Andrew Vaughn’s profile is unusual for untouchable

It was nearly two years ago to the date that Bob Nightengale reported, and then insisted, that Tony La Russa was a legitimate candidate for the White Sox’s managerial opening. It took me more than that to start taking the idea seriously, but I’ve learned my lesson.

Nightengale might be just as flawed as any other baseball scoophound when it comes to relaying messaging from agents, but if it involves decisions that only involve the White Sox front office, I more or less brace for the inevitable. As I put it before:

He had a couple of White Sox-related items. One said the White Sox don’t want to hire a first-time manager to replace La Russa, and that warrants a separate post. The other:

The White Sox loved having Jose Abreu the past nine years, and he has been nothing but a class act and valuable hitter, but they plan to part ways with him. Simply, they need to shake up their team, and are making virtually everyone but Dylan Cease and Andrew Vaughn available in trades.

Two of the three news items in that paragraph fail to register as a surprise: José Abreu’s free agency naturally alleviates the logjam at first base and DH, although that decision may also relieve the White Sox of production from those spots, given that he’s the only White Sox hitter who’s shown the ability to survive a six-month grind as of late. Dylan Cease seems good for a runner-up finish behind Justin Verlander in AL Cy Young voting, and while I personally wouldn’t argue that he’s untouchable because of that walk rate, it’s a tall task to trade him for equal value, especially since he’s just entering his first year of arbitration eligibility.

Putting Andrew Vaughn on that level? I want to get it, but I don’t.

It’s really tough to write about Andrew Vaughn without slagging him, and that feels unfair. He finished below replacement level (-0.2 bWAR, -0.4 fWAR) despite above-average production (111 OPS+, 113 wRC+) because the White Sox painted him into an outfield corner. Because of his league-worst work as a regular outfielder, he became the first qualifying hitter in White Sox history to finish below replacement level despite an OPS+ above 110.

If all of Vaughn’s issues were limited to his outfield work, then Abreu’s departure would solve everything. What really concerns me are two other issues that might be isolated from defensive duties.

No. 1: His improvement is basically all singles.

Vaughn definitely made strides as a hitter in 2022, and you can see it just from looking at his two batting lines:

  • 2021: .235/.309/.396, 91 OPS+
  • 2022: .271/.321/.429, 111 OPS+

It’s only a 45-point gain in OPS+, but it’s a 20-point gain in adjusted OPS because of the considerably stingier offensive environment. He shaved 4 percent off his strikeout rate and covered just about every pitch better in his second crack at MLB pitching (sliders are still an issue).

The problem is that an improved approach didn’t manifest itself in sticker categories. While he reduced his strikeouts by 4 percent, his walk rate experienced a more significant drop-off, falling from a respectable 8.7 percent to 5.6 percent. Per Statcast, he went from a 47th percentile rate to 17th percentile. Meanwhile, he just about duplicated his ISO from his rookie year (.159, compared to .161 in 2021), so while he set career highs in doubles, triple(s) and homers, they’re all proportional to the increase in playing time.

If Vaughn could handle any other position besides first base at an average level, you could more or less wave away these concerns as nitpitcking. But if the White Sox are giving up on a versatile Vaughn — and they absolutely should — then all he has is impact at the plate, and that’s been muted.

Sure, Vaughn led the team with 17 homers and 76 RBIs, but those are the most pitiful team-pacing totals since the days of Ivan Calderon, who led the White Sox with 14 homers in 1989, and 74 RBIs in 1990. (The White Sox then traded Calderon after the latter season to Montreal in a five-player deal that netted Tim Raines, so the Sox should absolutely considering dealing Vaughn for a future Hall of Famer.)

No. 2: He had another subpar second half.

Vaughn’s production has eroded after the All-Star break in both his seasons.

Half20212022
First.253/.320/.452.301/.350/.470
Second.210/.294/.318.234/.285/.381

If there’s some reason for optimism, his struggles this past year were more concentrated in the very end of the season, as he finished the season 3-for-41 with just two walks and no extra-base hits, which means he more or less mirrored the White Sox’s overall trends after that gutting loss to Cleveland on Sept. 20.

Tony La Russa went out of his way to rest Vaughn during the first half in hopes of preserving his production over six months, often citing a lack of legs after a busy day in the outfield a la General Soreness-era Ken Griffey Jr. It didn’t appear to make much of a difference, and it’s hard to tell if it was one of many ill-fated half-measures the White Sox used to manage injuries, or if Vaughn truly has the recovery time of somebody 15 years older.

Here’s where Vaughn’s lack of even one full season in the minor leagues makes things especially murky. He’s done a terrific job of treading water in the majors despite having very little experience to draw upon, but the lack of track record and his other limitations make it hard to count on a smooth transition from “surviving” to “thriving.” It took Carlos Rodón several years to learn a routine that worked for him, and he just qualified for an ERA title for the second time in eight seasons. He turns 30 in December.

There’s reason to believe Vaughn can continue to improve, especially once he’s freed from manning a position he can’t handle. There’s reason to believe that, with reps, he can reintroduce his plate discipline into an approach that features improved plate coverage. There’s reason to believe that he was specifically vulnerable to the surprise dead ball because the opposite-field homers dried up on him …

… and maybe he can make adjustments to compensate if MLB and Rawlings don’t (over)correct for him.

There’s also a chance that he doesn’t make meaningful progress, whether it’s because the waterlogged baseball is here to stay, or his plate coverage means he can be used against him to limit damage, or sliders will continue to vex him as they do many right-handed hitters. Or maybe he’ll make progress on the fronts he can control, but the lack of long levers makes it harder to generate plus power against the world’s best pitching.

These are all open questions, especially because we don’t know how much is nature and how much is nurture. I really wish the Sox tried blocking him in 2021, because everybody could’ve learned a little about Vaughn with much lower stakes, and the attrition rate on the South Side the last two years has eradicated any concerns that the Sox have too many players.

Alas, those assessing Vaughn are in this tug-of-war situation where the White Sox might be selling low, unless they’d be selling high. This doubt is why I’d at least like to see the front office entertain the idea of moving Vaughn — not because they should deal him, but because it’d indicate an ambition to bolster the lineup beyond his contributions. Instead, the White Sox have put themselves in a position where they more or less have to bank on linear development, when Hahn has said time and time again that it cannot be guaranteed.

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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Charlie

the Sox should absolutely considering dealing Hahn for a future Hall of Famer.

This might have been a Freudian slip, but I support the idea of the move.

asinwreck

This works because La Russa and Harrelson (as a Frick winner) are not future Hall of Famers. Yes, sign me up.

charlie

You are a different charlie than the one the rest of you know and love!

charlie

And as for Vaughn, a dynamic young hitter who should be untouchable at least until we see how he performs next season.

charlie.

Hey, what’s going on here? Who are all these other charlies?

charlie

I know you all wanna be like me.

Foulkelore

Wait, I know how to tell who the real Charlie is. What do you Charlies think of Yoan Moncada?

charlie.

There was a deepfake video showing otherwise but Moncada has never gotten a hit except when no one is on base and the Sox have been ahead or behind by 10 or more runs. Moncada never hustles except in his music videos. He is an albatross on the White Sox and I wish the Sox would sign Elvis Andrus to a multi-year contract and have Andrus play 3B because Andrus looks like a ball player (I like the cut of his jib!).

Last edited 1 month ago by charlie.
a-t

the turing test has nothing on the charlie test

Right Size Wrong Shape

You’re hired!

charlie

You’ve reawakened me all you real charlie lovers.
While I was taken to task for incorrectly saying he never came through when we were behind mid innings or later the beauty of the video is that it shows all of 3 such moments the entire season! Go ahead and re-watch closely if you choose.
The first was truly a huge situation vs. Cleveland in the 3rd game after the all star break (I was out of town and take complete ownership for the omission). The second such occurrence was in Texas in I believe the 6th inning on a semi flair RF Garcia kicked away after hitting the ground and the third was a sac fly in KC cutting a 3-1 deficit to 3-2. His two hits vs Houston while obviously enormous were when the games were tied. Thanks Jim. While I was wrong that he never came through wasn’t my point of him being a bum actually crystallized?

charlie

To be accurate per the video, he actually came through 6 times this season mid innings or later when we were down. Twice he tied a game; never did he give us the lead. Mazel Tov.

Joliet Orange Sox

TLR;DR

charlie

Appreciate you.

HallofFrank

Yes, to this article. It’s bizarre to see him labeled untouchable because, to my mind, he’s the most logical trade candidate. He’s the only player the Sox that sits at the nexus of “has value” and “roster glut.” If they can get a similar profile player (young, controllable, talent) at a different position, why wouldn’t they?

Charlie

“Untouchable” should be saved for players who demonstrate star power or the potential of it in the near future in some stat category other than age.

Torpedo Jones

Untouchable always seems a bit tricky to me. Cease would be hard to match value-wise given the current contention “window”, so he could be considered untouchable in that sense. But Andrew Vaughn seems like a guy that wouldn’t be all that hard to replace. Good young hitter, but only 17 homers in a hitter-friendly park and strictly 1B/DH defensively. I feel pretty confident he can become a better hitter but a good hitter at 1B doesn’t scream untouchable to me.

If they can get a good return for Vaughn, I have no issue moving him.

Marty34

Vaughn, Jimenez, and Robert should be the last three moved. The rest can go.

HallofFrank

I assume you meant to put Tim Anderson at the top of your untouchable list.

Marty34

His fWAR would make him one of the most sought after commodities on the trade market.

a-t

Trading TA = punting on 2023.

Marty34

Punting om what? They are not a legitimate WS contender with him. If they do keep him he needs to be moved to 2B, he can’t handle SS defensively anymore and the wear and tear on his legs is too much

a-t

The Sox not being a WS contender has zero to do with TA7.

Defensively, he had a down year, but really wasn’t much different than previous levels by the advanced metrics. And don’t quote me anything on how a WS team *needs* a superlative defensive SS, because the dynastic Yankees weren’t exactly hurt by notoriously range-deficient Derek Jeter, bc his bat at SS was too good to pass up. Same with the more recent Dodgers squads with Corey Seager at SS, or the Red Sox with Bogaerts, both of whom are statistically a lot worse than Tim averages on D.

As for his legs not handling it? The entire roster had sore legs this year. Somehow that makes me think it’s not bc the players are inherently broken… especially not the highly athletic 29-year-old SS.

You don’t like him for non-playing reasons. If you want to quote those, go ahead, but there’s nothing impeachable about his value as a player.

ParisSox

He has value as a player which is why he is a good trade chip. Which is Marty’s point. I don’t want to see him traded but if he brings back the next Zack Wheeler, I’m in.

Marty34

Much appreciated. If you can’t express an opinion on a player without being accused of being racist that is really going to devalue this otherwise excellent site.

MrStealYoBase

Hard to know what to make of a guy who is 82nd percentile in exit velocity and 90th percentile in hard hit rate but just 62nd percentile in xSLG.

a-t

TLR;DR launch angle too low

Joliet Orange Sox

+1 for changing TL;DR to TLR;DR, It’s the tribute Tony deserves.

soxfan

This might be a distinction in search of a difference, but Nightengale (and therefore presumably the front office) didn’t use the word “untouchable,” they just said that he wouldn’t be made available in trades.

Untouchable implies all of the weightiness that others are ascribing to it – star potential, can’t be traded for equal value, etc. etc. “Won’t be made available in trades” may just be a assessment of the 1B market, understanding that Vaughn is the best in-house candidate for the role, and understanding that it’s a commodity position at this point so not only will other teams not overpay for Vaughn, but that the Sox won’t invest significant money or prospects in replacing him. If you want to pay for 1B you can just resign Abreu and if you want to trade for a 1B then it calls into question how close the White Sox really think they are to a title and who from the farm would return an All-Star caliber slugger.

If you trade Vaughn, then you believe that Jimenez is a 1B (I don’t), that Sheets can hit lefties (I really don’t), or that Grandal needs more at bats (I really, really don’t). Given that Vaughn is the best bet of the bunch, that there are more pressing needs elsewhere, and that there are (largely self-imposed) resource restrictions, I didn’t get that worked up when I read the quote originally as an admission that there were more important things to worry about than an Abreu-less 1B.

Michael Kenny

More importantly, what team is going to pay up for a player who was a top-10 prospect and could still become an elite hitter, but is sitting at -0.8 career WAR and has only 4 years of control left? Rebuilding teams don’t want him. Contending teams don’t want him. He’s emblematic of the White Sox, stuck in eternal purgatory.

Alfornia Jones

Not defending Vaughn, but how would Abreu’s number look if he had to play LF & RF? He’s not an OF, but that was his way onto a MLB roster. These are two ships passing each other, and the new ship costs $18mil less so I’ll take that one. Abreu is a really good hitter who appears doesn’t hit as many homers, so another team can use him better as a complementary player. Him being the best player on this team is a huge problem they can’t fix by re-signing him.

The Sox are largely stuck with this roster, so they need someone out of Eloy/Robert/Vaughn to step up as the consistent big bat, or better yet all of them. Fortunately for the Sox, they don’t need a superstar(s) they just need solid everyday players at every position and they will win the biggest joke of a division. They need one more left-handed OF in addition to Colas, and they are close to fielding a team that could theoretically play defense. Getting lucky with bats is a strategy that has worked for this franchise in the past. It’s not a good strategy, but its been the only dependable method they know.

As Cirensica

This is a good point. Abreu is historically, a better hitter than Vaughn, but is he now? I think he is, but the difference is not as pronounced as before. It is not far fetched to think that Vaughn can come closer to what a 36 year old Abreu can bring if Vaughn just stays away from the outfield.

Abreu hit 12 more doubles and a lot more singles than Vaughn, and also importantly, Abreu doubled the amount of walks that Vaughn took. An improvement from Vaughn, even if small, and small age-effect decline from Abreu, and you might have the same player next year, and here is where the salary goes on Vaughn’s favor by a healthy margin.

I believe the White Sox screwed up Vaughn normal development in the way he has been deployed. I love Abreu, and I wish we find a way to keep both, but if one must go, I’d keep Vaughn.

HallofFrank

The difference between Abreu and Vaughn is very pronounced, in fact.

As Cirensica

Career wise? no question. Today? also true.

304/378/446 137 wRC+ OPS+ 111
271/321/429 113 wRC+ OPS+ 133

But like a said, a small improvement from Vaughn will close the gap in a way that the salary discrepancy is not completely justified.

HallofFrank

That’s fair. But I think the gap is large enough that Abreu could outproduce Vaughn even with a step back and a step forward from Vaughn.

I also think Sox fans (not necessarily you, but in general) are reading too much into the salary discrepancy. First, it should be much lower than last year (I’d expect Abreu to be in the $12-14m range). Second, keeping either player has a cost. If you resign Abreu, you spend the $12-14m. But you could trade Vaughn for another asset that’s valuable/affordable.

So for 2023, an important question is: “what would improve the Sox more: a return for Vaughn or spending $12-14m on the open market?” I suspect the answer is easily the return for Vaughn.

As Cirensica

I expect Abreu to at least have a QO salary. Hahn should issue a QO to him.

upnorthsox

No QO is available.

Wayne

Vaughn was a 133 wRC+ hitter in the first half. And 127 through 9/18. Playing OF and the most games ever in his career zapped him of his energy.

Abreu was a 125 wRC+ hitter in the second half, and in 2021. So the gap is probably not as big as you think.

Abreu has shown better 1B defense and has reached a higher ceiling.

HallofFrank

You’re cherry-picking samples to support your position. The fact remains: over the last two years, Abreu has been the far superior offensive player. The durability is part of the package. Vaughn is 24 years old. If playing 80 games in the OF is sufficient to “zap him of his energy,” I think it’s worth at least questioning whether he has the energy to sustain a 162-game season at any position.

I’m no Vaughn hater. I love the approach. I think he’ll be a good hitter. But I’m trying to point out that he’s not yet a good hitter and we can’t be sure that he will be. Abreu is currently a good hitter. Moving on from Abreu is a gamble.

Torpedo Jones

I’m less convinced he was “zapped of energy” and see it more that our front office damaged his trajectory by putting him in a position to fail (and even embarrass himself) by forcing him into regular OF duty. While corner OF isn’t as rigorous as other positions, Vaughn was made to view every play differently in the field and attempt to quickly change directions and chase fly balls like never before. I’m sure it seems easy to some, but being able to play adequate corner outfield defense typically comes with years and years of repetition and some level of natural skill at tracking balls in the air.

It seems obvious to me that having him play in the OF would impact his performance. Maybe less so if he showed some aptitude for it, but I have to imagine it was harder to focus on his hitting when he was spending so much mental energy trying to play passable defense on a playoff contending club in an uncomfortable position.

texag10

It never ceases to amaze me. We already have a ton of money committed to this team but spending 12-14M on Abreu is no biggee because Vaughn is not really all that special. But Vaughn is special enough that another team would trade a valuable piece away instead of spending the apparently miniscule amount on Abreu themselves.

PauliePaulie

MLBTR released projected arbitration salaries.
If the Sox decline Engel and Crick, pick up Anderson’s option and Pollock exercises his option, the Sox will have $179mil in payroll obligations to 21 players.

a-t

How much do they plan to shake it up? Does that mean trying to rid themselves of the old guys— Pollock, Grandal, Lynn, Hendriks, Graveman, Harrison, etc— or do they actually want to shake up the younger core too? I can’t imagine a way that trading Robert makes the team better, and as it seems that they’re primed to accepting Eloy as DH and Vaughn as 1B, those guys sticking around also makes sense if they’re gonna be used sanely for once.

I don’t think trading TA or Kopech would helpful either. Gio, it depends greatly on the return. I think they should try to dump salary of the old guys as best they can, and then reload by throwing $ at younger stars. In no particular order, dumping the aforementioned dudes + letting Jose walk would reduce payroll obligations by about $75M, enough to (hypothetically) easily add two of, in no particular order: Turner, Bogaerts, Nimmo, Gallo, Judge, Rodon, Nola, and Taillon. I’m most partial to Nimmo/Rodon combo, personally.

The flipside: Zavala is now the starting catcher, 2B is likely to be turned into a battle betwixt the young guys (Sosa/Romy for now), Colás is given a full chance to earn the starting RF role, and so forth. The rotation is the big question, but Cease/Gio/Kopech + a big-time FA pitcher gets most of the way there. Money needs to be thrown not at the bullpen, but at the pitching dev so they can find & manufacture useful arms like Lambert more often.

mikeyb

I do think it’s likely that Vaughn ends up being a really good player, but I would have a hard time making almost ANY First Baseman untouchable. Superstar CF? Sure. All-star SS? Agreed. Cy Young SP? Definitely.

But if a guy is going to play 1B and provide limited defensive value, he better be Frank Thomas if you’re calling him untouchable.

a-t

i think it’s less “this guy is gonna be So Good” and more “we think this guy will fill this position competently and for cheap, but the moronic way we used him last year means any trade offers this offseason would be huge lowballs”

Right Size Wrong Shape

After last season, the offers they get for most of their players are going to be lowball offers.

Last edited 1 month ago by Right Size Wrong Shape
a-t

trading say Grandal saves $18M you can spend on someone younger if with little return. trading Vaughn saves little money with little return

Right Size Wrong Shape

Why would anyone take on Grandal’s salary after last season? The Sox would have to give someone Colas and Grandal for no return.

HallofFrank

Yup. Very eager to see the OPPs. Because a lot of folks one here seem to want to “shake up the roster” by trading everyone that’s expensive and bad. It should be funny to see how Sox fans propose filling the gaps by trading Grandal, Moncada, and Joe Kelly.

Torpedo Jones

Let’s do both. Package Vaughn and Grandal for a bag of baseballs?

Right Size Wrong Shape

2021 baseballs, or 2022 baseballs?

Torpedo Jones

6 of the 2021s, and 3 baseballs to be named later.

a-t

eh. he’s been excellent for so long and he can still frame really well. 8 teams got negative fWAR from their catchers, among them St Louis and Houston. the power-starved but still playable 80 wRC+ he posted after coming back from the IL in July is pretty good for a catcher of his framing caliber. also they’d presumably send back a major league guy so they’re not just adding $18M. Stratton or Reyes mb from STL? Maybe a reliever from Houston, Stanek/Maton ish. Adding ~$12M of salary and sending a useful but fungible reliever for a starting quality catcher isn’t too bad from their perspective when the in-house options are butt.

upnorthsox

For STL you could take DeJong back to help offset salaries. So Grandal and $3 Mil for DeJong. He could even prove useful if he found his swing again. Otherwise you cut him and take your $8.5 Mil savings. Grandal for $8.5 Mil is a decent risk for STL though I think they are going to go after Contreras.

a-t

i think Grandal at $18M is a much better deal than dejong at $11M, i think the Sox could do better than just that tbh. one has a long history of performance justifying his salary, the other has a single year that looks like an outlier. as for bounce-back candidates… dejong is not the favored party even with age very much on his side

PauliePaulie

I completely understand Vaughn’s status as an untouchable.
His position, cost, second half decline and service time make him someone you’d trade at the start of a rebuild. Not if shopping for important, and in the Sox’ situation, cheap upgrades at skill positions.

PauliePaulie

Preparing myself for Rick Hahn citing the Carlos Lee for Pods and Vizcaino trade as the successful template for moves fans will question him on this offseason.
(1 player making $8mil for 2 making a combined $2mil)

70below

I don’t have the numbers, but it seemed like when he lost his footing the last month, seemed to correspond to 2 pitches at his face. One glancing off his arm into his face, and the other right at the noggin. I think that could explain his ability to reach the outside pitch and drive it the other way, and maybe a reluctance to stay in on pitches.

Greg Nix

I don’t understand how they’re approaching Abreu. It almost makes me feel like he already told them to piss off.

HallofFrank

I wonder if it’s the opposite. I guess it’s hard to know how it unfolded, but it’s almost like they told him before the season that Vaughn is their guy after 2022.

BenwithVen

I think this is the case. His quotes from spring training were kind of cryptic regarding his future after 2022. I think there was some speculation that he was considering retirement.

Marty34

Why do you think Abreu would need to be told this.

Torpedo Jones

I was thinking they already told Abreu he could only come back as a bench bat for next to nothing. Which would have led Abreu to tell them to piss off.

GoGoSoxFan

I’d trade him in a heartbeat for a left-handed outfielder.

Right Size Wrong Shape

Or someone like Jazz Chisholm (I know it would probably take more than Vaughn).

Last edited 1 month ago by Right Size Wrong Shape
Torpedo Jones

Twist my arm – I’ll throw in Yasmani Grandal, too!

upnorthsox

Don’t want Chisolm at all.

upnorthsox

What’s your trade proposal? For Bryan Reynolds, sure but I don’t think Pitt will go for that. What’s your deal?

calcetinesblancos

I think trading Vaughn would be a mistake, but if they need to “shake it up” and move him, whatever.

But it’s also my opinion that a competent manager and competent utilization of the IL could make a much bigger difference than people seem to think.

Right Size Wrong Shape

I agree with your last statement, but the roster does need to be reorganized. You can bring in the best manager in the world, but if you have only one outfielder who can field (and he plays less than 100 games), it won’t work.

calcetinesblancos

Yeah. Seeing how this season went down in flames, it’s even more irritating that they didn’t utilize the IL more because that’s MLB experience that various minor league guys didn’t get.

texag10

But that would mean starting the clock on all these young guys who are definitely turning into superstars down the line.

soxexile

The simplest and most believable explanation for over-valuing Vaughn is a sunk cost fallacy. “We spent a #3 draft pick on this guy, therefore we cannot trade him for anything other than a fantastic return. Since the market won’t allow that, he’s untouchable until his production matches his draft status.”

a-t

I mean, they sure didn’t do that with Madrigal. I think they instead see, like i more or less do, a currently good hitter whose power production (and then obp) will skyrocket with a slightly friendlier ball + slight upwards adjustment to launch angle + not being forced to rumble & bumble around the outfield

As Cirensica

Like someone mentioned above, Vaughn’s value is too low, even if positive, to be traded. He has been so mismanaged that I can almost guarantee you that any trade the White Sox can make involving Vaughn will be something we will regret. In Vaughn’s case, “untouchable” really means “unknown value”. Hahn doesn’t want to be fooled again (even though that ship sailed long ago)

steelydan52

So reading Nightengale’s statement, as has been noted, I didn’t read it that Vaughn was untouchable but that they’re not making him available. So come knock my socks off with an offer but you have to come to me.
Vaughn isn’t untouchable but give the dude a chance at 1B. He has to be better than Abreu was this past season. Abreu isn’t going to lead the Sox to the promised land and maybe Vaughn won’t either but it’s time for him. Why give Abreu probably $15 million when you can have Vaughn at 1B and spend that money elsewhere? We all know Hahn’s track record but he’s the GM until he’s not. Hopefully he has the full rein with decisions now without all the peanut gallery crap from above.

As Cirensica

Abreu is getting more than 15 million. Much more.

ForsterFTOG

Based on what?

As Cirensica

I really don’t know. Abreu has been consistently playing and producing 3-4 WAR. That has to be valued at 18-20 million, right? Yet, a 1B (not a premium position) with no power come cheap. Very cheap. Maybe I am overvaluing Abreu. If he can fetch 12M, then the White Sox should sign him.

steelydan52

Well then the decision is so much easier. He may get that from the Yankees and good for him. I wouldn’t give him $12 mil at this point.

asinwreck

The White Sox and a hitting coach have parted ways, but it was organizational assistant hitting coordinator Ryan Johansen and not Frank Menechino.

MikeAndrews2

Other than Luis Robert, I don’t believe that I was disappointed more in their developmental arc than Vaughn. He no longer appears to me to be the sure thing he once was, and the logical heir to our long line of great first basemen, While he may end up being a serviceable player, the risk is that the Sox whiffed on two very high draft picks (Madrigal and Vaughn), which is something a team with its financial profile cannot afford to do.

Torpedo Jones

I’m most frustrated with Vaughn’s development because we’ll never know just how much damage was done by shoehorning him into regularly playing the outfield. He’s not good defensively out there and that has to have an impact on a guy’s confidence and growth – knowing that everyone expects great things from you but your org leadership consistently puts you in a spot to embarrass yourself. He still has time to develop, but the Sox need to let him stick to 1B/DH duty to let him focus on what he’s actually good at.

Soxfan2

I agree. I think if Vaughn is told he will be the full time 1B going into the 2023 season, it will do wonders.

lifelongjd

I agree with most of the article. No one from a 81-81 team should be considered untouchable and for my money, I’d list Robert ahead of Vaughn in terms of untouchability.

The one thing I will say is that Vaughn, like the rest of the team, hit more singles because that is what the organization asked and coached them to do. Not hit for power, not work counts/take walks. Their hitting coach literally tasked them with being aggressive singles hitters, which is so counterintuitive it makes my head hurt.

steelydan52

Yes. And let’s hope that the new manager gets to have a say for his entire coaching staff. If he doesn’t then we can probably scratch a few veteran managers off the list.

Soxfan2

Not sure how updated this is but Zips projects Vaughn and Abreu to bat pretty similar next year.

Abreu: .258/.321/.443
Vaughn: .246/.331/.439

Seeing that I don’t think Vaughn has a ton of trade value and will likely be a similar hitter to Abreu next year, I’d keep Vaughn. The Sox are best off using the Abreu savings to sign a real OF.

Torpedo Jones

Conceptually, I’d agree. But do you trust this front office to actually sign a real OF?

HallofFrank

I’m pretty sure those aren’t updated. If you look at their individual FG pages, you’ll see the 3-year ZIPS projections. 2022 is listed first (and is clearly wrong) and 2023 is listed second. Presumably, then, these were run before 2022. And 2022 likely helps Abreu’s projections (albeit slightly) and hurts Vaughn’s.

Like Torpedo Jones pointed out, however: even if they are close, Abreu might be preferrable. I don’t trust this FO to do anything well, but I especially don’t trust them to spend ~$14m on the free market well. They should be able to get a nice piece for Vaughn, however.

Qubort

I hope the Sox had this put out there so anyone interested in him would have to pony real assets to land him. I support shaking up the roster and moving anyone, but only if you get actual value.