Tying up some loose ends from the last few days…
*The White Sox announced the signing of Carlos Rodón to a one-year, $3 million contract. To make room for him on the 40-man roster, they designated Emilio Vargas for assignment.
If you missed Vargas being on the roster in the first place, the Sox added him at the same time they protected three prospects from the Rule 5 draft. We’ll now see if he sneaks through waivers, although it seems like pitchers are harder to retain than position players.
There was no accompanying statement or Zoom call regarding Rodón, although it’s possibly because he and his wife were occupied with the birth of their second child.
PERTINENT: Carlos Rodón needs to be available to represent rotation depth
*The MLBPA rejected Major League Baseball’s proposal for a delayed season …
… to which Major League Baseball petulantly accepted the terms, complaining about the lack of a counterproposal.
If you’re wondering why the MLBPA didn’t counter, labor lawyer Eugene Freedman explains in this Twitter thread that the union would have to reopen the entire agreement, which would then require a duty to bargain on terms they already prefer. Players have already been preparing for a Feb. 17 start date, they’re guaranteed full pay, the schedule is protected, they get more days off, etc., etc. There’s really no incentive to risk what they already hold for smaller perks that are also in the league’s interest (universal DH), just to give the league what it really wants (the expanded postseason). That’s the kind of stuff that should be saved for a larger CBA negotiation, which there will be after the season. A contentious one at that.
PERTINENT: It’s Pitchers and Catchers Month until it isn’t
*A fortnight and a day until pitchers and catchers report, Jayson Stark says nearly 150 free agents remain unsigned. A couple of facts that jumped out to me:
- Liam Hendriks’ deal with the White Sox is the only pitcher contract that’s longer than two years.
- Ross Detwiler is one of two left-handed non-starter/non-closers to find a home.
The inaction around the league puts the White Sox’s stilted winter in a more favorable context, unless you maintain that it’s all the more reason to go for the throat.
(Photo by Arturo Pardavila III)
Also, I’ll point your attention to asinwreck’s Shop Talk post about Jerry Reinsdorf’s ownership of the White Sox turning 40.
The #roadtorodon is paved with good intentions. Let’s hope for some results for a change.
So Jose Quintana is the third lefty?
Rodon, Detweiller, Quintana, Avilan, Claudio, Lester, Loup, Moore, Perez, Smyly , Wood
I think you are off on the left handers.
I am still stunned by the fact the mlb players union needs to reduce the teams in the post season to incentivize teams to spend… what an upside down world baseball is in
He was talking about left-handed pitchers who aren’t starters or closers getting MLB deals. I guess Rodón still qualifies as a starter rather than a swingman like Detwiler, so I edited it.
I don’t know if that other swingman, non-starter, non-closer lefty is quite the luminary as Ross Detwiler but the suspense is killing me!
Loup and Claudio meet that description, along with Detweiler, I think.
Still some potentially helpful names out there. I would like to think that when the primary competition continues to show interest in Cruz as well as another starter, it would get an owner to loosen purse strings.
That thread by Freedman was excellent in explaining the situation. With that in mind (i.e. there was no way the players were going to accept that or even counter), why would the owner even bother making this proposal? Is this simply to put more public pressure on the players (both for this year and after with the new CBA)? Based on the comments I’m seeing on Twitter, etc., it seems many (myself included before I read that thread from Freedman) don’t understand why the players wouldn’t counter and are dumping on them for it. Was that their end game here?
On the remaining free agents, I’m starting to wonder if Bauer’s FA standoff could end up going past Opening Day like Kimbrel and Keuchel did the other year? Doesn’t seem to be a ton of teams still in on him and he seems like a guy who’s principled enough that he’d stick to his guns in terms of what he thinks he’s worth. Or would he just accept some big money one-year deal and go try again next year?
It looks to me like his personality is really hurting his market. No one wants to give him a long term deal or a super high AAV. I think he’ll take what he can get in the next month.
So, the Sox are running out of opportunities to improve if they don’t act soon. But, the Rodón signing sure seems to be closing the book on adding a real starting pitcher.
The Pederson and Rosario signings for reasonable deals seems to signal they’re not interested in upgrading at DH.
I really can’t believe Cruz only got 13 mil on a 1 year deal…. I also can’t believe the whitesox wouldn’t push to beat that offer even if they would have had to beat it by a substantial margin in what would of been a death blow to the twins and all but locked up the al central for the sox…. but I guess a battered wife can’t believe her husband would hit her again either so here we are.
Given his age he could go off the age cliff at any time now. The ballsy move for the Sox would be to create a clever contracted structure for Marcell Ozuna. That way the DH position would be solved for multiple years. Jerry just doesn’t care about winning.
I dont see the off the cliff fall off for Cruz, and even if he produces 75% of what he did last year for the sox that would still be a big upgrade over what they have in place at DH, and it still minimizes what the twins offense may be able to produce. Simmons, Haap, Cruz signings have kept the Twins not only afloat in the division but possibly back to favorite status and they are still kicking the tires on Odorizzi and Colome…
Sox could have won the division this off season, they’ve chosen profit over that and its beyond discouraging.
In the three years before he signed with the Sox, EE’s wRC+ went from 130 to 116 to 129. There was a little dip in 2018, but pretty consistent and even trending up in the last year. No reason to expect a drop to 70.
In the three years before he signed with the Sox, LaRoche’s wRC+ went from 127 to 102 to 127. And those 127 years were among the highest numbers of his career. No reason to expect a drop to 77.
In the three years before he signed with the Sox, Dunn’s wRC+ went from 130 to 142 to 136. Pretty consistent with no signs of a drop off. No reason to expect a drop to 60. (And to be fair, Dunn only really sucked the first year he was with the Sox; he was decent for the next couple years).
I’m not saying that Cruz will definitely or is even likely to fall into this pattern, but there is a real risk that past performance will not guarantee future success, and steep dropoffs can occur out of the blue, especially as players get older and older.
There is also a risk that none of Vaughn, Mercedes, Collins, etc. will be able to produce as a DH. And a chance that one or more of them will blossom and perform at high levels as they have done in the minors/college in the past.
On balance, I would have preferred taking the risk on Cruz over our younger/cheaper DH options, but I’m not heartbroken that the Twins will be taking that gamble. At least they didn’t sign Ozuna.
Schrödinger’s DH is simultaneously a terrible DH for the Sox and a great DH for the Twins until he signs with one team or the other.
We don’t know for sure that they’re terrible until they actually play!
I stated before he signed that I wasn’t high on him. I’ve been consistent.
Yep squarely back in second place now in terms of the projections after this move. FG Depth Charts showing them between 2 and 2.5 wins behind now.
Honestly I might trust Portillo’s over Héctor Gómez at this point.
Coincidently, an extra $13 million is all they would have needed to add Rosario and Quintana, instead of Rodon (8 + 8 – 3 … carry the one = yep, 13). I would have been quite content with that as well. Sigh.