Us fans have bought into the rebuild and have defended it vehemently while watching AAA players try to win professional ballgames. At this juncture, we need to look at Rick Hahn and ask where this thing is going. I do not expect a contending team in 2019, but I expect Hahn & Co. to make some moves to put a competitive roster on the field.
Have a seat and take some notes Rick.
- 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, MiLB Deal
- Nate Jones, $4.65 million/$1.25M buyout – Pick-up
- James Shields, $16 million/$2M buyout – Buyout
OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS
- Miguel Gonzalez (made $4.75 million in 2018) – Let Go
- Hector Santiago (1 year, $3M) — re-sign. Can take up some spot starts and long relief stints. I also just kinda like him.
No. 1: C Yasmani Grandal (4 years, $60 million). Yes, he’s had a bad offseason. But a veteran presence behind the plate with excellent framing skills will go a long way with this young pitching staff.
No. 2: SP Matt Harvey (3 years, $30 million with 4th year team option worth $15 million). I know Coop doesn’t like working with divas, but Harvey found some success once out of the NY spotlight and will only be 30 next season. I believe last season was a wakeup call, and teams won’t be clamoring for his services this offseason. Even as a Boras client, $10M a year should be feasible.
No. 3: SP James Shields (1 year, $4 million). He hit 200 innings last year, and he seems to love playing in Chicago. All year we had to hear about how great of a locker room presence he was, and how much the young guys loved talking shop with him. For a young pitching staff and a team needing innings to be eaten, this can be very valuable. Maybe not $20M+ a year valuable, but for a small $4M investment I would say it is.
No. 4: RP Jesse Chavez (2 year, $8M). He’s on the older side of his career, but he showed last year that he still has value out of the pen and can help this team close down games for a year or two. Definitely worth the small investment.
No. 5: RP Joakim Soria (2 year, $6M). I don’t see Milwaukee picking up his $10M option. And there shouldn’t be hard feelings after sending him an hour and a half down the road to pitch for a contender.
No. 1: Trade C Welington Castillo and RP Nate Jones to the LA Dodgers for CF Andrew Toles, RP Tony Gonsolin and a lottery ticket prospect.
Toles is an intriguing CF option with postseason experience and several years of control. It’s time to see a new face in CF. If he doesn’t work out, it’s not a financial drain on the team. Gonsolin is an intriguing minor league starter who will be ready to contribute as soon as 2020. There will be a third lottery ticket piece with this deal who’s still several years away from the big leagues. With Grandal on board, Castillo becomes expendable and LAD could use a veteran catcher to help keep some workload off of Austin Barnes.
C – Yasmani Grandal ($15M)
1B – Jose Abreu ($16M)
2B – Yoan Moncada ($.56M)
SS – Tim Anderson ($1.4M)
3B – Yolmer Sanchez ($4.7M)
LF – Eloy Jimenez ($.56M)
CF – Andrew Toles ($.56M)
RF – Avi Garcia ($8M)
DH – Daniel Palka ($.56M)
C – Omar Narvaez ($.56M)
OF – Adam Engel – ($.56M)
UT – Leury Garcia ($1.9M)
1B/3B/DH – Matt Davidson ($2.4M)
Carlos Rodon ($3.7M)
Matt Harvey ($10M)
James Shields ($4M)
Reynaldo Lopez ($.56M)
Lucas Giolito ($.56M)
Closer – Jesse Chavez ($3M)
L Aaron Bummer ($.56M)
Gregory Infante ($.56M)
Juan Minaya ($.56M)
L Hector Santiago ($3M)
Joakim Soria ($3M)
L Jace Fry ($.56M)
Total payroll: About $83M + $2M for Shields buyout
Clearly the weak point on this team is the bullpen. I don’t see a need to splurge on expensive bullpen pieces who might not even pan out. The hope is that the bullpen guys who have been here for some time can take a big step forward. It’s a big sink or swim year for this group. If a bullpen piece can’t carry their weight, they will be expendable and next offseason Rick can go after bigger fish for the pen.
My goal: Nolan Arenado in 2020. I would rather have Arenado than Machado. Arenado won’t complain about playing a position that he’s actually better at and won’t look the fans in the eyes and tell them he doesn’t feel the need to hustle in a playoff game. He’s going to buy in to the culture here and will be a perfect fit, while also being the face of the new and improved White Sox.
Expectation: This team is still a year away, but the on-field product should be much improved. 77 wins, 85 losses. Go Sox.
Can’t put your eggs in Arenado’s basket. No guarantee he ever reaches free agency.