My 2020 Chicago White Sox Offseason Plan:
Goodness what a 2020 season it was! All of the excitement, the improvement, the adrenaline and the debuts and progress of so many different players (both young and veteran)! 12 years was the time waited before returning to the Postseason and now my friends is the time to get extra serious and stay around the American League Pennant Race and World Series for years and years to follow!
Nomar Mazara: $5.6M | $5.9M | $5.7M
He just truly struggled through a majority of the season and never got in a true rhythm either offensively or defensively.
Carlos Rodón: $4.5M | $4.5M | $4.5M
Once a touted, promising 1st round selection, injuries have done their damage… He just cannot stay on the field and produce as a starter or reliever.
Lucas Giolito: $2.5M | $5.3M | $2.5M
(Tender, Sign to new long-term extension)
Lucas has identified and transitioned himself as the true ace of this franchise! Has taken the torch from Mark Buehrle, Chris Sale, whoever you may think to add here. Time to lock him up long-term and keep #27 in black, white and gray as a key member of the core built!
Reynaldo López: $1.7M | $2.2M | $1.7M
Reynaldo’s been the definition of “inconsistent”. Very strong, powerful arm but lacks movement, location and confidence. He pitched well in 2018, poorly in 2019 and sporadic in 2020. I still believe he can contribute to this team in the next season and beyond but as a bullpen arm.
Evan Marshall: $1.3M | $1.9M | $1.4M
This man has been reliable and has gotten the White Sox out of some late-inning jams. He’s done plenty for me to be back next season at least but more so pitch in the 6th-7th innings instead of 8th or 9th occasionally if the closer wasn’t available.
Adam Engel: $1M | $1.4M | $1M
From a guy who everyone couldn’t stand and doubted (including myself), the way he played in 2020 both offensively and defensively (he’s always been a top defender) has earned him a spot going into 2021 as our official 4th outfielder once again. He can start games and produce too here and there.
Jace Fry: $800K | $1M | $800K
Lefties are needed in the bullpen and I believe in Jace’s pitching if he’s fully healthy. He has shown me and many others before he can secure big outs in big moments. Keep him around at least for 2021 for additional depth.
A true fan-favorite! Just no room on this roster for him to get any significant playing time (plus he struggled mightily for most of 2020).
Edwin Encarnación: $12M
Man do I love this player! Always have and always will but age is catching up and the White Sox don’t have enough time to wait around for him to get hot for a month and be lackluster for a chunk of parts of the season. To much of a financial commitment to bring him back and just to use off the bench.
Gio González: $7M ($500K buyout)
At least the third time on the White Sox he finally got to pitch. He just isn’t the same Gio that we needed from a few years ago. Many other arms we have can give us much more production than him at this time.
Leury García: $3.5M ($250K buyout)
Leury is the White Sox’s Swiss Army knife! This man plays everywhere from outfield to infield and hits the ball! Teams covet this and we don’t need to see him produce for anybody else.
OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS:
Alex Colomé (Made $10,532,500 in 2020)
(Re-sign) 3-year contract for $32 million.
Alex is a phenomenal closer and has been since he developed and came into the MLB with the Tampa Bay Rays! He never shows fear and believes there isn’t a hitter that will touch what he’s throwing. He’s the anchor of the bullpen and the perfect guy to hand the ball off to with a lead.
James McCann (Made $5.4M in 2020)
(Try to re-sign) 4-year contract for $27 million.
James has been absolutely tremendous in his 2 seasons with the White Sox and quite frankly, even with the direction of Yazmani Grandal becoming the franchise catcher, McCann is Lucas Giolito’s personal catcher. James hits the ball well and uses right field so often and just has instant results and a tight connection with the entire pitching staff! With how well he’s played though and him covering a starting catcher’s job somewhere else, I believe James will be playing for another franchise in 2021 and beyond.
Jarrod Dyson (Made $2M in 2020)
Jarrod is super fast and knows how to play exceptional defense… only in late game situations for contenders. He will probably sign with a non-contending team in 2021 and will get traded again to a contender at the 2021 Trade Deadline.
Manager: Tony La Russa
Okay now I know 98% of Chicagoland and across the planet don’t want this move but gosh do I! Yes the man is 76 years old, yes he hasn’t managed live baseball since 2011 (after the Cardinals won yet another World Series Championship), yes he may not use analytics as highly or as frequently as more current managers but this legend and Hall of Famer mind you, is a WINNER. He has managed here before and even if it was a generation ago, what happened to this franchise when he was here? We’re in a Pennant Race and won lots of games! What happened in Oakland? He led them to a World Series Championship! What happened in St. Louis? He led them to 2 World Series Championships and more World Serkes appearances! He kept that franchise at a premium for almost 20 full seasons because they were built to win still after he even left. For anybody out there right now saying managers such as Kevin Cash, AJ Hinch, Alex Cora, Ricky Renteria and Dave Roberts have done more and are above and beyond better candidates than Tony, you need to seriously put your modern day fandom to the side and reconsider what you’re saying… FACTS ARE FACTS whether you like it or not and La Russa is a perennial winner. You don’t think he can adjust and still lead a wonderful roster to a World Series Championship? I beg to differ. This man has still been around the game and has been in Front Office advisor roles with the Diamondbacks (Team President actually), was with the WORLD CHAMPION RED SOX IN 2018, and was just with the Los Angeles Angels this past season. You’re all worried about him not letting the players be themselves, not getting along with great players and preventing top Free Agents from signing at 35th and Shields? Go ask MLB Future Hall of Famer and literally the previous Mike Trout, Albert Pujols about that and come back to me… Tony seemingly did very well and got along with the vast majority of his players and staffs. How do you not get along with players and not get along with your personnel, yet do nothing but win? Give me a break. Do I look at other candidates such as AJ Hinch and Alex Cora and believe they can be good and believe they can win too? Absolutely but they haven’t shown me ANYTHING for me to sideswap like everyone else right now and beg for either to be here. Look at Aaron Boone in New York… Any poor manager could come in with that team and win… ANY ONE OF THEM. Any manager was able to win with Houston’s teams too. Dusty Baker could do it too and don’t give me the nonsense that they were 29-31 and weren’t going to be a playoff team in a full 162 game season this year. They eliminated the Twins, Athletics and almost got the Rays. Ease up people and let this play out in South Chicago and let’s hoist up multiple World Series trophies with this group of players and men I sure know I love but assume you love equally as much! They sure weren’t happy with Ricky’s managing, that came out pretty obviously.
Pitching coach: (Tony will bring in whoever he wants) but I would promote Charlotte Knights Pitching Coach Matt Zakeski). Matt has worked with almost all of our pitchers we saw in 2020! He knows them well and knows their ceilings and what they can/can’t do. I feel it’d be a very smooth transition and a great candidate to replace the epic, Don Cooper! Thanks for everything Coop, what a miraculous run!
1. Trevor Bauer, SP/ 5-year, $129 million contract.
Well we have Giolito and Keuchel in the current 1 and 2 slots in the rotation but who follows? Kopech, Cease, Dunning? The White Sox must and need to strike on a phenom that is a starting pitcher and here’s your guy! Is familiar with the American League Central and is a top choice for NL Cy Young this 2020 season. Trevor is the whole package of being able to go late into games, get hitters out relentlessly and just brings an attitude of wanting to win and wanting to staple his legacy! I’m ready and all for that to happen and to continue with my Chicago White Sox!
2. Yadier Molina, C/1-year, $4 million contract.
With James McCann departing via Free Agency and with Yazmani Grandal in-place, Yadi is the perfect backup catcher to bring in and still can be instrumental in leading a pitching staff, throwing out base-runners and hitting a bit. St. Louis seems to be ready to go in another direction away from #4, vice versa.
3. Michael Brantley, RF/2-year, $22 million contract.
Right Field is a clear need and massive opening for our team! The White Sox have offered a contract to Brantley before he signed with Houston and came up just short. A true lefty bat, not the greatest fielder but will be helped out by Engel in late-game situations.
4. Adam Wainwright, SP/1-year, $9 million contract.
Michael Kopech I believe will be pitching in the middle of the starting rotation for the White Sox at some point in 2021 but it may not be until May/June with him missing so much time. Dunning they may want to let pitch every fifth day in Charlotte or even Cease might not remain a starter if he continues to struggle with command and longevity during the season. Wainwright is a fabulous insurance policy and I believe he’ll pitch all of the season in our rotation and Dunning will accumulate more time in the Minors. Cease will be 5th starter.
Outfield prospect Micker Adolfo is our brightest prospect who’s basically blocked unless they feel like he’s set to go by Opening Day (unlikely). We saw another outfield prospect in Luis Basabe get dealt to San Francisco last season and Blake Rutherford is in a similar position that the above 2 mentioned are in. Not sure when they’ll be dealt but would assume it’d be for pitching depth, unless they keep them in the system for Minor League Teams.
My 26-man roster come Opening Day 2021:
Catcher: Yazmani Grandal
First Baseman: Jose Abreu
Second Basemen: Nick Madrigal
Shortstop: Tim Anderson
Left Field: Eloy Jimenez
Center Field: Luis Robert
Right Field: Michael Brantley
Designated Hitter: Andrew Vaughn
Starting Rotation: Trevor Bauer, Lucas Giolito, Dallas Keuchel, Adam Wainwright, Dylan Cease (Kopech could appear later).
Bullpen: Cody Heuer, Evan Marshall, Jace Fry, Jimmy Cordero, Matt Foster, Garrett Crochet, Aaron Bummer, Alex Colome.
Bench: Leury García, Yadier Molina, Adam Engel, Danny Mendick (starts for Madrigal until he returns to take over).
GO GO WHITE SOX❤️☝️⚾️????
For whatever reason folks, my Third Baseman wasn’t inserted after Anderson. This is Yoan Moncada of course!