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Welcome to the Sox Machine Offseason Plan Project.
If you’re new to the OPP, it’s something we’ve done the last several winters, before and while my sites had a post-it-yourself option. Copy the template below, paste it into the text editor on this page, fill it out* and submit it. Here is a good example from last year.
(*In case it isn’t etched into your memory like it is mine, Andy Gonzalez’s number is 26. You will need to know that.)
A few guidelines before proceeding:
*Cot’s Baseball Contracts has the White Sox’ payroll obligations, which is 95 percent correct (Nate Jones is no longer in the picture). If you take the contracts on the books, tender contracts to all arbitration-eligible players and fill in roster with league-minimum players, the current payroll obligations are a little below $60M. The payroll constraint for this exercise is $120 million. That’s $10M higher than last year’s project, accounting for the $20 million they came up short of that number last year. It’s also in the range the Sox have spent in four other seasons. (Note: You can spend more, but you’ll have to make the case to ownership.)
*MLB Trade Rumors has the list of 2019-20 free agents. Note the players with club options and exercise common sense when it comes to their potential availability. (The Indians are going to pick up Corey Kluber’s option, for example.)
*There are such things as dumb ideas — Juan Soto isn’t walking through that door — but the threshold is fairly high to cross it. The idea is to generate as many feasible names and combinations as possible, so even if you guess wildly wrong on the price, that can be hashed out in the comments.
Rosterbators: Mount up and submit your plan here.
————— ✂️ [cut along the perforated line] ✂️ —————
Establish where you see the White Sox at this point, and your mindset/philosophy/strategy in putting together the roster for the upcoming season.
Write “tender” or “non-tender” after each player and their projected 2020 salaries. Feel free to offer explanation afterward if necessary.
- Alex Colomé, $10.3M
- Yolmer Sánchez, $6.2M
- James McCann, $4.9M
- Carlos Rodon, $4.5M
- Leury García, $4M
- Evan Marshall, $1.3M
- Josh Osich, $1M
- Ryan Goins, $900K
Write “pick up” or “decline” after the option.
- Welington Castillo: $8 million/$500,000 buyout
OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS
Try to retain, or let go?
- Jose Abreu (made $16M in 2019)
- Iván Nova (made $9,166,167 in 2019)
- Jon Jay (made $4M in 2019)
- Hector Santiago (made $2M in 2019 on split contract)
List three free-agent targets you’d pursue during the offseason, with a reasonable contract. A good example of a bad idea:
No. 1: Gordon Beckham (one year, $5 million). Now that he’s faltered for a different AL Central team, he knows what it takes to succeed in the division.
Propose trades that you think sound reasonable for both sides, and the rationale behind them. A good example of a bad idea:
No. 1: Trade Yoan Moncada to Boston for Chris Sale. Now that Chris Sale has signed an extension, he has the kind of cost certainty that’s attractive. No, I haven’t heard about his elbow, why do you ask?
If you finish up with a fairly firm 26-man roster, roll it out here. If you don’t, at least offer a sense of the payroll required, but more detail is always welcome.
What’s more important is describing how you settled on your plan — how or whether it resolves key positions, and what kind of position it leaves your White Sox in heading into 2019 and the following offseason.
Every plan may not be comprehensively sound, but even the shakiest ones may have one name or argument worth filing away for a position. The point of this exercise is to generate as many possibilities as possible, to see which players are the most popular, and to see how those who don’t expect the Sox to land Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon work around it.