Asinwreck’s Salvage for Victory Offseason Plan

The White Sox are a mess of their own creation, becoming older, more expensive, and much worse at the same time. What follows is an attempt to bring sense to the roster and also instill competent people in decision-making. As such, it should bear no resemblance to the moves Jerry Reinsdorf, Kenny Williams, and Rick Hahn will make, but I give it much better odds to play into October than the cavalcade of mediocre relievers they acquire will have.

ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE PLAYERS

  • Lucas Giolito: $10.8M tender
  • Dylan Cease: $5.3M tender
  • Reynaldo López; $3.3M tender
  • Adam Engel: $2.3M non-tender
  • Michael Kopech: $2.2M tender
  • Kyle Crick: $1.5M non-tender
  • José Ruiz: $1M non-tender
  • Danny Mendick: $1M tender
    Mendick has options and might be the best offensive second baseman in the organization. I plan on optioning him to Charlotte. Engel is the wrong side of 30 for his skillset to erode, Crick is hurt, and I’m trying to make the bullpen a lot cheaper, so Ruiz goes as well.

CLUB OPTIONS

  • Tim Anderson: $12.5M ($1M buyout) pickup
  • Josh Harrison: $5.625M ($1.5M buyout) decline and buyout.
    Both players leave, but Anderson is leaving in a trade.

PLAYER OPTIONS

  • AJ Pollock: $13M ($5 million buyout) — EXERCISED
    Cool, we have a fourth outfielder for $13 million.

OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS

  • José Abreu (Made $18M in 2021) Let go.
  • Johnny Cueto ($4.2M) Let go.
  • Vince Velasquez ($3M) Let go.
  • Elvis Andrus ($14.25M) Let go.Everything must go. Abreu leaves partly due to poor roster construction and partly because I want to free him from Jerry Reinsdorf and have the opportunity to truly complete for a championship.

MANAGER

Sam Fuld, who’s also getting a new coaching staff and new trainer. I’m picking Charlie Montoyo for bench coach, Aaron Bates for lead hitting coach, Manny Burris for assistant hitting coach, Alyssa Nakken for 1B coach, Stubby Clapp for 3B coach, Perry Hill for infield coach (bench), and James Quinlan for head trainer. Frank Menechino, Howie Clark, Daryl Boston, Joe McEwing, Miguel Cairo, Jerry Narron, and James Kruk all get severance pay.

Really, what I want is a process where several candidates around the league are interviewed for the manager’s job, but in case Sam Fuld wants to get back into uniform, he’s exactly the kind of manager I want. He just went to the World Series as a GM under Dave Dombrowski, a job he took after being a finalist for the manager’s job with the Red Sox. He’s a young former player well-versed in analytics. I’m filling his staff with other people who’ve been in successful organizations. Aaron Bates is the current assistant hitting coach with the Dodgers, so I’m giving him a promotion and having him take Dodgers AAA hitting coach Burris along as his assistant. They value dingers. Perry Hill is a longtime infield coach who just got to the playoffs with the Mariners; he’s getting the Ron Washington responsibility to make the infield defense functional. Clapp is the current 1B coach for the Cardinals, so he gets the promotion to 3B. Nakken is one of the army of coaches on the Giants that got Ethan Katz to the Sox; she gets promoted to 1B coach. Montoyo just got fired as manager of the Blue Jays, so we’re making him Fuld’s bench coach where his background with the Rays’ player development program could aid in strategy. Quinlan is the Guardians’ assistant trainer, so we’ll poach from a division rival who was way more successful in managing player health than the 2022 Sox were.

We’ll keep Katz and Hasler on, and add an analytics coordinator and mental skills coach. I didn’t include names because I em empowering Fuld to hire them. The overall group is built from several successful teams (Phillies, Dodgers, Giants, Cardinals, Rays, Blue Jays, Guardians, Mariners) and should greatly improve the professionalization of the dugout culture from the clown show we did not enjoy last year.

FREE AGENTS

No. 1: Carlos Correa (5 years, $200 million). You can tell this is a fantasy because Jerry Reinsdorf would rather pay for a dozen Jeff Kleppingers than one superstar. I’m banking on the high AAV ($40 million) offsetting the number of years. Hell, I’ll give him an opt-out after 2024 if that helps. Correa’s combination of offense and defense up the middle is the kind of investment a team serious about contending would make.

2. Matt Moore (1 year, $2.5 million). I’ve wanted to add him before and still think he’s a worthwhile candidate for a fifth starter trial.

NRIs: Evan Marshall, Tyler Clippard, Billy Hamilton, add sundry relief types here: I have a novel idea. Instead of spending tens of millions of dollars on volatile, big-name relievers, why not go to the scrap heap and invite a spring training competition to fill out the pen? I’ll make it easier on hermetic Jerry Reinsdorf and include a few familiar faces so his stranger anxiety diminishes. Billy Hamilton’s also invited to shore up CF defense and bring good vibes. If he’s unavailable, how about Terrance Gore? Either will field better than Adam Engel did last year, and I am strangely fascinated to see what semiregular Gore plate appearances would produce. Again, possibly not worse than what Adam Engel did last year.

TRADES
No. 1: Tim Anderson to Cardinals for Nolan Gorman

No. 2: Liam Hendriks to Dodgers for Michael Busch

No. 3: Kendall Graveman to Mariners for Zach DeLoach

These trades involve veterans a contending team might actually want, and the return is lefty bats with enhances roster flexibility. Gorman was disappointing in 2022, so the Cardinals (who might want an affordable upgrade at SS to round out a dominant infield) may be open to this deal. He and Busch can compete for the bulk of the playing time at 2B. DeLoach will be at AAA at least to start, providing more lefty depth. We just got millions off the books and got control over the kind of hitters who could really help should this team get to the postseason over the next half decade.

SUMMARY

My roster costs $186.33 million ($179.33 million excluding the money from players off the 26-man). With the exception of Diekman, the players who were horrible in 2022 return in hopes of a rebound. One of the problems with the 2022 team was dismal attention to player health and conditioning, and I am hoping the changes in the dugout will substantially improve the performances of the returning players.

This team goes into 2023 with a more balanced roster and a bet that returning players will perform better. If everything goes right, there’s October baseball. If Moncada, Giolito, Kelly, or Grandal rebound and the rest of the team disappoints, perhaps they can return something at the trade deadline that may mean something in 2024. A few more younger players (Busch, Gorman) get opportunities to supplement the core. If Leury looks as awful in Glendale as he did as Tony La Russa;s mascot, I might be persuaded to eat the last TWO YEARS [@#$%!?] of his deal and break camp with Romy Gonzalez or Danny Mendick on the bench.

The future looks better here, though imagine how much brighter it would be with a competent owner. The real offseason plan is convincing Michael Reinsdorf to wrest power of attorney from his father and sell the team to someone capable of running a first-rate organization. Jerry Reinsdorf has proven that he has no business running a business in 2023.

Rotation ($39.3M):
Dylan Cease: $5.3M
Lance Lynn: $18.5M
Lucas Giolito: $10.8M
Michael Kopech: $2.2M
Matt Moore: $2.5M

Bullpen ($19.49M):
Reynaldo López; $3.3M
Aaron Bummer: $3.75M
Joe Kelly: $9M
Evan Marshall: $0.72M
Jimmy Lambert: $0.72M
Tanner Banks: $1M
Tyler Clippard: $1M

Lineup ($99.04M):
LF Michael Busch $0.72M
SS Carlos Correa
$40M
DH Eloy Jiménez $10.33M
3B Yoán Moncada $17.8M
1B Andrew Vaughn
$1M
CF Luis Robert $9.5M
2B Nolan Gorman $0.72M
RF Oscar Colas $0.72M
C Yasmani Grandal $18.25M

Bench ($21.5):
C Seby Zavala $1M
INF Leury Garcia $5.5M
1B/DH Gavin Sheets $1M
OF AJ Pollock $13M
OF Billy Hamilton $1M

Other ($7M):
Garrett Crochet $1M
On IL to start the season.
Jake Diekman $3.5M
Dead money from released player.
Josh Harrison $1.5M
Declined option.
Danny Mendick $1M
Optioned to AAA.

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asinwreck
asinwreck

A champion of the little guy.

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JimMargalusBiggestFan

I’d love to get Michael Busch and Nolan Gorman. I’d like it more if you have a Kevin Long on staff. Strikeouts would obviously be an issue for both of them.

Right Size Wrong Shape

Seems like a lot of people are targeting Nolan Gorman. What’s the deal there? Are the Cardinals making it known that they want to get rid of him or something?

Right Size Wrong Shape

That makes sense. I think Anderson with that contract is a lot more valuable than a guy sent to the minors during a pennant run, though.