Podcast: 2021 GM Meetings Recap

With an MLB Lockout looming, this year’s GM Meetings could be this winter’s main event when it comes to offseason rumors and gossip. Josh and Jim recap what White Sox GM Rick Hahn said about Carlos Rodon, Craig Kimbrel, and his priorities to make the 2022 roster stronger this offseason.

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Josh Nelson
Josh Nelson

Josh Nelson is the host and producer of the Sox Machine Podcast. For show suggestions, guest appearances, and sponsorship opportunities, you can reach him via email at josh@soxmachine.com.

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I’ve grown more and more pessimistic the sox are gonna wow us with some huge payroll, I barely feel they are even gonna hit the 170 mark that we used for the OPP (prove me wrong Jerry).

But, it is actually a very exciting trade market, we’ve already heard the A’s are open for business; Montas, Bassett, Manea, Olson, the Reds are open for business Castillo, Gray, maybe Winker…. and the Marlins are interested in moving any of their stud arms for some more hitting which is the exact kind of trade the sox should be looking for since they have a bit of depth with corner position hitters.


They will get to the $170M mark unless they can save some money in trades. They have 11 guaranteed contracts at $142.9M, 3 arbs at $12.9M so that is 14 players at $155.8M. That leaves 12 roster spots. Estimate those at $1m per (current minimum is $570.5k and that will increase with new CBA; even most minor free agents can cost a couple millions). So $12M for those 12 spots, the 14 players at $155.8M, and the $1M they owe Eaton for his buyout leaves them at $168.8M currently.


I understand the math, but they are for sure moving Kimbrel and I wouldnt rule out a Kuechel trade even if they kick in some cash. They have always shown their comfort level is much more in cost controlled players than it is in spending big on free agents. I suspect this off season will be no different. I think you get 1 decent signing, and a couple of trades.

Last edited 1 year ago by knoxfire30

Hahn will also be considering the increases coming for guys in ’23. And what happens with Abreu??? This will test the Sox ability to swing deals and unearth talent


Ive spent a lot of time saying the best portion of the window was always gonna be 2021 and 2022, these were the teams that were gonna still have a relatively low enough payroll that you should of gone nuts on free agents to patch big holes… sox took a cheaper route and its gonna limit the effectiveness of their window cause even as Kuechel Abreu and Grandal come off the books those offsets are gonna be eaten up by raises to Giolito, Moncada, Eloy, and Robert.


Will Abreu come come off the books? As beloved as he is, I have a hard time believing he will not eat $20M in 2023 – and that will inhibit the team.

Trooper Galactus

Increases in salaries for the core players is going to be more than offset by the departures of Abreu ($19.67m) and Keuchel ($18m). Moncada, Hendriks, Anderson (option), Robert, Jimenez, and Bummer will collectively get a $15.75 million increase in salary per their contracts. Giolito, Lopez, Engel, Cease, Kopech, and possibly Ruiz will likely get another $10-20 million in arbitration increases over their 2022 salaries.

Trooper Galactus

The problem with the trade market is that there are 29 other teams who have better prospects to offer in any trade, so unless the White Sox pull from existing MLB depth (Kopech, Vaughn, Crochet, Sheets, etc.) they won’t be frontrunners for the most attractive ones. And, as we’ve seen with trading away Dunning, Madrigal, and Heuer, the hits to roster depth has consequences.

Don’t take that as a criticism of the trades themselves, but rather of the White Sox general failure to build appreciable depth of value in their system from which to trade. Having Kelley and Thompson face plant as badly as they did, as well as a relatively meh showing from Cespedes, really hurt their ability to get significant reinforcements without further gutting their 26-man roster.

Michael Kenny

Just remember, I got dibs on Luis Castillo.


If the payroll constraints are what people speculate, this team is unlikely to ever be great. I hope people are wrong. My biggest hope is that the Bulls being this exciting will motivate Jerry to want the same for the Sox. Look at what they did this offseason… brought in 3 very solid players, which is exactly what this team needs. Nothing else is going to substitute. He’s up like 200M in the past year, jesus christ. Just spend part of that. Give something back to the fans and the city that made you rich in the first place. That much greed in someone with that much money is a despicable human quality.

I hope that they spend, otherwise the Bulls have become the best team in Chicago almost overnight. They have great energy and a coach that doesn’t dampen the whole vibe of the team. Hope they keep it going vs Steph and the Warriors tomorrow!

Augusto Barojas

Bulls have done a good job. But with 5 players on the court, getting 3 has a lot more impact than in baseball so it is hard to compare. The Sox do need upgrades and a higher payroll, no doubt about that.


My worry is the team won’t spend enough to capitalize on the core, preferring to trade future assets for players in win-now moves. That’s no way to sustain success. We’ll be looking at 2-3 years of contending followed by declining performance giving way to garbage teams.

I really thought at the outset that they were striving for sustainable success. Maybe Rick thought so, too, but wasn’t given the latitude to do the job he needed to do.


Either they spend now or they don’t win, pretty simple. I have hopes that they will have a better winter this year and that their payroll will wind up a lot higher than people think. Just a gut feeling Semien will be here. If they continue to wish and hope rather than use free agency, my loyalty to this team is about at an end. Not going to be any happy Octobers with this team unless they change how they are running things.

Trooper Galactus

It would be one thing if they were trading future assets for win-now moves, but they’ve literally been trading from their 26-man roster to make their improvements because their farm system is barren.