White Sox Offseason Options: Designated hitter

Yonder Alonso

Would you believe that the White Sox got decent production from DH as recently as 2018? That seems crazy to me, since I don’t recall a good player getting regular at-bats there since Jim Thome. But maybe that’s just recency bias from watching a motley combination of players led by Yonder Alonso stumble to this ugly line in 2019:

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Just like right field, the Sox need a new DH. That’s why it’s next on our offseason shopping list.

IN-HOUSE OPTIONS
Zack Collins, Yermin Mercedes, Daniel Palka, Gavin Sheets? Andrew Vaughn??

For a position that was such a mystery spot last year, Ricky Renteria could have some surprisingly intriguing options even if the front office doesn’t add enough bats this offseason.

Collins had a .972 OPS over his last 10 games in 2019, which partially contributed to a .900 OPS in 55 plate appearances at DH on the season (compared to a .367 OPS in 40 PA at catcher). He still has a lot more to prove, but looked much more playable in September.

Many things would have to go wrong for Mercedes or Palka to get regular at-bats in April, but either would be intriguing – albeit for different reasons. Mercedes did nothing but crush in Charlotte and Birmingham last year, and he plays a fun, fiery brand of baseball packed that’s heightened by his Warren Newson-ish physique. Palka getting the job, meanwhile, would be the same kind of intriguing as a movie that purposefully alienates the audience to see how much they’ll endure before they walk out of the theater.

Sheets or Vaughn will both will need to rip the cover off the ball to get any real MLB playing time next year, but it’d be nice if they made a strong case and forced Rick Hahn into more tough service time decisions.

FREE AGENTS
There’s some overlap with right field here; at the risk of repeating myself, I’ve included a few players mentioned in that post here as well. The tiers work the same way they did there: I’ve broken the options in to categories based only on their 2019 performances. I also limited the pool to guys I could somewhat realistically see getting into at least 80ish games at DH (i.e. Didi Gregorious is probably signing to play shortstop somewhere, while Mark Trumbo is probably not healthy/productive enough to play that much).

Elite (6+ wins): None
All Stars (4-6 wins): None
Above-Average (2.5-4 wins): Nicholas Castellanos (2.8 fWAR), Edwin Encarnacion (2.5 – team option), Howie Kendrick (2.9), J.D. Martinez (3.2 – player option), Mike Moustakas (2.8)

Obviously Martinez is the cream of the crop here and I wouldn’t hesitate to give him $25 million per season. As a high-average hitter who’s managed to cut his K rate and raise his BB rate over the last few seasons, it seems unlikely that he’ll fall victim to the Yonder Alonso/Adam LaRoche/Adam Dunn curse that typically befalls new White Sox DH’s. A .300/.380/.550 line would look mighty pretty in the heart of the Sox order.

Encarnacion was quietly quite good between Seattle and New York last season, putting up a 129 wRC+ that would have been manna from heaven for the Sox lineup. His $20 million option seems a bit rich for that kind of production on a Yankees team with plenty of power elsewhere, but he’d be a great get for the Sox on a Nelson Cruz-type deal.

I hope for Moustakas’s sake that the market is kinder to him this offseason; I hope for the Sox’s sake it’s not. His bat isn’t as good as Encarnacion or Martinez, but his experience at 2B and 3B would be useful for an organization without much depth at either position. The same goes for Kendrick, though I wouldn’t count on him matching his career-high wRC+ in 2020.

Average (1.5-2.4 wins): Brian Dozier (1.7), Todd Frazier (1.9), Hunter Pence (1.8), Eric Thames (1.9 – team option)

Dozier and Frazier fit into the same bucket as Moustakas: not elite hitters, but good enough to take a chunk of DH at-bats while providing insurance at multiple other positions. I’m not sure that Frazier would love coming back to the South Side, but his skillset and age foretell a potentially slow market, so he might not have many choices.

Pence had a bounceback year as the Rangers’ DH but injuries ended his year at 83 games, and he hasn’t been both healthy and productive since 2014. If Thames hits the market, I like him here for the same reason I like him in right field: the dude takes walks and crushes baseballs.

Below Average (under 1.5 wins): Matt Adams (-0.1), Scooter Gennett (-0.5), Jedd Gyorko (-0.7), Corey Dickerson (1.0), Mitch Moreland (0.7), Justin Smoak (0.2), Stephen Vogt (0.9), Ryan Zimmerman (0.1 – team option)

Aside from Dickerson, all these guys require a lot of squinting to see them fixing the Sox’s DH problem. Adams hits dingers, but doesn’t do anything else well and really shouldn’t face lefties. Gennett and Gyorko are still cheaper versions of Moustakas/Dozier/Frazier; both are coming off miserable seasons, but were solid in 2017-2018.

Signing Moreland or Smoak would show the Sox learned nothing from Yonder Alonso, which would actually be reassuring in a “time is just a slow march towards death” sort of way. Zimmerman seems likely to finish his career in Washington one way or another, which is fine because he’s bad now anyway. Vogt is actually a low-key very fun player, but he also provides exactly what the Sox will likely hope to get from Zack Collins in 2020.

THE TRADING BLOCK
Shin-Soo Choo (1.7), Clint Frazier (0.1), Yuli Gurriel (3.2), Trey Mancini (3.6), Domingo Santana (0.0), Kyle Schwarber (2.6), Dominic Smith (0.8), Jorge Soler (3.6)

Pairing the raw power of Soler and Eloy Jimenez would be a hell of a lot of fun, though I’m skeptical the Royals move him even with only two years of team control remaining. I also doubt the Cubs trade Schwarber despite the artificial payroll constraints that ownership seems intent on imposing.

Mancini and Smith probably offer the best combination of offensive upside, age, and team control among trade market options. Given his poor defense and the Orioles’ weak farm system, Mancini might be acquirable without touching the Sox’s top prospects. However, I’d be wary of buying too high after a career-best season. Smith was a top-100 prospect in 2016-17, but didn’t establish himself in the majors until last year, during which he posted a 133 wRC+ in 197 plate appearances. He can’t really play any position except first base where he’s stuck behind Pete Alonso, so his market would be an interesting one if the Mets decide to move him for help elsewhere.

I’m not sure what the Astros will due with Gurriel. He’s coming off a great year, but his career norms would make him the worst hitter in an Astros lineup that needs to make room for Kyle Tucker somewhere. He also has a weird contract that pays him $8.5 million in 2020, then sends him to arbitration for his age-37 season in 2021.

Choo has one year left on his contract at a hefty $21 million. However, that means it wouldn’t cost much talent to get him, and he remains an above-average hitter who would inject some much needed OBP into the Sox lineup. Santana pairs big power with lots of strikeouts and a meat cleaver for a glove; Frazier remains an enigma.

A WILD CARD
Yoshitomo Tsutsugo

The Yokohama DeNA BayStars posting Tsutsugo adds an interesting wrinkle to the OF/DH market. Tsutsugo is only 27 and has certainly done all he can in the JPL:

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It’s hard to guess what the market will be for an older, non-elite Japanese prospect, and the complicated new posting fee rules make projecting things even muddier. I’ve seen the unsubstantiated scuttlebutt about Tsutsugo taking a minor league deal, but that would be extremely shocking. Yusei Kikuchi was sort of a pitching version of Tsutsugo in terms of age and JPL performance, and got 4 years/$56 million guaranteed last offseason. Corner bats are worth obviously less valuable than starting pitchers, but I’d imagine he at least exceeds the 4 years/$16 million that Pittsburgh paid for Jung Ho Kang in 2015. That probably makes him a medium-risk bet for a team that’s smarter and/or has more room for error than the White Sox.

Author

  • Greg Nix

    Greg Nix writes stuff all over the internet, and sometimes even on TV. He loves the White Sox and the Phoenix Suns even though they bring him nothing but pain.

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texag10

This would be a lot easier if Mercedes had gotten any meaningful ABs in September

knoxfire30

the allotment of at bats going to pure dead weight as oppose to a few guys like mercedes and collins who may actually have a future with the sox was criminal in 2019.

Trooper Galactus

I get the impression they sacrificed potential MLB assessment of fringe prospects just so they could try to avoid 90 losses (which, way to go…sorta).

joewho112

Mercedes feels like one of those guys who will suck on the Sox but some other team (most likely: Oakland, Tampa, Yankees) will pick him up and he’ll hit 40 hr in one year

lil jimmy

I feel, as many here do, that you sign Yasmani Grandal. Then rotate him along with Collins, McCann, and Abreu, through the DH position.

GoGoSoxFan

I agree. Spend the $25 million it will take to get Martinez on a second stud starting pitcher.

karkovice squad

I haven’t figured out cost but I think I’d lean towards still getting a DH, too, and, having completely blocked him with Vaughn coming up behind, trading Collins.

Patrick Nolan

Yup, this idea is good.

Josh Nelson

I just have a bad feeling that Grandal and Milwaukee are going to work out a new deal to keep him in a Brewers uniform.

I’m very confident JD Martinez is opting out though.

Trooper Galactus

Yeah, but are you confident the White Sox sign him if he does?

Denman

I really don’t see how the White Sox fail to sign Martinez. He’s a perfect fit for the clean-up hitter they were looking for all last season. He’s of Cuban/American heritage and loves sharing his knowledge of hitting with younger players (Moncada,Robert,Jimenez, listen up; Anderson, Collins, you too). Most of all, the number of teams who be willing and able to top the $62.5MM/3yrs he’ll give up by opting out is small: No NL teams, no teams in early rebuild mode, no contending teams who already have a DH. As I see it,White Sox would only need to out-bid Tampa Bay, Texas, Seattle and maybe Toronto. $75/3yrs should land him.

Trooper Galactus

I don’t think it takes much imagination to see how the White Sox don’t sign Martinez.

Eagle Bones

Do we really want them PLANNING to give DH ABs to McCann and Collins? I mean, I’m not saying that won’t happen, but I’m not sure I’d be happy if that’s Plan A. Given the additional roster spot, seems like it should be easier to carry a bat only player than it was before. I’d like to at least add a boring long-half-of-platoon guy. Not like those guys cost much anyway.

PauliePaulie

What would you do with Collins?

Eagle Bones

Either start him at AAA as a depth piece or trade him for help at another position.

PauliePaulie

Fair enough.

Smclean09

I think the point of it when I threw it out a while ago was that you can evaluate Collins in an almost everyday role and keep Jose/MCcann/Grandal fresh.

Even if they save 10 mil on a platoon DH and Collins flops, they should be able to acquire a prorated similar contract for little at the deadline. Use that money/prospect capital somewhere else where it will make a bigger difference.

Eagle Bones

They’d have to do a lot at other positions to make that plan make sense to me. I just dont see how collins did enough this year for them to not bring in someone at that spot.

Denman

DH just isn’t a spot for a player in his first full season in the Majors. Guys such as Cruz, Martinez and Encarnacion know how to DH. They have made themselves professional hitters.As the experience with Dunn and LaRoche illustrates, learning to DH is very much like learning a new position.

As Cirensica

This is one heck of an idea. It just tackles several issues with one signing. Hahn needs to do this.

roke1960

I would like to see the Sox sign both Grandal and Martinez. But if you sign them both to 3-4 years, I’m betting that the 31-year old catcher who caught 137 games last year and who the Dodgers didn’t trust behind the plate in the World Series would be more likely to experience a quicker decline than the 32-year old DH. And if Grandal has to take more ABs at DH, that low .800s OPS doesn’t look so good there.

roke1960

I agree. I was just posting that as a response to a comment below that cherry-picked a one-year bad stat. I like Grandal and I hope the Sox sign him, but if you dig hard enough, you can find something bad about any player.

anthonyprinceton

I would be thrilled if they signed Grandal. However, I would prefer they sign Jason Castro at a fraction of the price, resign Abreu and then go get a competent RF and a good starting pitcher. Collins needs AB’s as it would be ridiculous to give up on him after 102 MLB PA’s.

Eagle Bones

If they can’t get Grandal, I love Castro as a backup plan.

knoxfire30

For me the market is JD Martinez or bust. Get an elite bat if its gonna be a guy who is only a DH. Otherwise preserve the lineup flexibility, let a rotation of Abreu, McCann, Collins, Grandal (priority 1 ) occupy 1b, C, DH . With the added roster spot this should be a good way to go.

So Palka’s season was supposed to be like James Incandenza’s “The Joke”. Well, at least I get it now.

Patrick Nolan

Not my first choice, but if the Sox go big (lol) in right field and the starting rotation, I do like Moreland as the long half of a platoon DH.

Eagle Bones

While JD Mart wouldn’t be my first choice in terms of a big contract to hand out, I think he’s really the only one at the top of the market that makes sense.

If they don’t go that route, I’d prefer to get a LH hitter who mashes righties and can play a non-embarrassing LF (to take Eloy off his feet a couple days a week). Dickerson, Choo, Thames (though I don’t see why the Brewers would let him go) all fit the bill.

roke1960

JD is far and away the best pure DH to hit the market in awhile. He would definitely be worth $25 million per for 3 or 4 years. His work with Betts and Bogaerts would mean help for Yoan, Eloy, Timmy and Robert. It should be a no-brainer. Plus there are probably only 4-5 other teams who will be in on him. Go get him Rick.

PauliePaulie

Does JD’s .250 point OPS drop vs RHP compared to ’17/’18 at age 32 give you any pause on that $100mil contract?

roke1960

Absolutely not. If you dig into any players history long enough, you can find big differences in some category. I would be concerned that Grandal’s 100+ walks this year is an extreme outlier and he will settle back down into his career norm. But that wouldn’t stop me from going hard after him. JD is a proven big bat. Year to year fluctuations happen.

PauliePaulie

And what are you doing with Collins?

HallofFrank

You missed Yonder Alonso as an option. He should be a good buy-low candidate. 

Trooper Galactus

Flagged.

egib52

I think this offseason is going to be a really tough offseason to just talent for a power hitter. Everyone’s numbers were inflated because of the baseball. So if MLB goes back to the old ball, and HR totals come back down I think that really changes the outlook of many of these power hitters. Castellanos for instance probably at best looks more like the Tigers version than the Cubs version. I wonder also what the regression for someone like Soler will look like.

zerobs

Castellanos had no lineup protection at all in Detroit.

PauliePaulie

Keep it in-house and let DH work itself out. They have so many potential league minimum options, spending big $ or prospects on an outside acquisition would be a misallocation of resources.

roke1960

Going into 2020 with the DH options as Palka, Collins and Mercedes is a recipe for disaster. And when we put Eloy or Abreu there to give them a day off in the field, who do you replace them with at 1st or lf? Another below average offensive weapon.

PauliePaulie

I’m not. I’ve been pushing for Grandal since April. So he and McCann are also in the DH mix, along with potential RF stopgap solution.
So there are short and long-term contingincies for flops.

Eagle Bones

Are we really thinking McCann’s bat is going to warrant DH ABs next year?

knoxfire30

If he repeats a 780-790 ops type season it does. Especially when you consider keeping two catchers fresh with some type of Grandal/McCann catching duty platoon probably benefits them both offensively.

Trooper Galactus

That kinda feels like a really big “if”.

PauliePaulie

VS. LHP, Yes.

Right Size Wrong Shape

I’d rather my catchers get real days off. I don’t know how much of McCann’s second half had to do with wearing down and how much was just a return to prior performance.

oldtimer

I agree. If McCan is the primary catcher he should just sit or pinch hit on off days.  I think he did wear down.

roke1960

But none of them come close to a perennial .900+ OPS, 35 home run guy to put in between Yoan and Eloy in the heart of the lineup.

knoxfire30

Thats a high bar.

I like JD a lot, I just love Grandal. Certainly be happy with either.

roke1960

So would I.

PauliePaulie

That’s why they don’t come with the risk of $100mil and a draft pick, Roke.

roke1960

I agree. But to me, it’s worth it. The upside is worth the risk. Besides, it’s not my money!

Eagle Bones

Why not Grandal AND a Choo or Dickerson? Depth is good. I just have a hard time banking on that kind of offense from McCann again. And it’s not like these bat-only guys are getting paid. They should be able to get someone like that on a reasonable one-year deal.

PauliePaulie

Because I want to give Collins 3 months of DH AB’s vs. RHP. I believe he deserves a shot.
If he fails, Sheets could get a chance, or, if the team looks like a contender, trading for a Righty Masher at the deadline is an option that won’t cost much.

Eagle Bones

I just dont see why you dont go after at least a cheapish vet to put ahead of collins. If that guy flops or gets hurt you can go to collins. If collins sucks there’s no one worth anything to turn to until the deadline. The odds that hes better than a choo or Dickerson seems pretty slim.

PauliePaulie

I’m sticking to the spirit of a complete teardown rebuild. Where the development of the players and strength of the prospect pipeline dictates next steps.
This was a 70 win season where they used cheap vets (Alonso, Jay) and castoffs (Reed) to block prospect AB’s needlessly.

I’m of the mind that the 2020 season is the last year of player development for the ML club of the future as well as the minor league trade assets of the next 12 months.
I wouldn’t sign anyone that blocks potential home grown answers.
TL/DR- If he fails for 3 months, who cares. This team hasn’t shown me they’re close enough to contentionto fret it.

PauliePaulie

Then use the $ to try and lock-up Moncada, Giolito, Robert, Madrigal or anyone else who has “earned” full-time duty.
Better than conceding their imminant departure and blowing coin on 32 yo DH’s, ill-fitting RF’s or other “now” answers, trying to force something that isn’t there yet and certainly shortening any competitive window that does open.

PauliePaulie

PS- People gave Hahn a lot os shit for worrying too much about 2025 with the non-promotion of Jimenez and their excuses on coming up short for Machado.
Now everybody is using ’24-’26 as an excuse to sign a bunch of FA’s to try to get a 70 win team to the playoffs next year.

Trooper Galactus

Replacement level players at DH, RF, and in the fifth rotation spot would have made them about a 75+ win team, so the idea that adding some average or better players here and there could propel them to the playoffs isn’t exactly crazy.

roke1960

So you’re complaining about signing a 32-year old DH, but you’re all in on signing a 31-year old catcher? Doesn’t make sense. How much will Grandal be catching in 3 years?

Eagle Bones

I look forward to reading your offseason plan sir.

PauliePaulie

Ha. There’s a lot to it. And I’m not expecting too many upvotes.

roke1960

There is no book on a complete teardown rebuild, and if there is, then the Sox should add big this year, just as one of the most successful complete teardown teams, the Cubs, did after a 67-win season.

oldtimer

Hopefully if they do sign a JD and a solid offensive RF to go with Robert and Madrigal. A 730 to 750 OPS catcher is then OK. It’s not OK if your line up has two or three other holes!

Amar

I think you’re misinterpreting the “free” in free agent.

egib52

That has worked so well for the last 11 years.

joewho112

So if RF produced -1.3 fWAR and DH produced -3.5 fWAR, replacing those positions with 2 2-WAR players would represent nearly a 9 WAR swing. Somehow catcher only produced 0.8 fWAR even with McCann’s big year (bad defense/framing killed them. For comparison, Grandal was worth 5.2).

Toss in a couple of above average SP’s and it’s not hard to see a contender.

HallofFrank

It is telling, though, that Dayan produced replacement-level or better all but one year with the White Sox (his last). And, unlike early Dayan, there’s really no reason to think our current RFs will improve.

This is the only position that I would be legitimately shocked if Rick Hahn doesn’t get someone who projects to be *at least* a 1-2 win player. 

As Cirensica

The problem was that we went from Viciedo to worse….and then WORSE!

Neat_on_the_rocks

For me DH is pretty simple. Its JD martinez or a cheap bad 1 year stop gap tier veteran.

The problem is that After JD martinez, hardly anyone hanging around the market represents a sizable enough improvement at DH to justify taking away a ton of Collins’ opportunities, especially with Vaughn looming and Abreu likely to resign.

If you arent gonna get a stud for that position, I think you’re better off spending your money on SP/SP/RF and praying to the baseball gods that Collins turns out OK. If you can get Dickerson or Moreland on a 1 year deal, great.

Grandal is the wildcard option that I would certainly support as well, though hes technically not a sole answer to DH.

Eagle Bones

Maybe I’m crazy, but people seem to be ignoring Collins’ massive downside. He could very easily end next season with a sub-.700 OPS if you run him out there everyday. They really should not be leaning on him for full-time ABs going into next season. I don’t really consider myself anti-Collins, but I don’t like the idea of him being penciled in for regular playing time to start the season.

joewho112

Given the number of holes, the Sox are going to have to roll the dice on some of their solutions. Even if they add $60-70M to next year’s payroll, there are going to be gaps that need to be filled internally or very cheaply. Collins is a better bet to be a hitter than any of their pitching and non-Robert OF prospects are to contribute next year. Not a good bet but a better one.

I’d focus on 2 SP’s and RF before DH

Eagle Bones

When you say add 60-70 mil of payroll, which number are you adding that to? I’d expect them to run a payroll well over 100 mil if they’re actually trying to contend. I’m not sure if you’ve actually out pen to paper on an offseason plan yet, but I’ve done some back of napkin math and I’m coming in with a payroll under $125 mil while filling pretty much every hole on the roster. Let’s stop making excuses for the FO. If they’re serious about winning they shouldnt be splitting hairs on a couple mil for a real DH. This is probably the cheapest position to fill these days.

PauliePaulie

I’d be interested to know if anyone who’s pushing next year’s payroll over $120mil has done an honest assessment of what that $ becomes in ’22 and ’23.

Eagle Bones

Rick is that you?

PauliePaulie

It was funnier the first time.
You either think the Sox will carry $170mil payrolls, you have shorter term FA’s or you expect to see Giolito, Kopech, Anderson, Jimenez and Moncada on the trading block in ’23.

Eagle Bones

I’m not sure where you’re getting that random number, but let’s assume for a second that’s the case (that they’d need to run that high a payroll to keep the team together and keep adding). Is that really so ridiculous? IIRC they’ve edged up on $130 mil before and that was like a decade ago, so think added inflation. If they go up to something like $120-130 mil this year and have a good year, do we really expect them to not add payroll the following year to try to improve the product and do better? I mean I have my doubts too with this ownership group, but if they really are that stubborn then we all might as well find another hobby because this is completely not worth our time and/or money.

The average payroll this year was $137 mil and I believe the luxury tax line is like $208 mil or something. There is no reason they shouldn’t be able to run a payroll in the area you’re talking about. Again, I don’t blame you or anyone for being skeptical, but if the plan is really to peter on with these minuscule payrolls every year and keep the team just good enough to make a shit ton of profit, then I have a feeling my fandom will be ending in the next couple of years.

roke1960

Very well stated, Eagle Bones.

PauliePaulie

I’m talking about $170mil payrolls just to keep the present unit, + the FA’s you propose they add this year, intact.

Giolito, Jimenez, Anderson and Moncada will add $40mil in arb and contract increases alone.
So adding FA’s after the ’20 season would be on top of that and whatever homegrown talent find themselves reaching arb as well. (Lopez?, Cease?, Robert?, Madrigal?, Bummer?)
If that # seems reasonable to you, that’s fine. I’m skeptical.
And I agree on this rebuild possibly being their last shot at keeping me as a fan.

roke1960

I am very skeptical, too, but there is precedence for Jerry going over league average salaries. And as I said earlier, they will probably lose one or two of their guys to free agency. Every team does. I don’t think they’ll sign anyone this winter to more than 4 years, and maybe only one that long. So there will be money available in 2022-24 to resign their players and pay arbitration raises.

Denman

The White Sox have proven fairly skilled at negotiating team friendly contracts and avoiding arbitration. So, the huge salaries for the core young talent isn’t a given. With JD Martinez, you’re looking a  3 or 4 year commitment at most; with Dickerson or Calhoun, probably a one or two year deal. None of the free agents being discussed is in a position to command really long term deals.

roke1960

I’ve been a Sox fan for 50+ years, and have seen worse times than this. I’m not sure there is anything that could keep me from being a fan.

roke1960

In 2011, the Sox had a payroll of almost $128 million. If they put together a few good years, I could easily see their payroll top $150 million by 2022-2023. And yes, I would expect them to lose at least one of Giolito, Kopech, Anderson, Jimenez or Moncada to free agency. No one signs all of their free agents.

Right Size Wrong Shape

Don’t forget all of the money that they didn’t spend the last few years that we were told would be put back into the team, which in my mind should be in addition to at least a league average payroll.

roke1960

Between 2005-2011, the White Sox payroll was above the league average every year, with 4 of those years being more than $20 million above the league average. So, yes, I would expect $150-$170 million payrolls by 2022. It would not be unprecedented for the Sox to do that.

PauliePaulie

True, RightSize. They should have $80mil-$100mil banked. Giving them $20mil, or so, extra, for 4 or 5 years, excluding possible playoff $.

lil jimmy

I think we see 160-175 million payroll in the next four years.

Trooper Galactus

…combined?

anthonyprinceton

It certainly would be crazy to not give Collins regular AB’s next year at the MLB level. Hahaha No team in baseball should be giving up on a 24yr old, 10th pick in the draft after 102 PA’s at the MLB level. Certainly not a rebuilding team. He hit at AAA this past season and when he was recalled Collins hit .233/.343/.417, 102 wRC+. He could certainly bust or he could be the Sox DH/1B/C for the next decade. However, you won’t find out until he gets regular MLB AB’s.

Eagle Bones

I didnt say give up on him. I said put some depth in front of him so hes not the only option in case he fails, which is a very real possibility.

metasox

So is the expectation in this exercise that the Sox are going all in next yr or are they rebuilding?

Neat_on_the_rocks

I’ve been a big time Doubter of Zach Collins, I’m absolutely not sold on him.

But if hes gonna be on the roster, I’d rather give him a shot than give somebody like Todd Frazier 300+ ABs at DH, for example. And more importantly I dont think its worth giving some middling DH money when that money could be spent elsewhere.

Eagle Bones

Or Jerry could stop hoarding the cash. Were not talking about an 8 figure contract here in all likelihood.

GoGoSoxFan

“Jerry could stop hoarding the cash”

Pass that thing my way EB.

Eagle Bones

You’re right to be skeptical but the least we could do is stop arguing on his behalf.

mevale

I think Mercedes really deserves a shot. He has power and has proven to be able to hit at every level he’s played at. Would it really hurt to give him a shot?

Eagle Bones

As Plan A? Yes. He’s a guy that should get a shot if Plan A (and maybe Plan B) fails.

MrStealYoBase

I see other people mentioning it, but I’m going to throw my support for Grandal as target #1. He walks, doesn’t strike out, and provides big defensive value. He wouldn’t cost as much as JDM, giving them additional flexibility to pursue two starters. He lets them platoon the DH position between Collins and McCann, allowing both of those guys to maximize their positive contributions. If that doesn’t work out, there’s always 1B/DH bats for cheap on the trade market for a mid-season upgrade.

Not to mention, besides JDM, he’s the best bat of the lot for a team that desperately needs one.

35Shields

Since the White Sox FO won’t do anything competent with the DH spot, my offseason plan will feature Paul Konerko coming out of retirement to DH. He’s only 16 HRs off of the Frank’s franchise record and 154 Gs beyond Appling’s franchise record.

soxfaninstl

Great article Greg…..While having JD in the lineup would make the Sox more dangerous, I don’t see this move as a priority. Along with others, I would prefer attempting to sign Grandal, and using internal options or a short term (1 year contract) acquisition in 2020 for the DH position. I may be wrong but Collins looked significantly different to me on his second call-up. He was elevating the ball with fewer strikeouts. I believe he has a chance. If Abreu gets resigned, and we know that he will, first base and DH are covered effectively for the foreseeable future with Vaughn and Sheets on the way.
As we all know the Sox need starting pitching (Keuchel, Wheeler?) and that should be their #1 and #2 funding priorities with Grandal behind that. In RF I would like to see someone that can field and throw, provides a veteran presence for Robert and Jiménez, bats left and can hit for decent average with 15 -20 homers. Josh Reddick? Watching Palka, JD, Castellanos or Jose Martinez for the Cardinals trying to play right field has sold me on the importance of defense in right.

Denman

I agree on the need for a right-fielder who is a capable fielder. Both Calhoun and Dickerson have won GGs; but neither provides the consistent offense to fill the hole at DH. Signing JD for DH would make it easier to focus on defense when filling the outfield hole. Grandal may cost almost as much as Martinez and is likely to command more than 3yrs guaranteed. I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing Grandal in a White Sox uniform but I do think there’s an advantage to having a Harold Baines, Edgar Martinez, Nelson Cruz kind of professional hitter in the DH spot.