iamkarnold’s Offseason Plan

PREAMBLE

Winning record – check! Make the Postseason – check! Win the World Series – … there is work to be done. I’m not one for essays so I’ll just preface my Offseason Plan by saying that I’ve had a great time reading all your Offseason Plans and I hope you take this outline with a grain of salt. My plan isn’t going to happen but I hope you find it somewhat entertaining. I have one BIG TIME trade that you’re all going to hate so gear up for that! Anyway you dont care about my ramblings, here’s my terrible plan:

ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE PLAYERS

  • Nomar Mazara: $5.6M | $5.9M | $5.7M NON-TENDER

5.9 M is too rich for a guy who plays poor defense and hits 1 home run. It was a nice idea but don’t double down on your mistakes, learn from them. See ya around Nomar.

  • Carlos Rodón: $4.5M | $4.5M | $4.5M NON-TENDER

It’s been a disappointing ride for Rodon with the White Sox. He probably doesn’t want to come out of the pen and, honestly, letting him go might be the humane thing to do. He could most likely get a guaranteed starting job somewhere else (Boston-Angles-Royals) and 4.5 million is far too much for a guy who does not factor into the rotation and whose bullpen abilities are completely unknown.

  • Lucas Giolito: $2.5M | $5.3M | $2.5M *TENDER

Tender him this contract *5.3M but I have an extension planned for him later in this offseason plan so stay tuned.

  • Reynaldo López: $1.7M | $2.2M | $1.7M *TENDER

He’s worth a look in the pen just because he can be dominant for an inning. That being said I have plans for him later on.

  • Evan Marshall: $1.3M | $1.9M | $1.4M TENDER

Dude has straight up got it done with the White Sox. Lets see if he can do it one more year, this time without Cooper.

  • Adam Engel: $1M | $1.4M | $1M TENDER

Wouldn’t have thought this a year or two ago but this is a no-brainer. Hats off to him for making himself into a quality major league player.

  • Jace Fry: $800K | $1M | $800K TENDER

Eeh, he’s a lefty. He can miss bats. It’s $1 Million. Unless there is a lefty on the free agent market you think can replace him for less than $1 Mil, bring him back.

  • Yolmer Sánchez: Uncertain NON-TENDER

Love his glove and attitude but he’s got NO POWER! As I’m going to be picking up Leury’s club option I don’t want two guys on the bench who won’t combine to hit 10 homeruns.

CLUB OPTIONS

  • Edwin Encarnación: $12M DECLINE

Thanks for parrot memes… the door is behind you.

  • Gio González: $7M ($500K buyout) DECLINE

We finally got to see you in a White Sox jersey!!! … I’ve seen enough.

  • Leury García: $3.5M ($250K buyout) PICK UP

His injury history is suspect and gave me pause on this option, but when healthy he’s a good utility guy and I know what I’m getting with him.

OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS

  • Alex Colomé (Made $10,532,500 in 2020) LET GO

Will probably be too expensive and I have other plans for closer. Thanks for your service Alex, best of luck in Philadelphia.

  • James McCann (Made $5.4M in 2020) *LET GO

If reports are to be believed he wants a starting job and quite frankly, he’ll get it. When he signed with the Sox I would have never thought I’d be so sad to see him go. In the interest of total transparency I thought the Sox were stupid for signing him, but he has proven me wrong. Offer him 3 yrs $22 million (2021 – 6.5 mil; 2022 – 7.5; 2023 – 8 mil) he won’t take it but it’s a show of good faith and who knows, when his next contract is up Giolito will probably still be on the Sox and maybe you get McCann back on a David Ross type deal. Anyway, best of luck in Philadelphia.

  • Jarrod Dyson (Made $2M in 2020) LET GO

Thanks for… whatever it is you did. We’ll be in contact in March for a minor league deal.

COACHING STAFF

  • Manager: Matt Quatraro

He’s the bench coach for (at the moment) the AL Champion Tampa Bay Rays, possibly at the time you are reading this, the World Series Champion Tampa Bay Rays. Teams have had a lot of success picking up a bench coach from a good team and putting them in the managers seat (see Alex Cora). Let this dude sit in on free agent decisions and extension talks as well as meetings on trade targets with Hahn, Kenny and Jerry and see what kind of Tampa Bay Rays-esque magic he can bring to Chi-town.

  • Pitching coach: Let Matt decide

Like I just explained, I have confidence in Matt so let him bring in his guy.

FREE AGENTS

No. 1: 2B Tommy La Stella (two year – $13 million; third year vesting opt – $7 million)

WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT! I know, it’s a little low! But Tommy La Stella plays second base, not a premier position. He’s no spring chicken, he’s 31 at the moment. He won’t be at the top of the market and because of the past season many teams will be hesitant to spend money, especially on middle of the road talent. La Stella seems like a Tampa Bay Rays signing but as they are pretty solid up the middle I think we can get him for this contract. The option vests at 400 at bats in 2022.

No. 2: SP Jose Quintana (one year – $8.5 million; second year mutual opt $10 million [1.5 million buyout])

Welcome home my vetern son! I’ll be honest, a big reason for this signing is because I want to see him back with the Sox. But also the White Sox need a starter they can count on and Jose Quintana is as consistent as they come. If we ignore the COVID season and the freak accidnet Quintana had to start the year he has made at least 30 starts in each of the last 7 seasons. This kind of gives me shades of the Gio Gonzalez signing but I’ll take the risk for you Q.

No. 3: SS Freddy Galvis (one year – $2.8 million)

He’s Yolmer Sanchez with more power. I have nothing further to add.

EXTENSION ALERT!!!

No. 1: SP Lucas Giolito (four years 50 million; fifth and sixth year team opt – $20 million per year)

Contract Breakdown: 2021 – 5.5 million; 2022 – 9.5 million; 2023 – 15 million; 2024 – 20 million; 2025 – 22.5 million team opt; 2026 – 22.5 million team opt

A guaranteed $50 million for a starting pitcher will be tough to pass up. Another $45 million in team options sounds pretty good as well. I based this around Aaron Nola’s contract extension from last offseason so I don’t think it’s a total underpayment. I could be talked into a 4 yr $55 million contract $100 million total (6.5 – 10.5 – 16.5 – 21.5 – *22.5 – *22.5) If Giolito needs a first hand account on the fragility of a Starting Pitchers career earnings potential, send him down to Carlos Rodon’s locker.

TRADES

No. 1: Trade C Zack Collins and PTBNL to Los Angeles Angels for LF Taylor Ward

Zack Collins and Taylor Ward are sort of cut from the same cloth. They’ve had big success in AAA but are blocked at their positions on their major league roster. Ward in 2019 at AAA batted .306/.427/.584 and with the Angels in 2020 .277/.333/.383 in 94 at bats. His defense is shotty at best but he can play 3B and corner outfield positions. I’d like to give him some AB’s DH to start the season. If he’s great, great! We can fold him into the future plans at 1B/LF/DH with Vaughn and Jimenez once Abreu is gone. If not, Vaughn is waiting in the wings. Plus, if Vaughn isn’t ready this year, it’s not hard to get a 1B/DH type at the trade deadline. For LA you get a backup catcher who can maybe take some AB’s at DH/1B. The PTBNL would probably be a low level pitcher. I’m thinking a Bernardo Flores Jr. type.

No. 2: Trade 1B Gavin Sheets and PTBNL to Pittsburgh for C Jacob Stallings

I just traded the obvious heir to the backup catcher thrown, so now i need a new one. I could go and get Tyler Flowers or Alex Avila or, hell why don’t I call up Dioneer Navarro and see if he’s ready to suit up again, but I won’t. Trading for Jacob Stallings not only saves money (he’s scheduled to make 1.7 million in arbitration this year) but it provides a solution through 2023. He works an at bat and is good behind the plate. He’s no James McCann, but neither was James when he came to the South Side. For Pittsburgh you get a failed but still young prospect who could probably crack the major league team at some point this year with a good showing early on. The PTBNL would be a low level prospect from the Sox, but the Pirates aren’t going anywhere so they can afford to take a lottery pick guy and hope for a Tatis jr. Situation.

No. 3: Trade 2B Nick Madrigal, SP Reynaldo Lopez, SP Jared Kelley and 3B Bryan Ramos to New York Mets for RF Michael Conforto, SP Noah Syndergaard and CP Edwin Diaz

To quote one Bernie Sanders “I am once again asking for your -” WAIT!

PART 1 – CONFORTO

Look, I know this doesn’t look like a lot to give up for THREE all star caliber players but PLEASE hear me out! Conforto is in the last season of his contract, he will probably be open to signing an extension, I would guess in the 6 year $150-$185 million dollar range. The Mets probably won’t want to pay that. They’ve got Robinson Cano, Jacob DeGrom and a variety of holes to fill while plenty of depth in the outfield. Replacing Marisnick with Engel is a lateral move and a way to save money. Money better spent on their rotation. In addition, trading for him now rather than at the trade deadline would allow the Sox to place a qualifying offer on him next year.

PART 2 – SYNDERGAARD

According to leading experts it takes a long time to return from Tommy John Surgery. With Noah Syndergaard in the last year of arbitration and set to hit free agency after the season and him probably not returning until the Allstar break he has little value on the trade market and he will have few starts before the trade deadline to try and recoup that value. He’s owed 9.7 million which is a steep price to pay for 10-15 starts of a guy coming back from TJ, but one the Sox, who are planning on playing deep into October, should be willing to pay. The same qualifying offer situation that applied to Conforto applies to Syndergaard as well. If these two walk you get TWO additional draft picks. Not ideal but a nice compensation.

PART 3 – DIAZ

Here’s the real meat and potatoes of the deal despite what it may look like at face value. Diaz has 2 more seasons under contract, this year he is owed $6.5 million which is a bargain for a Closer of his value. He is where the value in this trade is really coming from and having him close out games instead of Cardiac Colome would do my blood pressure some good.

PART 4 – THE SOX GUYS

I don’t love Nick Madrigal. No power coming from any spot is a tough sell and although his contact skills are truly godlike I think Tommy La Stella would provide equal or better value (although you will be paying more for it) albeit in different ways. Lopez may need a change of scenery and maybe the Mets could get something out of him. Last but not least, Jared Kelley. I have really high hopes for this guy and parting with him this soon is not something I do lightly. I wouldn’t pull the trigger unless I thought there was a decent chance we could resign one or both of Syndergaard and Conforto after the season. Even if we can’t, with the qualifying offer placed we could potentially get another Jared Kelley type guy with that compensation pick. Our window is now, not when Kelley is ready. Do you really want to read about Bryan Ramos? Okay great, moving on.

If the Mets are demanding someone like Kopech or Cease, WALK AWAY! I haven’t lost all faith in Cease and two years of Diaz, one year of Conforto and a half-year (maybe) of Syndergaard is not worth four years of either of those guys in addition to Madrigal and the lottery ticket prospects I’m sending them. On the surface this looks underwhelming but after looking at it deeper, this seems to me a fair deal.

SUMMARY

26 man roster (hand – salary in millions)

C Yasmani Grandal S – 18.25

1B Jose Abreu R – 17.67

2B Tommy La Stella L – 6.25

3B Yoan Moncada S – 6.8

SS Tim Anderson R – 7.25

LF Eloy Jimenez R – 4.33

CF Luis Robert R – 7.83

RF Michael Conforto L – 13.6

DH Taylor Ward (until may 21 then Andrew Vaughn) R – .56

*LINEUP*

SS Anderson – R

RF Conforto – L

1B Abreu – R

LF Jimenez – R

3B Moncada – S

CF Robert – R

C Grandal – S

DH Ward / Vaughn – R

2B La Stella – L

*BENCH*

SS Freddy Galvis S – 2.8

CF Leury Garcia S – 3.5

2B Danny Mendick R – .56

C Jacob Stallings R – 1.7

*OPENING DAY ROTATION*

SP Lucas Giolito R – 5.5

SP Dallas Keuchel L – 18

SP Dylan Cease R – .56

SP Jose Quintana L – 8.5

SP Dane Dunning R – .56

AAA Michael Kopech R – .56

DL Noah Syndergaard R – 9.7

*BULLPEN*

RP Aaron Bummer L – 2

RP Garrett Crochet L – .56

RP Jace Fry L – 1

RP Codi Heuer R – .56

RP Matt Foster R – .56

RP Evan Marshall R – 1.9

RPJimmy Cordero R – .56

CP Edwin Diaz R – 6.5

TOTAL 2021 TEAM PAYROLL – 147.56

Imagine this, it’s July 2021. You’re sitting on your couch watching a White Sox game thinking to yourself, “Man, we really need to trade for one more starting pitcher!” Then it hits you, Noah Syndergaard will be joining the team in a few weeks. Michael Kopech is starting to round into form with the major league team and Andrew Vaughn has taken his lumps and is starting to turn things around at the plate. Things are looking good on the South Side of Chicago.

Take a quick second and check out that lineup again. Find me a hole. Find me a spot where you don’t see 20+ home runs, where you can’t see that guy making the all star team. Find me a guy who you couldn’t see as a part of the future of this team. This is a rock solid lineup. Couple that with the bench of Galvis – Garcia – Mendick – Stallings (possibly Ward) and their ability to cover every position on the field, and do so well, and you’ve got a hitting core to salivate over!

Now the pitching. As I mentioned before, the return of Syndergaard and Kopech will be a huge boost to the rotation and even if they don’t stun as a starter having these two flamethrowers as options out of the bullpen in the playoffs is something to consider. If Syndergaard does come back at the top of his game, a 1-2-3 of Giolito-Syndergaard-Keuchel to open the playoff gates would be unbelievable! Now lets touch on the Bullpen. Heuer Foster Bummer Crochet and Diaz… is that the best bullpen in baseball? Now add Cease and Kopech with Quintana and Cordero as long guys and god help any team we run into in October.

Bottom line, this is a team that can win the World Series in 2021. They may not, unexpected things happen. That is as much a part of baseball as cracker jacks and apple pie, but I think you’d be lying to yourself if you said this roster wouldn’t excite you going into the season. Anyway thanks for ready… now you can tell me how stupid my ideas are.

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Josh Nelson

I like your trades with the Angels and Pirates. Jacob Stallings would be a good backup option to Yasmani Grandal.