The White Sox are coming off a disappointing ALDS where they lost 3 games to 1 to the Astros. At this point the rebuild is over and they’re expected to contend, but there’s one problem… Reinsdorf is still unwilling to spend big money on big free agents. Last year was a good example of that unwillingness, they signed Eaton (and DFA’d him) instead of signing Brantley, and didn’t sign anyone to be their DH when Nelson Cruz was available on the market. The Carlos Rodon signing worked out (sort of) but they could of got a better starter. They did spend money on Liam Hendriks, but he’s a reliever and isn’t worth as much as a SP or Position Player. In this offseason plan I want to change all of that by spending big money on free agents, and make a big splash in the trade market. (Note: Whenever I say last year I meant this season)
- 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
Keeping Giolito for only $8 million was an easy decision to make since at worst he could be a 4 starter for the Sox next year with the potential of reclaiming “Ace” status. Keeping Lopez could be key for the Sox next year as he could be used as a solid reliever but also could be used as a trade chip at the deadline. Evan Marshall is not good and relatively old (31 years old) he would be just a waste of a roster spot and money (better use that degree you got their Evan!). Adam Engel is a great defensive outfielder with some offensive upside as well. Sadly Goodwin would get tendered here because of the moves I’m going to do below. Even if I were to bring him back he would have very limited opportunities. Jace Fry and Jimmy Cordero are irrelevant… moving on.
- Craig Kimbrel: $16M ($1M buyout) Pick Up
- César Hernández: $6M Decline
I’m only picking up Kimbrel’s option because he could be used as a trade piece later on. He’s not worth 16 mil and wasn’t very good for the Sox last year. Cesar Hernandez was a low risk move for the White Sox at the trade deadline and he didn’t pan out so they’re better off not picking up his option.
OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS
- Leury García (Made $3.5M in 2021) Retain for 2 years/$10 million
- Carlos Rodón ($3M) Let Go
- Billy Hamilton ($1M) Retain on a minor-league deal
- Ryan Tepera ($950K) Retain for 2 years/$10 million
Leury Garcia was super-versatile for the Sox last year and a 2 year/$10 million deal makes sense for both sides. Although Rodon was very good in the first half and was plagued by injuries in the second half. Him being a Scott Boras agent and not being available a lot both point to him walking. Billy Hamilton provided the Sox with elite defense and elite speed last year so it makes sense to bring him back on a minor-league deal. Ryan Tepera was fantastic for the White Sox, posting a 2.50 ERA in 18 innings and bringing him back on a 2 year deal is the best thing to do.
No. 1: Marcus Semien on 5 year/$125 million deal
The White Sox need a second baseman and Marcus Semien is the perfect fit. Semien is 31 years old and is coming off an MVP-esque campaign with the Blue Jays. He’s a premium talent and comes at a premium price. This deal would run through his age 36 season, which seems reasonable and his $25 million per year isn’t too much either (considering the value he brings to the table). It’s hard not to salivate over an infield of Abreu-Semien-Anderson-Moncada which brings the perfect combination of power, contact, defense, and speed together.
No. 2: Seiya Suzuki on 4 year/$70 million deal w/ Club Options
Year 1: $15,000,000
Year 2: $15,000,000
Year 3 (Club Option): $20,000,000
Year 4 (Club Option): $20,000,000
Seiya Suzuki, if posted, would be a highly sought after player in the free agent market. He has an impressive resume with him being a four-time NPB All-Star, five-time NPB Best Nine Award winner, and a three-time winner of the Gold Glove Award. The salary is not a problem as it’s a managable with $15 million in the first two years and $20,000,000 in the last two years with Club Options. The White Sox need an outfielder and Seiya is the perfect for them.
No. 1: Trade Eloy Jimenez to Milwaukee for Freddy Peralta.
This is a super unrealistic trade but it does make sense. The Brewers might need outfield help as JBJ doesn’t provide that much offense, and Yelich is slumping right now. Eloy has a big bat and can be a perennial MVP candidate if he stays healthy (also he’s on a team friendly deal). The Brewers can let go of Freddy Peralta because they already have a 1-2 combo of Woodruff, and Burnes, with the ability to add to that rotation in free agency. The White Sox would make this deal because Eloy would be expendable. An outfield of Vaughn-Robert-Suzuki would be crazy good along with an unlimited amount of upside. With Peralta in the mix, the White Sox would have a rotation of Lynn, Giolito, Peralta, Cease, and Kopech. I mean just look at that rotation! If this group could reach its full potential, it could be the best in the majors.
No. 2: Trade Dallas Keuchel, Jared Kelly, and Micker Adolfo to the Marlins for Anthony Bender and Richard Bleier
The White Sox are basically salary dumping for two effective relievers (one 26 years old, the other 34 years old). For the Marlins they are getting a young piece in Jared Kelly who can develop into a starter and two veterans who can build up their value. They also get Adolfo who also has a change to develop into a solid outfielder if given a chance. Keuchel can build up his value over the season, and can be traded for a solid prospect or two. For the White Sox they dump Keuchel’s salary and get 2 more reliable bullpen arms. In order for this to work though they would have to throw in Kelly and Adolfo. Both of the relievers they’re getting were good/great last year with Bender posting a 2.79 ERA (61.1 IP) and Bleier posting 2.95 ERA (58 IP).
Trade 3: Blake Rutherford and Zack Collins to Arizona for Carson Kelly
The White Sox get their backup catcher and the Diamondbacks get a pair of prospects that are still young. Kelly has decent offensive and defensive numbers and can fill in for Grandal behind the plate. After all he couldn’t do much worse than Collins did last year. He might even develop further and be our catcher of the future. In this plan the White Sox already have their outfield set so trading away Blake Rutherford isn’t that big of a deal at all and Zack Collins wasn’t that good in 2021. For Arizona, they get two prospects/MLB’ers for a catcher that probably isn’t going to fit their timeline anyway. If they can further develop Rutherford and Collins into nice bats, this trade would be worth it for them.
Trade #4: Craig Kimbrel to Padres for Adam Frazier and Tirso Ornelas
The Padres need bullpen help and the White Sox can help them with that. The White Sox need another utility player and the Padres can help with that. So why not make a deal? Kimbrel wasn’t that good in his stint with the White Sox and the Sox don’t really need him. Adam Frazier however can be a nice utility player off the bench for the White Sox. The nice part of this trade is that the White Sox get rid of Kimbrel’s salary and also get another super versatile player in Adam Frazier. Now they have multiple guys who can fill in basically every position. Add in a top 30 prospect in Ornelas and you’ve got a deal. The only 2 reasons I’m adding in Ornelas is 1. To (maybe?) get back at the Padres for stealing Tatis 2. Because Kimbrel is better than Frazier. This would make sense for the Padres because they get a good to maybe even a dominant bullpen arm in Kimbrel. Their bullpen ranked 16th according to Fangraphs so getting Kimbrel would give them a boost.
Yasmani Grandal – $18.25 M
Carson Kelly – $1.7 M
Total: $19.95 M
Jose Abreu – $19.66 M
Gavin Sheets – $.575 M
Total: $20.235 M
Marcus Semien – $25 M
Total: $25 M
Tim Anderson – $9.5 M
Total: $9.5 M
Yoan Moncada – $13.8 M
Total: $13.8 M
Leury Garcia – $5 M
Adam Frazier – $7.5 M
Total: $12.5 M
Andrew Vaughn – $.575 M
Luis Robert – $6 M
Seiya Suzuki – $15 M
Adam Engel – $2.2 M
Total: $23.775 M
1. Lance Lynn – $18.5 M
2. Lucas Giolito – $7.9 M
3. Freddy Peralta – $2.5 M
4. Dylan Cease – $.575 M
5. Michael Kopech – $.575 M
Total: $30.05 M
CL: Liam Hendriks – $13.3 M
LHP: Aaron Bummer – $2.5 M
RHP: Ryan Tepera – $5 M
LHP: Garrett Crochet – $.575 M
RHP: Jose Ruiz – $.575 M
LHP: Richard Bleier – $2.5 M
RHP: Anthony Bender – $.575 M
RHP: Reynaldo Lopez – $2.8 M
Total: $27.825 M
Summary of Costs
Infield + Utility: $81.035 M
Outfield: $23.775 M
Pitching + Catching: $77.825 M
Total: $182.635 M
Whew… The objective of this plan was to spend more money and to get a little younger while still remaining competitive enough to win the World Series this year. I also wanted to plug in the holes in our lineup and pitching. I think achieved all these goals and I think I did a pretty good job of transforming the White Sox. I plugged in the hole at 2nd base by signing Semien, who had a very good season. I also signed Seiya Suzuki who I think is a very good baseball player and someone who is going to make an immediate impact on the Sox. These two moves achieve the “spend money” goal and the “stay competitive” goal. I also make a whopping 4 trades and in those moves I think I did a pretty good job in dumping unnecessary salary (Keuchel and Kimbrel) while also getting better. I liked the Carson Kelly because he is essentially a starting catcher on most bad to average teams and I got him to be the backup for Grandal. However the real “blockbuster” trade of this whole plan was the Eloy-Peralta swap. That’s a big gamble but could very well be worth it. If Eloy continues to be injury prone, and Freddy is consistently a great pitcher that would be a really big win for the White Sox. Overall we got three great players (Semien, Seiya, and Peralta), got a young catcher who can develop behind Grandal (Carson Kelly), two reliable bullpen arms (Bender and Bleier), and lastly another super-utility player (Adam Frazier). I think this roster can contend for a World Series and the fact that it isn’t overly priced makes it all the better. Thanks for reading!
I like Semien and Suzuki. But just wow (and you are not alone), on what people think they are going to get back for Keuchel and Kimbrel. Kelly is not going to excite anybody either coming off the year he had that includes very serious health concerns.
But if they get your top 2 FA targets, you get my vote for GM!
I mean yeah Keuchel had a horrendous year, but I think the Marlins would do that trade if the White Sox added in any two mix of prospects. But I think Kelly is gonna bounce-back this year and up his value. So if the Sox do this towards like say June I think that deal would go through. For me in my opinion Kimbrel still has value. The Padres need bullpen help and adding Kimbrel would be a good move for them if they put him in their closer spot. I really do think LaRussa didn’t handle Kimbrel well. But I get what you are saying, thanks for the feedback!