An earlier injury to Avisail Garcia and the reluctance to promote Eloy Jimenez have allowed the White Sox to give some extra run to players that haven’t yet established themselves as future pieces. Specifically, Matt Davidson, Nicky Delmonico (when healthy), and Daniel Palka have been given a chance to show what they can do. Here’s where things stand as we head toward the end of August.
None of them have exactly lit the world on fire this season, but it seems like Davidson’s been having the best season of the three. He didn’t give the White Sox many, if any, reasons to let him stick around after 2017, but they figured they’d roll him out there to see if something would click. Lo and behold, something did. Davidson’s nearly tripled his poor walk rate from the previous season and made himself into a palatable offensive player. He wasn’t going to magically discover a hit tool, fielding skills, or baserunning ability, but he improved where he could.
Despite that progress, the White Sox seem to have reversed course on whether Davidson has breathing room to fail, even without anyone else on the roster knocking down the door for plate appearances. Here’s his slash line by period:
- April/May: .243/.368/.521
- June/July: .210/.294/.392
He was excellent for two months before hitting a rough stretch on the other side of a back injury. Accordingly, here’s how the starts have been allocated in August:
- Davidson: 10
- Delmonico: 16
- Palka: 16
At one point, Davidson went seven days between starts. With Delmonico soaking up most of the playing time in left, Davidson’s effectively been losing playing time to Palka. Palka’s been outstanding in the clutch and has probably been the most fun player on the 2018 White Sox. Yet, his season-long numbers don’t quite make a strong enough case to squeeze Davidson and Rick Renteria can’t point to recency bias either, as Palka’s been hitting just .214/.247/.357 in August.
Delmonico’s recent surge has compounded the playing time crunch, as he’s been far better than both players since returning from the disabled list. It looked for awhile like Nicky’s success in 2017 was simply a “juiced ball mirage”, with his power absent early in the year amidst several nagging injuries. However, 14 extra-base hits (including six home runs) in 95 plate appearances have put some distance between Delmonico and the chopping block. His triple-slash line over that span is a robust .244/.316/.581.
Abreu’s recent surgery has temporarily alleviated the situation, as Davidson or Delmonico can now get reps at first base, but Jimenez’ promotion and Abreu’s return will restore the logjam, whether that’s this season or next. All three have their uses, but there’s going to be a time in the very near future when the White Sox need to make a choice. Delmonico’s recent streak probably gives him the strongest case for regular playing time the rest of the year, followed by Davidson on the strength of what he showed earlier in the season.
There could be another lever to pull to reduce the clutter, however, which was raised on Twitter yesterday by BeefLoaf, one of our friends from Section 108.
Is Avi Garcia a non-tender candidate?
— BeefLoaf🥩 (@MrDelicious13) August 22, 2018
Garcia’s a Super Two who’s earning $6.7 million in this, his third year of arbitration. He doesn’t figure to get much of a raise next season (and payroll doesn’t figure to be a issue), but his current .231/.262/.449 line along with his recurring problems with staying healthy have put him on track for his fourth season out of five with the White Sox in which he’s failed to be worth even half a win. The benefits of continuing to play Garcia are vague at this point, given that he hits free agency after next season and is unlikely to fetch an interesting return in trade even in the event of a bounce-back performance.
I don’t expect the Sox to non-tender Garcia, as the organization has repeatedly remained attached to him in past situations when Avisail has given them reasons to move on. He also offers the Sox the upside they’d want in the unlikely event they make a play to become surprise contenders next season. However, it’s worth considering that retaining him will close the door for regular playing time on someone who could stick around beyond 2019. Davidson, Delmonico, and Palka have just over a month remaining to give Rick Hahn a reason to be uncomfortable with that.
Excellent work, Pnoles. I would that timetable to prove their worth shorten to, oh, say a week so we can see Eloy Jimenez.
Unless Avi is non tendered, then I would imagine only 2 of the 3 would have a chance to make the club next year, and that would likely be at DH/backup 1b/bench role. Since Davidson is the only righty, it will probably fall to a choice between Nicky and Palka. Until a few weeks ago, I would have taken Palka hands down, but Nicky has again shown the flashes of 2017 to make him a viable option.
I would think being right-handed works against Davidson since Avi and Eloy are right-handed and both will likely be on the 2019 25-man roster in the early going (if not opening day). The one thing Davidson has is the ability to play 3rd better than Delmonico, but I think the Sox would let Delmonico play 3rd in a pinch since they only seem to have Davidson pay 3rd on rare occasion anyway.
Handedness matters if you’re splitting time with someone. Eloy isn’t splitting time.
But Avi might be
So why did you mention Eloy?
They’re gonna have to drop one of the 3 because Eloy will take one of the corner outfield spots whenever he comes up.
Garcia is going to be the interesting one. Do they bring him back? Do they non-tender him? Do they try and find a trade partner for him?
His trade value is next to nothing, and none of the outfield prospects will be ready next spring. I really wouldn’t want to see Palka or Nicky try their hand at right field. Maybe they can sign that Harper guy as a free agent. He would fit in right field!
That’s the interesting consideration with Garcia — his trade value going into the offseason is pretty much nil.
Let’s say he’s going to get a minimal raise and wind up somewhere around $7M – $8M. Look at his body of work this season and look at what players have signed deals for 1 year, $7M / $8M or less. Is there any reason that another organization would rather give that money specifically to Garcia rather than dip into the progressively cheap market for corner outfielders?
I’d imagine the answer to that question is “no”, given just how bad Garcia’s been this season. A team MIGHT trade for him at the deadline next year if he bounces back, but the market for rentals like Garcia is minimal. Look what the Twins got for Eduardo Escobar, a superior defensive player who was slashing .274/.338/.514 at the time of the trade. It’s not nothing, but it’s hardly excitement-inducing.
The only real reason for Garcia to stick around is that he offers the highest upside of the incumbents, but that only really matters if the Sox plan on substantially fortifying their roster over the winter. If they largely stand pat, Garcia’s just an obstacle.
This front office has stubbornly stuck with Avi over the years, I don’t think they will cut ties.
…but if Avi approaches the $10 million mark I could see the Sox Tyler Flowers Avi.
I think the new low point of the rebuild is that it’s made me an advocate for tendering a contract to replacement-level Avi.
Along with the fact that we’re talking about these guys as part of the starting 9 to open the season, not the 25th man.
Only if they’re signing Dioner Navarro to play right field.
At least he wouldn’t have to frame the flyballs.
Don’t have to frame what you can’t reach!
The key question is will they strengthen the roster with an eye of possibly competing with Cleveland, who could suffer some big free agent losses. Unless Buxton and Sano bounce back big, the Twins are probably not going to offer much competition and KC and Detroit are well behind the Sox in the rebuilding stage, so there is a possibility that management may try to spend big this winter instead of next to accelerate the rebuild.
I would not put money on this.
Neither would I.
Nor I, but it’s a nice thought.
In 1996, Jerry gave a then record contract to Albert Belle. So there is a precedent. Hahn was interested in Machado last winter. I think they will at least make a run at him. I doubt they’ll get him, but with Jerry getting old and wanting one more championship, I could see them making a serious run at him. He is a generational talent. Not many of those make it to free agency.
If it’s one guy, especially one as talented as Machado and one who plays a position of need (3B), then I’m fine with it. I just don’t think he’s going to be interested in the Sox this offseason and I don’t want them throwing a bunch of $$$ at inferior players.
And signing Machado wouldn’t necessary accelerate the rebuild to an extent.
Signing him would possibly open the window in 2019. He would be the centerpiece of the franchise going forward. That’s something he wouldn’t be with the Yankees or Dodgers. And even if they’re not contenders next year, he would still be with them through the entire championship window.
I disagree that it would open the window.
As you stated earlier, there’s no other OF prospects in the system other than Jimenez that are going to be ready for the majors at the start of the season, maybe not even at the midway point. I don’t have high hopes that an outfield with guys like Avi, Leury, Delmonico or Engel occupying 2 of the 3 spots is going to compete.
Also, unless you’re expecting big jumps in performance from Giolito & Lopez, the starting rotation is going to have 2 guys that theoretically should be excellent in Rodon & Kopech, since Cease isn’t going to be ready until the summer at the earliest.
One guy, no matter how good, is gonna turn this team into a contender next year.
Like I said, it COULD open the window. Sure there would need to be major improvements from Moncada and at least one of Giolito/Lopez, but those guys are being counted on to be a big part of the next contending teams. So if they don’t become very good players, the whole rebuild is in a little trouble. And you are going to have to supplement this rebuild with a proven star soon. Why not try to get the best that may be available in the next few years. Then 3rd base will be solved for the next decade and will be in place when more prospects arrive.
Like I said, if they somehow get Machado, great. But that doesn’t mean they’re gonna contend in 2019, for the reasons we’ve both stated above.
I agree with you that they may not contend in 2019, but you would then have Machado for 8-10 years, all through the championship window. We are a big market- Theo and Ricketts have raised the stakes. It’s time for the Sox to become relevant again, and this would send a message loud and clear that we’re serious.
Why would Machado sign with the White Sox?
Only reason I can see is $$$$
Machado is going to Philly.
They are nearly the same position as the Sox, just about 1-2 years ahead, but both loaded with young talent. I think the Sox have more high end talent, which might give them a slight advantage. I read where he would rather stay on the East Coast though, which would give Philly an advantage. It will probably come down to $$$$.
And for those who think that the Sox CAN’T contend in 2019, remember the Braves and Phillies were supposed to be a year away from contending this year. The Phillies were ranked 19th and the Braves were outside of the top 20 at the start of the year. The Braves lost 90 games last year and the Phils lost 96. So it’s possible.
Machado will go wherever he gets more money
I know it’s a long shot, but he might if they offered him the most money. Plus, even with Eloy/Kopech coming up, this would be his team- he would be the centerpiece of a potential powerhouse thru the 20s. He would have to compete with Judge/Stanton in NY and Kershaw/Seager/Bellinger in LA. The Sox have no established superstars right now. He would be the first of hopefully many. If the stories from last year are true, the Sox are obviously interested. And this is Chicago- we’re one of the big boys. The endorsements would be endless.
Full years from Jimenez, Rodon, Kopech, half year from Cease and a cheap revamped bullpen stocked with hard throwers is the basis for thinking this team can compete next year and dipping into the free agent market. If Anderson and/or Moncada have breakout seasons they’ll be kicking themselves if they are quiet this winter. Basically, no downside to picking up a couple free agents.
For downside potential, see 2015.
If they dip into the free agent market this winter, it better be for one of the top end free agents who will be with them through the contention window. Absolutely no reason to pick up the Band-Aid fixes unless it’s to fill a hole for next year only. And even then, they have enough internal options to fill in next year.
CF, SP, and C are all places where a short-term fix wouldn’t be a problem.
Hey, Melky Cabrera, Zach Duke, and David Robertson are all free agents!
They were already near their max budget when they started playing in free agency and were carrying way more deadweight. We can stop treating 2015 like the monster under the bed.
1 long-term deal and two 2-year or less deals. A starter and 2 bats. Those signings won’t get in the way of the rebuild.
A video presentation featuring Jose Abreu. And Jose personally picks him up at the airport.
I dunno, but I can think of 400 million of them I’d like them to give him.
If you’re going hog wild and giving Machado the biggest offer and getting him, you may as well do something like give a high dollar 2-3 year deal for AJ Pollack as well.
That lineup, and I think Rodon, Kopech and Gio will be a cromulent front 3 (Giolito’s horrendous start is hiding an actually average-ish or slightly better last couple of months), you’re at least interesting next year.
I’d imagine they are expecting big jumps in performance from Giolito and Lopez, which isn’t to say it’s gonna happen. But yes, it would require a lot more than just Eloy and Machado to jump-start a competitive window. They’d need to grab at least one outfielder and probably a starting pitcher and reliever, and that’s just to get to the “squint and you kinda see it” level of contention.
Well, I’m not expecting a big jump in performance from Lopez at least. And yeah, it seems less likely they’ll go nuts with the free agents this offseason. But if you do get Machado, stopping there seems silly, which is why I mention Pollock. Let the starter market settle out a bit then grab someone there.
I actually want to see them fill the pen with their own guys regardless. Still feel like Lopez ends up there eventually too.
Neither will Renisdorf, I’d gather.
The team ought to fortify the roster even if the division looks out of reach to start the season. They need to make an effort to get the young guys into games that matter, that’s the next step in building a winning culture not just a trying culture.
I think that makes Davidson the odd man out. Avisail is at least adequate on defense and his offensive potential is worth the dice roll. His contract won’t
be guaranteed. It will be inexpensive. And it won’t cover multiple years. That’s 1 thing that’s definitely not possible when trying to find a genuine free agent upgrade and 2 things that probably won’t be true. If a good opportunity does present itself, Avi isn’t going to block it. But there are also other places on the roster to invest the time and resources for a fix first.
For the other 3, even if there weren’t other reasons to prefer Palka and Delmonico over Davidson, I’d still probably take the left-handed options.
It might be worth making Davidson a pitcher. Or a Kansas City Royal.
Either way solves the position player logjam.
I do wonder what pitching skills he actually has, if that’s what he focused on.
Whatever his other shortcomings, Avi at least has good splits against left-handed pitching. The rest don’t have enough at bats to say – and that works against the oldest guy in the bunch (Davidson). I think the recent usage even shows that Davidson appears to be the odd man out – Delmonico is starting against lefties and righties (and leading off on occasion) whereas Davidson seems to be in a pick-2-of-3 mix with Palka and whatever AAA outfielder happens to be up at the time.
It may come down to the fact that, like Roke said above, other than Eloy, none of the OF prospects in the system will be ready for the majors by the start of next season, so you need bodies in the OF.
That’s what Trayce Thompson is for (ducks)
That’s what Adam Engel is for, unfortunately.
If the Sox non-tender Avi, he’s never going to be an MLB starter ever again. Not sure MLB Front Offices ever make deals like this, but what about giving him a $5M offer with a promise that the starting RF job is his to lose through the 2019 ASB? With maybe a massive bonus for making an all-star game appearance (not sure if MLB contracts allow for that kind of bonus structure).
The diminished skills clause already gives the Sox a possible out with Avi like it did with Viciedo. Avi already has plenty of incentive to be healthy and perform even without creative contract structures.
How does that work exactly? I don’t really remember how the Viciedo situation played out.
He was tendered, he chose arbitration (he won), and they cut him before the next season began so they only owed him 1/6 of his arbitration winnings.
The Orioles would start him.
That’s basically saying to designate him for assignment immediately.
Avi would need to be a 2-2.5 WAR player to justify the 8 million. Which would be attainable (though not likely) if he were healthy enough to play 140 games.
My guess is they go to arbitration with him and if he can’t clearly be better than any of the 3 aforementioned hitters in spring training, then he will be cut loose a la Viciedo. And some team will be guaranteed to sign him in some capacity. It does say something though that Cleveland would rather stick with Melky in right presently than offer anything of value in low-A ball for Avi.
You’re going to have to show your work on that.
Which end of it? The dollars per war – in which case my work is Todd Frazier’s contract with NYM – or Avi getting to 2.5 WAR (which I said was not likely, but not out of the realm of possibility).
All of it.
I really wouldn’t be sad to see Avi go. Nothing against him personally, but he’s been a combination of injured and bad almost his entire White Sox tenure, with only one BABIP-inflated season to show for it. He’s a middling fielder at a power position who has never so much as hit 20 home runs. If they were to take that money and put it toward a free agent with upside, I’d almost prefer that to another DL-laden season from the incumbent.
The problem is that anyone with comparable upside is also older, has been injured, &/or has had recent decline. They might still command more money and years than Avi. And they carry more risk because Avi’s contract isn’t guaranteed.
Avi is literally the best thing they could do for a 1 year stopgap. Otherwise we’re talking about Harper.
All true, but at least some of them has upside that isn’t BABIP driven. Also, it’s just optics at a certain point. They might not have more actual value than Avi, but some have more name value (ex.-CarGo) that gives them a bit more play in trades potentially, and some of them are known mashers when healthy, which Avi has repeatedly shown he can’t do with any level of consistency.
Solid analysis and excellent write-up. It is a quandary. Palka is my favorite because he provides something that the Sox have needed for quite a while: left-handed power. However, Delmonico has complicated the analysis over the past couple of weeks. I look forward to the time when the discussion is with respect to players who actually can provide some defensive value.
Palka provides occasional left-hand power. Let’s not fool ourselves here. The guy is terrible.
Will be interesting to see how Palka finishes. My eyeball test metric sees more ground balls (though hard hit). I wonder if pitchers have made an adjustment
Nicky Delmonico is quickly becoming the new Avi with his 1 month of above average hitting each season to make us think there might actually be something there worth hanging onto.
Good analysis, but quite frankly, I don’t want any of them on this team when we start contending. I will also include Avisail and Tilson to this “no thank you” mix.
We have Eloy. We have Luis Robert. We have Basabe. Quite frankly, Adam Engel and Leury can provide more value than Palka/Delmonico/Davidson. Good outfielder hitters are coming from the farm, let’s complement them with good run prevention players such as Engel and the versatile Leury.
The White Sox will start thinking about contending in 2020, and all these players (Delmonico/Palka/Davidson/Avi) will be close to 30 and they are defensive liabilities. No thank you. Play them next year (Another losing season, who cares), and be ready to be without them in 2020. Maybe sign an outfielder free agent in 2020…take a flyer with Nicholas Castellanos who will be a free agent in 2020 and somehow only 28 years old. Terrible fielder, but the guy can hit.
They still need to field a team next year, though.
Yeah…like I say, play them next year. Tender Avisail. Whatever. But I want them gone by 2020.
I think the hope is that by 2020, guys like Basabe, Call, and maybe Gonzalez, Robert, or Adolfo will be ready for the majors.
I vote for “Tender Avisail” becoming his official nickname.
Less Baby Miggy than the reporting officer to General Soreness.
Palka has been super, duper, double-secret-probation fun. But he’s even worse defensively than Nicky. Davidson has the “can eat an inning games the Sox are losing by 8 runs” factor.
It’s a tough call, but I’m guessing they cut ties with Palka. Non-tendering Avi makes some sense, but the Sox won’t do it.
All four of these players are hitting under .235…..
Just let that sink in. This plus a 3rd baseman hitting .248 with 7 home runs on the year.
Yolmer belongs nowhere near this conversation, jimmy.
I believe Palka and Delmonico will still have options remaining next year, which is an advantage for Davidson.
I’d like to see the club give him a serious shot as last man in the bullpen/lefty crusher off the bench. But I don’t expect them to actually do anything that fun or creative.
I was wondering about remaining options on these guys. Palka, in particular. They could easily stash him in AAA to begin 2019. I don’t expect Charlotte to have an outfield logjam until the second half of 2019, at the earliest.
They may need those spots in AAA for the guys coming up. Remember, as Jim and Josh have pointed out previously, Basabe & Adolfo are already burning options, so they may need to fast track them. Also, there’s going to be an outfield logjam at Birmingham next year anyway, so in order to clear room, guys who might not necessarily be “ready” for AAA, like Call & Basabe, may get promoted to clear space in AA for Gonzalez, Rutherford, & Adolfo.
They don’t have three AAA ready outfielders (or five AAA ready OF/1B/DH players) with priority over Palka/Delmonico.
Right now I’m assuming at least Davidson and Delmonico will start 2019 in MLB. So even if they’re super-aggressive with Basabe AND Call, which I doubt, they can go with something like Call-Basabe-Tilson in the OF, with Palka at 1B and Cordell at DH. Then rotate guys through positions as necessary.
The options thing is certainly a concern, but I don’t see how rushing guys helps that. I can see saying that you don’t want to get cute slow-playing them, but Adolfo hasn’t taken an AB above A ball yet and Basabe, while he’s improving, is pretty raw and hasn’t exactly killed AA.
Unfortunately, except for Eloy, none of the top prospect position players in the system look ready to contribute to the major league team in 2019.
Seby might if he does well at AAA to start the year, but he would probably need an injury or a trade to get up to Chicago.
I guess I didn’t consider Seby one of the top prospects, but you’re right, he could very well contribute next year.
If Basabe finishes off the season like he’s played the past month, there’s a real chance they start him at AAA to start 2019. Especially if he looks good in spring camp.
Might want to look at what Basabe’s done after his slow start at Birmingham. He’s posting an .811 OPS in August and has a solid all-around .274/.343/.468 slash line on the month. That’s incredible production out of a guy who, by all accounts is a legit center fielder. Like mikeyb said, another month like that and AAA is not going to be an unreasonable assignment for him to start 2019.
If there is a team out there willing to play Davidson close to everyday, I expect the Sox would send him on his way before relegating him to primarily bench duty going into another rebuilding season. And he is cheap with 4 yrs of control so I expect someone would have an interest
You’re drastically overestimating Davidson’s value.
The sox aren’t going to bury guys on the bench forever with no thought of their futures. They will let them go to a team that has interest and get some playing time.
If there was a team willing to put Davidson on their 25-man they would have claimed him by now as he has likely gone through the revocable waiver dance.
I think Delmonico’s early season power was sapped by his spring training shoulder injury (which pnoles alluded to).
Palka seems like the bottom of the three, unless you want to just bank on his exit velocity. The other two have double digit walk percentages that help make up for their low batting average. Palka at this point is a one-tool player.
Cut them all.
WARNING: HOT TAKE ALERT
I don’t think Ryan Cordell is good.
Can any of those others mentioned in the article do this?
I’m not concerned about the guy OPSing .620 at Charlotte until he stops OPSing .620 at Charlotte.
When I read Cordell, for some rerason I think of Jacob May and that Jason Coats.
If Cordell makes think of Jacob May, see your eye doctor.
Psh, that OPS is trending upwards daily. Just starting to get back healthy hitting .295/.333/.449 so far in August. He’ll be the best out of all those other AAAA players.
For $8mil, I think the Sox could find a much more interesting bounce-back candidate for RF than Avisail Garcia.
Or, they could run through Palka, Delmonico, Tilson, Cordell, Engel and Leury around Eloy and spend that $ on 1 year deals covering other needs.
“White Sox 2019- Year 3 of rebuild marginally better than year 2”
Giving a guaranteed contract to a bounce back candidate seems less optimal than giving a non-guaranteed contract to Avi. If they’re going to spend money on other players, it should be on outright upgrades.
With Avi the Sox get the benefit of continuity, team chemistry, loyalty – that sort of thing. I expect they go that route before looking outside for a different solution that is only intended to be short term
I gave another option to signing a free agent RF. My preference is simply that they move on. That said, I don’t think they will.
Sure, I would like to get looks at guys who could conceivably be part of the long term plan.
He was worth 4.5 wins last year. If he has a good 2019, the Sox could re-sign him. He’d probably be amenable and not extremely expensive. I don’t get the urge to give up on him right now.
No reason to give up on him now. Let him have right field next year and see what he does. He was looking really good until his last pulled hamstring. He seemed to have found his power stroke with the increased launch angle. They have nothing to lose by picking up his last year. There are no ready replacements in the system and anyone you sign for $8million is going to have question marks just like Avi. That said if any of the prospects are ready to play right in 2020, then you can let him walk.
I have nothing against Avi. But, among other things, the Sox are shaping up to be fairly righty heavy. I suspect the org will want to keep its options open long term.
And if Moncada moving to the OF is a possibility, all the more reason to keep the roster flexible.
Wait, hasn’t Moncada’s defense been pretty middle of the road this year? Now we’re moving him to the OF to replace him with…whom?
That’s a great idea, get next to nothing out of a guy for most of his 20s then pay him big money to do even less in his 30s.
Tilson, Engel, and Leury shouldn’t be in RF. Eloy already has a spot in LF. Cordell should maybe produce more than a 65 wRC+ for Charlotte before he’s a reason to make roster decisions. Delmonico and Palka can be kept instead of Davidson.
So what they do with Avi doesn’t really close any doors. Especially since, again, his contract won’t be guaranteed. On top of the money not being guaranteed, Sox payroll obligations are so small and his contract so minimal that it shouldn’t have any impact on any other spending decisions.
So rather than making change for change’s sake–which is a bad approach regardless–Avi and the alternatives need to be assessed on the merits.
Start Avi. DH/Bench platoon with Davidson/Delmonico. Palka at AAA. Seems clear to me
That seems to be the most likely scenario.
cut the cord
he isn’t worth 8 mil or whatever he will get next year , plus he is just going to put the sox in an odd position in 2019 anyways. If he is good do you then re-sign him knowing he has basically only been good for a year or two out of six… if he is bad… you just wasted 7-8 mil and took away at bats from someone who may be around for the next contending team.
If he’s good, you consider a qualifying offer.
If Avi somehow turns his White Sox career into a $20 million contract offer, I’m going to be the most shocked person in the world. There’s a decent chance that would be more than Abreu is going to make in 2020.
The Sox are going to give Avi every chance to be a success on the South side. He was acquired to be part of the next successful Sox team. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a successful team since he’s been here. With the Sox penchant for loyalty, deserved or not, they’re going to give Avi one more chance to make it here. I would be shocked if he’s not the everyday right fielder next year.
The next successful Sox team Avi was acquired to be a part of was 2016-18.
I don’t think it’s likely, either. But I just don’t see reason for fear of success.
Also, I’m not really worried about $7M of 2019 money when seeing the minimal impact of other failed one-year trials (Miguel Gonzalez, Derek Holland).
I would love to see Avi succeed. He plays hard, seems to have a good attitude, and seems to fit in well with this team.
I don’t get the concern about 2019 $s at all. Sox aren’t anywhere near a payroll ceiling or point where they have to be careful with how they leverage single seasoning marginal spending. They can afford the money and whatever they spend shouldn’t preclude other spending.
The cost they have to be concerned about is just the best use of the roster and lineup spot rather than the money spent to fill it.
My fear is that he turns a reasonable 1 year deal into a near all-star appearance, at which point Hahn gives him a 3 year contract. And then the Sox announce “hey look we told you we’d give out big contracts, this is the one we were talking about!” And then Avi goes full pumpkin again.
And now that I’ve typed it all out, that’s 3 big “what-ifs” that would all have to play out for this to end up being a bad situation, so I’ll go ahead and say this was an unnecessary worry.
Avi having a great year and Hahn giving him a 3-yr deal isn’t a bad thing. There’s no guarantee that Basabe/Rutherford/Adolfo turn out to be better than Avi. With eloy in left and presumably Robert in center (and even that’s not a sure thing), there could still be an outfield spot to fill in 2020.
Avi is not a high bar to clear for anybody coming up.
You just made an argument against signing comparable free agents. Let alone a potential upgrade.
The Sox might as well just perpetually run out AAAA players making the league minimum. At least they’ll never have to pay them a meaningful salary.
I can only speak for myself, but, it’s not the $. It’s not the $ for a different bounceback candidate.
In the last 5 seasons he’s surpassed 140 games once. In the last 5 years he’s provided positive WAR once. I’m sick of seeing him. He stunk when they needed him. BABIP’d his way to the All-Star game when they didn’t. And stunk when they needed him again.That could be clouding my judgement. If so, fine. (not directed at you, Karko)
I am really looking forward to the off season plans this winter. There should be some interesting scenarios.
I understand the frustration with his track record to date. It’s not a good reason to be done with his potential when his contract status mitigates the risk.
His potential has been shown to be “BABIP fueled line drive hitter who posts uninspiring counting stats”. Oh, and he’s a middling defender in the best of times, which are rare.
You say those like they’re bad. He’s had average defense for the last few years. Line drives lead to high BABIP. So do infield hits. That was a well-above average combination.
Counting stats are influenced by the team. Which, you might recall, has sucked.
Hits, doubles, triples, home runs, stolen bases, and walks are not team-influenced counting stats. Even at his healthiest he’s never posted counting stats that pop out at anybody, which damages any perception of his value. And yes, line drives lead to a high BABIP, but a .392 BABIP is not even remotely sustainable. Even .350 is a stretch, and right there you’re already talking about 40+ points of average/OBP and possibly a similar amount of slugging getting zapped from his numbers, which leaves you with the Avi we’re used to seeing otherwise, which is a pretty poor player not worth $8 million.
Think Avi would probably accept a QO in a heartbeat, even off of the 2.5 – 3.5 win season he seems capable of (assuming standard luck)
Dylan Cease is done for the year:
Wise move. He should be ready to make the jump to AAA early next year.
What a year for him. Couldn’t have gone any better than it did.
That makes up for the disappointing year from Hansen.
I retain hope that Hansen’s is injury-related and they’re able to re-fix him again next season.
Who makes up for Dunning, Giolito, Fulmer and Lopez? Stephens and Flores?
Hamilton and Burr are pleasant surprises. And no one expected a solid year out of Jace Fry. Overall, with the large number of TJ surgeries league-wide, I would say the Sox have had a decent year from their pitching prospects.
I had already forgot about Hansen. Thank you for remind me of him. He’ll be 24 in October….he better hurry up his development
Great analysis pnoles.
cut davidson, send palka down or cut him, delmonico full-time dh only for 2019
leury engel avi and eloy our 4 man outfield rotation… replace the second guy with rondon or pick a infielder utility guy of your liking.
Here’s my hot take… white sox trade call and basabe in offseason for an infielder in offseason (hahn mentioned possibly looking for trade with their outfield depth for something more of need in the system in the offseason) luis gonzalez and adolfo get fast tracked and both get september call up to replace engel and avi ( seriously gonzalez is killing it 42 rbi, 6 hr, 21 doubles and.313/368/.517 in just 52 games in high A, its time to take this kid seriously) and that gives robert more time to properly develop so he can come with rutherford/madrigal wave 2 years from now in late 2020/early 2021