Spare Parts: RIP Lamarr Hoyt; Non-Interesting Non-Tenders; Lockout Looms

If White Sox fans didn’t have sad news, they’d have no news at all. The franchise remained mostly idle on Tuesday, but sadly lost a team legend in Lamarr Hoyt. Hoyt passed away at the age of 66, according to former Sox exec Dan Evans on Twitter.

Hoyt won 74 games across parts of 6 seasons with the Sox, including 24 in his 1983 Cy Young Award winning campaign for Tony La Russa’s Winning Ugly division champs. He was traded to the Padres after the ’84 season, returning Ozzie Guillen among others. Hoyt made the NL All Star team in 1985, but was out of the league by the end of 1986 due to a combination of drug problems and a shoulder injury.

Condolences to Hoyt’s family, friends, and fans.


In the wake of several high-level infield options flying off the free agent shelves in recent days, any White Sox fans hoping that the non-tender market might feature some intriguing names will have to look elsewhere.

The deadline for teams to tender eligible players major league contracts came and went fairly quietly, with a scant few recognizable names added to the free agent pool and virtually none at the White Sox’s two most pressing areas of need: second base and right field. Among the casualties:

  • The Tigers non-tendered longtime starter Matthew Boyd, who’s coming off a 3.89 ERA but only made 15 starts and was brutal in 2020.
  • The Braves let go of reliever Richard Rodriguez, formerly of the Pirates. Rodriguez was a fairly major bullpen addition at the 2021 trade deadline, but notably struggle after MLB started enforcing the “sticky stuff” ban.
  • The Marlins gave up on former top prospect Lewis Brinson, who was the centerpiece of the Christian Yelich trade with the Brewers, but has been worth -3.4 bWAR in parts of five big league seasons.
  • Old friends Juan Minaya (Twins), Luis Gonzalez (Giants), and Jose Rondon (Cardinals) all lost their roster spots.

The White Sox had already taken care of their roster business earlier in the offseason, when they outrighted Brian Goodwin, Jace Fry, Jimmy Cordero, and Evan Marshall, making all four free agents.

Here’s the full list of non-tendered players.


Elsewhere, two more second base options came off the board — and one of counts as a mild relief.

Cesar Hernandez signed a 1 year, $4 million deal with Washington, short circuiting any ill-advised reunion ideas that might be floating around the White Sox front office — a scenario that was starting to seem all too possible after the return of Leury Garcia. If you somehow blocked it out, Hernandez hit .232/.309/.299 in 217 PA’s with the Sox last year.

Meanwhile, a more interesting option went from Tampa to Miami, as the Rays traded Joey Wendle to the Marlins for outfield prospect Kameron Misner. Wendle made his first All-Star team in 2021, putting up 3.8 bWAR powered by a slightly above average bat and plus defense across 2B, SS, and 3B. He also bats left-handed, hittnig .284/.333/.431 against righties over his career, plus he’s controllable through 2023. Misener is a decent but not elite prospect, so one would think the Sox could have beat the Marlins’ offer if they tried.


The offseason clock ticks ever closer to self-destruction. MLB and the MLBPA are reportedly at the bargaining table, but if a deal isn’t reached by 11:59 PM ET tonight, then the owners will officially lockout the players and put a pause on all offseason operations (and in-season operations, for the matter) until a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is agreed to.

Meanwhile, ESPN’s Jesse Rogers reported that one of the ideas under discussion is expanding the playoffs to 14 teams. Per Rogers:

The format would call for 14 teams — seven from each league — to make the playoffs, four more than currently play in the postseason. The three division winners in each league would be joined by four wild-card teams to make up the playoff field. Here’s how it would work:

• The team with the best record in each league would get a bye into the best-of-five division series.

• The remaining two division winners would get to pick their wild-card opponent from the bottom three wild-card teams. The division winner with the second-best record would pick first, then the No. 3 seed in the league would pick its opponent from the final two wild-card teams. The wild-card team with the best record would play the wild-card team that wasn’t picked by a division winner.

• Once matchups are set, the higher-seeded teams would host all three games in a best-of-three wild-card round.

• Winners in the wild-card round would advance to the division series and the playoffs would continue as they have in the past.

My only question: why not make the whole season out of the playoffs??

We’ll be here to cover further developments.

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Greg Nix
Greg Nix

Greg Nix writes stuff all over the internet, and sometimes even on TV. He loves the White Sox and the Phoenix Suns even though they bring him nothing but pain.

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What a different off-season had the bottom not dropped out of Hernandez’s game….

Trooper Galactus

Oh shit, Brinson totally looks like a Kenny guy. Wouldn’t be surprised if they tried to nab Boyd either.


Boyd as a 2021 Rodon flyer would be fine; as a primary 6-rotation guy, no.

Trooper Galactus

He’d be good for depth, but I think plenty of non-competing teams would be willing to guarantee him a rotation spot that the White Sox aren’t to help him rebuild his value.


That expanded playoff proposal is pretty bad. A lot of attention goes to the fact that, by adding more teams, you’re rewarding mediocrity. But the bigger outrage for me is the other end of things. The reward for winning your division after a 162-game marathon is… a three-game series. That is not representative, and there’s no reason to put that bottleneck there. If anything, the first round should be a longer series.

Trooper Galactus

I don’t like it either. I kinda appreciate the current format because a lot of middling teams made a strong effort to compete for that second Wild Card spot or better, even teams that do not have a strong history of huge spending (Cincy, San Diego, Seattle, etc.). Expand it even more and I think a lot of teams will just half-ass it if it’s good enough to get their foot in the door.


Yeah, that aspect isn’t great either. I think a good compromise would be six teams making the playoffs per league, with the top two getting byes.

Trooper Galactus

I’d probably prefer that to the current format, though that probably means a three-game first round ala 2020.


I don’t like the best-of-three thing, but at least two teams would bypass that in this scenario, which is a little more rewarding.


Teams half-assing it just to get their foot in the door, that looks exactly like what the Sox are doing.

Trooper Galactus

Which they can get away with because their division sucks, but if Detroit’s rotation breaks out next season, well, so much for that plan.


Totally agree, seems the only caveat they are giving is all home games to division winners which is nice but its still such a small token advantage for winning over the course of 162.


Despite my traditionalist instincts, I find myself okay with, maybe even slightly in favor of, an expanded playoff. I agree that rewarding mediocrity and three-game series aren’t great, but here are the reasons I do like it, in ascending order:

  • More playoff baseball – I just like playoff baseball. This would mean more teams, more chaos, and more fun.
  • The bye – A three-game series is a rough outcome for winning a division, but that’s all the more incentive to be the best team in your league. In this system, a bye is a heck of a reward, and would hopefully give playoff teams something more to play for near the end of the season.For example, August and September might have looked a lot different for the 2021 White Sox.
  • The choices – For whatever reason, I really like the idea of a reward for more wins (or winning a division, in this case) is choosing your opponent. It would be another layer of strategy and gamesmanship. And, although only a three-game series, a nice reward for winning your division.
  • A counteraction to tanking – My favorite part, however, is that it would disincentivize tanking. The Rangers this offseason are a great example (or the Reds last year). Some people look at what they are doing and think, “how strange.” But what kind of system is this where signing really good players is considered strange? The new system is an extra incentive for those middle-of-the-road teams to go for it instead of packing it in. It’d be refreshing to see more teams try.

There are reasons not to like an expanded playoff, I grant you. But I like these features of it, at least.


What the Rangers have done is strange because they don’t have the rest of the pieces on their roster to compete in the AL West.


Wouldn’t be surprised to see us re-sign Luis Gonzalez to a minor league deal. He’s adequate OF depth with a hint of upside left in the bat.

Trooper Galactus

Didn’t they just bring back Basabe? That would kinda cover the “former organizational outfielder picked up by the Giants off waivers” avenue.


Didnt they kind of do that with Basabee? And you still have Rutherford hanging around.

Trooper Galactus

Well, we probably shouldn’t still have Rutherford hanging around. If they lose anybody even remotely intriguing because they opted to keep Rutherford on the 40-man, good lord.

Root Cause

Expansion to 10 may cut the watchable season in half the season for good teams. Early winners will coast after the all-star break using AAA players as fillers.

We saw this last year when TLR would surrender a game before it started with a lousy lineup- and it will only get worse if they expand. I can see the owners and players liking that a lot.


While I wasn’t wildly optimistic, I was not expecting that by the eve of the CBA lockout that their off-season accomplishments would consist of getting a reliever to replace Tepera, picking up Kimbrel’s option, and re-signing Leury Garcia. That’s a turd of a start to their off-season. At best.


Juan Minaya was cut? He was pretty good this season for the Twins.

Trooper Galactus

If you’re looking at his ERA and not his FIP, I guess. He’s also entering his first year of arbitration, so they might not have wanted to even bother with it.