“Target Marte(s)” Offseason Plan


Let’s start with a simple fact: the 2021 postseason was a disappointment. Now… that being said, I wouldn’t call the season a disappointment. There were certainly aspects of it that felt more like a lateral move than forward progress, but at the end of the day, the 2021 Chicago White Sox are division champions (for the 1st time since 2008) and the young roster received far more valuable experience from losing to the Astros than in their fanless 2020 postseason loss to the A’s. Is there a ways to go? Absolutely. Is this team the favorite to repeat as AL Central champions? Absolutely. It’s now about winning a championship. No more excuses.

When building a team, I think it’s vital to clearly identify where the team did well and where they struggled (work I’m sure Rick Hahn and team are deep in the process of doing). The postseason has once again shown the importance of good defense, speed, and an effective bullpen, even if you can get through the regular season below average in these things. Checking in with where I feel the Sox are most lacking:

Defense: Defensive runs saved – 26th (-39 drs)
Speed: SB/game – 24th (.34/game)

Some of this is organizational- I’d like to see more defensive shifting and Luis Robert may be the team’s biggest speed threat and was rightfully never let loose this season due to injury. Increase the variety of threats within the lineup and you’re able to increase offensive chances.

Power was a big deficiency as well (19th in HR), but that to me feels like a coaching/strategy adjustment, rather than player overhaul. This lineup is capable of power – we’ve seen it. Maybe I’m naive, but I’m hoping additional development/alternate coaching will make that more consistent.

I’ve also seen the desire to add LH balance to the lineup, but I prefer checking splits against RHP and LHP and the Sox happened to be top-10 against both sides. As the roster is currently constructed, the offense and the pitching are good enough to repeat as AL Central Division champions. Add some more intangibles this offseason and we’ll be in position to add the final pieces in July at trade deadline time (yes, I know Kimbrel and Hernandez blew up gloriously, but at least we went for it, right?).


  • Lucas Giolito: $7.9M – TENDER (obviously)
  • Reynaldo López; $2.8M – TENDER (ReyLo 4EVR)
  • Evan Marshall: $2.3M – NON-TENDER (minor league contract to rehab?)
  • Adam Engel: $2.2M – TENDER
  • Brian Goodwin: $1.7M – NON-TENDER
  • Jimmy Cordero: $1.2M – TENDER (Biceps SZN = the return!)
  • Jace Fry: $1M – TENDER (left-handed reliever worth the minimal cost)


  • Craig Kimbrel: $16M ($1M buyout) – BUY OUTI’m just not seeing the surplus value here. Only Chapman makes more as reliever. Why trade a bad contract for a bad contract? Cut your losses, but thanks for taking a swing. Don’t let it stop you in July next year.
  • César Hernández: $6M – DECLINEAnother move that didn’t work out, but I liked it at the time. I think you’re deciding between Hernandez or Garcia and I like Leury Legend more.


  • Leury García (Made $3.5M in 2021) – RETAINPositional flexibility is worth 1-1.5 WAR and that covers whatever salary you offer. I’d think something in the neighborhood of 2/8M would do it?
  • Carlos Rodón ($3M) – QO (only if you’re confident he’ll decline)
  • Billy Hamilton ($1M) – Minor league offer w/ spring training invite
  • Ryan Tepera ($950K) – Let goHey! A move that went right! Unfortunately, given team salary demands, I think the Sox will get priced out on Tepera. The bullpen isn’t the #1 priority and it’s easier/cheaper to acquire arms midseason than it is position player starters.


No. 1: Starling Marte (three year, $48 million) 2022 – 12M, 2023 – 19M, 2024 – 17M

I’m a big fan of Starling Marte. He has two Gold Gloves (2015, 2016), albeit as a center fielder, and he offers elite baserunning (MLB-leading 47 SBs in 2021). I don’t think he’s elite defensively anymore, but moving to RF full-time, I’d expect him to be above average, which is more than we can say about whoever has played that position recently (disregarding Adam Engel here). He’s 33-years-old and feels like a guy the Sox try to sign early ahead of the market (like Grandal in 2019 or Eaton last year). McCutchen’s contract with the Phillies seems like a decent comp (3yr/50mil at age 32). Hopefully, he’s alright with a front-loaded contract.

No. 2: Roberto Perez (two years, $7 million) 2022 – 2.5M, 2023 – 4.5M

Slightly below average defensively this year, Perez has traditionally been above average, if not elite. Soft-hitting, he’s the perfect backup catcher who I could see getting significant playing time if there’s an additional effort in 2022 to keep Grandal healthy. The Guardians (what?!) would have to buy out his final team option, but at $7M, I would be more surprised if they didn’t. Lastly, I like the idea of him bringing his experience from Cleveland, a team that works wonders with their pitching staff, something we’ve all seen year after year.


No. 1: Trade Andrew Vaughn and Jake Burger to Arizona for Ketel Marte and Jon Duplantier

I love Andrew Vaughn. I don’t think this team will trade him. But it’s the Sox Machine OPP, so let’s have some fun. I love Ketel Marte just as much. He’s an exciting player that would slot in immediately as the everyday 2B (and make Nick Madrigal easier to forget). He was a bad OF last season, but provided above average defense at 2B. Perfect. The power numbers are there. Cheap contract w/ three years remaining. The NL West is stacked so I can’t imagine the Diamondbacks competing over that window – they should be shopping him, so the competition will be stiff, hence the cost of acquiring him. The Diamondbacks also have a surplus of young arms and Duplantier has struggled in limited time, both statistically and in keeping healthy. He’s a big stuff/low command-type guy that the Sox seem to love. I think Katz could work some magic on him.

No. 2: Trade Zack Collins and Matt Foster to Tampa Bay for Jordan Luplow

The Rays have a team option on Mike Zunino (at 7M) and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them decline that, elevating Francisco Mejia to starting catcher. There’s an opening for a cheap bat (DING! DING!). Now I have no idea if the Rays want Zack Collins, but I think he would benefit from a change in scenery. Matt Foster seems like the type of guy the Rays would love using as an opener. He could also benefit from a change in scenery after a frustrating 2021. Jordan Luplow traditionally has been a lefty killer, though weirdly offered reverse splits in 2021. He also costs more than Collins/Foster combined. I think he’d be a nice bench piece and would platoon well with Gavin Sheets at DH.


Here’s the 26-man roster:

C: Grandal – 18.25M
Perez – 2.5M

IF: Abreu – 19.66M
Moncada – 13.8M
Anderson – 9.5M
K. Marte – 8M
Gonzalez – Pre-arb
Sheets – Pre-arb

OF: S. Marte – 12M
Jimenez – 7.33M
Robert – 6M
Garcia – 4M
Engel – 2.2M
Luplow – 1.25M

SP: Lynn – 18.5M
Keuchel – 16M
Giolito – 7.9M
Cease – Pre-arb
Kopech – Pre-arb

RP: Hendriks – 13.33M
Lopez – 2.8M
Bummer – 2.5M
Cordero – 1.2M
Fry – 1M
Crochet – Pre-arb
Duplantier – Pre-arb

Feel free to interchange Ryan Burr or Jose Ruiz with the B-bullpen arms. Given the budget constraints, I see enough money to take on one big contract and then acquire a team-friendly contract. After that, you’re pinching pennies. Admittedly, the pitching staff is thin. I think Keuchel is good enough to start out as a 5th starter. If his struggles continue, Lopez can step in if needed or Crochet can stretch out in AAA. With Lynn, Giolito, Kopech, and Cease 1-4, the pitching is good enough to compete for the first part of the year and if you need to acquire an ace at the deadline, figure it out then. All of that said, it’s hard to argue with a lineup like this:

SS – Tim Anderson
CF – Luis Robert
1B – Jose Abreu
C- Yasmani Grandal
LF – Eloy Jimenez
2B – Ketel Marte
RF – Starling Marte
3B – Yoan Moncada
DH – Gavin Sheets/Jordan Luplow

That’s a top-5 offense, easy. A late-game outfield of Engel, Robert, and Marte is defensively elite. This roster would set the White Sox up as one of the American League favorites. Add what you need at the deadline and the World Series is attainable. Make it happen, Rick!

Offense: 104.39M
Pitching: 65.53M

Total: 169.92M

Take a second to support Sox Machine on Patreon
Articles: 1
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I like the dual Martes but it will probably take more than that to get Ketel from AZ.

Michael Kenny

Yesss another Dos Martes plan! Nice work.


I am also a fan of Vaughn as a centerpiece for a Ketel Marte trade.


Nice dog!


Nice! I just posted my plan and also chose to make it a Marte party on the South Side by bringing in Ketel and Starling.

I liked that you found a way to turn Collins into something useful as at least Luplow won’t be able to kill the Sox any more!