The Sox Machine 2019-20 Offseason Plan Project

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


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.

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As Cirensica

Cool… I have already started mine. Will post later on next week [hopefully].


It includes Grandal…AGAIN!!


(Note: You can spend more, but you’ll have to make the case to ownership.)

“Mr.Reinsdorf have you considered the price markup a World Series title will deliver when you consider selling the club to a Middle Eastern Sheik or a Russian Oligarch?”


We’re going full Japan, the team is now the Fly Emirates Sox


White Sox presented by Bud Light is the new official team name. Bud light logos will be on the Away Jerseys instead of “Chicago”


I’m down with OPP


Yeah you know me!



As Cirensica

Stupid question…I wanna bookmark the OPP link to all the plans like I did last year, but my brain is refusing to work this morning and I cannot figure out where to find the link. Can you please provide?


My favorite time of the off season is back! My ridiculous/will never happen Sox moves coming right up!


I can tell you now, I am pulling numbers out of my butt for these free agent contracts.

Josh Nelson

Oh, I think most of us are, Tex.

I am more confident in what the contracts will be for the top free agents comparing their value to the top end of the market:

Gerrit Cole: Scott Boras wants to break David Price’s record (7 years, $217 million) and AAV (Zack Greinke $34.5 million). So I’m thinking 7+ years and $35 million AAV will do the trick (7 years, $245 million)

Anthony Rendon: He may not get 8 years like Nolan Arenado, but could match his AAV of $32.5 million. Something like 6 years, $195 million would be a good base.

JD Martinez: If he opts out, his current deal is 3 years, $62.5 million. So any team would have to beat that.

Stephen Strasburg: Very strange deal. His remaining 4 years is for $100 million but broken down like this: $25 M, $15 M, $15 M, $45 M. Would Strasburg give up a $45 million salary in 2023? If you think so, then you’d need to beat at least 4 years, $100 million because that’s what he is tied to at the moment. If Boras wants Strasburg to receive a similar AAV to Cole, then a 4 year, $140 million deal could be possible. Although, injury history could scare teams.

Yasmani Grandal: Declined a four year, $60 million deal and opted for $18.25 million per season with the Brewers. I think anything close to $20 million AAV should do the trick.

I’m unsure about Madison Bumgarner, Zach Wheeler, Jake Odorizzi, Marcell Ozuna, Yaisel Puig, Nicholas Castellanos, etc. Those offers could have a wide range.

Eagle Bones

I saw some comping wheeler to Eovaldi from the other year. That seems like a decent starting point with wheeler probably coming in a bit above that.

Josh Nelson

That’s a good point, EB. A good floor for Wheeler would be 4 years, $68 million. Which, gosh, that would be right in the White Sox wheelhouse.

Josh Nelson

For example, we have this rumor for Marcell Ozuna which I would think would be crazy offer for his services.

Eagle Bones

Wow I was thinking something like maybe 5/100 for him. That seems way high given the defensive issues the last couple years.

Right Size Wrong Shape

But he does really well in the sophisticated “won a gold glove” metric the Sox used when evaluating McCann.


Lol no one is giving Ozuna 160 mil or 7 years. I think we are in for another drag-your-heals signing period anyway…


I’ll go all in that Ozuna isn’t getting $160/7. I’ll bet he doesn’t even get $100. He’s generally underperformed in his career and declined the last couple years. If I had to guess it would be 4/ $72. But, it was nice of his agent to weigh in with his dreams.


Yeah, more like half that. 4 years 75?


Time to spend Jerry’s Money!

Josh Nelson

Programming Note:

I will be asking some of you to record a segment with me later this week to discuss an aspect of your Offseason Plan for the Podcast on Monday.


I submitted a plan earlier today but I don’t see it in the Shop Talk section. Is there a delay or did I screw something up?

As Cirensica

Same here… I posted it this morning. Maybe there is a delay