The White Sox just made the postseason for the first time since 2008, had the first winning season since 2012, and made the wild card for the first time ever(? I think). It’s time to spend some money to make this team a legitimate contender, instead of one that collapses in the last week and a half of the season because a combination of lack of depth and injury returns (and probably several other things).
- Nomar Mazara: $5.6M | $5.9M | $5.7M – nontender
- Carlos Rodón: $4.5M | $4.5M | $4.5M – nontender
- Lucas Giolito: $2.5M | $5.3M | $2.5M – tender at $5.3M
- Reynaldo López: $1.7M | $2.2M | $1.7M – tender at $2M
- Evan Marshall: $1.3M | $1.9M | $1.4M – tender at $1.9M
- Adam Engel: $1M | $1.4M | $1M – tender at $1.2M
- Jace Fry: $800K | $1M | $800K – tender at $1M
- Yolmer Sánchez: Uncertain – nontender
I assume some of these numbers will average out to being approximately correct, given I took the higher and lower of some of these numbers. Giolito seems to be always exceeding or meeting pretty high expectations, so he’ll command a high number. Meanwhile, Lopez might not quite make it to the $2.2M at the highest, who really knows.
- Edwin Encarnación: $12M – decline
- Gio González: $7M ($500K buyout) – buyout
- Leury García: $3.5M ($250K buyout) – buyout
Not worth the money in any cases.
OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS
- 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
As much as I wanted Dyson to stick with the team, his contract is too big for the contributions he brought to the team. As for the other two, overrated. (Just kidding, Colomé and McCann deserve more than the White Sox have under a $135M restriction, so they must go. Also McCann deserves a starting job.)
Manager: James Rowson – Marlins current bench coach, and former hitting coach for the Twins. I know nothing about managers, but skimming some articles, he seems great, especially if he can unlock some of the power from the White Sox lineup.
Pitching coach: Ruben Niebla – Cleveland’s current assistant pitching coach. I also know nothing about pitching coaches, but he works for Cleveland, and whatever they’re doing is working, and I want it to work for the White Sox too.
Masahiro Tanaka (three years, $60 million). A bit of a decrease from his giant contract with the Yankees, but I think more in line with expectations. And since he’s going to be 32 soon, a good amount of security for him in his potential decline years.
Michael Brantley (two years, $35 million). The lefty power bat, or lefty bat at all, that will fill out the lineup.
Mark Melancon (two year, $20 million). He was still great last year, and at 35 would probably be willing to take a short term deal for less money. He can replace Colomé.
Kiké Hernandez (two years, $16 million; $10 team option). Plays basically every position, can come off the bench to bat, is generally not terrible, once convinced his minor league coach that he didn’t speak English. What’s not to like? Also serves as a better Leury Garcia. Speaking of…
Leury Garcia (one year, $2 million). A slight increase from his 2019 salary, but a decrease from his 2020 salary. Seems fair for a very versatile, and oft-injured, player.
Tyler Flowers (one year, $3 million). A bit of a pay cut from the $4 he took from Atlanta, but he was also slightly worse and slightly more aged. But between him and the up and coming catchers, they probably have to catch about 60 or so games so Grandal can have legs in the playoffs or even nearing the end of the season.
Eric Thames (minor league deal). Why not? Lefty power bat with a down year, and I doubt he’d get any major league interest. Could be awesome!
With no information coming out of Schaumburg, and the White Sox needing any minor league depth they can get out of their system, there should be no trades until the deadline. Or if you can swindle something out of baseball’s Bill O’Brien.
If my math is all right, that should come out to about $150 million total ($149 million and change if my calculator skills are still working). I don’t think any team should be playing around if they’re where the White Sox are, and can compete if ownership would actually spend any money. Plus, as has been stated and tweeted many times, these owners don’t make their money at the gate, they make their money on TV deals. And with an assumed bit of a playoff bump, plus Reinsdorf willing to fire people like Renteria, Cooper, and seemingly the entire Bulls front office, hopefully he’s willing to open his ~$1.5 billion pockets.
This roster is still imperfect and lacks a “true” right fielder and more left handed bats beyond Brantley. Hopefully Moncada can return closer to his 2019 form in 2021 to supplement the left handed bats in the lineup, but we have no idea what COVID does to the body long term, so maybe 2020 is just the baseline expectations for Moncada now. I prioritized depth over going for the as many lefties as I could.
Someone like Joc Pederson would be nice too, if he would accept a low ball deal for a year to platoon with Adam Engel, but I doubt he would. On a White Sox team that spends like the market it plays in, he replaces Garcia. But he hasn’t looked terrible with the Dodgers because they know exactly when and where to deploy him, and I’m not sure the White Sox could do that.
If I had gone for the $135 million, I would cut Tanaka and Hernandez, and sign someone like popular choice Jose Quintana on a one year deal for $4-5 million. And maybe sign Jeff Samardzija on a minor league deal for the lolz.
Roster, in alphabetical order except the rotation and Melancon.
- Abreu – 1B
- Anderson – SS
- Brantley – DH
- Grandal – C
- Hernandez – RF
- Jimenez – LF
- Madrigal – 2B
- Moncada – 3B
- Robert – CF
- Engel – OF
- Flowers – C
- Garcia – Util
- Kopech (eventually) – starting in the minors
- Cease/Lopez – SP/RP, who knows
- Melancon – closer
Interesting but I Brantley is more of a contact bat than a power bat.
I like the out of the box coaching choices.
As much as I love Tanaka, I don’t think he is going to leave New York
I opened bref pages for everyone except Brantley I think, and that’s what I get for assuming. Still, more OBP is better for this lineup.
I could see Tanaka leaving, but I don’t think he’d come to the south side. I also don’t think Flowers would leave Atlanta, for example. But I like the ideas.