Grab Some Bench’s Offseason Plan


Wow, what a season!  While the disappointment of the last two weeks is real, it would be hard to find a Sox fan that isn’t excited based on the way the established stars like Abreu, Giolito and Anderson performed and the young players, like Madrigal, Robert, Heuer, and Jimenez showed enough to make us see a parade in our future.

The signing of players at, or near, the top of their game like Keuchel and Grandal proved to be an effective strategy making many of us forgive the signings of Gonzalez and Encarnacion, which had the Kenny Williams stink of years past, like signing Adam LaRoche, Jimmy Rollins, Brett Lawrie, Austin Jackson, Melky Cabrera and Derek Holland.

So, why not use the strategy that works rather than hoping guys like Gonzalez and Encarnacion have something left?  Let’s resist the urge to repeat the mistakes of others.


  • Nomar Mazara: $5.6M | $5.9M | $5.7M  Non-tender please
  • Carlos Rodón: $4.5M | $4.5M | $4.5M   Tender and Trade (See below)
  • Lucas Giolito: $2.5M | $5.3M | $2.5M   Tender, Negotiate
  • Reynaldo López: $1.7M | $2.2M | $1.7M  Tender and educate
  • Evan Marshall: $1.3M | $1.9M | $1.4M  Tender
  • Adam Engel: $1M | $1.4M | $1M  Tender
  • Jace Fry: $800K | $1M | $800K    Tender
  • Yolmer Sánchez: Uncertain   Negotiate and Sign to $575,000

Mazara is too expensive for what he provides. He may be the 20 home run guy that he was in Texas but he probably isn’t the 35 home run guy that Hahn thought he traded a prospect for last year. Yolmer isn’t wanted by anyone but us, so he should be smart this year and sign a minimum contract. Lopez needs to be educated on how to pitch in the majors. Let’s see if the new coach can make something out of him, although it may be in the bullpen. Negotiations should begin with Giolito. He’s proven himself and now, we need to sign him long-term, if possible.  If not, we have to keep our pitching depth to replace him someday when he skips off to California.


  • Edwin Encarnación: $12M   Decline and Suggest Retirement
  • Gio González: $7M ($500K buyout) Decline and suggest Retirement
  • Leury García: $3.5M ($250K buyout) Decline. He’s too expensive, too fragile and too unremarkable.


  • Alex Colomé (Made $10,532,500 in 2020) Sign for two years with an option. $30 million total at 10/10/10
  • James McCann (Made $5.4M in 2020) Sign 3 years/ 30 Mil
  • Jarrod Dyson (Made $2M in 2020) No Offer.

We are rewarding our own. McCann is the priority because Giolito’s success may be tied to McCann. I don’t want to find that out when McCann is in New York. Grandal can’t catch every game. We can’t afford the drop off from Grandal to a Tyler Flowers if we want to compete at a championship level. Abreu can’t play first for 162 games. We have an ace pitcher who performs better with McCann. His framing improved this year. The three can split time between 1B, C and DH with Collins picking up the rest of the time. Grandal should catch 81 games and play 20 at 1B, and 20 at DH. McCann catches 81 games and DH for about 19. Abreu gets 120 at 1B and 20 at DH. Collins plays 22 at 1B and about 80 at DH, which allows Eloy to Dh also. The money to sign McCann and Colome comes from Edwin’s 12 mil, Gonzalez $7 mil and Leury’s $3.5 that’s off the books. So, we have the money as long as we don’t look for Edwin clones in the memory bank of formerly good players.


  • Manager: Bruce Bochy
  • Pitching coach: Whoever Bruce Bochy picks

Bochy is the best manager available. He’s won three world series championships and he recently said he would listen if the Sox called. Of course, they have been too busy chasing Tony LaRussa to call Bochy, who doesn’t have the cheating stink of Cora or Hinch. Let’s not return to the days of the Black Sox and end up having 8 guys banned for life. Could it happen with another scandal?  Probably not but this is the Chicago White Sox organization, so let’s not chance it.


No. 1: Trevor Bauer (one year to five years)(25 mil to 125 mil)

Bauer becomes #1 and forms a great 1,2,3 with Giolito and Keuchel. If he wants one year, fine. If he wants two, better. We give him the contract and tell him to fill in the years up to 5. If he wants to front load it with options, we can do that too! If he wants $30 mil a year, let’s go three years with a team option for four. Like Kenny, Grab Some Bench always gets his man. Unlike Kenny, I get my man when he’s in his prime.

No. 2.   Yoelqui Cespedes. ($2 Mil signing bonus) $563,500
The White Sox have $5,348,100 to use by January 15 to sign international players. MLB ranks Yoenis Cespedes half brother, Yoelqui as the number one prospect. He started as a good defender, in all three spots, with speed who can spray to all fields, but he recently added pounds and is supposedly starting to look like the older brother. He has a 60 rated arm so right field is not a problem. He’ll compete with Hillard (see below)


No. 1: Trade Carlos Rodon to Rockies for Sam Hilliard.

Rodon didn’t work out. He throws hard and has an excellent slider, but he lacks control and location. Velocity is just one factor in pitching and Carlos missed that lesson from Coop. You need control and maybe someone else will find it. I prefer to give him the small amount to control where he may end up. Hilliard may be an up and coming player if you look at 2019 and a small sample size. However, he could also be an inexpensive dud if you look at 2020. He can play right field and has power from the left side. He’s also only costing us $600,000. This may only be addition by subtraction but it’s worth finding out if Hillard can be our next James McCann. If Cespedes needs to go to AAA, Hilliard and Engel, who showed great improvement, will split RF.


So, there you have it. We take no chances by retaining and rewarding the people who perform. Hopefully, 25 mil a year is enough for Bauer but if not, we have to be ready to win a battle this time. If we had a number three that we could trust, we could be playing the Dodgers in the WS this year.

Here’s the lineup Bruce Bochy walks to the home plate umpire on Opening Day

  1. Anderson SS   One of the 8
  2. Moncada 3B   One of the 8
  3. Abreu 1B   One of the 8
  4. Jimenez LF    One of the 8
  5. Grandal DH   One of the 8
  6. Robert CF   One of the 8
  7. McCann C      $10,000,000
  8. Hillard or Cespedes RF $563,500
  9. Madrigal 2B    $563,500

Bench: Engel, ($1.4) Collins ($563,500), Sanchez ($575,000) and Hillard ($563.500) or Cespedes ($563,500)(plus 2m)
Rotation: Giolito,($5.4) Bauer ($25), Keuchel (one of 8), Dunning ($563,500), Cease ($575,000)
Bullpen: Colome ($10m), Bummer (one of 8), Heuer ($563500), Kopech ($575,000) Marshall ($1.4M), Lopez($1.7M) Fry ($1m), Foster ($563,500)

Minor League Prospects and depth
Crochett, Vaughn, Rutherford, Mendick, Burger, Lambert, Yolbert Sanchez, Adolfo, Cordero, Burr, Stiever, Burdi, Flores, Mercedes, Zavala, Gonzalez, Kincanon, Johnson, Kelley, Thompson, Dalquist, Bailey, Beard, Pilkington, Gladney

I’m going to let both Crochett and Vaughn develop. We don’t have a spot for Vaughn right now and Crochett can be the next Chris Sale. I favor letting Crochett work on this third pitch as a starter in the minors. The hype about Vaughn is INSANE. He’s never played above the high A minors and we have everyone ready to crown him as the Big Hurt Jr. I think it is time to get a hold of ourselves and realize that he has to go down to AA or AAA and come back when he’s gone through those steps.

If my math is correct, the payroll is coming in at about 139.5 (counting the buyouts for our bad decisions in 2020 and the signing bonus to Cespedes).  I’m up for signing Giolito to a longer contract and locking down Crochett and Vaughn before they are recalled in 2022. Kopech is initially in the bullpen but I could see him beating out Dunning, Cease or both. The loser goes to the bullpen. If my right field solution doesn’t work and we have to trade for someone at the trade deadline, we have the minor leaguers who can be moved up or out at that time and the plan has an additional $10 million to spend if the right player is available and our prospects can’t cut it.  If I’m wrong about Bauer, oh well!

We are counting on more production from Robert and a return to form for Moncada. Jimenez is ready to really take off this coming year. Barring injuries, this team should contend for the championship and certainly gets into the playoffs. With three top pitchers, I like our chances against any playoff team.  This plan is taking a chance with the back end of the rotation, but part of developing pitchers is the final step of moving from mediocre to serviceable or good. We can’t bring in overpriced, underperforming veterans and retard the development of Kopech, Cease, Lopez and Dunning. Each, to a different degree, has shown the ability to be a number one on a staff. They’ve also shown the ability to be Carlos Rodon. This year, one or two will step up so let’s not panic by bringing back Q or overpaying Stroman.

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