The White Sox will be a playoff contender once again in 2022. With two glaring holes on the roster and a couple of other changes that should be made, however, there is still plenty that the front office needs to do to improve the roster and establish the Sox as a favorite to win the AL. I’ll attempt to round out the roster and stay within a realistic budget for the 2022 season.
Write “tender,” “non-tender” or “rework/extend” after each player and their projected 2022 salaries. Feel free to offer explanation afterward if necessary.
- 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 (offer minor league deal)
- Jace Fry: $1M NON-tender
Write “pick up” or “decline” or “rework” after the option.
- Craig Kimbrel: $16M ($1M buyout) – Pick up
- César Hernández: $6M – Decline
OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS
Try to retain, extend qualifying offer, or let go?
- Leury García (Made $3.5M in 2021) – Resign (2 years, $7 million) He offers great versatility and can play all over the field. I’d see if he’d accept two years at the same yearly salary he made in 2021.
- Carlos Rodón ($3M) – let go Carlos was terrific in 2021, but his history concerns me. He’s also a Boras client that’s likely looking for a payday after having a great year.
- Billy Hamilton ($1M) – let go As much as we all love Billy the Hitter, his time on the south side is likely up.
- Ryan Tepera ($950K) – Resign (2 years, $9 million) He was a great deadline addition and was probably the best reliever on the team besides Hendriks.
No. 1: Nick Castellanos (five years, $100 million). The outfield defense would struggle, but Castellanos is the best bat available and would have a huge impact on the offense. The Sox have constantly had a “seat at the table”, but it’s time for them to finally land an impact free agent that can push them over the top.
No. 2: Manny Pina (one years, $2 million). Collins was statistically the worst defensive catcher in the MLB in 2021. The Sox need to sign a veteran defensive catcher, and they aren’t many available this offseason. They could swing for Yan Gomes, but he might be looking for more money, and maybe even a starting spot, somewhere else.
No. 3: Danny Duffy (two years, $25 million). I keep going back and forth on this one, but the Sox will lose two lefties from their rotation, so they’ll need to add one. Enter Danny Duffy. He’s coming off of what was a great year until he got injured. Assuming his medicals come back strong, he’d be a great number 4 or 5 in the Sox rotation.
No. 4: Sean Doolittle (one year, $1.5 million). The Sox need one more bullpen arm, and Sean Doolittle would be a solid candidate. I’m looking for him to sign a similar deal to his 2021 deal with the Reds.
No. 1: Acquire Joey Wendle from the Rays for Yolbert Sanchez, Matt Foster, and Kade McClure. The Rays are dealing with a middle infield crunch, and Joey Wendle is headed for arbitration. They are notorious for trading guys away as they become expensive, and Wendle is headed towards a pay raise. Wendle is coming off of arguably the best season of his career and, as a left-handed bat, could be a huge addition to the lineup. He’ll be entering his age 32 season and is under control through 2024. If he’s available this offseason, he’s a no-brainer to fill the hole at second base.
No. 2: Acquire Mickey Moniak from the Phillies for Craig Kimbrel
It’s been widely reported that the Phillies wanted Kimbrel at the 2021 deadline, so I’d try to see if the Sox can pry Mickey Moniak from them. He’s a former number one overall pick and can continue to work on his game in Triple-A Charlotte. The Sox would get much-needed salary relief, as well as a guy that could finally play up to his potential.
No. 3: Trade Dallas Keuchel and $8 million to the Orioles for a PTBNL
This one is a bit of a long shot, but one that could come true if a salary floor is implemented in the new CBA. The Sox would eat $8 million, but would save about $10 million in doing so. For the Orioles, they have the lowest current payroll in baseball. They would take on some salary to ensure they stay above the salary floor, and they also receive a potential trade piece if Dallas turns things around and pitches like 2020 Dallas again.
C – Yasmani Grandal
1B – Jose Abreu
2B – Joey Wendle
3B – Yoan Moncada
SS – Tim Anderson
LF – Eloy Jimenez
CF – Luis Robert
RF – Nick Castellanos
DH – Andrew Vaughn/Gavin Sheets
C – Manny Pina
OF – Adam Engel
IF/OF – Leury Garcia
1B/OF – Andrew Vaughn/Gavin Sheets
On paper, I like this team a lot and think it’s a big improvement over the 2021 roster. Time will tell how much Jerry will be willing to spend on the 2022 roster, but this upcoming offseason could set the Sox up for success for the foreseeable future.
I like the idea of trading for Wendle since TB won’t want to pay his arb number. Think it might take more though.