White Sox could have matched talent in Yu Darvish deal, but not ages

It was just a day ago that we discussed whether the White Sox could have offered what the Padres did to acquire a starter with Cy Young credentials.

Now we’re doing it again, and this time the White Sox could have theoretically met the asking price.

Theoretically is carrying some weight there, but before we begin, the details of San Diego’s second pitching megadeal:

  • Padres receive: Yu Darvish, Victor Caratini
  • Cubs receive: Zach Davies, SS Reginald Preciado, SS Yeison Santana, OF Owen Caissie, OF Ismael Mena

Darvish has three years and $59 million left on his contract, which doesn’t seem that intimidating after finishing second in Cy Young voting in 2020.

In terms of talent/prospect stock, the White Sox could meet a similar package without draining their system the way equivalent prospects from the Blake Snell deal would’ve cleared out the top of the White Sox’s list. FanGraphs’ future values haven’t been updated for San Diego’s system, but the package seems to top out at 40+, and those prospects the White Sox have in abundance.


And here’s where the theoretically comes in.

The age of the prospects is one differentiating factor. Preciado won’t turn 18 until May, as he signed for $1.3 million during the last/current signing period. Mena just turned 18, and he signed for $2.2 million in the same class. Caissie is international in the sense that the Padres drafted him out of Canada in the second round. His 2021 season will also be his age-18 season, as he reached Ontario’s legal drinking age after the draft.

Santana is the grizzled veteran of the bunch, having played 77 games across the Dominican Summer League and Arizona Rookie League over the past two seasons. He signed for only $300,000 three signing periods ago, but he made an impression by slashing .346/.429/.494.

You can liken Santana to a White Sox prospect like Jose Rodriguez, who similarly emerged from obscurity to make a dent in AZL pitching while holding down a middle infield position. Both players will be trying to pick up where they left off in their age-20 seasons next year. That only takes care of one of the four prospects, and the oldest one at that.

The White Sox’s predilection for trading away international money in the absence of older Cuban prospects leaves them without any recent seven-figure teenage signings like Preciado and Mena, and Caissie doesn’t have many analogues in general given his origin story. Marco Paddy’s Cuban connections could pay off the next two Januaries with Yoelqui Céspedes and Oscar Colás, but the Sox are running a little thin on big-name signings from the previous few July 2s.

An equivalent package probably requires Rodriguez, Benyamin Bailey, Bryan Ramos and Elijah Tatis, or maybe you can swap out of the latter players for Lenyn Sosa if they’re willing to trade a year of age for a year of accomplishment. But if they’re not? The White Sox don’t have a whole lot of places to go.

I cited Tatis specifically because that’s the other hang-up in the White Sox conducting such a deal. The last time they dealt a teenage international prospect for immediate pitching help, that player ended up being Fernando Tatis Jr., who made short work of the long climb to become one of the game’s brightest young stars.

Keith Law was among the first to cite the older young Tatis as potentially special, but he didn’t see equivalent players sent by San Diego here. There’s a chance one of them could pan out to give A.J. Preller a look at what life is like on the other side, but this seems more like a straight salary dump that teenage talent and a willingness to take on all of Darvish’s contract remains possible.

Would the Cubs have done a similar deal with the team across town? Maybe not, although I’m guessing Tom Ricketts wouldn’t have been choosy for a full-freight taker. It’d be nice to see some evidence that the White Sox have an appetite for another Dallas Keuchel-sized deal this winter, especially if it helps them overcome a farm system that doesn’t have precociousness or athleticism to make up for a lack of accomplishments at the lower levels. It’d also be nice if another team starts making deals besides the one team that did the whole rebuilding thing just a little bit better than the White Sox. The White Sox can even be that team if they want.

(Photo by Kiyoshi Mio/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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As Cirensica

I think the Sox are pretty much done. Hahn is setting up the team for a short playoff series with Lynn. I am not expecting any major moves from the White Sox moving forward. Perhaps signing a backup catcher with years of major league experience, maaybe attempting to bring back Colome and maybe reuniting with Jose Quintana. That’s it.


There is a lot of middling veteran free-agent talent on the market. Signings around the league are far slower than last year. Would not be surprised to see 3-4 more players who’ll be around Opening Day (whenever that is) signed between now and March.


All the more unbelievable they signed Eaton WEEKS AGO.


The money will be spent Hahn told us. He didn’t tell us by who so I guess he meant by Jerry’s grandkids.


This is one of the most disheartening sox off seasons in memory. That doesn’t mean they still won’t be good but their chances for significant upgrade in areas of specific need were obvious and obtainable. Rather then lock up the division and prime themselves as maybe the team with the best odds to win it all outside of the dodgers they are nickel and diming their way to “hoping” for a title. The only thing working in their favor is about 15-20 teams flat out don’t want to do anything to win. The amount of free agents greatly outnumbers the dollars available in free agency and the sox will be able to plug some more holes for very little money.


Yep, the Rays just handed us a gift as well as they will likely be worse next year.

This moment just screams out for a George Springer type all in signing.


On paper you can make a case the rays, indians, twins, astros, and a’s (5 of 8 playoff teams!!!!!!!!) are worse right now then at the end of 2020. It’s right damn here for the taking.


And the Yankees are likely to be status quo. I don’t see them being much better than what they were last year.


I guess it was too much to ask for the repetitive whining to stop when we got a competitive team. And all this before the off-season is concluded. The comments to stories in The Athletic are more measured and reasoned.


Some of us aren’t content with simply being a “competitive” team. We want a full court press put on for a championship. Hahn repeatedly tells us the goal here is to win multiple championships and yet there isn’t much follow through.

We don’t need the offseason to finish to see that Jerry isn’t making a full court press. We know his history and he is already signaling his level of commitment by signing Adam Eaton with elite pieces like George Springer still out there. Eaton is a guy you sign after you whiff on a bigger time option.

Furthermore, I suggest you be specific when complaining about comments being unreasonable. You did absolutely nothing to further the discussion.


I think gibby32 actually DID further the discussion! gibby32 didn’t say that the comments were “unreasonable.” He simply stated that he thinks many comments on SoxMachine consist of “repetitive whining.” I,for one, couldn’t agree more with his assessment. The off-season isn’t over. Perhaps we should all wait until April and then assess if “the money was spent.” I have been reading less and less of the comments on Sox Machine because I too have grown weary of many fans complaining over and over and over again. I also agree with gibby32 that the comments to stories in The Athletic are more measured and reasoned.


If you don’t think the positions people are taking are accurate then argue against them. That is the whole point of a comment section to have point counterpoint debate.

Jerry tends to be a creature of habit so it isn’t hard to forecast what is coming down the pike. If he surprises us with an elite level signing I’ll be the first to admit that I was wrong.


For the second time, your reply is incorrect. I never said that the positions people are taking are inaccurate.


I said “If” …reading comprehension is a thing… Look either engage in the debate or don’t it is your choice

Last edited 2 years ago by dwjm3

Thank you so much for clarifying. I now understand that I can choose to either engage or not engage in the debate.


Ah, where to begin. First, I thought that I made clear that I did not find this discussion that you wish to have to be one worth having. As a result, I am happy to have done nothing to further it. Second, your comments as to cheapness seem to be a way to claim that your preferences as to how to better the team are unassailable. Springer, for example, is “clearly” the right move and the only way to explain not acquiring him is cheapness. What self-congratulatory claptrap! I have said before that I don’t want Springer; I believe that year 3-5 (or 3-7) of his contract will not be worth his contract and will hamstring the team. Hahn may think the same thing. And by the way, if the team were to acquire Springer, and this theoretical Hahn (and I) were proved to be correct, you would have the luxury of forgetting what you advocate today and start a new campaign for the team to sign Juan Soto or the equivalent and charge the team with being cheap if they did not immediately come on board. It’s the advantage of being a fan as opposed to an executive, I suppose. Third and finally, (and most irritatingly, by the way) those of you not “content with simply being a “competitive” team” are trying to bootstrap constant complaining into a higher level of fandom. How can you identify a person who is in that higher level? Well, goddamn it, it’s the people who complain more! More self-congratulatory claptrap. And, by the way, the manner in which I used the word “competitive”, allows for no higher level. Sure, there are degrees. But there are no guarantees. If you are competitive, you are capable of winning the whole thing.


If you don’t think the Sox should sign Springer you are entitled to that opinion. I don’t begrudge you for holding that opinion.

The argument that Hahn may just not think he isn’t worth doesn’t hold much water because the organization consistently fails to go after free agents that cost 100+ million dollars.

They didn’t go after Harper, Springer, Cole, Strasburg et al. The attempt to go after Machado felt like a team trying to finish in second place. They have passed on just about every top tier free agent leading up and into their window of contention. If they had a history of selectively going after top tier talent then I would be more inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt. They have a clear cut pattern of behavior that has gone on for years.

I will also note the teams that join the Sox in the camp of having never given out a 100 million dollar or larger contract are the Athletics, Indians, Pirates, Royals. When you are in a market this size and have a free agent spending pattern that is similar to small market teams of course fans will call you cheap.

I actually think my expectations are quite modest. If Jerry was willing to splurge on just one top tier guy I would be content with that. I’m not looking for him to give how multiple 100+ million dollar contracts like Ricketts did during the Cubs window.

“And by the way, if the team were to acquire Springer, and this theoretical Hahn (and I) were proved to be correct, you would have the luxury of forgetting what you advocate today and start a new campaign for the team to sign Juan Soto or the equivalent and charge the team with being cheap if they did not immediately come on board. It’s the advantage of being a fan as opposed to an executive, I suppose.”

I spend plenty of time on this site in good times and bad. I have no idea why you think I would run off if I called for a player to be signed and he subsequently didn’t deliver. I have no problem taking my lumps if proven wrong about something.

Last edited 2 years ago by dwjm3
Trooper Galactus

Not only have the Sox never handed out a $100 million contract, they’ve never even paid a player $20 million a season. Grandal’s $18.25 million annual salary is the team record, followed closely by $18 million for Keuchel and the $18 million Jake Peavy made in the final year of his first deal. Jose Abreu will set a new team record with $19.67 million in the final year of his contract, but the only $20 million annual salaries they have on the books are option years for Keuchel (2023) and Luis Robert (2026-27), and you can pretty much bet they ain’t gonna pick up the former.

Trooper Galactus

Edit: I didn’t notice this previously, but apparently Moncada is due for a huge pay bump in 2024, with $24.8 million guaranteed with a $25 million option for 2025 and a $5 million buyout. So, cool, they do have somebody guaranteed $20+ million on the books.

It also makes me fear that Moncada is totally getting traded before 2024.


I would be a lot more sympathetic with the “Springer isn’t worth it” argument if the money was actually being spent on better players. We’ve consistently watched players who *are* worth it and fit well in the Sox window (Machado, Harper, Cole, Rendon, Strasburg, etc.) pass by to other teams while Hahn is left hunting in the bargain bin.

That’s not to say the Sox can’t build a winning team that way. But frustration is understandable when they sold the rebuild to Sox fans under the guise that the money saved during the rebuild would be spent later. Instead, the Sox are carrying a league average payroll in one of the biggest markets in the US.

Trooper Galactus

They can’t build a winning team that way when Hahn is the one deciding what to pick out of the bargain bin. For all his good qualities as a GM, this is one area where he has repeatedly proven a resounding failure.


Well, they *were* trying to lose for a few of those so… win?

Trooper Galactus

No, because part of the point of getting those guys was the hope they could flip them for some more prospects, and they were such horrendous failures that they couldn’t even manage that. The few times Hahn did have an acquisition win during the rebuild (Soria being a prime example, but he wasn’t a free agent) the prospects he got flopped almost immediately.


The sarcasm didn’t translate. I was joking.

To be fair, they were a winning team in 2020 and project to be better in 2021. Even if they haven’t spent like we’d hoped, the Sox should be quite good for the next few years.

In trying to continue to find the silver lining… the payroll flexibility Hahn is always talking about hopefully does help them lock everyone up long term. Maybe they don’t build a Padres/Dodgers/Yankees super team, but they should be good for a long time and that’s not nothing.

Trooper Galactus

It’s honestly hard to tell with how many people seem to believe the only goal is to lose games while ignoring the stuff done on the margins.

They project to be better based on everybody being healthy and maintaining their 2020 performances or improving on them; very little of it is based on actual additions to the team. But what happens when something inevitably goes wrong? When somebody misses some time on the IL? If somebody has a down year? This team’s lack of success is attributable as much to a lack of depth as anything else, because their Plan As bomb out and they have no Plan B.

That’s why Springer was a no-brainer to me. He’s a HUGE improvement for RF and hits RHP very well. He adds speed to an already speedy lineup. If Robert misses any time, he can slide over to CF on a daily basis (assuming Engel shouldn’t be exposed on an every day basis). It creates depth while vastly improving the team. Instead, they get Adam Eaton, who is a questionable enough option just for RF, much less CF, and leaves us much more reliant on Engel than we should be in the event something bad happens.

It’s why getting another reliable starter is still so critical. I like our front three, but pinning 40% of our rotation on a guy who can’t find the strike zone, a guy who has been getting teed off on for the last two seasons, and a guy who hasn’t pitched in a game in over two years seems like an awful lot of risk to run that they shouldn’t, and if those guys flop, we don’t really have any answers beyond them.

Eagle Bones

I hesitate to wade into this pool because it doesn’t seem useful, but I’d like to address your comment about complaining about the lack of spending being made out to be some kind of higher level of fandom.

As someone who has done their fair share of said complaining about the lack of spending on this site, I can tell you that the reason I (and I’m sure many others) get so frustrated with others who attempt to support, defend or come up with some kind of possible good explanation for these moves is that it comes across like they’re carrying water for a completely incompetent (and cheap) organization / management structure.

I (and, again, I’m sure many others here) feel that the only way for this team to be truly successful (i.e. some kind of sustained success / contending over more than a couple years) is to change the way they operate. There many are areas where they appear to be presently deficient in relation to the best run MLB organizations (hiring practices, scouting, player evaluation, player development, etc). They should be looking to improve in all of these areas to increase their chances of achieving the kind of sustained success that Hahn keeps talking about. Of course there is one other obvious area where they have lagged behind that could help them significantly improve and that is spending / payroll (both in terms of the size of the contracts they hand out and the overall payroll levels of the team). I don’t think I need to into the reasons WHY this would help as it’s pretty obvious (they would have access to better players and more of them).

Now, we as fans can’t really impact most of those areas where they should be looking to improve, but we do kind of have a bit of a voice on spending via our decisions. In theory, the more we spend on the team, the more money Jerry and his partners should make and the more money they should have to spend on the team in terms of payroll. However, that linear relationship doesn’t really seem to be manifesting itself as we’d expect. They’ve made more and more money and the franchise has increased exponentially in value and payroll has remained pretty stagnant (at least in terms of the ceilings for overall team payroll and individual contracts). I’m not going to spend the time pulling together all of the specific numbers, they’ve been discussed ad nauseum. So what are we to do?

Well we can start by not carrying their water for them on the complete BS they put out there about finances. I, and again I’m sure a lot of people, feel like we need to hold them accountable by, at a minimum, voicing our displeasure with their moves and refuting the completely obvious bullshit water carrying that many of the beat reporters engage in. Trying to change the public discourse is kind of important because the more people that believe something that is untrue, the more acceptable it becomes (see our current political climate). If everyone just accepts this bullshit about the owners all losing money and not being able to afford to hand out decent contracts anymore (and it seems like a lot of MLB fans do), guess what happens? The players get screwed out of fair contracts, owners like Jerry will put their money back in their pockets and do the bare minimum to keep as many of us interested and paying him as possible, and we get (if we’re lucky) a consistently mediocre team that is just good enough to keep people showing up to the park and tuning in on TV. I don’t think any fan out there wants that with the possible exception of the insecure people that are somehow frightened by ball players making “too much” money for “playing a game”.

And look, while it frustrates me when people do come across as carrying water for them, I understand why they do it. It’s not fun to shit on the team you’re supposed to be rooting for. People want to feel like their team is getting better and making good moves. I get it. I apologize if I or others here come across like we’re personally attacking people when they say things like that. That isn’t my (or I’m sure anyone else’s) intent. We’re trying (probably poorly a lot of times) to stop people from aiding Jerry and the other owners in their propaganda campaign against spending. So if your point is that people should approach these subjects with a bit more tact, I completely agree. But to brand this very valid feedback as “complaining” seems unfair. If you don’t want to participate in the conversation, I don’t blame you. But I also don’t blame anyone who wants to voice their displeasure with Jerry and his fellow owners for refusing to invest in their organizations despite the fact that it would probably help them financially in the long run.

TL,DR: If you don’t want to participate in the conversation, there’s nothing wrong with that, but there’s also nothing wrong with people voicing what seems like VERY valid criticism of the organization.

Trooper Galactus

It’s not just about advancing spending, but doing so commensurate with the rest of the league. In 2011 the team was fifth in Opening Day payroll with just under $130 million on the books. Today that amount doesn’t even put them in the top half of the league, but they keep acting like if they spend a “record amount,” that it will absolve them of any accusations of cheapness while their most immediate competitors have run similar payrolls recently. Finances are the one advantage they can leverage over the AL Central and they won’t even bother to do that.


Well, I did start something, didn’t I? And I really did not intend to do so, although I probably was being momentarily naive. EB, thanks for your comment which nobly attempts to provide some perspective as to both sides. My opinion has not changed, but your stated overview is useful. While opinions that the team is cheap are perfectly fine, I, in large part, was reacting to their mind-numbing repetition and to their ubiquity. It seems lazy. I now am reacting to the fact that any dissent from that view is loosely characterized as being less of a fan, or, even in your case, as carrying water for Reinsdorf. The comments on this site increasingly brook no dissent on this issue and often subject the dissenter to scorn. I usually choose to refrain from engaging, but every now and then my button is pushed. In fact, I am generally skeptical about playing in the top part of the free-agent market, and that view undoubtedly causes me sporadically to be more receptive to those White Sox decisions to refrain from engaging in that part of the market. Decisions to play in that part of the market often hamstring the team into the future because it requires large dollars and many years in the face of declining performance. Rumors are circulating that the Phillies are looking at getting out of their 13-year Bryce Harper contract, and that’s after only two years. Sure, the Yankees and Dodgers can afford to play there being able to eat bad contracts, but most teams can not. (The notion that the White Sox are a “large market” team is misleading in my view. They are in a shared market that does not offer them a host of financial advantages. They are not a poor team, but not a rich one either.) I offer this not as the initial thrust in a new debate, but rather to explain my position. You correctly point out that I do not need to engage on this (or any other) issue, and I probably should not have done so. I should have known where this would lead. C’est La Vie.

Happy New Year everyone.

Eagle Bones

Not to stoke the flames here, but I think this is the kind of thing that frustrates so many people (myself included):

In fact, I am generally skeptical about playing in the top part of the free-agent market, and that view undoubtedly causes me sporadically to be more receptive to those White Sox decisions to refrain from engaging in that part of the market. Decisions to play in that part of the market often hamstring the team into the future because it requires large dollars and many years in the face of declining performance. Rumors are circulating that the Phillies are looking at getting out of their 13-year Bryce Harper contract, and that’s after only two years. Sure, the Yankees and Dodgers can afford to play there being able to eat bad contracts, but most teams can not.

While I’m sure you’re not intending to “carry their water”, that is for all intents and purposes what you’re doing here. The White Sox (and others teams) ALLOW themselves to be hamstrung by these contracts. Say what you want about the White Sox, but the Phillies are VERY MUCH a large market team. They in no way NEED to move Harper for financial reasons other than the fact that their owner now does not feel like paying him what he’s making. Ditto the Cubs with Darvish. Teams have convinced fans that this is the case (that they can’t afford them) and, even better, that these trades (or FA signings never made) are actually GOOD for the team. They’re not. They don’t make these teams roster’s better (at least in the here and now). The only benefit in most cases is to the owner’s bank account.

So when I see people actually advocate here and on Twitter for not signing a guy like Springer not because he’s not a good player, but because he might not be as good in a few years and because his contract might “hamstring” them financially, I get frustrated. I don’t think anyone would debate that of the available outfielders, Springer is likely to perform the best in 2021. So if that’s the case, what are they arguing for? They’re arguing for an inferior on-field solution because it is cheaper. That’s it, there is no other benefit. I get that they’re arguing that because they’re scared a big contract could prevent them from making other moves in the future, but what moves will they then make with that realized flexibility? More Adam Eatons? More trades where they drain the farm system so they don’t have to spend on FA sticker prices? These comments let Jerry off the hook because they’re accepting and many times even supporting his premise that the team shouldn’t make these kinds of moves when in fact the only thing preventing them from doing so (and spending past those moves if / when they go bad) is the thriftiness of him and his ownership group. I’m sure you and many others would disagree about the depth of their pockets (you mentioned above you consider them more of a mid-market team), but I think plenty of smart people over the last couple years have pieced together their financial situation and shown that there is plenty of room to add these kinds of contracts with room to spare before they approach anything resembling an actual monetary loss.



Eagle Bones

Sorry, not trying to combative, just trying to explain the other side. Ending the conversation here is completely fine.


Put me on the side of looking for the positives, even though I’m fully aware of management’s unwillingness to pay retail for anything. I’m old enough to remember the 1959 World Series, absolutely magical for a seven year old living walking distance from Sox Park. Over the years I have learned that hoping things will change is a Sisyphos-like effort. So embrace the good stuff, bitch if you need to, but admit that being a White Sox fan is not something you can turn on and off. No matter what, we bleed Sox black and white, and we love it.

I will admit no such thing. I was a huge Bulls fan, even in the post-Jordan years when they were historically awful. After years of watching GarPax drive the franchise into the ground, I finally stopped following them after they traded Butler and I’ve never gone back except seeing the occasional blurb about how messed up they are. I may give their new management a chance sometime, but I haven’t missed keeping up with the team or watching the games.

The same is happening with the White Sox. I was extremely disappointed when they didn’t spend in 2016, but was on board with a rebuild, watched, spent money, and followed them through the leanest times. Seeing them fail to do what is needed to be a top contender, the VERY THING THEY SAID THEY WOULD DO, is just too damn much for me, and if this is how they cap off their rebuild, count me out.

Eagle Bones

Yeah, I’m with you. I don’t begrudge anyone for staying a fan, but my support is not unconditional. I’ve slowly lost interest in the NFL (due to lack of concern for player safety and the obnoxious fans) and college basketball (sleazy culture approaching indentured servitude and bastardization of the education system) over the last 5 or so years to the point where I havent watched a single game of either one this year. These are two sports I followed religiously since childhood. The sox and mlb have been my last stronghold. I’m pretty confident I’ll always be a baseball fan on some level, but I’m worried my affinity for the sox is fading.

Trooper Galactus

Every time I see “TLDR” now I read it as “Tony La Drunkard Russa.”


Actually, as an executive in the White Sox organization, you can be wrong over and over and over and still get to keep your job. Not sure why you think the fans have an advantage over Hahn here, when he’s literally never faced a consequence for being terrible at his job.


JFC, chinas state sponsored media would be proud of this comment, what are you one of jerrys grandkids worried you wont get your full cut???


We have a winner for silliest comment! For what it’s worth, I am only a few years younger than Jerry, and I doubt that I am in his will.


Took the words right out of my mouth…

Eagle Bones

I would assume people will stop the “repetitive whining” when the team stops making the same repetitive stupid moves (or non-moves). It’s not like this is just a bunch of uninformed fans talking out their asses, many of the smartest Sox fans / writers on Twitter like pnoles, Nick Schaeffer, etc. are also “repetitively whining”. I understand being sick of it because it is repetitive. There is definitely a finger to be pointed here, but you’re pointing it in the wrong direction.


Jerry Reinsdorf remains Jerry Reinsdorf, at least for the short-term. Expecting changes in how the team is run under the same ownership is the definition of insanity.

Eagle Bones

I don’t disagree, and that’s why I’m finding myself (sadly) less and less interested in this team. It’s hard to spend time and money on a hobby that treats you like the Sox treat their fans.


I was all for tearing the roster apart in 2016 as getting high-end minor leagues would set the stage for a new era under a new owner. Jerry’s still here, so we’ll see how well the acquired talent performs given the self-imposed limitations that have hindered the franchise the past few decades.

Trooper Galactus

I’ve pretty much had it. I was calling for the teardown in mid-2016, and defended that position against a lot of naysayers. I stuck with this team through the worst the rebuild had to offer. I defended Hahn and the team at large through a lot of stupid crap, and I took them at their word that when the time came they were going to do everything possible to capitalize on their new core of players. Instead, they’re doing the same damn thing all over again, just with a larger core group. So sure, we may very well see a more successful team, but it just looks like the team is one step away from another “J.B. Shuck plays center field” situation because they’ve established no depth and gambled on the most combustible options possible.


You should be punching up instead of punching down.


They’ve literally all been disheartening in the last decade. They’ve all been half-measures save I guess 2016/2017 (and even that winter they didn’t trade Quantana). Why anyone expected this year to be different is beyond me.


I’m going to play the optimist here — they seem to be in short supply — and predict that the White Sox will make several more moves that will have positive expected value for the team by signing:

  • a closer — one of Hendriks/Colome/Rosenthal/Hand/Bradley/Yates/Treinen (I’m hoping for Rosenthal, but would he happy with any of them);
  • a DH — one of Brantley/Schwarber/Duvall/Puig/Braun/Moreland (I’d like the lefty Brantley, but I think we might end up with the righty Duvall, who would still be useful)
  • a back-end SP — one of Quintana/Richards/Wainwright/Porcello/Shoemaker (a Quintana or Wainwright reunion could make sense, I’d like Richards, but we’ll probably get Porcello or Shoemaker or someone of that ilk)

Maybe these won’t be “major” moves, but they wouldn’t be insignificant and will make the Sox a better team. Trading for Lynn also made the Sox a better team for 2021. Signing Eaton seemed to be neutral at worst.

I also think there is a good chance that they won’t sign another catcher to a major league contract during the offseason — probably just a couple of minor league contracts with invitations to Spring Training. And unless one of those NRI’s blows them away, Collins will be given a chance at the back-up catcher role, with some DH’ing to give him some more at-bats to give him a legitimate opportunity to see if he can approach his previous minor league offensive success — and I am OK with this plan. It’s the one position that will be an obvious downgrade from 2020, but having two high-performing catchers was a very unusual situation and couldn’t realistically have been expected to continue.

Overall, I thought the 2020 version of the White Sox was a good one, and I expect the 2021 one to be better.


I agree that they aren’t done and I think Quintana and Schwarber are probably the most likely pickups of who you list. I have zero feel of the relief market, but another arm would be nice.

But rather than a DH, I’d like them to kick the tires on Bryant who you have to figure can be had for like Blake Rutherford and a lotto ticket at this point. I know Bryant is a right handed bat, but he can play third, left, and right which the Sox need as Moncada will probably end up on the 10 day at some point and we all know Eloy’s limitations in left and that Eaton shouldn’t play against lefties/possibly at all and he has a habit of getting hurt too. If everyone is healthy and they’re facing a righty, this would move Eloy to DH. But you’re looking at probably the top lineup in the majors. Bryant is expensive based on his 2020, but I have no clue what to do with 2020 stats tbh (which goes for a lot of guys). His track record is excellent prior to that and he’s still in his prime at 29, so figuring a bounce back, you’re looking at a 4 win player with 7 win upside (though that’s very unlikely in right field).


I share your optimism Oddvark. I see them needing to add 4 more pieces to complete the team: a SP, closer, LF/DH, backup catcher. I am sure they will not be adding Bauer or Springer. The default right now is Kopech, Bummer, Vaughn, Collins. I think they will fill at least 2 of those spots.

SP- Quintana, Walker, Paxton, Hamels, Odorizzi
Closer- Hendriks, Colome, Rosenthal, Hand
LF/DH- Brantley, Pederson, Rosario, Schwarber
Backup catcher- Suzuki, Casali, Flowers

From, that group, I’d like to see Quintana, Hendriks, Rosario, Casali. They would cost about 30-35million for 2021. I’m guessing they will at least bring back Q and add one more of those players. Not what we were hoping or even expecting, but this is Jerry we are talking about. As the prices come down later in the offseason, they should have no problem adding some quality. With all of the other AL contenders looking like they are taking a step back, even adding two of those from that list will give them an upper hand in the AL.


If they sign a player in each of those groups, and that’s a huge IF, that is basically what the floor should of been for this off season. But given where the competitive window is, given the amount of cheap contracts, given the hoarding of dollars over multiple non competitive years, I expected more. This team refuses to sit at the big kid table when it comes to premium free agents, and that is not what was promised to us.


We’ve been White Sox fans long enough to know they aren’t going to go all in- that’s just Jerry being Jerry. They had Machado and/or Harper handed to them on a silver platter and didn’t take either one, so I didn’t expect them to go all in this year. Being realistic, adding Lynn, Eaton, Quintana, Rosario and Colome would make for an average offseason for most teams, but a great one for Jerry.


All in is one thing, but in the off seasons of 2018-2020 it looks like the top FA acquisition will be grandal (and not that, that wasnt a real good one) but Harper, Machado, Corbin, Cole, Rodon, Strasburg, Wheeler, Donaldson, Bumgarner, Ryu, LIKELY Bauer, Realmuto, Springer, LeMaheiu…. will all sign for more…. your clear the books, money will be spent, biggest acquisition may end up being the 15th highest priced free agent of that 3 year signing window… That is not the cub plan, that is not what was promised.

Last edited 2 years ago by knoxfire30

What’s the old saying. “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me”. Well, we’ve been fooled multiple times now. The honorable thing would be to stop supporting this team until Jerry sells, but I’m too big a fan to do that. So I’ll just go on rooting for whatever he puts out there and hope for the best.


I agree with you completely, knoxfire. I was one of the most angry people on here when they didn’t sign Machado or Harper. That was inexcusable. So I’ve just resigned myself to the fact that they’re not going to sit at the big boy table. I’m not sure why they are not doing it (well I guess Jerry is just too cheap). I’ve been a Sox fan for 50+ years- I’m just not going to get frustrated by their lack of big spending anymore. It’s not worth it.


You keep saying you expected more. You’re waiting for Godot, my friend.

That’s not to say you can’t be annoyed or upset, but probably time to change your expectations and frame of reference. The Machado eff up alone should have crystalized this.


Well said, Otter. In regards to Jerry, it’s better to have very low expectations and have a miniscule chance of being pleasantly surprised than having high expectations and year-after-year being upset and disappointed.

Trooper Galactus

These moves would make the team better, but I’d hardly credit them with a “successful” offseason when it means they’re passing on better options all over the place. That’s what makes watching the Padres so painful; they keep doing the things the White Sox said they would do, and without any pretense to do so ahead of time.


The Padres’ owner is Walter O’Malley’s grandson and a private equity guy worth billions apart from baseball. The multi-generational experience of building championship teams and wealth to compete with anyone would be nice qualities to have in the guy writing the checks. But we have Jerry Reinsdorf.


Yeah, they are still not signing/trading at the top of the market (though Lynn was widely considered the top SP available via trade before the Rays, Cubs, and maybe the Reds somewhat surprisingly made their pitchers available; they still might sign the top FA closer (Hendriks); and Grandal was the top FA catcher last year). I really wanted them to sign Springer, but it doesn’t look like that is happening.

So the glass is nowhere near full. But the Sox seem to working with a budget smack in the middle of the field, they have done a great job of locking up a talented core for many years, and they are making moves to improve the team. As such, the glass is at around 50% of capacity. I’m chosing to look at it as half-full rather than bemoaning my half-empty fate as a potentially erstwhile White Sox fan. I feel better taking that approach. But if you chose to hate the current situation and the front office’s efforts, that’s obviously up to you.


I agree with this sentiment exactly. No one here is wrong for stating what they are stating. We are all here because we’re White Sox fans- we want to see them win a World Series or 3. Everyone has a right to “complain”. I think everyone here doing that is a very knowledgeable Sox fan who is fed up with Jerry’s cheapness and the lies about spending that Hahn keeps repeating. I was one of the biggest complainers 2 years ago. But, I think Gibby and Oddvark and I have decided to just let this play out and then root for whatever team they put out there this spring. It makes for a less stressful winter. I agree with all of you who think they should sign Springer or Bauer. I just know it’s not going to happen, and when the Sox take the field next spring, I’ll feel like a kid again and root for them all season.

Trooper Galactus

I thought the Lynn trade was great, but only as a part of a larger plan, not as “the” move of the offseason. If Hendriks is “the” move, that’s really not much better, in my view. They needed to invest heavily in an every day player and we’re getting the table scraps in that regard, which is frustrating AF given what the results of this strategy have been under Hahn.

And I’m not just bemoaning the lost opportunities, I’m seeing what this means for the future. For 2021, the team friendly contracts for Tim Anderson, Luis Robert, Eloy Jimenez, and Yoan Moncada collectively cost $21.88 million. In 2022, those same four contracts will run them $36.63 million. In 2023, $50.13 million (assuming Anderson’s option is exercised). And this doesn’t include the likelihood that Giolito will get two $6 million+ raises if he keeps performing like he has in each of his remaining arbitration years.

If they’re not adding to this core while they’re cheap, they’re sure AF not adding to them when they cost 2.5x more than they do now. Basically, by 2023 these guys will be the team’s contractual equivalent of Keuchel, Grandal, and Abreu, and they’ll be relying on their current crop of prospects to slot in at the lower end of the pay spectrum, which doesn’t strike me as a formula for building a winner.

Eagle Bones

If they’re not going to play at all at the top of the market then we all might as well find a new hobby.

Trooper Galactus

They play at the top of the reliever market because it fits in their self-imposed contract limitations. Same for catcher to an extent, though there’s no way they would have been in on Realmuto if they were in the market this offseason. Top starting pitcher? Top outfielder? Forget it.


As things are, I don’t feel the need to find a new hobby. I don’t think the state of the team (with the offseason far from over) is hopeless.

I’ve also liked a lot of the moves the team has made over the last few years — the Sale/Eaton/Quintana trades, the Robert/Cespedes/Vera intl signings, the Madrigal/Vaughn/Crochet/Kelly draft picks (with promising results and/or hope for Dalquist/Thompson/Beard/Gladney, Heuer/Stiever/Souza, Sheets/Burger/Gonzales/Johnson/McClure), the Grandal/Keuchel signings, the Abreu extension (even if I thought it was an overpay), the Jimenez/Robert/Bummer/Moncada arb-buyout-extensions, and even the moves that didn’t work last year (Mazara/Encarnacion/Gonzalez/Cishek) which mostly seemed reasonable at the time (with Mazara receiving fair skepticism). Sure, they could have done more, but overall it hasn’t been cringe-worthy to me.

Regardless, I won’t fault you if you decide to foreswear the White Sox because they haven’t signed top of the market players. If that’s the route you choose, I hope you find a more satisfying/less aggravating hobby. I’d recommend poker, but it can be even more aggravating, to be honest. Maybe I’m just a glutton for punishment.

Trooper Galactus

I’ve decided to waste more of my time on my video game backlog than let the White Sox waste any more of it.

Eagle Bones

My point is there is no way they’re going to be able to consistently field good teams without playing at the top of the market given all of their other shortcoming in scouting, analytics, player dev, etc. So what’s the point here? There’s no strategy in place that makes any sense for producing sustained success.

As Cirensica

I would love if the Sox sign Shoemaker, he is very underrated when healthy (big if). I have a feeling Hahn won’t sign any DH, Mercedes will be our DH (and emergency catcher) and he can’t be worse than EE. I do foresee another starting pitcher and a back up catcher. We can’t go with Grandal and Collins, can we?

In my opinion, right now, what this team needs the most is another starting pitcher. Jose Quintana makes a lot of sense.


It all worked out pretty well for Manny Machado. He got his 300 mil and he ended up on the team that is all in on winning.

Jerry Potter gives us Adam Eaton and a closed bank vault.


Said it yesterday and I’ll say it again today, the 2017 draft is coming back to haunt them (and the 2015, 2016, & 2018 drafts). Maybe in an alternative universe Burger doesnt get hurt and is a productive player. Maybe in an alternative universe they draft a guy out of high school who also misses two years due to injuries. Well that guy would still be 21 with potential upside and trade value today, instead of nearly 25 with nearly no trade value.

Don’t believe that assessment? Well Micker Adolfo has hung around longer than he has had any right to and he missed multiple seasons with injury. The difference is he was signed at 17, so those lost seasons, while they still hurt, haven’t pushed him out of the picture entirely.

Josh Nelson

The lesson I learned from both Padres trades is the White Sox must get younger with their farm of prospects.

They have started down this path drafting Andrew Dalquist, Matthew Thompson, James Beard, DJ Gladney, and recently Jared Kelley. But the White Sox must continue down this path if teams covet teenagers more than 21+ year old prospects. Not only to begin building a new core of players, but also have some prospects to trade from like San Diego.

What’s crazy about these two deals is that San Diego did not have to give up their top two prospects. It’s amazing what can happen when a franchise commits to a draft/signing plan and combines it with some of the best player development staff in the game.


It’s more you need a balance of teenagers on up (Patino and Wilcox are 21) and the Sox don’t have a balance because they don’t really play in the non-Cuban Latin sandbox for whatever reason.

They also should have gone crazy the signing period they signed Robert but didn’t. That’s part of the reason the Padres have so many teenagers.

Josh Nelson

Thanks to Future Value (a book I recommend to everyone), there is great insight on how the international sandbox works.

This the paragraph I have highlighted that I keep going back to a lot:

“A foundational question for teams is what type of player they want their scouts to spend time scouting.

Do you want to snap up any 14-year-old that you like and think represents a strong value?

Do you want to save some money for later-blooming prospects?

Or do you think you can beat every other team on 14-year-olds than you can on 16-year-olds?

Or do you want to pivot completely and not cut any deals until a month or two before signing day and focus more on passed-over, later-peaking prospects and late-arriving Cubans?”

Eagle Bones

There’s a couple of things here that jump to mind here (mostly anecdotal, so correct me if I’m off anywhere):

  1. It seems like a lot of the high school position players the Sox have drafted are corner only types (Gladney, Bush, Zangari, etc.) who really have nowhere to go but 1B or DH. This seems like an odd strategy. I’d much rather they go for more guys like Beard and Lency Delgado who have more athleticism and tools. Neither of those guys are looking great, but I’d rather bet on athleticism than the raw pop and nothing else types of guys they seem to be keen on.
  2. IIRC the Padres have gone underslot in the 1st quite a bit to facilitate getting more volume and/or higher quality with these HS guys later on in the drafts. I can’t recall the Sox every really going that route.
  3. I seem to recall reading something from Longenhagen saying the Padres have done well targeting HS guys in under-scouted areas like the Northeast. I believe Bush was from an odd area, right? This sounds like another inefficiency that teams are getting an advantage with good scouting (something the Sox obviously aren’t great at).
  4. The Padres also obviously play heavily in the Latin American amateur market, something the Sox obviously don’t really do. That’s another obvious avenue for building depth especially in these kinds of younger athletic guys.

Bryce Bush is from Birmingham, Michigan, about a half-hour drive from Comerca Park if construction isn’t snarling traffic on Big Beaver. That signing perked my ears up, as Bush was a teenager from a northern state. That’s an extremely vague comp for Mike Trout’s amateur profile, but the kind of lottery ticket too rare in a sea of Zachs from the University of Louisville.

Eagle Bones

Thanks, yeah knew it was a cold weather state.


This Cubs deal is amazing.

The Cubs get:

  • Davies: 1.6 proj. WAR in 2021, ~$10m in arb, FA after 2021. Surplus Value: ~$5m
  • Reginald Preciado: 40+ FV, Surplus Value: ~$4m
  • Yeison Santana: 45 FV, Surplus Value: ~$6m
  • Owen Caissie: 35+ FV, Surplus Value: ~$1m
  • Ismael Mena: 40 FV, Surplus Value: ~$2m

For a total of ~$18m in surplus value.

The Padres get:

  • Darvish: 3.7 proj. 2021 WAR, 9.6 WAR w/ normal aging for $59m. Surplus Value: $27.2m
  • Caratini: 1.5 WAR over three years at 150 PA/year as a backup for ~$5m. Surplus Value: ~$9.5m

For a total of ~$36.7m in surplus value.

I’ve also heard that the Cubs were also eating part of Darvish’s salary. Does anyone know if this is true? If it is this is a robbery.


How would you like to be a Cubs fan now? Ricketts has to be Public Enemy #1!!


How would you like to be a Cubs fan now?

I feel the bile rising in my mouth. (Not about the “now” so much as ever considering being a….Cubs fan.)

Last edited 2 years ago by asinwreck

Agreed, I can’t EVER imagine being a Cubs fan!!


Do we know what other teams were offering? This is probably a good off-season for any team willing to take on a big contract. That said, the Cubs likely value those prospects differently.

As Cirensica

The deal is clearly a salary dump for who knows what reasons.

Trooper Galactus

I think everybody knows what reasons.


Rikcetts is so cheap. . .


There’s still a lot of good free agent pitching available out there and it looks very much like a buyer’s market. I’d love to see the Sox sign 2 starting pitchers and 2 late inning relievers.

Maybe then, we could have pitchers in the minors get called up when they force the issue and we could have quality depth ready for the inevitable pitching injuries/covid issues.

LuBob DuRob

I’d rather have Lynn next year than Darvish. I’d like to have both, but I’d take Lynn for innings/health and I don’t trust Yu’s 12 starts vs. the Central.


That 118K/7BB run was incredible. There were some pretty long stretches where he went walk free IIRC. That turn around on BBs from 2018/2019H1 to 2019H2 was super impressive.

Trooper Galactus

This article brings into rather stark focus the true cost of the White Sox trading away international bonus pool money just so they wouldn’t have to pay the buyouts for Nate Jones and Wellington Castillo. Rather than load up on young international players they just decided that saving a half million bucks was more important.


Those moves spoke volumes

Trooper Galactus

I remember at the time a lot of people treating it like it was no big deal. Even then I thought it was of greater consequence than people wanted to think. I mean, chances are they don’t get much of anything out of that pool money, but getting a couple more 16 or 17-year old lotto tickets means a lot when it comes time to start trading and your second tier of prospects are a bunch of stalled-out 22 to 25-year old players.


It smacks of a penny wise and pound foolish nature to the organization that is just very frustrating

Last edited 2 years ago by metasox

Seems like I’ve read hundreds of post on just who the White Sox should acquire to fill out their roster. Also seems like over 90% of the posts mention some combination of Quintana, Schwarber, Rosario, Joc P, or Brantley. With 29 other teams and 40-man rosters, there are over 1000 MLB players. I’m hoping for the day when the headlines read that Hahn has acquired a solid MLB player that absolutely no one expected in a good old-fashioned trade. I don’t know who that would be but but I’m hoping it’s not one of the 5 mentioned above.

Trooper Galactus

The Jake Peavy trade would be a good example. Yes, the duration of his time here did not pan out as expected, but he was an elite pitching add for a team that desperately needed it who couldn’t help in time to rescue the 2009 season. But he produced 9.5 bWAR in his White Sox career (3 full seasons of control and two half seasons), including an All-Star season in 2012 when they were chasing a division title. He might not have been the asset we were hoping for, but he was hardly a liability in the end.


Right, Trooper G

There are outfielders, backup catchers, closers on every team and I guarantee you that they’re not all ‘untouchables’. I do not know who I’d give up in a trade. I’ve previously posted that I kind of like Mike Yaz from the Giants or Anthony Santander from the Orioles. Now that Tampa Bay is exposed as a seller, maybe Austin Meadows. Think bigger than Adam Eaton or Joc P.

I also hope that they give up on the ‘one-DH only’ strategy. The W Sox should have a player or two that can hit, hit w/power (handedness doesn’t matter IMO) and besides DH-ing, on certain days can play 1B, LF, or 3rd catcher. Give Abreu, Moncada, Eloy, TA, et al a day off from the field but they get 4 ABs as DH.