Podcast: 2020/21 Offseason Plans with Laurence Holmes

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There have been great ideas flowing with the 2020/21 Sox Machine Offseason Plan Project, and in this episode, we invite some posters to share their ideas. Big thanks to Daniel Levy, Chitownfan92, Jeff Feyerer, and Michael Kenny for joining the show!

Plus, Laurence Holmes of 670 the Score stops by to share his thoughts on how the White Sox could attack this offseason.

  • Who Laurence likes as the next White Sox manager
  • What the White Sox should do about right field
  • Why the White Sox should try to bring back James McCann
  • Laurence’s top target this offseason

Click play below to listen:


  • Josh Nelson

    Josh Nelson is the host and producer of the Sox Machine Podcast. For show suggestions, guest appearances, and sponsorship opportunities, you can reach him via email at josh@soxmachine.com.

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Joliet Orange Sox

I literally never listen to sports radio so I had never heard Laurence Holmes before. I was not tempted to start listening to sports radio by his appearance on the podcast.


The problem with the score hosts is that they all think their opinion is the only possible right opinion. With the exception of Mully and Haugh in the morning, they are a bunch of gasbags, including Lawrence. He takes 20 minutes to tell you something he could have said in 3 minutes.

I generally like Lawrence, but I haven’t had a chance to listen to the podcast yet. My big problem with the sports talk guys in this town is they are more entertainers than experts. If you read soxmachine faithfully it makes it really hard to listen to the Score guys talk White Sox, because it’s apparent they don’t really know what they are talking about (including the ones who say they are Sox fans like Mully). I expect that from national guys, but local guys should be better. It’s always refreshing when one of the soxmachine guys is on the Score so you can actually hear intelligent commentary on the Sox.

Right Size Wrong Shape

I look forward to listening, because the podcast is always great and I like Laurence. You are right about it being a difficult gig. I feel like I’m more knowledgeable than all of the hosts about the Sox, but I couldn’t name 6 Chicago Blackhawks. In the car I sometimes find myself yelling, “Your job is to know about this stuff!”, but that’s probably not totally fair.

Eagle Bones

I don’t listen to a lot of Chicago based stuff, but I have the same reaction whenever I listen to sports talk radio. I feel like the key with the good ones is knowing where the don’t know what they’re talking about and having guests on who are experts on those areas to speak to them.


The issue is that they have a LOT of time to fill. Then you ends up listening to ads for 5 minute stretches.

Eagle Bones

I’m only part of the way through this episode, but I’ve been meaning to drop this comment in a thread for several weeks and kept forgetting, so wanted to make sure I didn’t forget again. Josh – just wanted to say that the quality of these podcasts has been dramatically enhanced over the last year or so, and, from my totally uninformed perspective, I attribute most of the credit for that to you. This is not meant AT ALL as an indictment of your past work, but the quality of the discussions and the smoothness of the flow in your hosting and guiding the discussions has improved significantly. Just wanted to commend you on really sharpening your craft and taking these from good to fantastic! Keep up the great work (both yourself and Jim)!

Eagle Bones

Absolutely man! I know a lot of times people don’t think to give positive feedback (negative feedback never seems to be in short supply in this world) and wanted to make sure I communicated what was going through my head when I’ve been listening the last 6 months or so. Great work!


The last thing the sox need is a headache like Puig , there are lots of better players who fit this roster much better that are obtainable via trade or free agency.

I haven’t given Tanaka as much thought, but having seen that name come up a lot in other peoples plans it has started to be a name I am also interested in. He isnt a dominant front line guy but definitely a viable 2/3 type who would fit in well.


Those top 3 are my exact order, that 4 spot is wildly different to me as you have both a major drop in talent and expectation. Are the sox looking to just add a rotation filler (Quintana), are they looking for lightning in the bottle type which to me could be Gausman again, are they gonna go after a prove it now that you are healthy guy like Kluber or Hamels????

I look for them to go upper tier SP, more mid tier RF. So really its 1 of Bauer, Stroman, Tanaka or bust for me.

Trooper Galactus

Has Kluber’s 2021 option already been declined? I know a rebuilding team like Texas isn’t really in a position to toss another $17m out the window (taking into account the $1m buyout) for a starter with questionable health, but if he returns to form that’s the sort of trade piece they’re gonna need to get their farm system rolling again.

Eagle Bones

I don’t think it’s been formally declined yet, but I seem to recall reading some kind of report that they were looking to decline it and then bring him back on a cheaper deal.

Eagle Bones

This is an interesting question. Bauer and Stroman seems like the easy 1 and 2 (though there’s probably a decent sized gap between them). I feel like Tanaka and Quintana are part of a larger grouping after those two that are all kind of near the same level along with Gausman and maybe Kluber and Paxton. The ordering of that group probably depends on what you need / want in terms of certainty vs. upside. Maybe Tanaka is closer to Stroman than those other guys though now that I think about it more, I’m not sure (his HR rates scare me).

Trooper Galactus

I don’t think the gap between Stroman and Bauer is all that exceptional, though I would agree that Bauer is the superior pitcher with the better peak performance. For my money, it’s a question of whether Bauer will get priced past the point of reason (a distinct possibility, given the weak market) versus Stroman being a potential bargain or available under incentives.

Eagle Bones

I just think the ceiling is so much higher with Bauer and they have similar floors. I’m not really on the Bauer train for the Sox though. I’d rather spend the big money on Springer, but that’s just my two cents.


Detroit and Boston have been busily interviewing managerial candidates, but the Sox reportedly have interviewed LaRussa and are connected to Hinch. Should we assume anything from that or is it possible there are some under-the-radar candidates?


The one thing I will say about this team is that they are very good at keeping their cards close to their chest. I expect that’s even easier now in the world of zoom interviews.

Eagle Bones

I’ve admittedly only read maybe 40% of the offseason plans, but I’m surprised by the number of people who seem to be resigning themselves to the fact that the Sox aren’t going to play at the top of the FA market again (I’ll be curious to see when Jim does his roundup after the exercise to see which names got the most play). I mean, I know Jerry is still the owner and this pandemic likely means teams (Sox included) being less apt to offer the same contracts they might normally have offered to FAs, but shouldn’t that likely be an issue league-wide? Like someone needs to sign these top FAs and give them something reasonable. We were all clamoring for Machado and many for Harper a couple years ago when they were coming off a way worse season and now we’re just assuming they won’t even play on guys like Springer (who shouldn’t even cost nearly as much as those guys)? I’m not saying I think it will happen necessarily, but that still seems like the standard we should be holding them to. In terms of the contention window, this seems like exactly THE time to make that kind of investment. I guess I’m just shocked those kinds of aggressive FA signings aren’t showing up in more of the plans I’m reading.

Trooper Galactus

I think fan skepticism is plenty warranted when it comes to spending. Yes, there are excellent options available. Yes, this is exactly the time to spend. And the last time we were faced with this scenario we got Austin Jackson.

Eagle Bones

Oh I don’t blame anyone for being skeptical, but it feels like so many people are skipping right past the elite options without even decrying them for not playing in that end of the pool. We should absolutely be expecting them to be in on those guys and we should hammer them if they’re not.

Michael Kenny

Figured I should source the Tanaka-to-Japan rumor. This FanSided article discusses it, based on a report from Yahoo Japan. (The original article, in Japanese, is linked there.)

$20-25 million AAV in NPB would be insane. My own speculation is that this would be a 1- or 2-year gig to go back to Japan and wait out COVID there, but who knows. Either way, if this is true, that might be hard to turn down.


Any content planned to talk about (complain about) the White Sox approach to the last IFA period?

I’m hoping more fans and reporters start holding their feet to the fire about that crap.

Hahn compares the pool space they traded away to unused Madri Gras beads even though they have a deal in place with Vera that could have been formalized this period. Now they have $1.5M less to work with next year.