500 or Bust!

PREAMBLE

2019 should be the last season of the foreseeable future that the Sox finish with less than 81 wins, and this offseason plan should set us up nicely to put a competitive team on the field next year without compromising the future of the core.

ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE PLAYERS

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 Tender I guess, he wasn’t great in the 2nd half of last season but we need a closer with experience.
  • Yolmer Sánchez, $6.2M Non-tender, uhh yea hard pass.
  • James McCann, $4.9M Tender, big time regression candidate but he should be at least a serviceable catcher.
  • Carlos Rodon, $4.5M Non-tender, tough call, originally had him tendered but it just didn’t work out with the additions that I wanted to make. Sorry Carlos, maybe a different training staff can keep your left arm intact.
  • Leury García, $4M Tender, good utility player that can play a ton of positions, maybe not as useful with the extra roster slot but still a useful player.
  • Evan Marshall, $1.3M Tender, no brainer.
  • Josh Osich, $1M Non-tender, I think we should be able to call someone up from Charlotte that soaks up low leverage innings.
  • Ryan Goins, $900K Non-tender, 31 and a career high wRC+ of 86 last year, I’m good.

CLUB OPTIONS

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

  • Welington Castillo: $8 million/$500,000 buyout Decline, sorry Beef.

OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS

Try to retain, or let go?

  • Jose Abreu (made $16M in 2019) Re-sign, 2 years $30M. Big Abreu fan, and I’d love to see him stick around for the winning seasons, but the market for a bat only 1st baseman isn’t really there so his price tag shouldn’t be too high.
  • Iván Nova (made $9,166,167 in 2019) Re-sign, same deal. Nova did basically everything we could have reasonably expected and should be a very solid 5th starter for us next year.
  • Jon Jay (made $4M in 2019) Let go, I actually think he owes us that $4M back, what a spectacular failure that deal was.
  • Hector Santiago (made $2M in 2019 on split contract) Let go, I’m sure he’ll end up back in the organization at some point during the 2020 season on a minor league deal.

FREE AGENTS

List three free-agent targets you’d pursue during the offseason, with a reasonable contract. A good example of a bad idea:

No. 1: J.D. Martinez (four years, $100 million). I’m thinking he’ll opt out but that’s no sure thing, if he does it shouldn’t be much of a bidding war besides the Sox and maybe the Rangers.  Could be a slight overpay for a DH on the wrong side of 30 but he was supposedly a huge influence on some of the younger guys in Boston and helped them developing their batting approach.  To say the Sox need some help developing their offensive approach would be a massive understatement.

No. 2: Yasmani Grandal (three years, $60 million)Arguably the best catcher in baseball, definitely the best on the market, also over 30 and was benched last year going into the playoffs due to pitch blocking issues.  Lets get this guy locked up and stop having to worry about which catcher we can scrape up from the bottom of the barrel.

No. 3: Didi Gregorious (4 years, $50 million. Player opt-out after 2 years).  Didi had trouble staying healthy this year and struggled, but the prior 2 years he put up nearly 9 combined fWAR with above average offense and very good defense at short.  Had he put up another 4 win season this year he’d probably be up for a much bigger contract, that’s why we are giving him the chance to opt out after 2 years to justify a lower AAV.  With this move we are moving Tim to RF where he can take full advantage of his speed, also allowing Robert to shade a bit more towards left to help protect Eloy.

No. 4: Jake Odorizzi (4 years, $68 million.) 1 year older than Eovaldi was at this time last season and similar production going into their FA so let’s give him the same contract and hope it works out better for us than Boston.

TRADES

None, but I have dreams of being buyers at the trade deadline.

SUMMARY

LINEUP

C Grandal $20M
1b Abreu $15M
2b Leury Garcia / Madrigal $.5M
SS Gregorious $12.5M
3b Moncada $.5M
LF Jimenez $.5M
CF Adam Engel / Robert $.5M
RF Tim Anderson $4M
DH Martinez $25M

bench of – Engel / L Garcia $4M
bench if – D Mendick  $.5M
bench c – McCannon $4.9M
bench c/dh/1st – Collins $.5M

Sp – Gio $.5M
Sp – Odorizzi $17M
Sp – Cease $.5M
Sp – Lopez/Kopech $.5M
Sp – Nova $9M

cl – Colome $10.3M
set up – Bummer $.5M
rp – Cordero $.5M
rp – Fry  $.5M
rp – Herrera $8.5M
rp – Marshall $1.3M
rp – Jose Ruiz $.5M
rp – J Cordero $.5M

Total Payroll ~$139M  I guess I’m not coming in quite at the 120M mark, but $139M puts us right around 14thth in payroll last season.  Jerry has pocketed enough money over these past 3 years that he can afford to “splurge” a bit in a sign of good faith to a fanbase that just wants to see a winning product.  Plus if the rumors that he advised his son to sell the team once he is gone is true, surely having a team that has a rejuvenated fanbase and a winning roster will drive that forbes valuation up. Right?!!?! Looking at our areas of weakness last season, RF finished with a -1.3 fWAR, if he clears our medical exam it doesn’t seem farfetched for Gregorious to put up a 3 win season.  DH was worth an incredible -3.5 fWAR for us last season, a 3 win season for Martinez also seems pretty reasonable to project.  That’s nearly an 11 win jump compared to last season for RF and DH with these changes. Toss in replacing Big Boss Ross Detwiler/the corpse of Earvin Santan/Dylan Covey/Manny Banuelos/Odrisamer Despaigne with a legit mid rotation arm in Jake Odorizzi for another added 4ish wins.  Suddenly you’ve got a team that could project for mid 80s wins and if progression by the young players outpaces regression from some of the overachievers last season, maybe a team finding itself in the 2nd wild card/AL Central race in September?

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Eagle Bones

Gregorius is an interesting one. I agree, I feel like there is going to be some upside on whatever deal he signs if he can just stay healthy. I wouldn’t bring him in to move Tim to RF, but I would like the idea of bringing him in (if the terms are somewhat favorable), moving he or Anderson to 2nd and then using Madrigal as ammo to fill another spot through trade.

PauliePaulie

I think Timmay’s bat loses a lot of value as a RF.

White Sox Wade

Love the idea of signing Gregorius, but not sure TA would be open to a move to RF based on his comments during the Machado chase last year.  If he would be willing to make the move, on paper he should be a plus defender, leading to a great lineup.  Nice job.