In 2018 the White Sox were among the worst teams in all of baseball. With injuries abound down on the farm and a mixed bag of performances from young guys on the 2018 MLB roster, there is uncertainty across the board moving into 2019.
Remaining mostly stationary and waiting to see how certain players and prospects perform in 2019 might be the textbook smart thing to do, however, I do not believe the organization wants to do so. I believe the White Sox will be looking to make some steps forward in 2019. The White Sox should enter the offseason looking to make a big splash somewhere, while keeping their financial future for 2021 and beyond flexible.
- Jose Abreu, $16M Tender
- Avisail Garcia, $8M Non 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
These are all easy with the exception of Avi. At this point, I would rather clear out that salary and use it elsewhere. More to come.
- Nate Jones, $4.65 million/$1.25M buyout — Pick Up
- James Shields, $16 million/$2M buyout — Decline
OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS
LHP Hector Santiago – sign 1 year 1M
RHP Miguel Gonzalez – Let Go
Any White Sox fan’s offseason plan is going to hinge entirely on one question: Do you believe the White Sox can convince Manny Machado (or Bryce Harper) to sign with the South Side? Call me a blissful homer, but I believe the money will be there, and I’m going to place my Chips on the Sox making this happen.
No. 1: RF Bryce Harper, 11 years, 363M. Player opt outs at year 3 and 6. That’s 33M/year for those of you without a calculator. “But Neat_on_the_Rocks, if the Whitesox get one of these guys its obviously going to be Machado!” you say. Simply put, I believe the Yankees will win the Manny Machado sweepstakes. Bryce Harper loves the city of Chicago. There has been rumblings for years now about how much he likes the city, loves Wrigley, loves Kris Bryant. I know, this isn’t CubsMachine, its SoxMachine. Yes the Cubs are rich, but I dont see how they can afford Bryce Harper with their financial situation in 3+ years. Enter the WhiteSox. We have more money to spend in the next 3 years than anyone, I’m honestly not worried about the financial aspect. If Bryce loves Chicago so much, he can play on the southside. Imagine the marketing opportunities he and Kris Bryant would have playing on cross city rivals? Their wives are besties and get to live near each other now. That sounds silly, but that stuff matters.
No.2: SP Charlie Morton, 2 years, 32M. Charlie Morton is old. This is a risk. It is a risk the White Sox can afford though, even after signing Harper. The White Sox could get away with signing a low cost vet flier in this spot – but I like a more risky short term deal. Sure, it could blow up in your face, but its not going to cost you in the long run.
No.3: CF JB Shuck, 2 years, 3 mil. … Just kidding.
Whitesox Trade C Wellington Castillo to the RedSox for IF Brock Holt – Basically an I’ll trade you my crap for yours scenario here. The Whitesox save a few mil and dump castillo, while getting a guy to plug in at 3B for 2019. Im not Brock Holt Fan, but he had an up year this year and he has been able to take his walks throughout his career. I like Yolmer Sanchez, but I like him most in a utility role. If Holt sucks or gets injured, Yolmer can slide back over to 3B.
With this plan the White Sox accomplish a few goals. They land their long term, franchise Player in Bryce Harper. Charlie Morton Plugs a fairly gaping hole at starting pitcher with a veteran presence, while not blocking anyone in the long term. And most important, they do both of these things AND remain flexible.
On paper – we’ve just signed Bryce Harper but also don’t appear to be playoff contenders in 2019. There is high enough variance there where we could surprise – Morton repeats last year, Harper/Eloy tear up the league, Pick two out of Rodon/Lopez/Giolito/Anderson/Moncada to take a big step forward. Its not completely outrageous.
But more likely than not The roster I’ve assembled is an 80 win team at the very best, and likely worse. But I believe these moves put us in an excellent position for 2020 and beyond. We get all of 2019 to see how we feel about the Moncada/Madrigal situation – 3B is still open for Moncada. We get 2019 to see how we feel about Narvaez/Collins/Sebby. We get to see the glut of our OF Prospects hit AA and beyond, which is extremely important for evaluation purposes. Eloy/Harper are taking up 2 OF spots – but 1B/DH is potentially open in the future, and best case scenario a few of them become valuable trade assets. We get to see who the #3 overall pick is in 2019 before making more larger trade/Free agency additions.
To boot, our payroll in 2019 is only around 105 Mil, and remains among the most flexible in the MLB beyond 2020.
2B Yoan Moncada
LF Eloy Jiminez
RF Bryce Harper
1B Jose Abreu
C Omar Narvaez
3b. Brock Holt
DH Daniel Palka
SS Tim Anderson
CF Adam Engel
OF/UT Leury Garcia
IF Yolmer Sanchez
C Kevin Smith
UT Matt Davidson
RHP Charlie Morton
LHP Carlos Rodon
RHP Reynaldo Lopez
RHP Lucas Giolito
SP Jordan Guerrero/Spencer Adams/ect – Whoever wins it.
LHP Jace Fry
RHP Juan Minaya
RHP Ian Hamilton
RHP Nate Jones
RHP Dylan Covey
LHP Caleb Frare
LHP Hector Santiago
Like I said on the last one if you’re spending the big money- get machado.
In my post I’ve outlined a bit on why I’m goin for Harper rather than Machado. The Main reason is that my gut tells me the Yankees will go all in on him. Beyond that, There are reasons to like Bryce Harper over Machado for the Whitesox.
I understand the main criticism is positional fit. Whitesox currently have a gaping hole at 3B and a glut of OF prospects. My counters are as follows:
1. While we do have more OF Prospects, they’re all still over a year away. In the Infield we have Madrigal who could come up as early as August 2019 and force some decisions right off the bat.
2. Outfielders are generally easier to shuffle around. You can stick a Left Fielder in Right Field. YOu can stick an OK right fielder in Center from time to time. Outfielders are also easier to trade for this same reason. If we end up with logjam in the Outfield – trades will be easily on the table.
3. Long term, 1B/DH is still wide open at this time. We could feasibly move one or even BOTH of Harper/Eloy to 1B/DH in the coming years.
4. Onto Machado vs Harper on their own. Harper is a Lefty Power bat which is harder to find. He also has a much more refined approach that makes me more confident in him than machado when we’re talking about the back half of the contract. Machado does not walk as much and tends to rely more on brute athleticism than Harper does. I’m pretty confident in Harper at least being a decent 1b/DH as he enters ages 33+. Machado could fall off a cliff.
Thanks for reading and commenting on mine. We have similar ideas just different names. Regardless of if we think 2019 is a contending year (it’s not) it is too good an opportunity to pass up to back up a truck to Harper or Machado. I may have just picked Machado myself because I think it feels slightly more likely, Harper feels like his skill set may age better.
Morton is a good gamble but I don’t think he will leave his comfort areas to come here
I like the Holt for Castillo deal, it seems logical and gets something useful back. Unfortunately we no longer have Smith, but you could probably still do it and just make Sevala the backup as long as he isn’t exposed much and Omar is the full-time starter. You’re also one of the few who played third base cheap. I don’t know if Holt is a starter but I like the general idea of the plan as a whole kind of positioning ourselves to see what happens with the top prospect depth.