I think after the dust settles on this offseason, the perceived winners will be the teams that took advantage of organizations that are strapped for cash. This could be a once in a lifetime opportunity for wealthy owners that don’t answer to a board and a budget or clubs like the Sox that were seemingly pre-positioned with a great deal of money to spend.
While the Sox are clearly poised for a playoff run in 2021, I am a tad concerned with our fanbase’s willingness to spend essentially ALL (and then some) of our projected 2024/2025 payroll this offseason. I think trying to roster a team that is an overwhelming Central Division favorite but still allowing for spending to correct future deficiencies at the deadline or the next two offseasons is crucial.
Nomar Mazara: $5.6M | $5.9M | $5.7M – Non-Tender
This is all my fault: September 2019 I’m standing in the little concession area at the entrance to the scout seats when a small but affable GM strikes up a conversation with me. I took the opportunity to ask him about Nomar Mazara. He seemed impressed Nomar was on my radar but he tried to play it off. He rebuffed asking what I thought about the player. Instead of just saying my opinion doesn’t matter, my dumbass told our little leader that I believed Mazara had upside offensively but I worried about his defense. He said “You know, he should be a better defender” while giving a big smirk.
The very next day Mazara was tied to the Sox in a few different national rumors. As my son constantly says: “No Cap”. As my son also constantly has to say “I’m sorry, I won’t do it again”.
Carlos Rodón: $4.5M | $4.5M | $4.5M – Non-Tender
Members of Carlos’ immediate family can single out the one negative comment in their mentions from a different fanbase in 2021. I never understood the hate towards the club who drafted him, fast tracked him to the bigs, never forced him into the bullpen despite constant struggles and essentially let him have major elective surgery not once but twice during his pre-arb years. And by elective surgery I mean “Velo is down, something isn’t right, let’s try surgery”. Good riddance.
Lucas Giolito: $2.5M | $5.3M | $2.5M – Tender
Seems like a good idea to keep this guy.
Reynaldo López: $1.7M | $2.2M | $1.7M – Tender
The consensus on White Sox internet is that no one wants to pay him to play here but that some other organization will not only pay him 1.7 but will give us something positive in return. Makes perfect sense.
Evan Marshall: $1.3M | $1.9M | $1.4M – Tender
Hearing the word “Tender” and Evan Marshall just makes me think of brisket.
Adam Engel: $1M | $1.4M | $1M – Tender
If at first you don’t succeed, give a guy 4 years and he will prove to be a sufficient 4th outfielder.
Jace Fry: $800K | $1M | $800K – Tender
Easy decision here. Surprised some choose to let him go but turn around and sign journeyman vet relievers with zero upside for more money.
Yolmer Sánchez: Non-Tender
Goodbye sweet prince.
Edwin Encarnación: $12M – Decline
It was painfully obvious that old E5 couldn’t catch up to four seamers in Spring Training. It was extremely frustrating that he received 181 plate appearances months after that. I’m curious how long his leash would have been during a traditional season but good teams don’t ride out their mistaeks all the way to the finish line.
Gio González: $7M ($500K buyout) – Buyout
Every offseason Sox internet seemingly wants to add one veteran starter for around 10 million Jerry bucks. You didn’t ask but I’d personally rather give the chance to a failed prospect that has team control remaining, so in the event you catch lightning… you’ve got something. If they don’t work out, you saved millions and if you are competing you can go shopping at the deadline for a veteran starter that is currently in good form, that likely won’t cost much more than just the remaining money on their deal.
Leury García: $3.5M ($250K buyout) – Pick Up
Not surprised to see Leury back, but I was shocked to see him get his number in October. Playoff teams are deep. 2021 is the year the national audience learns his name isn’t pronounced Larry. Also, happy that he has some money now. The kitchen in his cooking videos was not fit for a major leaguer.
OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS
Alex Colomé (Made $10,532,500 in 2020) – Let Go
If I’m gonna overpay a reliever because he pitches the last inning instead of the seventh, he’s gotta have a dope intro song and way better facial hair. Bad Bunny and that weak ass chin strap ain’t doing it for me.
James McCann (Made $5.4M in 2020) – Let Go
You’d have to severely outbid the market to get James to sign on to not be a full time starting catcher. And then in turn you’d be severely overpaying Yaz to be a part time catcher. If he wasn’t so damn wholesome and handsome the fan base wouldn’t be this attached. Someone get Zack Collins a Christian rock Spotify playlist and a tan.
Jarrod Dyson (Made $2M in 2020) – Let Go
Dyson looked real nice on the bases wearing a mask. There is just something badass about a base stealer taking his lead looking like a bank robber. If we still have to wear masks in 2021 I’ll find the vet minimum in the Ron Kittle homemade bat couch cushions so we can bring him back.
When I was a kid we had to keep a crappy player on my travel baseball team because his family was friends with the owner of the organization. We stuck him in LF and he batted last. At least Jerry isn’t trying to play old Tony in LF.
Pitching coach: Ethan Katz
Pairing a young, Cali-Bro pitching savant with a drunk grandpa of a manager seems like a swell idea. I expect several photos from Glendale of Katz showing La Russa some sweet pitch grips and Tony pretending he is interested.
No. 1: Joc Pederson (one year, $10 million, $15 million team option for 2022).
George Springer would be an amazing fit. I fear that his ability to play CF will bring several other suitors into the market and push his years and money high enough to where it could negatively impact the club’s ability to keep our core down the road. Signing “Relatively Young Joc” gives you the flexibility to move next offseason on a superstar outfielder if that remains our “only hole” or have some Jerry bucks available to spend in places that might not go as planned.
Joc still seemingly has some upside remaining and the fanbase seems to want to see more of Adam Engel and the two are natural platoon partners. The option for 2022 is nice if Joc reaches that ceiling in 2021. I’m surprised by the historical lack of team friendly options included in short term deals for players that are jumping into envious playing situations when they have seemingly limited options elsewhere.
No. 2 Kirby Yates (one year 4 million)
The Sox bullpen depth allows them to take a reasonable gamble on Yates and not have to commit multiple years to one of the safer names on the market.
No. 3 Kyle Schwarber (one year 4 million, $8 million team option for 2022).
Chasing some upside here with Schwarber. Leury and Engel pair with him nicely. Not certain what kind of money he might get as he hasn’t even been non-tendered yet, but at 4 or 5 million you can bail on him mid-season his slump continues. Voglebach is another inexpensive, short term fit if Schwarbo were to stay on the Northside.
No. 1: Trade Andrew Vaughn, Dane Dunning & Reynaldo Lopez to the Rockies for Germán Márquez.
I know White Sox internet is firmly entrenched in JUST SPEND MONEY JERRY mode at this time and would absolutely vomit at the thought of parting with Vaughn. I’m afraid Jerry will need the highest bid by tens of millions or give an extra year or two to sway Trevor Bauer from choosing the highest NY or LA bidder. While Marquez is Colorado’s most valuable asset and would likely only be available if they also move Story, Arenado or both, but in the event they’re selling, I’m buying.
No. 2: Trade Michael Kopech, Blake Rutherford, Jonathon Stiever & Micker Adolfo to the Brewers for Brandon Woodruff.
I hate giving up Kopech’s insane upside but I can’t imagine the Sox front office is in love with him, dating back to his initial elbow injury occurring immediately after his call-up. Not sure how other organizations rate Michael these days but I believe he leaves this winter if the Sox were to make a blockbuster trade. Similar to the Marquez deal I don’t think it happens unless the Brew Crew sell other pieces first, but if they do (and I expect multiple teams to be selling the farm this winter), I think this return makes some sense for Milwaukee.
Yasmani Grandal 18.25 million
Zack Collins .5
Jose Abreu 17.5
Nick Madrigal .5
Leury Garcia 3.5
Danny Mendick .5
Tim Anderson 7.25
Yoan Moncada 6.75
Eloy Jimenez 4.5
Kyle Schwarber 4
Luis Robert 3.5
Joc Pederson 8
Adam Engel 1.25
Lucas Giolito 3.5
German Marquez 7.75
Brandon Woodruff 3.5
Dallas Keuchel 18
Dylan Cease .5
Kirby Yates 5
Aaron Bummer 2
Evan Marshall 1.5
Jace Fry 1
Garret Crochet .5
Codi Heuer .5
Matt Foster .5
Jimmy Cordero .5
121 Million Dollar Payroll based on SportTrac (higher number than many are using for this exercise).