I’ve been working on this for over a week. Every time I tried to fix the weaknesses on this roster while staying within a jerrybudget, I either came up wanting or I had to empty the farm of everything that might have value and might one day prevent a full-scale collapse as the current stars age out.
The goal shouldn’t be to create a sure-fire World Series winner in 2022 because there are no such guarantees. Just look at the Dodgers this year. The goal should be to produce a consistent contender, one that can catch fire in October and win it every now and then. With that in mind, I held on to all but 1 (or maybe 2) of the prospects. Instead I spent Jerry’s money to paper over the failings of the organization.
A real Offseason Plan Project should start with a total overhaul of the organization, starting with Kenny and Rick. The scouting, the development, the analytics all need to be brought up to speed. Why don’t we ever turn so-so prospects into Jose Ramirez or Corey Kluber? With the head start provided by the trades of Sale, Eaton, and Quintana, we shouldn’t be at this crossroads. But here we are. The core is getting more expensive. We have holes at 2B, RF, DH, backup C, 1 or 2 rotation spots (with questions about what to do if any of the starters get hurt. The success of the bullpen is skewed by Hendriks. The lineup is too right-handed. We don’t play solid-enough defense. We can’t hold runners. We strikeout too much.
Instead of using our prospect depth to reconfigure some of these issues, we’re left with going to the free agent market to pay liberally for fixes or pay illiberally for pseudo-fixes that predictably don’t work.
I have put together a $200M payroll that spits on artificial limitations. And even at that I wish my roster were better. A year from now will we be hoping we can dump Bumgarner or Lynn? Will the bullpen still be too inconsistent? Will I regret turning to Burger and/or Rojas at 3B?
I think the alternative to my payroll is to blow it up and start all over. Trade Moncada, Anderson, Grandal, Giolito, Hendriks, Bummer. Unlike 2016/2017, this team would have a stronger base of major league talent (Robert, Jimenez, Cease) and some minor leaguers with upside (Rodriguez, Montgomery, Kath, Kelley, Vera, Colas, Cespedes). A new management team could work with that.
I’m not ready to blow it up. I’m ready to spend! Follow me down…
The guys I non-tendered are easily enough replaced on the open market. I didn’t want to be tied down to any of them.
- Lucas Giolito: $7.9M – tender
- Reynaldo López; $2.8M – tender
- Evan Marshall: $2.3M – non-tender
- Adam Engel: $2.2M – tender
- Brian Goodwin: $1.7M – non-tender
- Jimmy Cordero: $1.2M – non-tender
- Jace Fry: $1M – non-tender
- Craig Kimbrel: $16M ($1M buyout) – decline (I can’t trust him and don’t want to pay someone to take him.)
- César Hernández: $6M – decline
OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS
- Leury García (Made $3.5M in 2021) – let go
- Carlos Rodón ($3M) – QO, then sign to Trooper Galactus’ contract -2022: $10 million
2023: $14 million option, $8 million buyout, option vests at 100 IP
2024: $18 million option, $6 million buyout, option vests at 100 IP and 200 IP total in 2022-23
- Billy Hamilton ($1M) – let go
- Ryan Tepera ($950K) – sign for 3 yrs./$12.M
No. 1: Marcus Semien (5 years, $140 million – 23, 28, 28, 33, 28). Plus defense and plus power at second base. I saw a site speculating he’d go to SF for 5 and $125. I beat that by enough that he should spurn the Bay Area.
No. 2: Michael Conforto (5 years, $80 million). He’s left-handed and only 29.
No. 1: Trade Yoán Moncada, Dallas Keuchel, Jared Kelley, Micker Adolfo, Zack Collins, and $10M to Arizona for Madison Bumgarner, Carson Kelly, and Josh Rojas. Arizona isn’t going to contend next year or the year after. They don’t need to pay an aging pitcher that much over those two seasons. They free up Madbum’s money, get a superstar who will be under contract and still a superstar when they might be good again. They get the Sox’ best pitching prospect to add to their impressive stable of prospects. Collins will fill out a roster. Perhaps they can tap into his strengths. Adolfo is a flyer. Keuchel is a reasonably priced innings eater for 1 season. Josh Rojas is a younger Leury. He played significant innings at 2B, SS, and OF (mostly RF). Plus he played some 3B. He has some speed, a little pop, and will take a walk. The names could be played with, but these are the ones I came up with.
Giolito – 7.9
Lynn – 18.0
Cease – 0.7
Bumgarner – 23.0
Kopech – 0.6
Starting pitching cost – 60.2
Hendriks – 13.0
Bummer – 2.5
Tepera – 4.0 (3 yrs/12)
Lopez – 2.8
Ruiz – 0.6
Burr/Foster/Whomever – 0.6
Relief pitching cost – 24.1
Grandal – 18.25
Carson Kelly – 3.0
Catching cost – 21.25
Abreu – 18.0
Anderson – 9.5
Burger – 0.6
Josh Rojas – 0.6
Semian – 23.00 (5yrs/140 – 23, 28, 28, 33, 28)
Infield cost – 51.7
Jimenez – 6.5
Robert – 6.0
Conforto – 16.00 (5 yrs/80)
Engel – 2.2
Vaughn – 0.6
Sheets – 0.6
Outfield and DH cost – 31.9
Buyouts and Kick-ins
Kimbrel – 1.0
Keuchel – 10.0
Total 26-man roster cost – 200.15
I mean, that trade is bonkers. Not sure why Yo needs to be apart of it. Also Bumgarner is Keuchel with more money.
Bumgarner is better than Keuchel, with a strong chance of being better this year. But maybe he’s not enough better to justify acquiring him.
I put Moncada in the deal because I was clearing payroll. I was already in luxury tax mode, which I figured was a bridge too far. I originally had Burger and Thompson in and no Carson Kelly coming back. That felt light, like Arizona wouldn’t go for it. So I subbed in Moncada, Kelley, and Collins and got the Sox a quality catcher to pair with and ultimately replace Grandal, a reliable innings eater who could be more, and a decent utility man who could take over if the Burger experiment doesn’t work out.
Anyway, that was the thought process.
Shew, this trade really is bonkers. And the explanation doesn’t help me at all. You traded arguably the White Sox best player (probably not, but he led the team in fWAR this year) and two legit prospects for a slight upgrade, albeit a wildly more expensive one, at fifth starter, a backup catcher, and a “younger Leury?” And you threw in $10m? What am I missing??
I mean, look at Bumgarner. He certainly has negative trade value. He’s due $60m (!) over the next three years. He was a disaster last year and this year he had a 4.67 ERA (4.63 FIP). You call him an innings eater, but he hasn’t been that for a long time. Since 2016, he’s only gotten to 150 IP once (207 in 2019).
I like parts of it. Get Semien, overpay if you have to. They need a star player, somewhere. But if they got him, I think safe to say they don’t get a great RF, maybe doing nothing and seeing what they can get out of Vaughn/Sheets.
I’d keep Moncada because he is one of their only excellent defenders, rather than trade him to cut payroll to make room for Conforto.
But any plan where they end up with Semien I like better than most of the proposals I’ve read.
I like that you keep it realistic. Hahn needs to spend. Those who think the budget should be at 135M are dreaming. To be a sustainable winner the White Sox need to average 150M payroll or kidnap the entire Tampa’s baseball operation personnel, and kick Hahn and KW out of here.
The Sox are not winning anything other than the AL central with a 150M payroll. I think they probably need to be closer to 200 than even 170 to improve the roster enough. Championships don’t come cheap.
I agree that the Sox should aggressively add, but I think this sentiment is overstated. The better, richer teams obviously have the better shot at a World Series, but the Braves are running a $147m payroll this year, plus they’re without (and have been sometime) their best player (Acuna) and one of their best pitchers (Soroka). The Sox most definitely have the talent on hand to get hot in October and win a World Series. Still, they should be patching holes and making the roster better to make it more and more likely.
I feel like you are forgetting how bad we were at third base for a decade. Trading Yoan risks sliding back into that quagmire right as our contention window is opening