MIllennialSox’s Off Season Plan

PREAMBLE

I tried to ground all of my decisions into the real world as best as possible. Obviously when you’re dealing with hypothetical trades and free agency signings, there’s going to be an element of Video Game Logic/ wish fulfillment to these options, but I don’t think they’re that far off from what Rick Hahn and company can accomplishment. Or not, who knows. 

ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE PLAYERS

Write “tender,” “non-tender” or “rework/extend” after each player and their projected 2022 salaries.

  • 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

I basically just tendered the players I like and non tendered the players I don’t like. The only semi-tough decision was Evan Marshall, who, when healthy, is a good reliever any team will take, but that’s too much money for my plan that’s basically at the edge of $170M.

CLUB OPTIONS

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

  • Craig Kimbrel: $16M ($1M buyout) Pick Up and Trade. If Rick Hahn is able to sell Kimbrel for a back up that’s better than Danny Mendick, this is a win.
  • César Hernández: $6M Decline. I actually like César for $6M in a vacuum despite how poorly he played for the Pale Hose, but again, he doesn’t fit into my plan/the budget.

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) Make Him the QO. I believe in Rodón for next year, health issues be damned, and any team will be lucky to have him, but let another team give him the hefty multi-year deal he wants (and that Jerry won’t give him) and the Sox take the draft pick. If Rodón does accept the QO, then that’s fine too and my two FA pitcher signings, see below, won’t happen.
  • Billy Hamilton ($1M) Re-sign for another 1 year, $1M
  • Ryan Tepera ($950K) Re-sign for another 1 year, $950K

FREE AGENTS

List three free-agent targets you’d pursue during the offseason, with a reasonable contract.

No. 1: Nelson Cruz (one year, $10 million) A 42 year old Nelson Cruz just feels like a move the Sox would make, doesn’t it? I know the Sox have a glut of sluggers who can’t play defense (though one gets traded, below) but I like the guaranteed bat Cruz would provide versus the risk of young guys developing and staying consistent throughout 2022.

No. 2 James Paxton (one year, $3 million) Give him the 2021 Carlos Rodón contract and let him prove it. If he gets injured again like he always seems to do, then Michael Kopech and ReyLo can take his starts.

No. 3 Noah Syndergaard (one year, $13.75 million) I know Thor is coming off of Tommy John surgery, but he appears to be fully rehabbed and ready to go. This is the most amount of money I can realistically offer him for the one year deal, and maybe being on a contender can convince him to take less from the Sox. Regardless, I believe in his talent still and Syndergaard might be willing to take a one year deal to prove himself before someone else offers him the huge contract he wants/deserves.


TRADES

Propose trades that you think sound reasonable for both sides, and the rationale behind them.

No. 1: Trade Andrew Vaughn and Dallas Keuchel for Whit Merrifield Five years of Andrew Vaughn for basically two guaranteed years of extremely team friendly Whit Merrifield is still heavily favored towards the Royals. I was thinking of other players that the Royals would need to throw in to close the gap, and I think taking on the remaining of Keuchel’s contract would fit that bill. Keuchel would be the tax the Royals would take to acquire Vaughn. Further, the Royals pay roll over the next couple of years is going to be pretty low anyways and they’re (most likely) going to be very bad, that Keuchel’s performance won’t really matter for them and he (in theory) can help eat innings. He can also teach the Royals how to win! lol In the NFL, the Rams traded two first round picks and Jared Goff to the Lions for Matthew Stafford. One of the first-round picks was for Stafford and the other one was an added benefit to Detroit to take on Jared Goff. Dallas Keuchel is the equivalent of the Rams giving up an additional first round pick to take on Goff.

Also, if there’s not going to be a season, or even a shortened season in 2022, then this deal is off. I’m not giving up that many years of Andrew Vaughn for only one year of Whit Merrifield.

No. 2: Trade Zack Collins and Micker Adolfo for Willson Contreras Reports are Arizona would have taken Zack Collins for Eduardo Escobar last year, so if there are teams that didn’t watch Collins pay last year or look up his statistics and are still willing to acquire him based upon his pedigree, maybe the Cubs can be one of those teams. Based on all of the trades the Cubs made last year, I have no idea what they’re doing, so maybe a trade this kind of bad will be accepted by them just to shed even more payroll? Meanwhile, the Sox not only get a back up catcher, but Contreras can play right field or DH when Yaz catches.

No. 3: Trade Yoán Moncada to anyone for a bag of balls and a ham sandwich. Honestly, if I’m the White Sox.. I’d listen to all trade offers for Yoán Moncada and toss him into trades for solid returns. He’s never going to live up to his potential. Too many outside factors for the pretty boy to focus on baseball in my opinion.

SUMMARY

If you finish up with a fairly firm 26-man roster, roll it out here. If you don’t, at least offer a sense of the payroll required, but more detail is always welcome.

What’s more important is describing how you settled on your plan — how or whether it resolves key positions, and what kind of position the White Sox occupy heading into 2022 and the following offseason.

Every plan may not be comprehensively sound, but even the shakiest ones may have one name or argument that hasn’t crossed the minds of the rest of the community. The point of this exercise is to generate as many possibilities as possible, to see which players are the most popular, and how it ends up comparing to the White Sox’s actual moves, if and when they’re allowed to make them.

C- Yasmani Grandal $18.25M
1B- José Abreu 19.66M
2B- Whit Merrifield $6.75M
SS- Tim Anderson $9.5M
3B- Yoán Moncada $13.8M
LF- Eloy Jiménez $7.33M
CF- Luis Robert $6M
RF- Adam Engel $2.2M
DH- Nelson Cruz $10M

BN- Willson Contreras $8.7M
BN- Jake Burger $575K
BN- Gavin Sheets $575K
BN- Billy Hamilton $1M
BN- Danny Mendick $575K

SP- Lance Lynn $18.5M
SP- Lucas Giolito $7.9M
SP- Dylan Cease $575K
SP- Noah Syndergaard $13.75M
SP- James Paxton $3M

RP- Michael Kopech $575K
RP- Reynaldo López 2.8M
RP- Garrett Crochet $575K
RP- Aaron Bummer 2.5M
RP- Ryan Tepera $950K
RP- Jose Ruiz $575K
CL- Liam Hendriks $13.3M

TOTAL: $169.92M

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MillennialSox
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NorthSideSouthSider

I like that Merrifield trade. The Royals don’t like spending money so I’m not sure they would take on Keuchel but I like the concept behind it. No way that offer gets a Contreras trade done with the Cubs tho.

Trooper Galactus

It was nice that they signed guys like Moncada to team-friendly deals that would allow the team financial flexibility to move around them.

GrabSomeBench

Hold on my friend, you traded Moncada for a bag of balls and ham sandwich yet you have him slotted in the lineup. You need to keep shopping for another third baseman.