Podcast: Top 2021 White Sox Spring Training Storylines


2:57 – Tony La Russa
18:23 – Michael Kopech
35:36 – #5 SP Battle
52:18 – Yoan Moncada
60:35 – P.O. Sox

Click play below to listen:

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Josh Nelson
Josh Nelson

Josh Nelson is the host and producer of the Sox Machine Podcast. For show suggestions, guest appearances, and sponsorship opportunities, you can reach him via email at josh@soxmachine.com.

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Josh, when you mentioned the pennants at the very end I thought you said Sox penance. This seemed somewhat fitting, because remaining supportive of this club for the last 12+ years has seemed much like an act of penance. Anyway, I will be bumping my Patreon support back up to $10 for a while in anticipation of the hoodie and pennant.

Joliet Orange Sox

I enjoyed the podcast as always. The site certainly deserves to pass the 500 Patreon supporters mark.

I am concerned that my inability to recognize bicycles photographed in extreme close-up from very odd angles may make it impossible for me to get past the reCAPTCHA and listen ad-free on Patreon in the future. Am I a robot or an old man?

Jim Margalus

At what stage do you get the captcha?

Joliet Orange Sox

I get the captcha when after I click on the Listen on Patreon link in the email I get notifying me of a new podcast. I believe this is part of Patreon security.

I’m mostly joking about having difficulty but I have noticed a few tough pictures lately (all of bicycles!). I’ve had to take my glasses off and take advantage of my myopia a couple times.

Trooper Galactus

Keep up the good work, guys! I’ll probably up my contribution a bit during the season.

I was intrigued by the topic of players who might be traded in a Blake Snell-type fashion, and the first name that came to mind was Tim Anderson. Yes, he’s the heart and soul of the team, but his shortcomings are known (and often overblown), he’s exactly the sort of person the curmudgeonly owner and manager would be liable to want gone, and after next season (at $9.5m) he has two eight-figure options for 2023 and 2024. Of course, with all the top shortstops coming due for free agency, his value is not liable to be realized in a trade unless they’re just looking to dump his salary while hoping Yolbert Sanchez or Elijah Tatis breaks out.


When I asked that question, the name I kept coming back to was Moncada. After this year he has 3-4 years left on his deal. His salary goes up to $13.8M next year. He adds value on both sides of the ball. He’ll be coming off his first MVP. He’ll command a king’s ransom. If Burger stays healthy this year, he could be ready to sort of fill those shoes.

If you want to have an extended run of contention, you have to be willing to trade some guys when it would hurt if you want to keep the pipeline flowing. And you have to be willing to let stars walk in free agency. I’m sure the Cardinals don’t regret losing Pujols. In recentish years the Tigers, Royals, and Astros waited too long to break up the band.

I don’t think Anderson would be churned because he’s too much the face of the franchise, and the Sox are loyal to a fault to players like that. And I don’t think Giolito would be moved because the Sox don’t have the stomach to pay for free-agent aces. More likely the let him walk if they can’t squeeze an extra year or two out of him.

Trooper Galactus

I considered Moncada, but the Cuban connection this team maintains seems to give him a second life with management/ownership that Anderson doesn’t have. However, given he’s due to become the first White Sox player to crest the $20 million mark for a season’s salary in 2024 ($24.8m with a $25m option in 2025), it would not surprise me if they jettisoned him for that sin alone.


Another argument against dealing him is that he helps balance a right-handed lineup.

Trooper Galactus

God forbid they should actually have that issue solved by 2024.