CWS_Steffens Offseason Plan

PREAMBLE

My biggest goal with this off-season plan is to not block any prospect with money. Many of these I’ve read could end up blocking pitchers (Cease/Dunning) or other position players (OF) down the line. I don’t want to block any of them while also trying to find sneaky value that could either be used for trades or help this team for the future.

ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE PLAYERS
Jose Abreu, $16M – Tender
Avisail Garcia, $8M – Tender
Yolmer Sanchez, $4.7M – Tender
Carlos Rodon, $3.7M – Tender
Matt Davidson, $2.4M – Tender
Leury Garcia, $1.9M – Tender
Danny Farquhar, $1.4M – Non-tender with F.O. role or minor league deal

CLUB OPTIONS
Nate Jones, $4.65 million/$1.25M buyout – Pick up
James Shields, $16 million/$2M buyout – decline

OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS
Miguel Gonzalez (made $4.75 million in 2018)
Hector Santiago (made $2 million in 2018 — added)
MiLB deal if they’ll take it? They’ve been good to the Sox.

FREE AGENTS
The international grab – Yusei Kikuchi (3 years -$50 m. — in line with what Mikolas got last winter. I’m not sure how that works with the posting system.)
Bullpen piece – Sign one or two of (Joe Kelly, Jeanmar Gomez, Greg Holland, Herrera)

The Big Fish — Manny Machado (10 years – $400m) Or — The back-up plan — Josh Donaldson (4 years – $88 million with player option after 1 season and a club option for a fourth year)

TRADES
No. 1: Trade Wellington Castillo (eat the money)/Matt Davidson/Bullpen arm to Athletics for Jorge Mateo
No. 2: Jordan Stephens/Other non-top prospect to Yankees for Sonny Gray
No. 3: Trade Leury Garcia to the Red Sox for Rusney Castillo (Free him from his minor-league hell and get a year of production out of him and help the Red Sox lose some Tax dollars. Mas Cubanos!)

Roster
Rotation – Rodon, Lopez, Kikuchi, Giolito, Gray

Bullpen – TBD on signings

Lineup – Anderson (SS), Moncada (2B), Machado/Donaldson (3B), Abreu (1B), Jimenez (LF), Palka (DH), Avi Garcia (RF), Rusney Castillo (CF), Narvaez (C)
Bench – Sanchez, Engel, Delmonico, Zavala (would have been Smith but…)

Prospects who make debut in 2019 – Eloy Jimenez, Dylan Cease, Spencer Adams, Jorge Mateo, Zack Burdi, Zack Collins, Zavala, Dane Dunning (lets hope he’s healthy!)

SUMMARY
Even with Machado or Donaldson the Sox payroll would still be under the 2018 league average. This may be a little aggressive for a third year of a rebuild, especially considering where you might not be sure that you need guys in the future or how much potential big pieces will cost (Abreu, Rodon). I would rather lean towards Donaldson and then moving him to first-base if Arenado becomes available. Overall, I believe this addresses some obvious issues and make them interesting to watch while still waiting on those outfield and pitching prospects. If the Sox fail to sign one of Machado, Donaldson, or Moustakas (if he becomes free agent) expect them to continue to not want to spend for another year and have a hard to watch sledge until those call-ups. I don’t want that. Let’s get competitive while staying smart. These can co-exist.

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MrTopaz

If I recall, there’s still a $20 million posting fee that either goes to his NPB team, or the NPB league (although I’m pretty sure it’s the team), so that’s a non trivial amount of extra money. But I’m intrigued by Kikuchi. He’s a tiny guy, and he’s had shoulder problem, but sometimes you get lucky, and a competent lefty starter is nothing to sneeze at.

NorthSideSouthSider

Is there a player that has come over from NPB who is comparable stats wise or structure/arsenal wise? I think I’d want to see some comps before making a decision one way or another on Kikuchi.