Increasingly obscure Asian players the White Sox should add (impassionatek’s offseason plan)

PREAMBLE

Establish where you see the White Sox at this point, and your mindset/philosophy/strategy in putting together the roster for the upcoming season.

ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE PLAYERS

  • Lucas Giolito: $7.9M – tender
  • Reynaldo López; $2.8M – tender
  • Evan Marshall: $2.3M – nontender
  • Adam Engel: $2.2M – tender
  • Brian Goodwin: $1.7M – nontender
  • Jimmy Cordero: $1.2M – nontender
  • Jace Fry: $1M – nontender

CLUB OPTIONS

  • Craig Kimbrel: $16M ($1M buyout) – pick up and trade
  • César Hernández: $6M – decline

OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS

  • Leury García (Made $3.5M in 2021) – let go
  • Carlos Rodón ($3M) – qualifying offer
  • Billy Hamilton ($1M) – let go
  • Ryan Tepera ($950K) – re-sign

FREE AGENTS

No. 1: Ryan Tepera (one year, $3 million; club option for $5.5 million). One more year of Tepera on a prove it again deal. With a career 3.48 ERA and 3.99 FIP, and in his year 34 season, seems reasonable.

No. 2: Enrique Hernandez  (two years, $20 million). 107 OPS+ guy in 2021 and career 100 OPS+, but he has the ability to really hit in the postseason and can play around the diamond, most importantly second base and right field. 32.6 fly ball percent last year; Eloy had 22.3 fly ball percent last year.

No. 3: Max Scherzer (two years, $55 million). Get that proven ace. Giolito is there, but you can’t have too many starters. Lynn is maybe a step behind that. Dear god, do not use him out of the bullpen.

No. 4: Evan Marshall (two years, $2 million). League minimum this year, and $2 million next year. He’s been good, and seems repeatable. Where else is he gonna go? Anaheim?

No. 5: Jimmy Cordero (one year, I dunno, not that much, but over league minimum?). Need reliable arms, and well he had that one game against Oakland in the playoffs, and Renteria’s entire tenure. Sure.

TRADES

No. 1: Trade Dallas Keuchel, Craig Kimbrel, and Andrew Vaughn to the Anaheim Angels for Jo Adell and Packy Naughton. I liked Josh’s idea of Keuchel and Kimbrel to the Angels he said at one time, so here it is. Dallas Keuchel would lead the Angels in IP by more than 30 innings, would lead them in GS by eight, and was about as good as Andrew Heany by ERA. Giving up Vaughn for Adell is a better fit for the White Sox in terms of defensive positioning, and they’re getting a guy who was a 40 FV according to Fangraphs (Naughton). Plus the Angels, who always need pitching, optioned in September. Maybe a trade could just give him the jolt he needs to either be an impact arm out of the bullpen (arm barn?) or be a fifth starter behind Giolito-Lynn-Cease-Kopech.

No 2: Trade Seby Zavala or Zach Collins to the Yankees for Kyle Higashioka. Higashioka hit .181/.246/.389 with 0.6 dWAR according to Baseball Reference. Zavala hit .183/.240/.376 with -0.1 dWAR according to Baseball Reference. Higashioka is also hitting his second arb year, while Zavala has at least four(?) years of competent catching behind Gary Sanchez. Might have to throw in a flier pitcher (or more if the Yankees nontender Sanchez) to make it work, but Higashioka’s 2021 was also .334 xwOBA, .476 xSLG, 14.6 barrel rate, and 48 hard hit rate. All except xwOBA were better than Gary Sanchez’s 2021, and the xwOBA is only five points lower. He’ll do as a backup.

SUMMARY

SP Scherzer
SP Giolito
SP Lynn
SP Cease

SP/RP Kopech
SP/RP Lopez

RP Tepera
RP Cordero
RP Bummer
RP Burr
RP Crochet
RP Ruiz
RP Some NRI or rookie that comes out of nowhere
CL Hendriks

C Grandal
1B Abreu
2B Hernandez
3B Moncada
SS Anderson
LF Jimenez
CF Robert
RF Adell
DH Sheets, et al

OF Engel
IF Romy Gonzalez / Jake Burger
C Higashioka

I believe this slots in at about $168 million, giving some wiggle room to maybe sign a better UTIL guy or relief arm or starting pitching depth. Maybe someone like Archer would sign for a little amount of money to fit in the budget, and turn out to be a revelation for like 80 innings. Maybe Steve Cishek needs a homecoming (lol).

There are still some holes in this roster. Are the combo of Kopech and Lopez going to replace Keuchel’s serviceable to bad 160 IP? Will Scherzer’s arm hold up over the course of a full season? Are right field and second base still going to be an issue with just a new guy named Hernandez and a guy with a 90 OPS+ last season. He was still a 60 FV prospect according to Fangraphs though.

If Jimenez, Robert, and Moncada play to their major league peaks, or higher. And Adell finally lives up to prospect pedigree. And Scherzer and Giolito continue to pitch like Cy Young candidates. This could be a real good team.

Take a second to support Sox Machine on Patreon
Become a patron at Patreon!
2 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Augusto Barojas

The Asian player they should add is Seiya Suzuki.

Marshall is out for the year with TJ surgery by the way.