It’s going to be a weird off-season, folks. This plan accounts for some of the uncertainty surrounding the upcoming season (and in the case of one free agent signing, cashes in on some of that uncertainty) while keeping the Sox on track to compete for a pennant in 2021.
- Nomar Mazara: $5.9M – Non-tender.
- Carlos Rodón: $4.5M – Non-tender.
- Lucas Giolito: $5.3M – Extend him. For the purposes of this plan, let’s say he gets $6M this year.
- Reynaldo López: $2.2M – Tender. If the Sox had kept Cooper, I would have non-tendered him, but perhaps another pitching coach can figure out a way to harness his stuff.
- Evan Marshall: $1.9M – Tender.
- Adam Engel: $1.4M – Tender.
- Jace Fry: $1M – Tender.
- Yolmer Sánchez: – Sign to minor league contract, $500K.
Write “pick up” or “decline” or “rework” after the option.
- Edwin Encarnación: $12M – Nope.
- Gio González: $7M ($500K buyout) – Nope.
- Leury García: $3.5M ($250K buyout) – Pick up.
OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS
Try to retain, or let go?
- Alex Colomé (Made $10,532,500 in 2020) – Let go.
- James McCann (Made $5.4M in 2020) – Let go.
- Jarrod Dyson (Made $2M in 2020) – Let go.
- Manager: Sandy Alomar Jr. I haven’t been able to muster up any excitement about the idea of AJ Hinch. Hopefully some of Francona has rubbed off on Alomar Jr.
- Pitching coach: Ethan Katz. If it worked for Giolito, maybe it’ll work for Cease, Lopez, etc.
No. 1: Mark Canha (two years $14 million). Obviously this isn’t entirely in Hahn’s control, but with the uncertainty surrounding payrolls, I think we might see a lot of otherwise tendered players get non-tendered this season. Canha’s projected arbitration value of $5-8 million might be a little too much for Oakland pay. Canha is right-handed, but his high OBP and negative platoon splits should make him a perfect fit to slot in to right field.
No. 2: Marcus Stroman (5 years, $100 million). Avoiding the Springer sweepstakes gives the White Sox the ability to go after the top non-Bauer starter on the market. Stroman is not an ace, but he should be a major stabilizing force in the rotation.
No. 3: Tyler Flowers (1 year, $4 million). This has been a very popular pick so far in the OPP, but it makes too much sense not to.
It’s going to be a hard off-season to make trades given the lack of a minor league season this year. This plan gives the flexibility payroll-wise to make a splash at the trade deadline if necessary.
Lineup ($66M) :
- Tim Anderson (SS)
- Yoan Moncada (3B)
- Jose Abreu (1B)
- Eloy Jimenez (LF)
- Yasmani Grandal (C)
- Luis Robert (CF)
- Mark Canha (RF)
- Andrew Vaughn (DH)
- Nick Madrigal (2B)
- Tyler Flowers (C)
- Adam Engel (OF)
- Yolmer Sanchez (IF)
- Leury Garcia (UTIL)
Starting Rotation ($48M):
- Lucas Giolito (RHP)
- Dallas Keuchel (LHP)
- Marcus Stroman (RHP)
- and 5. Dylan Cease / Dane Dunning / Michael Kopech / Reynaldo Lopez
- Aaron Bummer (LHP)
- Evan Marshall (RHP)
- Matt Foster (RHP)
- Cody Heuer (RHP)
- Jace Fry (LHP)
- Garret Crochet (LHP)
- Jimmy Cordero (RHP)
- Reynaldo Lopez / Dane Dunning / Dylan Cease / Michael Kopech
That brings us to a total salary of $131M for the season. Did this plan solve all the roster’s problems? No. The back end of the rotation could potentially be a disaster, but I’d kind of like to see what a new pitching coach might be able to do with Cease and Lopez. The bullpen is young and relatively unproven, but I like the arms and I don’t see an immediate need to invest in outside help. The lineup is still righty-heavy, but Canha’s reverse platoon splits and having two switch hitters on the bench help alleviate that problem to a degree.
At $131M, this plan is a little under budget, which gives the team some flexibility when it comes to deadline deals or mid-season free agent signings. (I imagine there will be some next year.) Let’s win a pennant.
I like your reasoning for keeping Lopez. I think the pitching coach is an inspired choice. The back end of the rotation scares me. I’d add Q to the mix. I don’t think he’s going to command a high price. You’re probably the only one to target Canha, but it too is an inspired choice.