White Sox expected to stand pat before CBA deadline

White Sox GM Rick Hahn
Rick Hahn speaks at SoxFest 2020 town hall (photo by Josh Nelson)

If you were hoping the Chicago White Sox would follow suit of Texas, Seattle, or the New York Mets in making a big splash signing a marquee free agent, well, you may be waiting for a bit. Speaking with reporters during the announcement of Leury Garcia returning, general manager Rick Hahn is asking for patience as there’s still time to make additions before Opening Day. 

In a typical offseason, Hahn would have all of December and January let trade talks and discussions with free agents blossom in potential deals. But this hasn’t been the typical offseason, and we are not seeing our regular, slow-paced player transaction activity. Since Friday, it’s been a whirlwind of the top free agents finding new homes daily. On MLB.com’s Top 25 free agents available list, six of the top ten have already announced new deals. 

Do the White Sox have something up their sleeve before the CBA expires at 11:00 pm CT tonight? 

https://twitter.com/C1McKnight/status/1466122388916031491

If an opportunity doesn’t arise before the deadline, White Sox fans have the signings of Kendall Graveman and Garcia to hold them over until a new CBA. Not exactly a very fulfilling meal as many are hoping that Graveman and Garcia are appetizers of this White Sox offseason. Bigger things are in store for additions to this White Sox roster, right? 

These quotes come off as, “If we make a move, we make a move. If we don’t make a move, we still like our chances of contending for the World Series.” A bit non-committal. Perhaps it’s an attempt to keep cards close to the chest. Not wanting to possibly unveil clues to other teams competing with the White Sox for free agents and trade targets. 

However, we’ve been down this road often with the White Sox, and it’s hard to keep away the dreadful angst worrying if fans will be left out in the cold again. “The money will be spent,” still echos. 

Technically, the White Sox are spending money. Garcia is now making $5.5 million per season until 2024, and that pay raise has the White Sox projected 26-man roster at $169 million, according to Spotrac. That’s currently the fifth-highest player payroll in MLB and the first time the White Sox have been that big of spenders compared to their league counterparts since 2008

It’s just that the White Sox have a glaring need in right field, and if Garcia is not supposed to be the starting second baseman, they need one of those, too. Oh, and a 5 WAR starting pitcher may not return, and it would be nice if there were a better defensive catcher to be Yasmani Grandal’s backup. 

Are the White Sox willing to join the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, and New York Mets as the $200 million payroll ballclubs? If not, how are they going to address those areas of need? 

One way is the trade market, and the White Sox got a bit of good news yesterday when closer Raisel Inglesias signed a four-year deal to stay with the Los Angeles Angels. That’s one fewer closer off the market. If Kenley Jansen decides to return to the Dodgers, teams searching for a premium closer will have to contact Hahn about trading for Craig Kimbrel. 

Hahn admitted that the trade market has been slow developing. 

When the White Sox picked up Kimbrel’s club option, a trade wasn’t all that imminent. As player transactions stop during the lockout, Kimbrel’s status remains the biggest question for the White Sox until a new CBA is signed. If Hahn doesn’t like any of the possible returns teams are pitching him for Kimbrel, would the White Sox keep him? Does having Kimbrel on the payroll prohibit the White Sox from making a significant signing like Michael Conforto? 

Outside of Kimbrel, do the White Sox have good enough prospects to entice teams into making a deal? Or would they have to be open dealing Andrew Vaughn for an impact player? Would Hahn even entertain that thought after dealing Nick Madrigal this past July?

Hahn is asking for patience. He’ll get it as fans have no other choice but to standby waiting for a new CBA. When that comes, the White Sox front office has work to do before Opening Day 2022, whenever that may be.

Take a second to support Sox Machine on Patreon
Become a patron at Patreon!
39 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
calcetinesblancos

Don’t worry Rick; there’s still time to sign both Suzuki and Story and keep us from showing up to 35th and Shields with our pitchforks.

burning-phoneix

Trevor Story is a career shortstop. I don’t think he’s gonna sign to be a second basement.

Red_Hair_White_Sox

He is going to sign with whoever gives him the most money. Probably looking for a pillow contract. Offer 1yr 18-20mil, and he won’t mind playing 2B. Didn’t stop Semien from making absolute bank this offseason

calcetinesblancos

Also, absent a deal worth making for Kimbrel, you absolutely hold on to him and see what happens.

soxygen

Yeah, but thank goodness we hurried up and signed Leury.

fustercluck

and let him walk around in a fancy suede jacket reading PROVEN CLOSER

Augusto Barojas

Astros have been in the ALCS the past 5 years. Sox have been in once in the past 25. I wonder why that is?

Like they need to officially announce they are standing pat. I think we all get that.

Last edited 2 years ago by Augusto Barojas
WHITESOX_RIGHT_SOX

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jaredwyllys/2019/10/05/chicago-white-sox-owner-jerry-reinsdorfs-comments-show-destructive-approach/

The above article says it all. I suggest applying a different lens in which the collective you consume this product (Whitesox) for entertainment and enjoy watching this core group of young players they’re currently fielding while they’re here. Or put aside the nostalgia and root for a different billionaire’s, or group of billionaire’s, product. One who is interested in appeasing the majority of its fan base. My gosh, the guy owns two professional sport franchises in Chicago, being the Sox and the NBA Bulls. Don’t forget, leadership from the owner down to the manager on the field are educated in law, armed with the art of bullshitting and persuasion. I find it so ironic, because we give them their wealth of riches, so one would think it would be reciprocated in the product put forward on the field for us to consume. But that’s greed for you. The American dream ✌️ ???????? ✌️

vince

Does anyone have any faith the Sox are going to fill the many holes on this roster with anything other than retreads or never-have-beens and hope for the best?

calcetinesblancos

The money will be spent…on Leury Garcia lol.

Philip

I’ve been refreshing MLB Trade Rumors every hour of the day waiting for something over the last week. How insanely disappointing to see all the middle tier players fall off the board. I was even hoping for Wendle from Tampa as some point, but alas, nothing.

I knew better than to expect a top tier signing but I had hopes the Sox would have more movement at this point. 5th highest MLB payroll with two huge holes is a big let down.

dongutteridge

Not too concerned that the Sox haven’t done more yet because all of the top RFers are still available.

There’s still pitching and backup catchers available.

I really believe that they’re set up well to trade Kimbrel and maybe a prospect for a good second baseman.

jhomeslice

I think the chances they get anything good for Kimbrel are exactly the same as whether they will sign any good free agents or not. I think a very safe bet that nobody they get for Kimbrel is going to be a great solution to 2b, RF, or a starting pitcher.

Trooper Galactus

The only ones remaining who are even worth discussing are Conforto, Bryant, and Castellanos, unless you’re a huge Schwarber fan.

asinwreck

My sense is the front office cleared roster space hoping some cheap, useful players at 2B/C/RF would be non-tendered yesterday and Hahn could get on the phone with their agents. The actual list of non-tendered players was smaller and less enticing than last winter’s, so they’ll wait around until they can sign Josh Harrison, Jeff Mathis, and Adam Eaton.

Or stick with Zack Collins amid more Rick Hahn bromides about how he’s developing.

Joliet Orange Sox

I am very concerned about the big holes on the roster and I think there is a strong possibility I’ll end up disappointed in how the Sox address those holes.

However, I can’t get all that upset about not filling the holes before the CBA expires. Many teams including some that historically are willing to spend big have not made a splash in this short window in a time of uncertainty.

I’m taking a wait-and-see attitude. The narrative that the Sox never spend money is not as true as it was not that long ago. Grandal, Abreu, Lynn, Keuchel will all make $18M or more next year. Robert was signed for a very high price. The payroll will be much closer to the top than it was through the latter part of the last decade.

There are many good free agents still available and it’s hard to know all the trade possibilities. I think the trade market has been really slowed by the uncertainty of the future CBA.

Hahn has disappointed me many times but not every time. I’ll wait and see.

Last edited 2 years ago by Joliet Orange Sox
Ben

Meanwhile, Chris Taylor is heading back to the Dodgers.

The world isn’t stopping while the White Sox front office figures out how to move Kimbrel.

a-t

Chris Taylor back to the Dodgers, unfortunately. A starting 2B will have to be found via trade. It’ll be interesting to see what effect the lockout has on discussions— it doesnt seem likely that free agents beyond arb years will be affected much by the new CBA, I think. Trades are another matter.

metasox

I kind of like Brad Miller as a guy who can handle 2B as least part of the time

GrinnellSteve

I haven’t gone through all these signings to see if they might have unlocked a player we could trade for at a position of need. Do the Ranger IF signings mean we could pry someone away from them at a reasonable price? Anyone have any ideas?

mrridgman

Sox could inquire about Andy Ibanez, holdover 2B starter. A rookie with .756 OPS. Doesn’t strike out much and doesn’t walk much. He’s CUBAN! Go get him.

metasox

I thought McNeil from the Mets, but looks like he may still be in the mix for them.

ndsoxfan

Can Rick just be a little more self aware? Cut out the underdog woe is me bullshit and just give some direct answers. It would be SO refreshing to hear, “We are working on acquiring more players in free agency and via trade to fill our roster holes and be better next year.”

The fans, the media, and everyone else understands that there are many good players left and that the season doesn’t start tomorrow. Stop talking about what you did 3 years ago because that wasn’t good enough to win a play off series.

calcetinesblancos

Ha no kidding.

I fully expect there to be further additions…”

Why is he acting like he isn’t the GM lol.

burning-phoneix

Isn’t that exactly what he said though?

Trooper Galactus

I think it’s the caveats that he added which are concerning.

soxygen

Phillies signed Knebel for one year and $10 million. That doesn’t seem like a good thing for the Kimbrel trade market. That could be “closer money” and maybe the Phils are out.

itaita

The Philies bullpen was in total shambles last year so just adding him wouldn’t fix it. Plus, they spend money and 10 million isnt as much to them i dont believe.

hitlesswonder

Yeah…that’s not good. Maybe the Mets would still be interested…the Sox just need to move the salary…don’t need anything in return.

Last edited 2 years ago by hitlesswonder
hitlesswonder

It was useful to see the current projected payroll. There’s no way the actual budget is going more than $165M – ish.

So, put my money on “the Sox are done for the offseason except for trading Kimbrel”…I mean, I think they’ll dumpster dive and maybe grab someone like Harrison for 2B and another reliever. But I think they are running with Leury/rookies at 2b and Engel/Vaughn/Sheets in RF.

Last edited 2 years ago by hitlesswonder
metasox

Unless they come up completely empty, I have a hard time not seeing another lefty bat

To Err is Herrmann

Did I read weeks ago that the White Sox intended to be aggressive this offseason? Did I dream that? I must have misread it. 2022 is the year to go for it. Slight upgrades or good-enough upgrades aren’t going for it. Well, there are enough players out there to improve the roster. Signing Suzuki would be a wise and cost-effective move that this point. Wake me up in March.

As Cirensica

It is really getting tiresome to listen to Hahn’s non-committal
business-like jargon where he says a lot but he says nothing.

dwjm3

I suspect he will be one of the first people to go when we get a new owner.

The man truly is limited in his abilities.

ayeitsfabes

Move Moncada back to second I’m tired of holding my breath every time there’s a play at 3rd. Sign Kyle Seager to play 3rd short term. Spend in right – Castellanos, Bryant, Conforto. Possibly bring back Los depending on the market call it an off-season.

Trooper Galactus

Uh, Moncada is probably one of the five best starting caliber defensive third basemen in the league and has been for a couple years now. What are you talking about?

670WMAQtheElder

It stinks that Manfred decided to pull the plug on the Hot Stove. I don’t expect any baseball news other than posturing by both sides for the next 60 days or so. Ugh!

As for the Sox, I take Hahn at his word that he is going to improve the team before Opening Day. Castellanos and Conforto are still available. The pickings are slimmer at 2B, but maybe Moncada moves there and we pick up a new 3B. And there are good backup catchers still available. I’ve always liked Suzuki and he’s still available. And back end starters, including the erstwhile Rodon. And Kimbrel is a reasonably priced closer for those teams in need.

It is hard to be patient, but a lot of teams, including the vaunted Yankees, didn’t do much and I think some of these FA contracts are kind of nuts. And we don’t know what the new compensation rules are going to be in the new CBA so the Sox might need some dry powder to keep our own guys, especially the starters, if FA starts in four or five years instead of six.

Happy Holidays to all

Chip

For all you guys still playing fantasy baseball or bitching about the stupid money laid out by the Mets and Rangers on guys who may or may not last the length of their contracts, consider this. Smart business is to wait and se what the new CBA looks like and how if affects you before you make any major investments. .

Trooper Galactus

Except I haven’t heard any sticking points in the CBA negotiations that would alter any of those contracts short of, say, a hard cap on spending, which the MLBPA will never agree to.