The rebuild is over and it is time for the front office to turn this team into a true world series contender.
- Nomar Mazara: $5.9M – Non-tender
- Carlos Rodón: $4.5M – Non-tender
- Lucas Giolito: $5.3M – Tender
- Reynaldo López: $2.2M – Tender
- Evan Marshall: $1.4M – Tender
- Adam Engel: $1.4M – Tender
- Jace Fry: $1M – Non-tender
- Yolmer Sánchez: Uncertain – Non-tender
Mazara was just flat out terrible so this one was a pretty easy decision. At least he was good in the postseason I guess. Non-tendering Rodon kind of hurts as he showed flashes of dominance in 2016-17 before injuries derailed his career. I hope he can sign with a rebuilding team and go make a career for himself but Chicago is just not the place it will happen. Lopez is the only other non-tender I considered but he still has enough upside that I couldn’t justify non-tendering him to save $2 million. Due to a move later down the line Fry was non-tendered.
- Edwin Encarnación: $12M – Decline
- Gio González: $7M ($500K buyout) – Decline
- Leury García: $3.5M ($250K buyout) – Decline
Edwin and Gio were both pretty bad so these are obvious declines. I really wanted to accept Leury’s option but I don’t think he is worth that money. Instead a reunion with Yolmer is more likely.
OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS
- Alex Colomé (Made $10,532,500 in 2020) – Let go
- James McCann (Made $5.4M in 2020) – Let go
- Jarrod Dyson (Made $2M in 2020) – Let go
Colome’s luck will eventually catch up to him. He is a good closer but I don’t think he is worth the money he will require. McCann was very good for the White Sox but I can’t justify paying a backup catcher/DH the money that he will get elsewhere. If the Sox really need a speed guy off the bench I am sure they can find another cheap guy at the deadline again.
- Manager: AJ Hinch
- Pitching coach: Matt Zaleski
As a longtime White Sox fan, I never thought I would see the day Don Cooper was fired. Even more surprising is the fact that Renteria was also canned after the team ended their 12 year playoff drought. Whether you agree with this move or not, I think it is encouraging that the White Sox continue to deviate from their organizational norms and all signs point towards an organization that is committed to winning now. That being said, I think AJ Hinch is the perfect man for the job. There will be some negative media coverage for sure, but this guy is very good at what he does. He makes data-driven decisions in game, builds strong relationships with players, and handles the media well. I think we as Sox fans need to look past the cheating scandal, which he really didn’t have much control over, and accept the fact that Hinch is the right fit for the job.
I am not sure how willing they are to go find a pitching coach outside the organization but from what I have read, it seems like Matt Zaleski has done good work in Charlotte and I don’t see why he wouldn’t be able to handle the big league job. I am not all that knowledgeable about potential candidates outside the organization but this one makes sense to me.
No. 1: Marcus Stroman (Four years, $70 million)
Nobody knows what the market will look like this winter given the league-wide loss of revenue due to the pandemic. However, I think the White Sox should be able to dish out at least one hefty contract with all the money coming off the books. Stroman, much like Keuchel, will eat innings, induce weak contact, and get lots of ground balls. Having a reliable starter behind Giolito and Keuchel is probably their most glaring issue, and if there is one word to describe Stroman, it would be reliable. His FIP has been between 3.71-3.92 each of the last 4 seasons (excluding 2020) and he has thrown 691.2 innings over this span.
No. 2 : Michael Brantley (Two years, $30 million)
Assuming his production doesn’t fall off a cliff like some of the older players the White Sox have previously acquired, his bat is exactly what the White Sox are looking for. He is a left handed hitter who rarely strikes out, gets on base at a high rate, and has decent pop. At this point I view him as more of a DH but he can play LF when Eloy inevitably runs into a wall or something. Andrew Vaughn will not be on this team after I trade him shortly here.
No. 3 : Joc Pederson (Two years, $13 million)
Rick Hahn finally gets the man who has eluded him for so long, and this time Twitter will not ruin it. It is not too exciting of an acquisition but you could do a lot worse than a Pederson/Engel platoon in RF. I don’t see him costing a lot on the open market either.
No. 4 : Brett Anderson (One year, $4 million).
Similar to the Gio Gonzalez move last offseason, he will slot as the #5 starter and eat innings. Hopefully Cease takes the next step and ends up in the rotation. Same goes for Kopech but I have him starting the season in the minors.
No. 5 : Sandy Leon (One year, $2 million).
The White Sox need a backup catcher with McCann departing and Sandy Leon can be a serviceable backup. He won’t cost much and provides enough value defensively to earn a place on the roster.
No. 6 : Yolmer Sanchez (One year, $1 million)
He just won’t go away.
No. 1: Trade Andrew Vaughn, Jonathan Stiever, Zack Collins, and Reynaldo Lopez to Milwaukee for Josh Hader.
What is the point of making an offseason plan without including something unlikely? Hader has 3 more years of team control and the Brewers appear to be mired in mediocrity so perhaps they would be willing to deal him. The big bat of Vaughn and upside of Stiever will hopefully be enough to get it done although I am not sure what it would realistically take. Lopez is thrown in to see if a change of scenery can get him to live up to the potential in that arm and the same goes for Collins with his bat. Imagine a combination of Crochet and Hader coming out of the pen to absolutely lockdown a game. That would be fun to watch.
SS Tim Anderson – 7.25M
3B Yoan Moncada – 6M
1B Jose Abreu – 17.67M
LF Eloy Jimenez – 4.33M
C Yasmani Grandal – 18.25M
DH Michael Brantley – 15M
CF Luis Robert – 3.5M
RF Joc Pederson – 6.5M
2B Nick Madrigal – 563.5K
C Sandy Leon – 2M
IF/OF Yolmer Sanchez – 1M
IF Danny Mendick – 563.5K
OF Adam Engel – 1.4M
RHP Lucas Giolito – 5.2M
LHP Dallas Keuchel – 18M
RHP Marcus Stroman – 17.5M
RHP Dane Dunning – 563.5K
RHP Brett Anderson – 4M
LHP Aaron Bummer – 2M
RHP Evan Marshall – 1.4M
RHP Codi Heuer – 563.5K
LHP Garrett Crochet – 563.5K
LHP Josh Hader – 5.65M
RHP Matt Foster – 563.5K
RHP Jimmy Cordero – 600K
RHP Dylan Cease – 600K
This team will have a payroll of roughly $141M which is over the cap but not by a crazy amount. If Jerry was willing to spend $127M in 2011 I don’t see why he wouldn’t be willing to increase it to the $140M range, even with the pandemic. This team has a truly dangerous offense with the additions of Brantley and Pederson as well as a (hopefully) normal Moncada, and another year of development for Robert, Madrigal, and Jimenez. The starting pitching will have a very solid trio of Giolito, Keuchel, and Stroman leading the way with Dunning and Anderson giving productive innings on the backend. The bullpen will be absolutely dominant with Hader, Crochet, Bummer, and Heuer locking down games. I think this team should be able to compete and potentially bring the White Sox back to the world series for the first time since the storied 2005 run.
Vaughn ain’t going nowhere. He’s under control for 6 yrs. Has a ceiling of becoming the W Sox next Paulie K.