Podcast: Hello, Edwin Encarnacion

Chicago White Sox delivered a nice holiday gift with the reported signing of Edwin Encarnacion. What are the positive aspects of adding the veteran slugger, how it will impact the DH rotation, and what could be possible red flags? 

Plus, we take a look at the available free-agent relievers, give our 2020 New Year resolutions, and answer your questions in P.O. Sox. 

Presented by Visit Arizona. 

Click play below to listen:

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As Cirensica

Who sings that “Encarnacion” clip at the opening? Josh? Jim?….

As Cirensica

That’s a great pronunciation. I have a feeling Jack Black speak Spanish very well


Great intro to the podcast. Cracked me up.


A common sentiment I’ve heard since the EE  signing is that there remains a pretty significant gap between the Twins and Sox positionally (though maybe not in pitching) Jim alluded to it on the podcast today, and this was the general thrust of that Twinkie article about not being afraid of the Sox. If the Twins sign Donaldson, yes, this is clearly true. If not, I’m not so sure.

2019 fWAR; 2020 Steamer Proj. fWAR
(Note: The “” symbols correspond to steamer *projections.* I used “=” for difference of 0.3 WAR, “>” for difference of 0.9 or less, “>>” for 1.0-1.9, and “>>>” for 2.0+.)

C – Grandal (5.2; 4.9) (+ McCann proj. 5.1)  >>> Garver (3.9; 1.8) (+ Avila proj. 2.9)
1B – Abreu (1.9; 1.8) > Avila? Free Agent?   
2B – Madrigal (n/a; 1.6) < Arraez (2.1 in 92 g; 2.5)
SS – Anderson (3.5; 2.0) > Sano (2.7; 3.0)
LF – Eloy (1.9; 2.6)  >> Marwin Gonzalez (1.4; 1.3)
CF – Robert (n/a; 2.4) << Buxton (2.7 in 89 g; 3.2)
RF – Mazara (0.9; 1.4) <<< Kepler (4.4; 3.5) 
DH – Encarnacion (2.5; 1.9) << Cruz (4.3; 2.9)
Non-Catcher Bench – Sox (0.6) = Twins (0.5)

The totals here have the Sox projected at around 23.4 and the Twins (without a 1B) at 22.6. Clearly, who the Twins get to play 1B (or another position and shift Sano there) could move the needle considerably (i.e. Donaldson).

Granted, this is only one way to slice the pie. It's only one stat and, gun to my head, I probably still prefer the Twinkies here. But this suggests to me that the gap is pretty narrow, if it exists at all. And, although the Twins have their share of youngsters, the Sox have more and, it should be added, more prospect clout poised for a possible breakout. 

All this to say: am I missing something here? 

As Cirensica

Well done, however, you missed Moncada…no less

You also compared Anderson with Sano (?!?). That Eloy projection is really poor. Eloy will hit 40 bombs this year.


I’m not sure what happened here. I’m almost sure I had Moncada paired with Sano and Anderson with Polanco, but alas. The totals are still correct, I believe. 


The Twins were historic with their HR hitting last year. Not only the 307 total HR hit, but also the fact that they had 5 guys hit 30+ HR.

They already lost 60 HR to FA with Cron, Schoop, and Castro playing elsewhere. If you think they win 100+ games again you have to believe that they can repeat a historic offensive output, and that’s only getting more difficult to forecast.

In reality, I don’t think their true talent is better than 90 wins, especially if they don’t firm up that rotation. They were projected for a mid-80s win total last year and played out of their minds. Yes, they are still better than the Sox, but it’s well within a standard deviation.


Frank I agree as usual. They might be ahead, but not by very much, assuming they don’t sign Donaldson.  I feel like It’s going to boil down to starting pitching. The twins still need to fill out their rotation and even though we know who will be getting the ball with the Sox, there is a lot of uncertainty with their rotation as well.  I’m an optimist and think Cease and Lopez can take steps forward this year and I’m confident that the new FA SPs will not be disasters.  Giolito says he’ll be even better this year and I’m inclined to believe him. Also, Twins absurd offensive production in 2019 has to face some regression doesn’t it? 


The Twins could be facing some major regression. Their home run hitting became contagious last year- if they don’t get off to a great start their total could easily drop by 70 or more. And that starting staff- Berrios and Odorizzi are fine, but Pineda is out for 2 months, and their other options right now are pretty bad. To get a quality starter, they are going to have to trade from their prospects, something they have been loathe to do. And I have a hard time believing Donaldson would pick the Twins over the Nats, even if the Braves don’t get involved. If Twins fans aren’t worried, they should be.

Brett R. Bobysud

With Keuchel now official, who gets dropped from the 40 man in order to make room for Encarnacion?

As Cirensica

I will go with Medeiros


I think the Keuchel signing puts the 40-man at 40. And it is really refreshing to see that there are not many bad players on the 40-man. The Sox still need to add Edwin, Madrigal and Robert. Plus a likely FA reliever and possibly a platoon bat for rf and a backup infielder.. That would put it up to 46. I think 4 likely casualties are Covey, Medeiros, Ruiz and Zevala. That would leave 2. If they add another outfielder, I could definitely see them moving Engel. What does everyone else think?

Trooper Galactus

Covey needs to be taken off the 40-man. If somebody else is actually willing to take him off waivers, oh well. He’s 28 years old. He’s somehow been given 63 appearances and 41 starts over the last three seasons. He’s been demonstrably terrible by every possible measure, both traditional and new school. He’s been given a helluva lot more chances to succeed than pitchers with a lot more invested in them (Carson Fulmer in particular) without really earning said chance.

At least with Medeiros, Ruiz, and Zavala one could maybe fool themselves into believing there’s still something there waiting to prove itself useful. The only thing Covey has proven is that he’s not.


Collins is a heck of a “plan B” to have in AAA. I’d imagine he’s the first guy up if there is an injury to Abreu, Grandal, Encarnacion, or McCann.

The depth elsewhere on the diamond could still be improved, but at least they have C, 1B, and DH covered.


I like that we should have fun Josh and Jim especially after such a long winning drought.
DH is extremely important in addition to 30 plus homers Edwin’s bat will protect whoever hits ahead of him in the lineup. I’d prefer that Renteria use Edwin to protect Tim Anderson whichever spot he’s in.
Two players not mentioned anywhere for Rick Hahn to add both being upgrades and money well spent.
Matt Boyd LHP the Tigers may just want cash from JR. He has shown improvement each year physically, 3 years control, and would be aided by lefty’s Keuchel and Gonzalez. Just needs to stay away from the middle of the zone to reduce HRs.
Starling Castro 3yrs 20 million to add power plus infielder depth. Be a nice homecoming back to Chicago, he played flawless 3B,SS,2B and still mashes lefty’s. Love to see him win a world series.
Happy New year.

Eagle Bones

A little surprised you all aren’t higher on Harris. He seems like the clear best pen option out there. Other than velocity, I like everything about him (grounders, Ks, whiffs, high spin guy, controls contact quality well, etc).


Yeah, I thought the same thing. The 2019 ERA was lower than it should have  been and I think he’s starting to decline a bit, but it’s hard to see how he’s not an above average reliever in both years of a two-year deal. And, with the possible exception of Bummer, he’d probably be the best reliever the Sox have. 

As Cirensica

Great job Josh. You eloquence when speaking about White Sox or baseball is really fantastic. No many people can do that. It shouldn’t go unnoticed.


Thanks for posting this link-you did a great job Josh!