Rebuild Plan B (asinwreck’s offseason plan)


The White Sox are not close to contending. Michael Kopech’s injury takes one of their elite prospects out of the mix in 2019, and injuries slowed several players’ progress to the majors. Most of the major-league roster in 2018 demonstrated they will not be a part of the next good White Sox team, and little will be accomplished in retaining them. The rebuild continues.

But things have to be different from last year. The payroll is sufficiently low to absorb veteran salaries, and fan interest is sufficiently low that it makes good business sense to target veterans who might become part of the future (either through being effective long enough to be in the window of contention or being potential trade bait for pieces the team will be able to use). Increasing fan interest with a TV contract about to expire will improve revenue streams for the next few years. That will matter when the team will need to pay a competitive roster. Thus, Rebuild Plan B.


Write “tender” or “non-tender” after each player. Feel free to offer explanation afterward if necessary.

  • Jose Abreu, $16M Tender
  • Avisail Garcia, $8M Non-tender
  • Yolmer Sanchez, $4.7M Tender
  • Carlos Rodon, $3.7M Tender
  • Matt Davidson, $2.4M Non-tender
  • Leury Garcia, $1.9M Tender. I propose a trade involving Leury below.
  • Danny Farquhar, $1.4M Non-tender


Write “pick up” or “decline” after the option.

  • Nate Jones, $4.65 million/$1.25M buyout Decline, offer a $1 million contract afterwards (see below).
  • James Shields, $16 million/$2M buyout Decline.


  • Miguel Gonzalez (made $4.75 million in 2018) Let go.


No. 1: Trevor Rosenthal (two years, $8 million/season). Coming back from injury, Rosenthal comes into a market with Zach Britton and Andrew Miller, and should not be in line for a large payday. This contract is short enough for him to make a killing on his next deal, and long enough that he’s useful to the Sox either as they attempt to contend in 2020 or wish to flip him as has been the fashion the past couple of years.

No. 2: Nate Jones (one year, $1 million/season after the $1.25 million buyout). After declining his option, I suspect the Sox can retain Jones at a low base salary. He’s been injured enough that competition for his services will be limited.

No. 3: Devin Mesoraco (one year, $4 million/season). I have a trade lined up for Castillo and Mesoraco should be an affordable veteran to work with Narvaez.


No. 1: Trade Luis Gonzalez, Spencer Adams, & Jordan Stephens to Arizona for Zack Greinke ($34.5 million/season). These trades are about absorbing money to get talent. If Arizona sees Greinke’s contract as an obstacle in retaining soon-to-be free agent Paul Goldschmidt, the Diamondbacks may be interested in getting young talent for their talented, expensive starter. (This goes double for if Arizona wants to re-sign AJ Pollock right now.) The package here is major-league ready pitching and a polished outfield prospect whose name may inspire a few season-ticket orders down in the desert.

No. 2: Trade Daniel Palka, Welington Castillo, & Leury Garcia to Yankees for Sonny Gray (probably $8 million after arbitration), Jacoby Ellsbury ($21.143 million), and $10 million from the Yankees to take Jacoby Ellsbury’s contract off of their hands. Brian Cashman has already said Gray is gone, and there’s no place for Ellsbury to play in New York, assuming he is ever well enough to take the field again. Leury Garcia had a terrible year, but his versatility could be useful in New York while Gleyber Torres shifts over to shortstop to cover for the injured Didi Gregorius. Palka hits dingers and is a 1B/LF/DH type, which the Yankees somehow 1) have several of, yet 2) need. His value will likely never be higher than it is right now, so worth seeing if Cashman would want it to get a couple problems off his roster.


OK, so that brings the payroll to just about $100 million. The major-league team should have pitchers who will cover the innings required for a genuine improvement, and who can be either part of the next good Sox team or useful in trades. This will not be a winning team, but it will be more talented than 2018’s, and should provide a few more wins, more fan interest, and long-range help for the franchise. Greinke would serve the James Shields role of mentoring young pitchers with the added bonus of actually being very good. A lot would have to break right for the Sox to crack .500 (Rosenthal bouncing back, Ellsbury’s resurrection), but that goal is plausible without blocking the minor leaguers who will need to develop for the rebuild to work.

Roster as of May 15 (when Eloy Jimenez suddenly improves his defense enough to warrant promotion):

Rotation: Zach Greinke, Carlos Rodon, Sonny Gray, Reynaldo Lopez, Lucas Giolito
Bullpen: Jace Fry, Trevor Rosenthal, Juan Minaya, Dylan Covey, Ian Hamilton, Caleb Frare, Nate Jones, Thyago Vieira
Catchers: Omar Narvaez, Devin Mesoraco
Infielders: Jose Abreu, Yoan Moncada, Tim Anderson, Yolmer Sanchez, Jose Rondon
Outfielders: Eloy Jimenez, Jacoby Ellsbury, Adam Engel, Ryan Cordell, Nicky Delmonico

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Lurker Laura

Greinke is an interesting idea.

Eagle Bones

I kind of like the Greinke idea, but if you’re going to trade for him I feel like you need to put together a better roster right away to try to contend while hes still this good. This roster feels a little light in that regard. Greinke would be a great part of a kenwo offseason!

Trooper Galactus

If we could actually get Greinke for that set of prospects, I’d absolutely be on board for it.