Initially, I thought I wasn’t going to submit a plan this year because there are so many variables up in the air (literally) that makes me think we aren’t going to have a normal season in 2021. The fanless season worked, but are the owners willing to absorb another fanless season? For how many days this time?
Budgets are gonna be constrained. GMs will prefer to keep it simple until they navigate in waters they are familiar. So my plan is gonna be extremely simple, and it starts from the premise that the 2020 White Sox were a good team. With all its flaws, it was a team on pace to 95 wins in a normal season, so does it make sense to change it a lot? Nope. It doesn’t. However, this team is one good pitcher away from greatness.
I’m working with MLB Trade Rumors’ 162-game extrapolated arbitration estimates, simply because those are the highest. Better to overestimate than underestimate.
- Nomar Mazara ($5.9M): Tender. Yes, I hate this guy, and I may be the only one who is tendering im, Why, you say? Because he is cheap. Because with him and Engel, the White Sox were a good team. Let’s not complicate things. Bring him back. We have enough power somewhere else.
- Carlos Rodón ($4.5M): Non-tender. He just can’t stay healthy enough to even considering him.
- Lucas Giolito ($5.3M): Tender. Duh.
- Reynaldo López ($2.2M): Tender. I think as pitching depth, he is adequate. He can be the perfect 5th starter in most teams. Maybe a long arm in the pen. There is value at 2.2 M
- Evan Marshall ($1.9M): Tender. He has quietly become a very reliable reliever.
- Adam Engel ($1.4M): Tender. At 1.4M, Engel is a bargain. I think he can still improve, and he is no longer a disaster with the bat at the right circumstances
- Jace Fry ($1M): Tender. Sure, why not. He isn’t great, but 1 M is nothing. Pitching depth is never enough.
- Yolmer Sánchez: Non-tender. Well, he is an Oriole as I write this. I was gonna bring him back under a contract after non-tendering.
- Edwin Encarnación ($12M): Buy out. He is at the door of retirement
- Gio Gonzalez ($7M/$500K): Buy out. Not enough health here.
- Leury García ($3.5M/$250K): Pick up. His option has already been picked, but I was gonna pick him up anyways because the main theme of this plan “Keep it simple”
OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS
- Alex Colomé: Keeper. Like I mentioned, Hahn should keep what worked. And Colome worked very well. We were struggling at times in 2020 from not having enough pitching depth, so letting Colome to walk away is not a smart move. Offer 2 years at 28 Million.
- James McCann: Let go. It will be great to keep him, but I reckon that it won’t be possible. McCann wants a big contract, the time is right and he worked hard to earn it. Hahn won’t give him what he wants. Other teams will at a premium position.
- Jarrod Dyson: Let go. Just so easy to get as many Dysons, Hamiltons, etc at the trade deadline.
- Manager: John Gibbons. I know we are rolling the dice with La Russa, but I was gonna pick Gibbons anyway. He is a good manager.
- Pitching coach: ?!?. I honestly have no clue
Extend Alex Colome. As mentioned above, extend Colome for 2 years at 28 M
No. 1: TREVOR BAUER (3 years, $70 million). He is not in the Gerrit Cole’s “money” territory, but I reckon he is at a point of his career where he should get more than what Keuchel got. With Bauer/Giolito/Keuchel, plus our younger arms, and who knows where Kopech will be, all the sudden the White Sox look very strong to beat any team in the post-season.
No 2: JUSTIN TURNER (1 year, 13 million + club option). Turner is no longer a great fielder, and he seems poised to be a DH with occasional 3B fielding duties. He can help Moncada to give him a rest, and he can replace Encarnacion with a very competent bat. He has been in many playoffs. Good experienced player to have and he is probably not gonna command a lot of money.
No 3: TYLER FLOWERS (1 year, 4M + club option). He can be our new McCann
That’s it. I think the 2020 White Sox were one starting pitcher short to be able to overcome the As and probably any other playoff adversary. I focus on that. Let’s just bring the best available, and roll with it.
SS Tim Anderson (R)
3B Yoán Moncada (S)
C Yasmani Grandal (S)
1B José Abreu (R)
LF Nomar Mazara (L)
DH Justin Turner (R)
RF Eloy Jiménez (R)
CF Luis Robert (R)
2B Nick Madrigal (R)
This lineup is solid. Will produce enough runs for an average starting pitching staff to win 90 plus games
C Tyler Flowers (R)
IF Danny Mendick (R)
OF Adam Engel (R)
UT Leury García (S)
That’s a pretty decent bench.
Lucas Giolito (R)
Dallas Keuchel (L)
Dylan Cease (R)
Dane Dunning (R)
Alex Colome (R)
Aaron Bummer (L)
Evan Marshall (R)
Rey Lopez (R)
Matt Foster (R)
Codi Heuer (R)
Jace Fry (L)
Jimmy Cordero (R)
Garrett Crochet should be looming.
I was hooked when you were saying let’s stay the course and keep what worked but then you made a quick left and let McCann walk. Anyone who watched Flowers catch here or in Atlanta knows that he can never be our new James McCann. I’m afraid he would be our old Joel Skinner or worse the old Tyler Flowers. #Sign McCann
We are talking about a back-up catcher. McCann was an unusual one because he was a back-up catcher for us, but he would be the primary catcher probably in more than half of the teams. I am up for Hahn to try to keep him, but he isn’t going to be cheap, and he wants to play everyday. We have Grandal and we have Vaughn. Maybe McCann and Hahn can work out a 1 year type of deal, but I think McCann can assure his future and his family’s with a long term contract that I am sure he will find.
Bauer is going to be one of the few FAs that get a huge deal, Jerry would like your number though. Seems like roughly the right price for Flowers. Turner will probably get somewhere around 2/25 from the Dodgers so you have to beat that; he most likely doesn’t want to leave. Colome offer is reasonable.
Thank you for your comment. Bauer is known to be an oddity. He prefers to sign year by year contracts rather than long terms contracts. Reinsdorf likes short term contracts. Maybe there is a chance.. The Dodgers are favorites to keep Turner, but how knows.