The White Sox are in the position to add players to be at least competitive over the next couple years without sacrificing the young talent they have acquired. They have the financial flexibility to make a huge splash and they owe it to the fans to put a good ball club on the field this year. Let’s get into it.
Write “tender” or “non-tender” after each player. Feel free to offer explanation afterward if necessary.
- Jose Abreu, $16M – Tender
- Avisail Garcia, $8M – Tender
- Yolmer Sanchez, $4.7M – Tender
- Carlos Rodon, $3.7M – Tender
- Matt Davidson, $2.4M – Non-Tender
- Leury Garcia, $1.9M – Tender
- Danny Farquhar, $1.4M – Non-Tender but would bring back on MILB deal.
Write “pick up” or “decline” after the option.
- Nate Jones, $4.65 million/$1.25M buyout – pick up
- James Shields, $16 million/$2M buyout – buyout but I love you, James.
OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS
Try to retain, or let go?
- Miguel Gonzalez (made $4.75 million in 2018) – Let Go
No. 1: Manny Machado – 10 years/$350 million (Opt outs after years 3 and 5) The guy we’ve wanted, the guy we’ve needed, the guy we absolutely have the resources to sign. For Machado to choose the White Sox, we’re going to have to blow him away. If he wants to choose the Yankees or Dodgers for $30 million, that’s fine, but I think money talks and this deal gets it done.
No. 2: Curtis Granderson – 1 year/$3 million. Granderson is way past his prime but he’s still getting on base. His walk rate has actually been higher the last few years than it was early in his career. I love Daniel Palka but Granderson provides a bit of insurance if Palka is figured out by Major League pitching or if they decide to trade Avi mid-season. Also would be a good end of career thing for Granderson to come home.
No. 3: Seunghwan Oh – 2 years/$10 million “The Final Boss” as he was known in Korea gives the Sox a reliable late-innings guy. Carries a career ERA under 3.00 and the White Sox need guys that they know what they’re getting. Oh fills that need.
Propose trades that you think sound reasonable for both sides, and the rationale behind them.
No. 1: Trade Leury Garcia to the St. Louis Cardinals for Dexter Fowler and cash considerations – In this scenario, the Cardinals will be eating half of his remaining 49.5 million dollars, leaving the Sox on the hook for 8.25 million dollars per season for the next three years. Fowler is coming off an abysmal season in St. Louis and the Cardinals already have a glut of outfield talent that is major league ready. He does possess a no-trade clause but it isn’t a secret that Fowler loved the city of Chicago and I’m sure he would waive it to come back, even if it’s not to the Cubs. He was hurt last year and the stats are awful but he’s just one year removed from a .363 OBP his first year in St. Louis and two years removed from a .393 OBP his last year in Chicago. If he can be that calming presence at the top of the lineup like he has been in the past, that would fill a huge need for the Sox. For the Cardinals, they fill a need with Leury as a utility guy. The Cardinals only have one left handed hitter on their bench consistently (Greg Garcia) and Leury Garcia is an upgrade, especially with his ability to play OF.
2. Trade Jose Rondon and Jordan Stephens to the New York Yankees for Sonny Gray – The Yankees have expressed a desire to get rid of Gray. Cashman doesn’t like him, Gray doesn’t like them, it’s a bad fit. The Yankees won’t get much for Gray since he’s going into the last year of his deal and coming off a poor year. The Yankees didn’t pay a huge price for him to begin with so Cashman will just be looking for a couple pieces that could help his team in 2019. With Gregorius on the shelf, Rondon could battle for some playing time early and Stephens could challenge for a middle relief role and be some depth in the rotation in case some pitchers go down. This also frees up a 40-man roster spot for Chicago. Gray will step right into the rotation and ideally will rediscover the form he’s shown in the past and provide valuable innings. He is arbitration eligible this year and shouldn’t receive much of a raise from the 6.7 million dollars he made last season.
Jimenez LF (April 15th)
Bench: Palka, Engel, Sanchez, Narvaez
Cease (April 15th) – after Kopech going down last year, it makes me not want to have Cease waste bullets in AAA. Give him a couple starts down there and if all looks good, bring him up.
Bullpen: Fry, Frare, Covey, Jones, Hamilton, Minaya, Oh
The payroll comes in around $110 million.
Let’s go Sox.