraging 2018.

If the Marlins would take pitching, perhaps the Sox could fill in a different secondary player, along the lines of Alec Hansen or Dane Dunning. But the Sox don’t really have anybody matching Harrison in terms of trajectory or skill set, so in order to match the position composition of that package, the White Sox would have to outbid it. That didn’t make sense at this point.

It makes sense for the Brewers because Yelich is an upper-echelon outcome for either of their outfield prospects, and then they went and signed Cain to take care of the other spot. The Cain deal may be questionable for its length with a 32-year-old, but after watching him torment the White Sox with his array of skills, I wouldn’t underestimate his chances of earning the deal.

And hell, even if I weren’t all that impressed by Cain, I’d just be happy to see another team with detectable designs on winning more games than they did last year.

Following up

A few leftovers from earlier discussions…

*Speaking of prospect rankings, Keith Law put four White Sox prospects — Jimenez, Michael Kopech, Robert and Alec Hansen — in his top 100. To be more precise, they’re all in his top 50. He didn’t have any Sox in the back of his list, or in his “just missed” write-up.

*Speaking of prospect rankings, FutureSox released its top 30.

*The White Sox officially confirmed their search for a new radio home. Paul Sullivan says the Sox deserved better than WLS.

*I’ll be at SoxFest this weekend, sharing what I see and hear on Twitter and Instagram during, and here afterward.

*I’ll be at Baderbräu tonight after SoxFest stuff concludes to drop in on this event. Register and print that page for 15 percent off your tab. It’s at 25th and Wabash, and I hope to see you there.

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Kudos to the Brewers. Bold moves and ought to payoff nicely for them. These are the kinds of things I expect we’ll be seeing in a couple of years.


ought to *playoff nicely for them


Yeah Kudos to the Brewers.  I’ll be rooting for them.  Their a fun team to root for.

Boo to the winter meth-up, where i cannot be!   Wait – if it’s people from THIS site meeting up, it should have a new name.   Mach-up!   Get it?  From “Machine” in Sox Machine.

Have fun out there and be careful kids.


Clearly the Cards need to respond by giving up Carson Kelly and Delvin Perez for Abreu.

Lurker Laura

Maybe I’ll go after the curling. FOMO.

Lurker Laura

This was supposed to be in reply to somebody else about the meet-up. Fail.

sausalito pale hose



The Marlins’ effect on the NL Central is the best story of the offseason.


I’ll look for you at SoxFest tomorrow.

Patrick Nolan

The Brewers have to flip some of that outfield depth for some pitching, or I feel like they’ve just engaged in a waste of some resources. The Brewers’ outfield was probably their strongest unit before those trades. Yelich and Cain make them better than before, but by how much? Three wins or so? They’re displacing good players.

One appreciation I have for Rick Hahn is his use of three-team deals; I think it’s risky that the Brewers left themselves without a deal lined up for Broxton/Santana/etc (if that’s the case). Maybe they could deal for Danny Duffy or something.

lil jimmy

Well White Sox were part of a Brewers rumor. As you point out, they still need pitching. Soria is the best fit.

Reindeer Games

This was how I felt.  They must have seen something in Brinson that has them scared otherwise this trade seems really bad.  Think they can flip Domingo Santana, Broxton and something for Archer?


a couple of my friends are thinking they’re gonna move in on archer as well. its a good move, but for whatever reason i see the brewers trying to put a package together for blake snell instead, or break the hot stove and package santana, phillips, and one of their pitching prospects for machado

sign arrieta or darvish and the cubs are going to be looking over their shoulder all season


Looking at the Cubs starting pitchers, they look somewhat vulnerable. Lester is 34. Chatwood is fine, but they don’t have much in the 5th spot or beyond that.

If it comes down the Brewers vs Cubs for Darvish, he becomes a huge signing


Given how likely they are to win their division, I don’t think a 5th starter is really that important

Trooper Galactus

I don’t think the Brewers have enough left to get Archer unless the Rays are looking for a quantity-over-quality kind of deal.  No top-50 prospects remaining and Corey Ray’s stock has probably fallen considerably.  Yeah, they could offer up their top five prospects (all in the back half of’s midseason top-100 list), but without an elite headliner (and probably two), I don’t see them outbidding other teams.


Rosenthal thinks they’ll go with Yelich, Cain and Santana, trade Broxton/Philips and use Braun as 1B platoon and 4th OF.

Reindeer Games

Eric Thames fans like me are revolting.


Don’t be so hard on yourselves. You’re not that bad.


Gets the strong side of the platoon, has 270 point gap on OPS splits.


Thames was pretty revolting after the first month last season

Josh Nelson

How about moving Ryan Braun to first base?


nah, one domingo santana please.


They might be able to do that without the trades. Maybe flip some outfield surplus back into replenishing the farm? Somebody has to benefit from this weird market, and there is a decent mix of SP out there. Not sure they would go all out with a Darvish/Arrieta and what they’ll command, but that still leaves some unsexy but productive starters (Lynn, Garcia, Vargas, Cobb, Cashner, etc.). In fact, as I look at everything right now I’m setting the odds of stale Jason Vargas to Milwaukee at around 90%.


Now Brewers grab Darvish. Profit?


Can they afford him now? Per Cot’s Contracts, they were at about $75M before the trades. Now they figure to be close to $100M. Their highest opening day payroll ever was $104M 3-years ago.  Darvish would have to push that to $120M plus they could use relievers.


Or have they signed a new TV deal or something and none of that matters?


I’m guessing they push it. This seems pretty go-for-itish to me, and I’m thinking they take a deep breath and sign a FA pitcher, Darvish or otherwise (though I’m pulling for Darvish). The Cain and Yelich moves both say damn the torpedoes to me.


I saw that they were closer to 90 on mlbtraderumors.  Forbes had their revenue at $239 million last April and an operating income just over $58 million.

It would be pretty half-assed to stop here, especially if you figure to be a winning team and sell some additional tickets/merch


Agreed it doesn’t make sense to half-ass it and stop now especially since it should be a tough division.


It will be interesting to see how much they invest

Patrick Nolan

The White Sox would stop!

Trooper Galactus

The Brewers have exceeded 2.5 million in attendance for over a decade save in 2015 when they dipped to 2.3 million.  The White Sox haven’t even drawn 2 million in that span of time (last in 2008) yet have cobbled together payrolls in excess of $120 million on more than one occasion.  The Brewers absolutely have money to spend.


Yeah. But they also make only about half as much in cable TV revenue.


I decided I’d take a break from the White Sox (I’m not that big on rosterbation) until some irresistible thing drew me in…Maybe baseball refuses to go on without me?

Thanks Brewers! Boo everybody else!


Hi, SS. I’m looking forward to gamethreads.


Hello again!

If you like nonsensical yammering, I’m your creature.


Ooh, gamethreads!  I can’t wait!


Anyone have any good ideas/tips on how to watch soxfest for those of us who couldn’t make it? Periscope or some other things? I’ll definitely be checking all around twitter especially Jim’s of course. Sounds like a fantastic weekend to come.

Josh Nelson

1) As Jim mentioned the meet up (or Mach Up) is tonight. If you don’t have a printer I have printed some of the coupons out for you to have. Plus, we’ll be passing out free beer tokens during the night.

2) Lyft and Baderbrau have a partnership which you can earn ride credits. If you come tonight please take advantage of this instead of trying to drive back home.

3) Prospect-wise, I have created the 2018 Top 100 Prospect Database. Just like last year, I will update the list along the way. MLBPipeline releases their Top 100 this weekend.

For those coming to Baderbrau tonight, I look forward to seeing you!


Heh. Every time I see a comment that starts with something like “As XXX mentioned…” I assume it is a spam troll about to tell me how I could afford a new Lexus in only three hours a day, working from home.

Will there be any Lexus-earners at the Mach-Up?


Probably not, but I am hoping larry and Ken show up with some SSS’ers dressed in leather jackets with way too much hair goup and pocket knives.


Outfits, maybe, but larry prefers filing briefs, and KenWo carries a mace, like Hawkman.

Reindeer Games

I picture Kenwo like a cartoon character that never changes his outfit and that outfit is a 80s throwback sox jersey.

karkovice squad

Zubaz and lime-flavored beer.

Right Size Wrong Shape

Thanks for the database, Josh.  Would it be possible to highlight the rows with Sox players?  Also, what is ESPN’s rationale for having Ohtani 105th?




Always the right answer no matter the question