Rock_beats_papr’s Offseason Plan: It’s time to zig, Jerry

PREAMBLE

 First, in an offseason unlike another, my sincerest hope is that Jerry finally zigs when everyone else zags. We have all been wondering if the money that was not being spent the last decade was being saved up, if it was, now is the time to capitalize on what could be a down market and go for broke (pardon the pun, given that owners and Manfred are already crying poor).  Imagine winning an offseason that leads to direct wins the next year. Time to earn that “Executive of the Year” award that is already sitting on your mantle, Hahn.

Second, this year, we cannot afford to take on any projects (Mazara). We also need talent that is not past their prime and may regress (Edwin). Get proven players that can be plugged into this line up now! Also, we cannot rest on the laurels of the bullpen. Those are always mercurial, especially with younger pitchers. I do not think this is being talked about enough for the White Sox. Look at the Brewers and what a good bull pen can overcome (albeit with a much better and more creative manager than we had).

Finally, some self-congratulation – for last years OPP (https://soxmachine.com/2019/11/03/you-down-with-ops-yeah-you-know-us-rock_beats_paprs-offseason-plan/),  I targeted a couple of players that fit immediate needs that were still young enough to contribute long term. Wilmer Flores and Mike Yastrzemski. With Flores at second (and then sliding into the Leury role when Madrigal was ready) and Yaz in right the lineup would have produced another 20ish home runs and very likely won the division. All that means is that this year, my OPP will be a massive failure. So without further ado…

 ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE PLAYERS

  • Nomar Mazara: $5.6M | $5.9M | $5.7M

Non-Tender – see note 2 in my preamble

  • Carlos Rodón: $4.5M | $4.5M | $4.5M

Non-Tender – I initially kept him, but the budget dictated otherwise. Here is why I would keep him though, if it were possible. Rodon may not have the ability to stay healthy enough as a starter, but I like him much better in the Andrew Miller/Josh Hader role than Reynaldo. Which some have suggested is where Reynaldo should be used.

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

Extend – 6 years $130 million. Lock him up, and back load the contract to help ease the burden for this year. Say $6 million for 2021.

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

Non-Tender – maybe he can be brought back on a minor league deal.

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

Extend – 3 years $6 million

  • Adam Engel: $1M | $1.4M | $1M

Tender – 2 years $3million. He is the prototypical 4th outfielder especially with Eloy’s defensive prowess.

  • Jace Fry: $800K | $1M | $800K

Tender – at $800k. I still see the talent and would hate to give up on that now.

  • Yolmer Sánchez: Uncertain

Non-tender – we’ll always have the Gatorade baths.

CLUB OPTIONS

Write “pick up” or “decline” or “rework” after the option.

  • Edwin Encarnación: $12M

Decline

  • Gio González: $7M ($500K buyout)

Buyout

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

Buyout – I struggle with this one, but Leury is just not available enough. If the price is right after testing free agency, he is a great bench player and I would not mind bringing him back, but not at $3.5 million when there are other priorities.

OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS

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

Resign – 3 years $32 million. Again, we cannot neglect the bullpen. Colome gets the job done and we will need a proven closer. Colome will be cheaper than Hendricks and unless you are making a trade, there are not really any other options.

  • James McCann (Made $5.4M in 2020)

Try to retain, it is just not going to happen. I will carry on assuming McCann is manning the plate elsewhere. I miss him already.

  • Jarrod Dyson (Made $2M in 2020)

Let Go: How long before he is the one player no one remembers was on the team in a SoxMachine Sporcle?

COACHING STAFF

  • Manager: A.J. Hinch

Will we have any moral ground to stand on? Probably not. But sometimes you need to prioritize wining. I forget where I heard this, but I am hanging my hat on AJ. Hinch being like Sean Payton. Payton knew about the bounty-gate scandal, but kept his head down because he just focused on the offense and winning games. He should have reported it, but that was a judgement error, not a lack of managerial abilities error, not an issue with leading a team, but a moral lapse. Here is to hoping Hinch can get past the cheating scandal. Can’t wait for Brooks Boyer to have a garbage pail give away day.

  • Pitching coach: Steve Karsay

As I noted above, Brewer’s bullpen has been outstanding. I am also biased as I live in Milwaukee. Karsay has interviewed for the Mets pitching coach position, so there is at least that. What am I supposed to do here? I don’t know anything about this. Besides, AJ Hinch will bring in someone he knows probably.

FREE AGENTS

To make the budget work for 2021 and 2022, I am looking at Hahn to back load the free agent deals. I think this is achievable in this offseason as it limits early risk for the owners, but still provides full enough value to the players over the term of the contact. After 2022 Jose will be off the books, but other players will be making more. After two hopefully very successful years with at least some fans in the stands in 2021 and full operation in 2022, the budget will be able to handle this. Otherwise, I will be back here trading guys for salary relief in my 2022-2023 OPP.

No. 1: George Springer (6 years, $160 million). $22 million in 2021

Brining in AJ Hinch gives the Sox the edge in Springer’s market. They still have to pay him though. Do not mess around and go get the best available bat to make this lineup deadly.

No. 2: Marcus Stroman (5 years, $110 million). $16 million in 2021

Conversely to Springer, brining in AJ Hinch means the Sox will not be able to acquire the talents of one Trevor Bauer. I can live with that if we get Springer and Stroman. Stroman at number 3 behind Giolito and Keuchel takes a lot of pressure off him and everyone else in the rotation. I think pitching contracts will be hit harder than position players and with Stroman’s recent injury/opting out from 2020, I think he will have to settle for a little less than what the market would have had him a year ago.

No. 3: Brad Peacock (2 years, $4 million).

Another ex-Astro for the new manager. He is having arthroscopic shoulder surgery, so hopefully he is healthy and can be as reliable as he was for AJ Hinch in the past.

TRADES

No. 1: Trade Jake Burger, Jimmy Lambert, and Yermin Mercedes to the Royals for Salvador Perez.

The White Sox need to pair Grandal with another veteran for 2021. Perez is entering the final year of his deal and with the Royals obviously rebuilding, I assume they would be willing to trade their best asset. Perez slots in exactly as McCann would have rotating between 1st, DH and Catcher to get into 100 or so games. All it cost is prospects, but this kicks the back up catcher plan down the road one more season. I am not confident this would be enough for the Royals to trade within the division, but Burger, Lambert and Mercedes do not have a clearly defined role in this organization going forward and the Royals can probably slot them right into their Opening Day roster.

SUMMARY

Salvador Perez is likely a luxury the books cant handle, but I still like the move enough to keep it in. Andrew Vaughn will be up, but to rely on a rookie to fix the White Sox seemingly unending train wreck that is the DH spot is not fair and with the expectations of World Series or bust, not a good idea. All in the budget for this construction is just under $160,000,000. This blows Jim’s soft cap out of the water. And these signings balloon the payroll to $180,000,000+ in a couple of years. Please zig Jerry, please zig. The core of this team is young enough that the payroll won’t become a burden like the Tiger’s payroll did. The foundation has been set now go out and win! Win the offseason, win the division, win the pennant, win that damn hunk of metal that is the Commissioner’s trophy.

Line Up

  1. Tim Anderson
  2. Luis Robert
  3. Yoan Moncada
  4. George Springer
  5. Eloy Jimenez
  6. Jose Abreu
  7. Yasmani Grandal
  8. Andrew Vaughn/Salvador Perez
  9. Nick Madrigal

Bench

  1. Andrew Vaughn/Salvador Perez
  2. Adam Engel
  3. Danny Mendick
  4. Laz Rivera (I Guess) This would likely be filled with another free agent piece, maybe even brining back Leury or someone like Joe Panik.

Rotation

  1. Lucas Giolito
  2. Dallas Keuchel
  3. Marcus Stroman
  4. Michael Kopech
  5. Dane Dunning

Bullpen

  1. Alex Colome
  2. Aaron Bummer
  3. Garret Crochet
  4. Evan Marshall
  5. Matt Foster
  6. Brad Peacock
  7. Codi Heuer
  8. Jace Fry
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andyfaust

Yeah, the Salvador Perez thing strikes me as really weird. Why would you spend a bunch of money to have a second catcher on the 26 man roster that is not James McCann? I like the spending lots of money part though.