As I’m writing, we’re hearing the White Sox mentioned as a team that wants to get better through free agency. Despite all that you’ve heard, this is a GOOD thing. Even as a long-time rebuild guy who thinks everyone should be patient, that 7 is more than 6 and all that, I still think you have to start winning sometime. And this free agency class makes this the time to get that particular ball rolling. (I’m real happy with the #3 pick in 2019 draft but would like to avoid having to worry about draft position for a long, long time).
So my plan is centered on the idea of upgrading the roster while keeping the rebuild progressing. Upgrade the major league roster with minimal blocking of minor league talent. Field a team that will avoid 100 losses — hell, avoid 90 losses! I’d like to see a team that is interesting, fun, and in a position to surprise if an awful lot of things go right.
Write “tender” or “non-tender” after each player. Feel free to offer explanation afterward if necessary.
- Jose Abreu, $16M tender
- Avisail Garcia, $8M non
- Yolmer Sanchez, $4.7M tender
- Carlos Rodon, $3.7M tender
- Matt Davidson, $2.4M non
- Leury Garcia, $1.9M tender
- Danny Farquhar, $1.4M non/minor league deal
- Nate Jones, $4.65 million/$1.25M buyout — picked up
- James Shields, $16 million/$2M buyout — declined
OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS
- Miguel Gonzalez (made $4.75 million in 2018) let go
- Hector Santiago (made $2 million in 2018 — added) let go
No. 1: Bryce Harper (10 years/ $350 million)
No. 2: Marwin Gonzalez (4 years/$50 million)
No. 3: Dallas Keuchel (2 years/$35 million)
No. 4: Brad Brach (3 years/$18 million)
No. 5: Denard Span (2 years/$20 million)
No. 1: Bernardo Flores to Yankees for Sonny Gray. I don’t really know what NY would be expecting in this kind of trade. If they want a top 15 prospect, I’m probably not interested.
I’m blowing past the salary limit, probably to about $120 million. But it’s worth it to ink a talent like Harper and make some noise. Plus, if these moves don’t work out, there are plenty of sell-offs on this roster and then the rebuild continues as planned.
SP Rodon, Keuchel, Gray, Giolito, Lopez
RP Jones, Brach and competition for the other spots (I’m not going to list them all because they’re going to use 15 different relievers by the time it’s all done)
C Castillo Narvaez
CF Span/Engel/L Garcia
OF L Garcia
DH Palka Abreu/Harper/Span
If some of the veterans find another gear (Gray, Span, Abreu) and the youngsters develop, there’s a (slim) chance that this team is good enough to add at the ASB, especially given the AL Central . . . but that’s a big IF of course. There’s a chance they hit 200 home runs, which would be fun. Assuming Coop can fix Gray, that Lopez success will continue, that Giolito can turn things around — if these don’t happen, it’s Covey time . . . and maybe Cease is ready by July? If things don’t go so well, Rick Hahn’s potentially got a few flippable veteran pitchers here and a couple more whacks at picking up prospects (with a lot of pitching prospects in the wings for 2019). The rebuild continues as these moves shouldn’t block prospects moving forward. Except maybe Harper . . . but none of the current OF prospects are going to be that good, so that’s not a bad outcome. Gonzales gives you breathing room at 3B for a couple years, eventually moved off the hot corner by a FA signee or Burger or other prospect.