The Sox are perennial playoff contenders and yet, it feels like they are still far away from World Series contention. The staff wore down late and the lineup needs more balance. Right now, the Sox have plenty of duplication and will need to make some very difficult decisions. My goal is simple, be as realistic as possible and use the farm system to improve the team knowing White Sox history.
In other words, go crazy and be unrealistic.
Establish where you see the White Sox at this point, and your mindset/philosophy/strategy in putting together the roster for the upcoming season.
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
- Reynaldo López; $2.8M/Non-Tender
- Evan Marshall: $2.3M/Non-Tender
- Adam Engel: $2.2M/Non-Tender
- Brian Goodwin: $1.7M/Non-Tender
- Jimmy Cordero: $1.2M/Tender
- Jace Fry: $1M/Non-Tender
Giolito is an easy call and I would do everything I could to extend him. The only other possible tender would be Engel but considering his recent injury history, I feel it’s time to move on.
Write “pick up” or “decline” or “rework” after the option.
- Craig Kimbrel: $16M ($1M buyout) Pickup
- César Hernández: $6M Decline
Have to pick up Kimbrel’s option and trade him for something.
OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS
Try to retain, extend qualifying offer, or let go?
- Leury García (Made $3.5M in 2021) Let Go
- Carlos Rodón ($3M) QO and if he takes another deal the Sox get compensation. If not, he is back.
- Billy Hamilton ($1M) Let Go
- Ryan Tepera ($950K) Keep 2 years / 7 million
Ok, Garcia was fantastic in spots but with Romy Gonzalez ready and waiting, it’s time to move on. Rodon will simply be too expensive to keep but I offer the QO and see what happened. I don’t anticipate his reps will focus on his health concerns but more about his Cy Young first half. Tepera is an easy sign, good arm and he seems to fit the clubhouse well.
List three free-agent targets you’d pursue during the offseason, with a reasonable contract. A good example of a bad idea:
No. 1: Starling Marte 3 years / 55 million
I would prioritize Marte over Taylor because I feel it’s easier to cash in some chips for an infielder than it is for a legit all-star caliber OF. Marte still has wheels, is a very good defender and can easily slot in anywhere in the lineup and be very impactful.
No. 2 Noah Synderguard 1 year / 9 million
I think we can pry him from the Mets with a big money 1 year deal. He will be a year removed from TJ and the risk is minimal IMO.
No. 3 Daniel Hudson 2 years / 11 million
Bring him back for another run, had a very good year last year and obviously was rumored to the Sox during the deadline. He probably commands more money but he takes a discount.
Propose trades that you think sound reasonable for both sides, and the rationale behind them. A good example of a bad idea:
No. 1: Sox trade Vaughn, Burger, Keuchel and Crochect for Ketel Marte, Carson Kelly and David Peralta.
Major price to pay, but necessary to get rid of Keuchels contract and still address a need. Marte would be a brilliant fit, switch hitter with pop that gets on base and plays a decent 2B and can play the outfield in a pinch. Carson Kelly will be an excellent backup catcher who has some potential if he can stay healthy enough and he can replace Grandal eventually. Peralta is just salary fill-in to offset the 18 mil going to the Diamondbacks. Vaughn and Burger give the Diamondbacks a tremendous corner infield combo and Crochets potential as a starter can be tested by the Diamondbacks without the pressure of a pennant race.
No. 2: Sox trade Zach Collins and Blake Rutherford to Athletics for Lou Trevino
Trevino could be a good middle relief option for the Sox and he is basically cost controlled for the next few years. He showed signs of brilliance early in 2021 as a closer but faded pretty badly late. Sox can dump Collins and Rutherford, two players that need fresh starts but have some decent upside for the cost cutting A’s.
No. 3 Sox trade Craig Kimbrel to the Astros for Peter Solomon and one prospect to be named later.
Solomon is an older prospect that has pitched ok in the minors but doesn’t have the overpowering that would prevent the Astros from upgrading their bullpen which struggled during the regular season. Most publications have him as the 10th best prospect in the Astros system. This isn’t the ideal return considering what the Sox gave up, but again, necessary to get under the salary threshold of 170 mil. I’m also plugging Solomon in as a reliever in the bullpen to see if he can succeed in a short relief role.
I think salary wise I’m at 151 million but I could be way off. The strengths will obviously be the lineup and relatively good starting rotation but the bench and bullpen have major questions, especially the bench depth.
SS Tim Anderson
RF Sterling Marte
1B Jose Abreu
LF Eloy Jimenez
C Yasmani Grandal
CF Luis Robert
3B Yoan Moncada
2B Ketel Marte
DH Gavin Sheets
IF Romy Gonzalez
C Carson Kelly
OF David Peralta
DH Yermin Mercedes
OF Micker Adolpho
Dbacks trade is interesting… I think we are giving up a little much once we throw in Crochet. I like Kelly but question if we need to go that big to backup a stud like Grandal. I also like that you are realistic with Kimbrel’s lack of real trade value and the end result roster is pretty solid. Critiques: I think tepera definitely gets more and thor probably also gets a little more, or at least large incentives to make it more. You had it in the budget anyways though. Otherwise fun plan to read. Give me some feedback on mine if you get a chance
Oh also, I think Engel is an easy tender. Dude is like a 2+ WAR guy even when he barely plays. Gotta dream on him actually playing at some point for 2 mil.