spacemanbob’s “Are They Going For It or Saving Money?” Off Season Plan

“There’s been a lot of things over the course of this rebuild…”

At one point in Rick Hahn’s end of season press conference/Rick Renteria eulogy, the question of the team’s insular past in hiring was brought up and Hahn again mentioned that the White Sox are doing business in a different way these days. Rick Hahn has largely put his moves where his mouth is in the past few years, but having spent my life watching Jerry Reinsdorf run this team, my skepticism remains high. I try to balance these two conflicting notions in this offseason plan


  • Nomar Mazara: Non-Tender
  • Carlos Rodón: Non-Tender
  • Lucas Giolito: Extend. 5 years / $65M
    • Following the template of White Sox extensions with a little extra money to get the deal done. 2021 salary: $8M
  • Reynaldo López: Tender. $1.7M
  • Evan Marshall: Tender. $1.4M
  • Adam Engel: Tender. $1M
  • Jace Fry: Tender. $800K
  • Yolmer Sánchez: Non-Tender

Total Arb salaries: $12.9M


  • Edwin Encarnación: $12M. Decline
  • Gio González: $7M ($500K buyout). Decline
  • Leury García: $3.5M ($250K buyout). Rework
    • Essentially last year’s deal but with a, “We’re out of money” caveat. Leury is a valuable player to a contending team and there’s no clear replacement in the system right now. 1 year / $2.75M, team option for 2022 at $3.5M

Total: $3.25M


I fall firmly into the camp of “retain James McCann” but stop before “at all costs.” The White Sox catching tandem was far and away the league’s best in 2020, but it was a luxury that if continued doesn’t leave room for necessities. Can’t keep paying for the new electronic bidet if you don’t fix the leak in the toilet first.

  • Alex Colomé. Let go. The White Sox track record of creating high leverage bullpen arms makes him another luxury that the Sox don’t need.
  • James McCann. I predict that James signs at 4 years / $60M…but with the Washington Nationals. If for some bizzaro reason his market evaporates (unlikely) and he needs a pillow contract, I think the White Sox are the front runners to resign him. I would be willing to go up to like $12M on this.
  • Jarrod Dyson. Didn’t even get to steal a base in the World Series this year…and won’t have the opportunity with the White Sox in 2021.


Last Tuesday I got BLASTED by some of the #FireRicky Twitterati for saying that this team was Renteria’s for the next three years at minimum when we were all in full meltdown mode during that series in Cleveland at the end of October. I was legitimately flabbergasted when they mutually agreed to fire him, but I think Rick Hahn all but said the name of the next manager on his call…

  • Manager: AJ Hinch
    • Unsexy pick. But he hits every qualification that Hahn mentioned, and I think he will pull in some good coaches with him. I wouldn’t be surprised if Alex Cintron becomes their bench coach if this happens. Have to get at least one loyalty hire in.
  • Pitching coach: Matt Zaleski
    • I think that this will really be pitched by Hahn as the guy for this role, and based on what I’ve heard and read, he’d be very deserving.


No. 1: Jose Quintana, 1 year / $5.5M. Includes incentives for IP, All-Star appearance, and Cy Young placement that can take it to $12M. This signing feels inevitable. But not in an unpleasant way. There are a lot of people on the internet that are going to trash Q, but they’re not the kind of people that I want to be drinking a Modelo around in Lot B. I think he comes back to the South Side to fill in as a fifth starter and swingman. His left handedness and starter pedigree are going to be useful, and I think he has an above average season.

No. 2: Sean Doolittle, 1 year / $4.5M, team option for 2nd year at $7.5M. Doolittle has always intrigued me. His wife is from the area and her family are Sox fans, and we all learned that sometimes that actually means something. Doolittle has been effective in his career against both righties and lefties (obviously more-so against lefties, but he’ll play against RHB). I do like a veteran presence in the ‘pen and think Doolittle slots in nicely as a left handed 7th inning guy. Could this turn into Herrera/Cishek/Gonzalez signing very quickly? Yes. Yes it could. Don’t you think that’s why it happens?

No. 3: Jackie Bradley, Jr., 3 years / $28M. I think the Sox lose out on Springer, but manage to get a very respectable player to help them against RHP. His glove helps buoy his value a ton, especially with a move away from CF. JBJ hits 8th, is around league average, and because RF has been a glaring hole of ineptitude outside of our very large adult son jacking some dingers to make us happy in 2018, we’re all very very happy at the end of next year. 2021 salary: $12M

I think the FA market is the area that Sox fans are going to become upset with the team over. I don’t see them signing Trevor Bauer for a number of reasons, money being the chief one. I am trying to set aside my personal feelings about Bauer, but I also remember the last time the White Sox had a very colorful personality inserted into their established clubhouse. I also desperately want Tim Anderson to be my friend, but the constant try-hardism of Bauer on the internet is exhausting, and I think it would get old quick. I also don’t think they’ll lay out the cash for Stroman, who I think is a comparable pitcher. I hope I’m wrong.

Total: $22M


No. 1: Trade Reynaldo Lopez, Andrew Dalquist, Jared Kelley and Jace Fry to the Colorado Rockies for LHP Kyle Freeland. Freeland has had success in a place where pitchers don’t have success. He slots in decently at the #3 spot and will take the ball consistently. Colorado is clearly not interested in contending soon, so two power arms that are a few years away is enticing. Lopez goes to Colorado to take Freeland’s rotation spot in the interim. Fry is a nice bullpen piece for them to have. Freeland isn’t a FA until 2024, and will make $5.5M in arbitration this year. I am fine if the Rockies want to pick from the White Sox minor league arms (Lambert/Stiever/Thompson/whoever) in place of Dalquist and Kelly.

Total: $5.5M


Opening Day line-up:
SS – Tim Anderson
C – Yasmani Grandal
1B – Jose Abreu
LF – Eloy Jimenez
3B – Yoan Moncada
CF – Luis Robert
DH – Andrew Vaughn
RF – Jackie Bradley, Jr.
2B – Leury Garcia
Bench: Zack Collins, Adam Engel, Danny Mendick, Placeholder INF (Goins/Romine) until Madrigal is back.

1: Lucas Giolito
2: Dallas Keuchel
3: Kyle Freeland
4: Dane Dunning
5: Dylan Cease/Michael Kopech/Jose Quintana

Closer: Codi Heuer
Set-up: Aaron Bummer
Set-up: Evan Marshall
Set-up: Sean Doolittle
RP: Matt Foster
RP: Garrett Crochet
RP: Jimmy Cordero
RP: Quintana/Ruiz/Kopech

Total Payroll: $118,950,000

I would like to first recognize that I still have almost $20M to spend. But I don’t see Jerry actually opening the checkbook after a year of no fans. It’s an easy excuse to lean on to not spend money. I do think that we see the position player core take a step forward, with a rebound from Moncada offsetting some regression from Abreu. Vaughn is good enough at the plate and isn’t overexposed. The catching becomes a weak spot because Zack Collins is going to be exposed, and if Grandal gets hurt they’re in big trouble. There is enough pitching to not have a panicked bullpen game, but still space to allow some of the young arms to figure it out. Hopefully Cease can turn a corner, but if not, having Quintana and a Michael Kopech who’s pitched off some of the rust in AAA can hopefully fill in.

2021 Results: 91-71, 2nd Wild Card spot. Make it to the ALCS.

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lil jimmy

Jackie Bradley Jr
“His .814 OPS in 55 games was his highest since 2016 when he was an All-Star. He was paced out to hit more than 20 home runs in a 162-game schedule, and his strikeout rate was a career-low 22.1%. 283 BA/ 362 OBP/ 814 OPS. Hits both LHP and RHP.
smart, competent, respected. Still 30 and a Boras client, The cost will be higher.

lil jimmy

Three years with an option. 10-11 per seems right. I like him for us though.


I like the idea of Freeland, but not at that cost. Knock off Kelley then I’m interested.

Eagle Bones

I’ve never really been a huge Freeland fan, but it’s always interesting to dream on pitchers leaving coors. Would be curious to see how hed look elsewhere. I agree with hall of frank that you’re probably overpaying a bit, but you’re in the ballpark.


He surprisingly has basically played exactly half his career away from Coors and the numbers are basically the same. His ERA is lower but its not because he’s allowing fewer baserunners. His strikeouts are the same, home or away. Not a bad pitcher but I don’t see him suddenly in the CY conversation just by leaving Coors.

John SF

Because one of the other in-division ballparks for the Rockies is in Phoenix (2nd biggest offensive park factor in baseball), but you also have Dodger Stadium and San Francisco (two of the top five *defensive* park factor locations) — and because pitchers only go once every five days — it’s really hard to infer too much from anything with Colorado until the sample is really really large.

>60% of this games are played in absurd offensive environments

> 20% of their games are played in absurd defensive environments

A pitcher can get really lucky with that kind of schedule or really unlucky.

That’s why park-normalized stats are so important for pitchers. Like OPS+ -against. Even stats like FIP will lie to you and not in a predictable way, and obviously ERA will be even less accurate.