Coming off their 1st playoff appearance since 2008, the White Sox have themselves in a good position to return for multiple years. However, with as much young talent they have, there are also some glaring holes that need to be fixed if they want to take that next level. Starting with kicking Ricky Renteria and Don Cooper out the door, it does not look like Rick Hahn is messing around this winter. Unfortunately, it does not look like they will have a super high payroll, so it shall be an interesting offseason.
Write “tender,” “non-tender” or “rework/extend” after each player and their projected 2020 salaries, arranged by the three calculation methods described by MLB Trade Rumors. Feel free to offer an explanation afterward if necessary.
- Nomar Mazara: $5.6M | $5.9M | $5.7M non-tender. A huge disappointment, although I never expected much. He somehow lowered his launch angle (somehow) and can be someone else’s project.
- Carlos Rodón: $4.5M | $4.5M | $4.5M non-tender. Rodon feels like the ex-girlfriend that you just can’t get over because she was so attractive. A former 3rd overall pick, you try and do everything to get him to pan out. Injuries and a not so sharp slider made him a non-tender candidate.
- Lucas Giolito: $2.5M | $5.3M | $2.5M Tender
- Reynaldo López: $1.7M | $2.2M | $1.7M Tender
- 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 non-tender
The only real surprise is Reylo, but considering the team’s lack of depth in the pitching area, I think it would be reasonable for him to stick around in AAA.
Write “pick up” or “decline” or “rework” after the option.
- Edwin Encarnación: $12M D E C L I N E
- Gio González: $7M ($500K buyout) Decline
- Leury García: $3.5M ($250K buyout) Pick up
We saw this year that you cannot trust everyone to stay healthy. Leury serves as a serviceable utility player in case anyone goes down with an injury.
OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS
Try to retain, or let go?
- Alex Colomé (Made $10,532,500 in 2020) Let go
Colome has been a pretty lockdown closer for his two years with the Sox. He is going to command some money, and there is one closer, in particular, I like better and you can get him close to Colome’s price.
- James McCann (Made $5.4M in 2020) Let go
Well, here we are. I would love McCann to come back and be a deadly duo with Grandal. But people forget how good Grandal really is. McCann also has yet to complete a full season with sustained success. With Realmuto being the best FA catcher, the loser of him are going to circle back to McCann and give him starter money.
- Jarrod Dyson (Made $2M in 2020) Let go
Thanks for those late-game pinch runs.
Here’s a first: Pick your manager and pitching coach, with any elaboration.
- Manager: A.J. Hinch
I’m unsure why La Russa was even brought up, to begin with, because Hinch seems like a clear choice. With the team wanting to go into a more analytical direction (finally), Hinch seems like the right guy for that job. He has had postseason success before and knows how to manage in the playoffs too. I guess the only negative would be the fact that he was apart of the whole cheating scandal, but the fact that reports have said he was unhappy with it and broke multiple monitors over it is definitely reassuring. Hopefully, he can also address the media appropriately as well.
- Pitching coach: Matt Zaleski
Staying inside the organization isn’t entirely bad with this option. If you like what you saw from Matt Foster this year, you can heavily credit Zaleski for helping him with that changeup. Considering the domination from the young guys in the pen this year, it really is worth a shot to see what Zaleski can do with the major league guys (Cease mainly, please).
List three free-agent targets you’d pursue during the offseason, with a reasonable contract. A good example of a bad idea:
No. 1: Marcus Stroman (four years, $75 million). There is maybe a 2% chance we get Bauer, so this way we can get a guy whos a solid starter coming off 2 years where he has not really pitched. He brings tons of energy and is a pretty solid pitcher. He’s showing some signs of decline, but the Sox threw big money at Keuchel last year, so I would not be surprised to see Stroman be that guy this year.
No. 2: Jose Quintana (one year, $7 million; Club option for 2021). Q is back! After some underlooked years with the Cubs (that’s right, he was not that bad) the Sox bring him home for some needed pitching depth. Hoping he can return to White Sox form, the club option is just in case he does.
No. 3: Tyler Flowers (one year, $4 million). Another reunion! Flowers will serve as Grandal’s backup, and a not to shabby one either. Flowers is one of the best framers in the league to go along with Grandal’s excellent pitch framing too. Sure he can’t hit, but that’s why we have Grandal, right?
No. 4: Liam Hendricks (two years, $35 million). Our new closer, and a darn good one too. The Sox got a good look at him in the WC series, and even after throwing around 40 pitches in game 2, came out throwing darts in game 3 (somehow). Hendricks, who’s most likely going to win AL Reliever of the year, as asserted himself as one of the best closers in baseball.
No. 5: Tommy La Stella (two years, $15 million). Look, La Stella is legit. His walk numbers are really really good, and he hits the ball hard in gaps. They may be going over the budget with this, but it is a logical move considering the trade I have brewing.
The payroll would be around $140 mil before trades.
Propose trades that you think sound reasonable for both sides, and the rationale behind them. A good example of a bad idea:
No. 1: White Sox trade Dylan Cease, Nick Madrigal, Andrew Dalquist, Jonathan Stiever, and Micker Adolfo to the Mets for Michael Conforto and Noah Syndergaard.
Now, this idea is a little out there, considering I don’t fully believe the Mets are going to ship Conforto and Syndergaard off, but it is a possibility with new ownership. Conforto is a huge left-handed bat for RF and plays good defense too. Although he is a rental, you make this trade with the intent to extend him. Syndergaard is coming off TJ, so it is risky, but when healthy he is dominant. He also is in the last year of his arb, so maybe you try and extend him based on his 2021 performance. The Mets get Cease, who has struggled to this point but certainly has the stuff. Madrigal, a slappy contact hitter, played meh defense and had horrible baserunning, and has a solid chance to replace Cano. As for the 3 others, it gives the Mets a chance to re-load their farm system after trading away pieces in an attempt to compete.
The 26 man roster would look like this:
C – Grandal
1B – Abreu
2B – La Stella
3B – Moncada
SS – Anderson
LF – Jimenez
CF – Robert
RF – Conforto
Bench – Flowers, Mendick, Garcia, Engel
Giolito, Syndergaard, Keuchel, Quintana, Dunning/Kopech
Hendricks, Bummer, Heuer, Foster, Cordero, Fry, Marshall
This is a very optimistic plan, and the payroll would be somewhere around $160. I was thinking about a Giolito extension, but I just think they hold off until 2022. I am also unsure of how the market will be, so maybe some players do not get the money like I predicted they would, which would make the payroll go down. Sadly, I do not think this will even be close to true, but, this is what it takes to win a championship.
If Jerry wants to win, he has to open the wallet and act like a big market team. Send this team to the damn World Series.
Forgot to add Vaughn at DH and Stroman into the rotation, but you get the idea