Vanillablue’s Dose of Reality plan


The White Sox are at a crossroads this offseason. The last two years have been successful, but the roster still has holes, and overall their talent level is a notch below the top contenders. I’m writing this just after the Braves clinched the championship; I certainly hope the Sox don’t look at an 88-win Braves team winning it all and think “all the pieces are in place” for a World Series run. (Sorry for quoting Dave Wannstedt there, I hope that didn’t cause PTSD for anyone.) They need upgrades at 2B, RF, backup C, and bullpen depth, and although the offense is productive they could use some players with a more patient approach; the team could use defensive upgrades as well.

I put together this plan based on what I think the Sox are likely to do, not what I wish they would do.  I’d love for the Sox to make a big free agent signing this offseason like Seager or Semien, but I doubt it will happen – having watched Jerry Reinsdorf all these years, I don’t think he’s going to change now. So, improving the Sox will come through the trade market and judicious FA signings, areas where Hahn’s record is…mixed. Anyway, let’s get to it.


  • Lucas Giolito: $7.9M – tender
  • Reynaldo López; $2.8M – tender
  • Evan Marshall: $2.3M – non-tender, offer minor league deal
  • Adam Engel: $2.2M – tender
  • Brian Goodwin: $1.7M – non-tender, but thanks for that six weeks of cromulence
  • Jimmy Cordero: $1.2M – non-tender, offer minor league deal
  • Jace Fry: $1M – non-tender, hasn’t shown enough


  • Craig Kimbrel: $16M ($1M buyout) – pick up and trade (see below). Again, this is what I think they will do, not what they should do (which is not traded for him in the first place.)
  • César Hernández: $6M – decline. Another Hahn trade that does not speak well for the Sox’ pro scouting department.


  • Leury García (Made $3.5M in 2021) – resign for 1 yr, $4M. Just don’t play him in right field, please.
  • Carlos Rodón ($3M) – extend qualifying offer. With his injury history, a year-to-year approach makes sense.
  • Billy Hamilton ($1M) – let go
  • Ryan Tepera ($950K) – resign for 1 year/$2.5M.


No. 1: Sign OF Nick Castellanos to a 4-year, $72M contract.

There are many splashier moves the Sox could make, but this one seems most logical to me – fills a position of need but within their self-imposed spending limitations.


No. 1: Trade OF/DH Eloy Jimenez, OF/DH Micker Adolfo, and P Jimmy Lambert to Oakland for 3B Matt Chapman, P Frankie Montas, and OF Ramon Laureano.

The A’s are going into fire sale mode and the Sox should take advantage. Why Chapman? This is a creative way of solving the Sox’ 2B problem. Get Chapman – who was worth 3.5 bWAR last year and is poised for an offensive breakout a year out from hip surgery – and move Moncada back to his original 2B position. Old Friend Montas harnessed his talent last year and is still controllable for 2 more years, and Laureano can start at all 3 outfield spots. This trade will dramatically improve our defense, which was exposed in the playoffs. It hurts to give up Eloy, but the Sox should deal from their glut of quasi-DH types; Oakland gets a cost-controlled young player and a couple of prospects.

No. 2: Trade P Craig Kimbrel to Boston for C/INF Connor Wong.

I don’t think Kimbrel will fetch much in return, since he’s been bad for 2.5 of the last 3 seasons. His market is limited to teams that have money to burn and need relief help – basically, the Yankees and Red Sox, so let’s get Kimbrel back to the site of his greatest major league success. With no credible catching prospects in the system, we could use a guy like Wong, who made his debut last season and can also play the infield.

No. 3: Trade P Dallas Keuchel, P Jonathan Stiever, and C Zack Collins to San Diego for C Victor Caratini and P Pierce Johnson.

Keuchel also will be a tough sell given last year’s performance, but the Padres need rotation help and a dose of veteran leadership, and a shift to the NL might help Keuchel rebound. We will need to toss in a couple of flyers to entice the Padres, and may need to pay part of Keuchel’s salary. In return, we get a solid backup catcher and a workhorse reliever.


Here’s your new roster:

SP – Lynn, Giolito, Cease, Rodon, Montas. If Rodon leaves, Kopech steps into the rotation.

RH relievers – Hendriks, Tepera, Lopez, Johnson, Kopech, Ruiz

LH relievers – Bummer, Crochet

C – Grandal, Caratini

1B – Abreu

2B – Moncada

SS – Anderson

3B – Chapman

Reserve INF – Garcia, +/- Gonzalez, +/- Wong

LF – Laureano

CF – Robert

RF – Castellanos

DH – Vaughn

Reserve OF – Engel, Vaughn, +/- Sheets

Total salary commitments:

Starting rotation: $50.6M if Rodon accepts the QO

Relievers: $25.9M

Position players: $102.4

Total: $178.9M – a little higher than projected, but cleared Keuchel and Kimbrel’s salaries while freeing up money for Castellanos and the arb-eligible Oakland acquisitions.

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