Jimmy’s World Series Winning Offseason Plan

PREAMBLE

Seems to me that this season was just, missing something. Maybe it was the injuries, maybe it was an ace, maybe it was a consistent power bat. There were many flaws in the 2021 White Sox. I want to start this by saying, Frank Menechino, I do not care if you told me that you were staying for two more years, you have to go. The groundballs are unbearable, and I could care less who you are telling this to, but if you tell a player “Worry about hitting .300” and “F*** the homerun”, you should not be a major league hitting coach. I have plenty of ideas to make this offense go boom again, the pitching will be fine, or will it?

ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE PLAYERS

Write “tender,” “non-tender” or “rework/extend” after each player and their projected 2022 salaries. Feel free to offer explanation afterward if necessary.

  • Lucas Giolito: $7.9M – Tender, obviously. Cannot see an extension coming to fruition, though.
  • Reynaldo López; $2.8M – Tender. If Jameis Winston has only thrown 3 interceptions through 6 games, Lasik might be career saving.
  • Evan Marshall: $2.3M – Non-tender. Sucks he got TJ, maybe he could get the White Sox rehab special deal later in the year.
  • Adam Engel: $2.2M – Tender. Another obvious one, but he really should not be starting on a World Series hopeful team.
  • Brian Goodwin: $1.7M – Non-tender. Kick rocks. Really though, he was okay, but they can do better.
  • Jimmy Cordero: $1.2M – Tender. See, if Rick Renteria was not a person, maybe we would have seen Jimmy this year. I think the depth he brings is needed.
  • Jace Fry: $1M – Non-tender. Soggy fries are the worst.

CLUB OPTIONS

Write “pick up” or “decline” or “rework” after the option.

  • Craig Kimbrel: $16M ($1M buyout) – Pick up & trade. Personally, I would just cut losses and decline this if I was Hahn. Yeah yeah Nick Madrigal and Codi Heuer whatever. Assuring yourself money for free agency is key, but with Bob Nightengale saying they will try and trade him, I will just give myself more fun to do.
  • César Hernández: $6M – Decline. Not much to say except this was not ideal.

OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS

Try to retain, extend qualifying offer, or let go?

  • Leury García (Made $3.5M in 2021) – Let Go. The legend was fun (sometimes), but the role he played was a bit much from TLR. He got exposed time and time again when he played everyday, and bringing him back would only ensure he continues to do so. Also, his first half was awful. Not paying around $3.5M for half a season.
  • Carlos Rodón ($3M) – QO. This is the only way I would like Rodon back. If he takes it, great. If not, well, it was nice to see you breakout and your arm fall off. But seriously, will he take it? I have mixed feelings.
  • Billy Hamilton ($1M) – Let Go. It was fun, Billy. But if we want Engel to be a 4th outfielder, I think it is a farewell for you.
  • Ryan Tepera ($950K) – Re-sign 2yr/$12M + club option for $5M with a $500,000 buyout. Tepera was so so good with the Sox. Losing a guy like him, who would not command much money, is a key for the Sox this winter.

FREE AGENTS

List three free-agent targets you’d pursue during the offseason, with a reasonable contract. A good example of a bad idea:

No. 1: Chris Taylor (three years, $50 million). He might not be the flashiest name out there, but he certainly is good. This is not a ton of money (for Sox fans maybe) but if you play around a little bit and backload it, you could go $10M year one, $18M year two and $22 year three. Filling a hole at 2B has to be a priority. Nobody wants to see a stop gap there. Replacing a potential 3 WAR player is not easy however. We all know Semien is a dream. This is the next best option. Do it.

No. 2: Austin Hedges (one year, $3 million). I promise nobody wants to see Collins and Zavala again battle it out for backup catcher. Hedges is one of the best defensive catchers in MLB. Sure he can’t hit, but you have Yasmani Grandal who can. With Yaz’s knees being somewhat of a concern, Hedges solidifies a good backup catching spot.

No. 3: Jake Diekman (one year, $3 million). Not a great 2021, but if he can rebound like he did in 2020, what steal this will be. Another lefty is needed, and you will see why. I don’t know if this is the right amount he’ll get, but, we shall see.

No. 4: Any RHP Non-roster invite to ST. At this point, try and give Katz a challenge and find someone for cheap.

TRADES

Propose trades that you think sound reasonable for both sides, and the rationale behind them. A good example of a bad idea:

No. 1: Trade Andrew Vaughn, Jake Burger, and Jeremiah Burke to the Miami Marlins for Pablo Lopez. This is a lot to take in. Yes, I am aware that Vaughn will be really good. But, it is a logjam of the same players. Eloy, Abreu, Vaughn. One has to go. Eloy is still Eloy with the bat when healthy. Abreu has a lifetime contract. So, that leaves Vaughn. Burger really has no spot. He is not going to play over Yoan, and playing him anywhere else is stupid. Burke has some potential, so enticing the Marlins a bit more to give up the cost controlled Lopez. Lopez is really, really good. Arguably better than Alcantara. Marlins can afford to give up pitching to get some hitting, too.

No. 2: Trade Craig Kimbrel to the Phillies for Noah Skirrow. Honestly, I think Dombroski will take on Kimbrel’s full salary if he has to give up nothing. Not retaining Kimbrel’s huge salary is important for this team. Skirrow is just pitching depth.

No. 3: Trade Garrett Crochet, Micker Adolfo and Sean Burke to the Rays for Austin Meadows. I’m not even sure the Rays take this as I sit here and type this. But, the Rays are always making head scratching trades so, why not. Crochet is being screwed over by the Sox. Developing him as a reliever is so pointless. I would trade him just for the sake of my sanity and hope he can be a starter elsewhere. Good lord. Micker has huge power, something the Rays need, and if they can teach him some discipline and how not to strike out a million times, he will be very good. Burke was the 3rd round pick in the 2021 draft. Reports on him so far are promising. I am confident the Rays will turn him into a stud. Meadows is a big power lefty bat. “BuT bUt, We HaVe GaViN sHeEts”. Sure, why not another left handed bat? Meadows is controlled until 2025.

No. 4: Trade Dallas Keuchel and Andrew Dalquist +$5M to the Diamondbacks for a PTBNL. Not going to explain much here. Keuchel has no spot, Dbacks liked Dalquist at draft time, and only paying $5M of his salary is a huge win.

SUMMARY

The total payroll for the year would be at $174M (4 million over, please Jerry, please). The 26 man roster would look like

C – Grandal
1B – Abreu
2B – Taylor
3B – Moncada
SS – Anderson
LF – Eloy
CF – Robert
RF – Meadows
DH – Sheets

Bench

UTL Romy Gonzalez
C Austin Hedges
OF Adam Engel
INF Danny Mendick/NRI

Rotation:

Giolito
P. Lopez
Lynn
Rodon
Cease
Kopech (When rest is needed. They did not get him up to pace with innings. Another mismanagement).

Bullpen:

Hendriks
Bummer
Tepera
Lopez
Diekman
Ruiz
Kopech
Burr/NRI

Win the damn World Series.

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tbsoxfan

I live in TB and they’re my secondary team so I’ve got a great pulse on the Rays.

They absolutely jump all over that deal. Meadows is a microcosm of everything the organization doesn’t like (platoon-only, butcher defensively, low OBP). He is an average player that TB propped up by playing in only very favorable spots.

Alternately, they would salivate over Crochet’s stuff, ability to go 2-3 IP, and handedness.

When he was struggling badly at the deadline, I was hoping the sox would try to deal Crochet for Brandon Lowe, who is making a lot for TB and has great (and eventually realized) upside and plays 2B/RF, both massive holes for the Sox at the time. Alas.