Lance Lynn brings innings to White Sox rotation, and good ones

For all Lucas Giolito has accomplished during his remarkable turnaround, he hasn’t quite able to show that he can log 200 innings a season. He was on a 195-inning pace for 2020, but prior to that, he’d topped out at 177 innings in 2019.

While Dallas Keuchel led the league with 232 innings during his Cy Young season in 2015, he’s struggled to turn in a complete season since. He’s only made 30 starts in one of his last five seasons, and while his last two seasons were abbreviated for reasons beyond his control, he had to miss a turn with back spasms during 2020’s two-month schedule.

Enter Lance Lynn, whose durability the last two seasons was a major point of emphasis during the Zoom call announcing the White Sox’s acquisition of his services.

Rick Hahn stressed it:

“In Lynn, we feel we’re able to serve both those masters, in getting a guy who not only — again, I’m very cautious of the baseball gods when I speak like this — but a guy who traditionally has been able to provide you reliable bulk innings and, in a normal season, provide you with a reasonable projection of 200 innings of us, but also provides front-end quality based on what he’s been over the last couple years.”

And Lynn said the same thing when discussing his preparation during an uncertain winter:

“For me it’s status quo, just like it was during the pandemic last year. My goal is to get myself, my body and my mind right to lead the league in innings, starts, pitches thrown and all that good stuff.”

Lynn may not look like the model of durability, but indeed, he leads all of baseball in those categories since the start of the 2019 season (runner-up in parentheses):

  • Innings: 292.1 (Shane Bieber, 291.2)
  • Starts: 46 (tied with Aaron Nola)
  • Pitches: 4,961 (Trevor Bauer, 4,852)

Lynn addresses deficiencies big and small with the White Sox rotation. The Sox maybe didn’t need a pitcher of Lynn’s caliber, but they could use somebody with Lynn’s ability to complete six innings, and most starting pitchers who make that routine are getting Cy Young votes nowadays. If he can deliver on his past performance, he lowers the demands made on whatever other starter candidates the White Sox acquire this winter, along with Michael Kopech, Dylan Cease, Reynaldo López, as well as the bullpen.

Hahn said the White Sox’s interest in Lynn goes back to Lynn’s late 2017 improvement with the Minnesota Twins and New York Yankees, but during that period of intentional losing, the Sox weren’t willing to spend anything close to the three years and $30 million on a pitcher, which is what the Rangers signed him for. Instead, the Sox had to send a well-regarded prospect in Dane Dunning to acquire Lynn on the last year of that deal.

PERTINENT: Lance Lynn is a great start, as long as White Sox don’t stop short

I don’t think anybody foresaw Lynn turning in a pair of Cy Young finishes, but Lynn made his improvement on the Zoom call sound relatively simple.

“I learned the things that I was good at, and always been good at, how to use them more.”

After a laugh, and another question, he elaborated:

“It was crazy. I’ve had a pitching coach I’ve used in (Indianapolis), Jay Lear, since I was 12 years old, and we knew that my four-seam spin rate was good, and I was like, “Well why don’t we just throw everything off that?” And he goes, “Yeah.”

“Then when I moved to the rubber where it felt comfortable, where I could repeat everything, and then everything else played off that, instead of trying to manipulate sinkers and stuff like that, it was going back to doing what you do, what feels confident, what you can repeat and then make everything else work off that.”

Lynn can still sink and cut it, and between that, his durability and his build, he strikes me as a little bit of a Bartolo Colón, who succeeded into his 40s with his command of his fastball variety. Hahn said he wouldn’t discuss the possibility of an extension at the moment, but if they did lock him up into his mid-30s, perhaps it’s because they see something similar.

Lynn doesn’t speak with a whole lot of enthusiasm and inflection, but he sounded beyond boilerplate excited to join the White Sox and reunite with Tony La Russa, under whom he had a successful introduction to the big leagues.

He broke in as a rookie in the St. Louis bullpen, posting a 3.12 ERA with 40 strikeouts to 11 walks over 18 games and 34⅔ innings. He also pitched in 10 of the Cardinals’ 13 final postseason games, as part of a deployment that Lynn said would fit in today’s game.

“I think a few things have changed over the past nine years, but he was kind of ahead of his time when he was doing his thing. I remember when I was a rookie and we were in the playoffs (in 2011), he used the bullpen more innings than the starters, but that was just because we had to.

“He was doing it because he could feel the game. He knew what guys were capable of, and he put guys in the best situations. So, if you’re able to do that with all the stuff that we have at our disposal now that weren’t there 10 years ago, I think you’re looking at the ability to have a lot of success, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes.”

(Lynn wasn’t asked about La Russa’s DUI charge, and Hahn once again dodged comment, maintaining that the White Sox wouldn’t offer any statement until the legal process is resolved. Here’s where I’ll note that we’re approaching $700 raised for the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists through purchases of the Hall of Famer Baseball Person t-shirts, and we’re down to our final 11 shirts.)

Add it all up, and it seems like Lynn should work out. Standard caveats regarding pitcher health apply, a point Rick Hahn acknowledged in a quest to avoid karmic retribution, but the White Sox have the right idea behind this rental pitcher, and Lynn very clearly understands the terms of the arrangement.

“Right now, I’m on pace to be ready for a normal spring training, and do everything I can to be prepared to throw 200 innings, 33, 34 starts, and on into the playoffs, because that’s why they got me.”

(Photo by Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire)

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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Root Cause

Great write up.
I think we all flinch when the FO trots out something out of left field.
I am hopeful that they continue to invest this winter- a closer and a good DH and I will happily pay my cable fees to watch next year.

Neat_on_the_rocks

If the Whitesox go get Brantley and Hendricks, this will be a succesful offseason. I’m not a crazy person, Even just Brantley as the last notable name would satiate me.

If they go get Schwarber and Quintana, it will be an underwhelming offseason where they at least clipped the bare minimum expectations. If they’re basically done and move to players even worse than those in the Schwarber/Quintana tier… well.

Last edited 2 years ago by Neat_on_the_rocks
HakunaMoncada

They need to spend 20-30M to finish this offseason without pissing off the entire fan base. Whether that be Springer and some cheaper reliever retreads or Brantley, Hendricks, etc they need to be impact moves… If they go the route of cheap rebounds to finish the offseason, there is no hope.

35Shields

I’d be pretty happy with Schwarber, Quintana and a RP.

Steamer basically views Schwarber and Brantley as equivalent (2 WAR vs 1.9 WAR, 117 wRC+ vs 113 wRC+). Schwarber is younger and might even cost less.

Quintana also seems like a decent add. He was still pretty solid on the Cubs when healthy – he was producing at a pace of 3 WAR/ 200 IP. Maybe he won’t be healthy, but the White Sox actually have SP depth – just the kind of depth that you would prefer to be plan b instead of plan a going into the season. He should be pretty affordable.

If they need to go slightly cheaper to get a DH, SP and RP instead of just two of those, I’m okay with that.

Josh Nelson

If the White Sox signed Brantley and Hendriks, I’d put the offseason into B grade range as I think highly of Lynn, Brantley, and Hendriks.

Depending on the bidding war between Toronto and New York for George Springer, it may end up Brantley + Hendricks = Springer in AAV terms. Maybe slightly more.

HakunaMoncada

Honestly if they got Brantley and Hendriks, Id give them an A- for this offseason. If that happens they will have acquired the 2nd best starting pitcher available (albeit via trade; I don’t count Snell/Wheeler as actually having been made available), the best relief pitcher available (Hendriks was literally AL Reliever of the year), and the second best corner outfielder available (Brantley’s 2019-20 total of 5.5 fWAR ranks second among all outfield free agents after Springer). I was shocked to see that Eaton’s 1.9 fWAR between 2019-20 actually ranks first among all RF free agent (Ozuna played more as DH than anywhere else so he wasn’t ranked as a RF). If you realize we were never going to get Bauer anyways, this is a damn good haul and we didn’t trade the farm away.

Edit: Heres the link to MLB.com’s free agent rankings with their fWAR totals over the combined 2019 and 2020 seasons if anyone wanted to reference.
https://www.mlb.com/news/2021-mlb-free-agents-by-position

Last edited 2 years ago by HakunaMoncada
Josh Nelson

I don’t really consider Brantley more than a DH/LF option at this stage in his career.

Adam Eaton is/was not the second best available corner outfielder.

HakunaMoncada

Josh, don’t get me wrong I agree with both of those statements. I went off the rankings on the site I linked, and it had Brantley as LF based on the stipulation that he played there more than DH or RF over the course of 19-20. In 2020 he played 19 games in LF and 26 as DH. So you’re right, but the idea is to add an impact OF bat.

Brantley is by far the next best option after Springer without making a significant prospect trade to acquire someone. 2021 OF Free agent fWAR over last two years: 1) Springer 8.4, 2) Brantley 5.5, 3) Gardner 4.2, 4) Pederson/Schwarber 3.0, 5) Jackie Bradley Jr 2.8

Gardner is 37 and the rest need to be platooned. The Sox are competing with 29 other teams (probably realistically like 15) to sign these guys. Getting Brantley would be a terrific upgrade for our roster, and worst case is he still plays better LF defense than Eloy.

As for Eaton, I am not a fan at all of bringing him back now, but theres not a lot of RF options if we don’t get Springer. I just don’t think we can realistically expect them to bring in the top available player at every position of need. And hell, if we do sign Springer and Hendriks, then I’ll give them an A++!

Last edited 2 years ago by HakunaMoncada
Eagle Bones

“If you realize we were never going to get Bauer anyways, this is a damn good haul and we didn’t trade the farm away.”

Well yeah if you just forget about the actual good players that were available, the mediocre ones they end up with look better.

HakunaMoncada

If the only way to make you happy this offseason is to sign Bauer AND Springer AND others, that’s just unrealistic. Especially for a team with an owner who likes to cry poor even when there’s no pandemic. If the mediocre moves are for depth and not stop gaps, they are fine.

There are a lot of GOOD players that fit the Sox needs still. We can’t have an All star at every position and Eaton is better depth than Luis Gonzalez or a AAAA guy.

If they stop adding, and don’t spend another 30M like I said above, then yes this current roster is going to have problems.

Eagle Bones

Not signing them isn’t the problem. The problem is they appear to not even be making an effort to do so. And they seem to have convinced a fairly large portion of the fan base that that strategy is something between acceptable and smart, so why would they even bother at this point?

HakunaMoncada

I agree with you. The whole “seat at the table” talk is 100% bullshit. But I want to wait and see what else gets added before I judge the offseason a failure.

Just for shits, assume the Mets outbid us for Springer… what would it take the rest of the offseason to garner an A rating from you?

Eagle Bones

Honestly without signing Bauer or Springer, it would be difficult for me to give them an A. It’s about execution and if they don’t convert on the top targets, then they’re not going to get that kind of approval, nor should they. Other than COVID, there were several factors that made signing one of those guys make so much sense. They’ve shaved payroll way down (and saved a ton of money the last several years by keeping it there), so they have plenty of room to add that kind of contract. They’re squarely in their competitive window now, so they’re at the point in the win curve where it’s most valuable to add that kind of elite player. Their minor league system is hurting, so it made a ton of sense to pursue players that only cost money and not talent. And this FA class falls off pretty quick after the top couple guys (especially after some guys accepted QOs), so it wasn’t like there was a strong second tier to shift to. For all of these reasons, it made sense to go HARD after both of those guys and do everything they could to convert on at least one. And it doesn’t appear that they’re even making any kind of effort at least from what we’re seeing reported and reading between the lines. So no, I’m not really sure I could give them an A without one of those guys.

What would they have to do to get a good grade from me without those two? My next best scenario would probably involve pursuing the top trade targets like Bryant, Lynn, etc. and combining with the next tier of FA bats and arms. So yeah, I like the idea of acquiring Lynn. The problem is they had to subtract from their ML roster to do it (hence why FA was the better route to take). If we ignore the off-field / clubhouse stuff with Eaton (which I don’t think we should, but whatever), that signing would have made some sense later in the offseason after exhausting other options or as a depth piece. To commit a roster spot and money to him at this point of the offseason with many other better options still available does not make sense to me. If they weren’t going to get one of the top guys, the next logical route was to try to get a larger volume of the next tier of guys (i.e. two solid SP, two good bats, a good pen arm). Eaton is at least a tier or two down from there (for me at least) in terms of expected results. It just doesn’t make sense unless their ultimate goal is to meet a disappointingly low budget.

HakunaMoncada

Hey I can’t argue with any of that. I’ll just believe the big FA signing when I see it. It is about to be 2021 and the White Sox still have never given out a 100M contract and have never carried a payroll north of 130M. Until their is new ownership, idk how much really changes…

Eagle Bones

I don’t disagree, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to just sit here and be ok with them cheaping out again. I’m not grading them on a curve because they don’t feel like spending.

denman

Every team’s fan base thinks their team should sign a top tier free agent every off-season. And, I think every GM knows this. I really don’t see the point of grading a team’s off-season acquisitions based primarily on who they failed to acquire (except for the Machado fiasco). We have no clue how actively the Sox pursued Springer or Bauer. Unless someone involved in negotiations writes a tell-all account that would likely violate confidences I doubt we’ll ever know how a particular negotiation progressed or failed to progress. But we are free to attribute every instance of a high ranked free agent not signed by the Sox to JR’s niggardliness (except Wheeler where we blame his love for his wife and his fondness for his in-laws).
I think Lynn makes more sense for the Sox than Bauer does for baseball reasons rather than financial ones. I suspect, unlike the poorly handled Samardzija situation, Lynn is very likely to sign an extension. I’m not a fan of the Eaton signing; still, based on his 2017-19 play, I can see a rationale for pivoting to him if, for whatever reasons, Springer is no longer a target. It’s hard for me to blame JR’s stinginess because I would have preferred Rosairo as a lefty hitting right-fielder and I doubt he would have cost much more than Eaton annually although he may have required more than one guaranteed year.
Having just watched Hahn in his press conference introducing Lynn, I have little doubt he continues active pursuit of free agent talent. I would love it if the Sox signed Brantley. Indeed, I expect them to and I’ll be disappointed if they don’t. But I won’t assume that they failed to sign Brantley because JR’s too cheap. And, I won’t grade their solution to the DH hole primarily on the fact they didn’t sign Brantley.

Last edited 2 years ago by denman
Eagle Bones

While we may never know for sure, it’s pretty easy to read between the lines. We have a “report” from Passan that they weren’t in on Springer because they didn’t want to pay and they signed / traded for alternate solutions at both positions before we even got to the middle of December. I think it’s pretty clear they weren’t seriously in on either of them.

Also, unless I’ve missed a report, we have no idea of Lynn’s intentions of signing an extension (other than the fact he hasn’t overtly stated he’s going to FA like Samardzija did).

denman

I think it’s part of a GM’s job to recognize early on when a targeted free agent seems unlikely to sign with his club. If Springer wants to continue playing centerfield; shows a preference for finally getting to play on the east coast; has other suitors with deep pockets who rate higher on his list of landing spots, I don’t know that there’s good reason to continue the pursuit. You’re likely simply upping the price that another team will pay when he signs. Hahn has said that initial overtures often reveal that a particular player is unlikely to sign with you regardless of what you offer. Indeed, I’d bet the Sox have been used to up the bidding quite a bit. The fact that it appears the Sox weren’t serious may well not tell the whole story.

Also, I think there are very good baseball reasons for opting out on Bauer if you know you can trade for Lynn. Hahn stated that Lynn has been on Sox radar since his first venture into free agency (so they’ve talked before); Lynn acknowledged having remained close to LaRussa since his rookie season; he seems genuinely excited and pleased to be with the Sox and he’s been through free agency before. Obviously, unlike Abreu, he hasn’t announced his intention to sign himself or play for free if the Sox don’t extend him; But, to me, he looks that the kind of player Hahn would expect to be able to extend (he does seem to be good at that).

Last edited 2 years ago by denman
HallofFrank

Your first sentence is only kind of right. There have been multiple offseasons since the beginning of this rebuild where Sox fans did *not* clamor for the team to sign a top free agent. Why? Because that’s how rebuilds work. Save money now, spend money later.

So we (Sox fans) got on board with the “save money now” part under the impression that the “spend money later” part would come. But where is it? Sure, they’ve made some good moves (Lynn, Keuchel, Grandal) but by “spend money later” we didn’t have in mind a league average payroll. If “the money will be spent” has always meant “be average” then what a bit of nasty trickery that was.

My frustration (and I’m sure I’m not the only one) is not necessarily because the Sox haven’t landed the big ticket FA yet (as we saw with Wheeler, sometimes that really is a bit out of their hands) but that they haven’t tried nearly hard enough. And by tried hard enough, I mean offer a player a market value contract. They tried to cut corners with Machado. The Padres just decided to offer him what he’s worth. What a novel idea!

You said it yourself: we don’t know how much the Sox “pursued” Springer and Bauer. Except we do have some idea because of that past tense verb. Why are they out on either at this point? Because they are asking for contracts commensurate with what they are worth? Because they want more than $100M? Either would *tremendously* improve this team. This team in this market has no excuses for not leading at least one of their markets after years of cost cutting. We’re in the “spend money later” part of the rebuild. How late will later be? Will it ever come?

denman

I agree with you entirely that the Sox should have a payroll above league average now that they’re seriously pursuing a championship. I’d love it if they’d signed both Bauer and Springer. I’m far from the biggest Bryce Harper fan and I think his contract seriously hurts Philly’s hopes of retaining Realmuto; still I’d love it if Harper were holding down right-field for the Sox. My point is that it’s boring and probably inaccurate to view every top tier free agent not signed by the Sox as conclusive evidence of JR’s cheapness. The Wheeler and Machado offers (as poorly handled as Manny’s case was) tell me that the team is willing to offer a $100M deal. Indeed, I have have a sense that Hahn wants to sign a top tier FA to a $100M+ deal just to add another item to the “They say the Sox don’t…but” list.

As I said, I’ll be seriously disappointed if the Sox don’t sign Brantley as their DH. I’d also expect them to pick up a quality back of the rotation arm and to sign a proven closer. I’ll be shocked if they don’t fill at least two of these the holes with a free agent signing. However, whatever moves they make, I’ll evaluated them primarily on their merits as baseball moves rather than presuming that every move is budget driven.

Last edited 2 years ago by denman
Eagle Bones

Are you related to Jerry or someone in the front office? I don’t understand why you defend them so much, willfully ignoring evidence in front of you to the contrary, when they haven’t earned the benefit of the doubt.

“If Springer wants to continue playing centerfield; shows a preference for finally getting to play on the east coast; has other suitors with deep pockets who rate higher on his list of landing spots, I don’t know that there’s good reason to continue the pursuit.”

Let’s cut the shit. He wants to get paid and they don’t want to pay him what he’s worth (just like HoF said above). Yes, maybe geographical and position preferences matter when you’re deciding between two essentially equal offers, but no player is going to turn away suitors (especially in this offseason when spenders will be limited) this early in the bidding because he would rather play on one coast vs. the other. I’m sure you’ll disagree, but that’s BS. They are out on these guys right now for one reason and one reason only and it’s money. Plain and simple.

“I’m far from the biggest Bryce Harper fan and I think his contract seriously hurts Philly’s hopes of retaining Realmuto”

There is no cap in baseball. The only thing preventing any team from re-signing a player is their lack of willingness to spend. To blame or shame Harper for the Middletons’ unwillingness to spend is complete bullshit. They’re like what 50 mil from even hitting the luxury tax? This is the same reason people are all up in arms about losing Dunning. Because god forbid Jerry has to go sign a backend starter to replace him next year for 10 mil a year. They won’t have money to make any more additions after that.

“The Wheeler and Machado offers (as poorly handled as Manny’s case was) tell me that the team is willing to offer a $100M deal.”

The Machado deal tells us only that they’re willing to make an offer of that magnitude if (a) they know it won’t be accepted and/or (b) it includes language that protects them from paying too much if the player isn’t that great (i.e. if I remember correctly, a bunch of the money offered to Machado was in incentives or team options or something).

“However, whatever moves they make, I’ll evaluated them primarily on their merits as baseball moves rather than presuming that every move is budget driven.”

The only reason to be excited about signing Adam Eaton right now is because he’s cheap. That’s literally the only reason. There is no baseball reason to think signing him over Springer or trading for Bryant or any other number of moves they could have made was a good baseball move. I’ve said this like fifty times, but if they had signed a player of his quality later in the offseason after exhausting other options, ok I get it. But that’s not what they did. They willingly passed up better options because they didn’t want to pay what they cost.

Last edited 2 years ago by Eagle Bones
denman

I just think you’re simply wrong about how free agent negotiations work. Just this year Charlie Morton let it be known basically that he’d sign only with a team in the southeast or retire; thereby. very early in the process, he effectively turned away all but 3 or 4 suitors. You seem to view free agent negotiation as an auction where the player inevitably signs with the highest bidder and would therefore want as many bidders as possible. I think that GMs and players will say that, in most cases, it’s more of a”courtship”. Yes, Springer wants to get paid and he knows he has several teams willing to pay him very well. I’m not at all sure he and his agent are interested in entertaining offers from teams with whom he’s disinclined to sign. If a GM senses that regardless of what I offer, the player will always give another, more preferred, team the opportunity to match it and if that other team even comes close, I’ll lose, why continue that game?

It’s true that there’s no cap in baseball. But if the goal is to put together a championship team as oppose to cornering the market on high buck free agents, then you’ve got to use some judgement. Last season, with an expanded playoff format, the Philly’s, with Realmuto and Harper, failed to make the post season. The point isn’t that the Philly’s don’t have enough to pay both players. They had both players in 2020 and were under .500. Re-sign Realmuto and they’re still likely a sub-.500 team–it’s not that they just won’t spend the money; they realize spending the money doesn’t necessarily make them better. The Angels added Rendon’s salary to that of Trout, Pujols, and Upton; Art Moreno sure isn’t cheap but his team sure isn’t going to the world series next season even if they sign Bauer.

The Sox offered $125M to Wheeler and he chose to sign elsewhere for less. The idea that the Sox knew Machado would reject their offer is silly. They made a good faith offer in which the last two years vested based on incentives. I will readily agree that given Machado’s stance they should have simply met his demand. They hoped he’d accept a structured contract that could yield him more than he sought (still guaranteeing $30AAV for 8 years). I think it represents a strange way to do business but the offer was genuine.

Finally, Eaton is an experienced rightfielder who, if he returns to anything like his, 2017-2019 form checks off a lot of the boxes concerning what the Sox need. I was hoping they’d go with Rosairo in right. I suspect he wouldn’t have cost significantly more than Eaton. So, as I’ve said elsewhere, I can’t honestly fall back on “cheapness” as the reason for their not picking my guy. I would still prefer Rosario to Eaton; but I think it’s more instructive to examine the baseball reasons behind Hahn’s decision rather than simply, yet again, trumpet JR’s stinginess.

Last edited 2 years ago by denman
Eagle Bones

Ok so you’ve obviously got the two outlier examples of guys who purposely limited their own markets memorized (not that wheeler is really a great example of that considering he only seemed to use geography as a tiebreaker between comparable offers). What about every other free agent? Do us all a favor and go ask these questions at fangraphs or MLB trade rumors in one of the chats. They will confirm for you based on their expertise and knowledge what everyone else here is telling you: dollars typically drive free agent decisions.

Last edited 2 years ago by Eagle Bones
denman

Last off season, MadBum took less money than he likely could have gotten elsewhere because he lives in Arizona and wanted to play there; Rendon signed for less money from the Angels than he could have gotten from the Dodgers because with Trout on the Angels Rendon wouldn’t have the pressure of being the “face of the franchise.” Another poster put it perfectly by pointing out that when a player gets an offer for the amount of money he wants from a team he wants to play for, he signs and that’s the end of it. He doesn’t continue to entertain bids from other teams to make certain he’s getting the most he can. People don’t behave that way; especially when the “lesser” offer provides economic security for life.

I seriously doubt many players go though the years of service time it takes to become a free agent to then sign a contract with teams they have no real desire to play for in parts of the country they don’t enjoy being in just to gain a few additional dollars. I literally cannot count the number of former players who have stated that they’ve signed for less money to play with a winner, play where they were most comfortable, to play in an organization they liked or some other non-monetary reason.

Last edited 2 years ago by denman
HakunaMoncada

I want to add that I think it’s pathetic how JR operates this team. My OPP had a 160M payroll (to sign Bauer) and I still think it should be higher than that in reality. Should the Sox act like a big boy team? Yes. Will they?…

Eagle Bones

They why are you acting like them not getting Bauer was a foregone conclusion and that that’s ok? I understand we’re all beaten down into assuming this is how how they’re going to operate, but we don’t need to let them off the hook for that by acting like it’s fine.

HakunaMoncada

Yeah, but JR clearly doesn’t give a fuck what we all think, or LaRussa wouldn’t be the manager and we’d have made a splash signing already. I’ve written to Brooks Boyer and Scott Reifert already, idk what else to do or how we keep them on the hook.

Eagle Bones

Sure, that doesn’t mean you need to argue on their behalf.

HakunaMoncada

Don’t feel that I was. My original comment said if they don’t make additions in the realm of 20-30M more, that fans would be upset. Adding that amount would make 2021 a record setting payroll for the Sox and do a lot for improving the roster, as long as it is the impact guys they’ve been linked to (Hendriks, Brantley).

They aren’t going to have a 190M payroll. I believe you calculated 117M after signing Eaton. Jim set the OPP at 135. Another 25M puts them at 142M which is in the range that he predicted. Signing good players that fill roster needs and carrying an increased payroll would constitute a successful offseason to me.

Not making any more additions, or going dumpster diving for the rest would be unacceptable.

Eagle Bones

“If you realize we were never going to get Bauer anyways, this is a damn good haul and we didn’t trade the farm away.”

HakunaMoncada

Bauer is going to command 35M/per. Using that amount of money to sign several guys instead isn’t a bad alternative. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

Eagle Bones

Did you read Jim’s post today?

HakunaMoncada

I have now. I don’t see what you’re trying to prove at this point. I said if they aren’t willing to commit money to impact guys I’ll be pissed. And I am. Our discussion took place before these rumors surfaced, so if your whole point is “I fkn told you so” then good job

Trooper Galactus

Much as I like the idea of getting Hendriks and recognize he’d be a huge boost to the bullpen, I question the wisdom of committing so much monetarily to a somewhat stronger area (especially if they consider Crochet a bullpen option) while going cheap on the dumpster fire in RF and short-term in the rotation.

HallofFrank

Thanks, Jim (and Josh) for all the content over these past few days. It’s been helpful for processing the moves and sizing up 2021.

A question for Jim (feel free to save it for PO Sox if that’s easier): what would a hypothetical Lance Lynn extension look like in terms of money and years fair for both sides?

snoopy369

I’d have to imagine it would be somewhere between Wheeler and Keuchel – Wheeler is younger, hence fewer years, but he’s better than Keuchel (at least, numbers-wise). Maybe $65/3? $50/2? That assumes either it gets done now, or his 2021 is around the same as 2020 stats-wise; if he falls off a cliff or gets hurt, then it’ll be substantially less.

And Jim, thanks for the reminder on the shirt – great cause and great idea 🙂

HallofFrank

Keuchel might actually be a decent comparison in terms of value. Their three, pre-contract years according to FIP:

Keuchel: 3.79, 3.69, 4.72.
L. Lynn: 3.84, 3.13, 4.19.

Lynn has been better (with better projections) but Keuchel was two years younger.

But… we are talking extension and not an open market negotiation. The Sox have him under contract already at $8m, so an extension only makes sense if it’s below market value. I wonder if something like $40/3 is right? And if they aren’t going to spend big this year, might as well front-load it: go $16m (2021), $14m (2022), $10m (2023).

This would be the biggest contract of Lynn’s career and insulates him from the risks of a down year or an injury in 2021. Either would likely be devastating to his value since he’ll be heading into his age 35 season if he tests the waters next offseason.

Soxfan2

I was thinking it would be more in the Charlie Morton range. He signed a 2 year, $30M contract with the Rays at 35 years old. I’d assume you’d give Lynn a little more a year due to durability. I think 2 years for $34M-$36M would get the job done.

HallofFrank

Are you saying 2 years for $34m-36m starting now (2021-2022)? Or 2 years tacked on (2022-2023) after paying him $8m in 2021?

If the former, it makes no sense for the Sox. They have him for $8m in 2021, so they would effectively commit to paying him $26-28m in 2022. That’s well above market value.

I assume, then, you mean the latter, but this is basically what I’ve suggested. With the $8 in 2021 added, your deal turns out to be $42-44m/3 years. So, around $1m more AAV than what I suggested.

Trooper Galactus

This would be the smart play. Locks down a rotation spot (barring injury, as always) and helps offset the raises elsewhere in the roster year to year.

peanutsNcrackerjack

While we are posing questions for Jim, has there been any word how Yoan Moncada is fairing in his recoup from Covid 19? Might shape off season plans.

35Shields

Why? Even if he just repeated his performance from last year, he’d still be ~3-4 WAR player. What offseason plans revolve around whether your third baseman might *only* be very good?

Trooper Galactus

After spending the 2010s watching the likes of Omar Vizquel, Brent Morel, Mark Teahen, Conor Gillaspie (disregarding one season), Jayson Nix, Orlando Hudson, Jeff Keppinger, Tyler Saladino, Mike Olt, and a host of utterly anonymous fillers, you’d think White Sox fans would have a pretty good idea of what actually constitutes a problem at third base.

christmastime

How about an upgrade at backup infielder. Why is Mendick being handed a position on a team trying to win a championship. I’d rather see Mendick in triple a as the next guy up. it’s time to upgrade..Marwin Gonzalez, Villar, Profar. If your looking for a spot to add a left hand bat it’s the bench. We also have no depth in the middle of the infield after Mendick. No one wants to have to see Tim Beckham

Trooper Galactus

I didn’t think Mendick was being handed anything. Right now Engel is the fourth outfielder, Leury is the backup infielder (who can play outfield), DH is still open, and Mendick is at the back of the bench if he’s even on the roster at all (kinda depends on how many pitchers they’re carrying). Sure, it would be great to pick up one of the guys you’ve listed, but not sure what Marwin has left in the tank and Villar and Profar are probably looking for starting gigs.

christmastime

Trade rumors reports Wainwright only wants one year deal. last year he made 5 million, I think he’s a fit. Serious pitching school would be in session on the southside.

NorthSideSouthSider

I agree, I think he’s a fit too. I still prefer Q over Wainwright for the other SP signing if they make one, but maybe the TLR connection makes Wainwright a better fit for them.

Trooper Galactus

In Keuchel’s defense, wasn’t his missed start due in part to Renteria running him out again after a rain delay or something dumb like that?