ChisSox BMar’s really good Offseason Plan

PREAMBLE

There’s not much to be said about 2022 for the Sox that hasn’t been said ad nauseum by all the great Sox podcasts out there (shoutout to the Sox Machine).  The only thing they really succeeded in is dethroning 2016 as the most miserable Sox season in recent memory.

ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE PLAYERS

  • Lucas Giolito: $10.8M – tender, 2022 may have been a disappointment but I don’t think you’ll be able to find better value for this price in free agency.
  • Dylan Cease: $5.3M – tender
  • Reynaldo López; $3.3M – tender, great price for a back end of bullpen guy.
  • Adam Engel: $2.3M – nontender, unfortunate ending to the Engel saga but the flashes we saw in 2020 and 2021 seem to be nothing more than that.
  • Michael Kopech: $2.2M – tender
  • Kyle Crick: $1.5M – nontender, who?
  • José Ruiz: $1M – tender, he’s not great but he doesn’t cost THAT much more than a guy from Charlotte would and he’s shown he’s effective in low pressure situations
  • Danny Mendick: $1M – tender, Adam Hasley robbed us of a Danny Mendick silver slugger season and for that I’ll never forgive him, or look up how to spell his last name.

CLUB OPTIONS

  • Tim Anderson: $12.5M ($1M buyout) – pick up, good price for a starting short stop, even if he misses 40 games a year
  • Josh Harrison: $5.625M ($1.5M buyout) – buyout, why didn’t we swap his contract terms with Leury?

PLAYER OPTIONS

  • AJ Pollock: $13M ($5 million buyout) — Takes Buyout.  Wishful thinking, but maybe Pollock can fish up a $5M contract from a team with a lower state income tax and a less miserable situation where he can justify taking a bit less money.

OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS

  • José Abreu (Made $18M in 2021) – let go. I love Jose, build him a statue, but he doesn’t fit on this roster.  Blame Rick Hahn for assembling a roster with so many DH’s/1st basemen, blame Eloy Jimenez for not being able to simply exist in the outfield without getting injured, blame Adam Hastly for ruining 2022 Silver Slugger Danny Mendick’s season. Just don’t blame Jose Abreu because he gave this franchise everything he had and he deserves to go to greener pastures and to maybe even get past the 1st round of the playoffs.
  • Johnny Cueto ($4.2M) – let go, Cueto was terrific this year but I have my eyes on another fan favorite to pony up for to anchor the back end of the rotation.
  • Vince Velasquez ($3M) – let go
  • Elvis Andrus ($14.25M) – let go, Andrus was similarly terrific but he’s going to want SS money to play 2nd base here and we can’t afford that right now.

MANAGER

Manager: Joe Espada – it’s time for the Sox to stop acting like the Sox and go through a real managerial search.  Nobody knows if Espada will be a good manager, and I have my doubts about how important managers even are, but let’s get a guy who isn’t a decade+ removed from being involved in the game and has worked in successful baseball franchises, which the White Sox objectively are not.

FREE AGENTS

No. 1: Edwin Diaz (5 years, $100,000,000). What better way to finally spend $100M+ than address the White Sox greatest needs, Rick Hahn does it again!

No. 1: Nolan Arenado (5 years, $175,000,000). What a better way to finally spend $100M+, Rick Hahn does it again! Coming off an MVP season, we need a 3rd baseman that can mash. I’m not giving up on Yoan, but I’ve never bought in that moving to 3rd is what magically fixed his bat, and even if that were the case the bat has disappeared 2 of the past 4 seasons.  I’m moving him back to 2nd where even if he has another down season it might not look as bad because you don’t expect as much offensive production from that position anyway.

No. 2: Jose Quintana (2 years, $15,000,000). Welcome back Jose! This seems like a fair price for a back end guy that will eat innings and has some real upside if you believe in what he did last year.

TRADES

No. 1: Trade Liam Hendricks and Yasmani Grandal to New York Yankees for Jose Trevino and Alexander Vargas. Not a slight to Liam, and if Yaz bounces back this could be a terrible trade, but we need to clear some cap space and we really can’t afford to pin our hopes to Yaz being Yaz again.  In return we get a great defensive catcher and a glove first middle infield prospect.

No. 2: Trade Bryan Ramos, Matthew Thompson, James Beard and Blake Rutherford’s 15 pounds of muscle put on this offseason to the Cubs for Ian Happ.  Plays a competent outfield, check. Bats left handed, check.  Fits within my budget, check.  Get err done, (people still say that right?).

SUMMARY

There you have it, with these simple and very realistic moves according to that online baseball trade simulator, I’ve fixed the Sox major issues (lack of power, lack of corner outfielders, lack of left handed hitting, too much money invested in the bullpen, Alvin Haisly being on the team).  Will any of these happen? Probably not. When you’ve got the kind of job security that only being an employee of Jerry Reinsdorf can afford there’s no reason for you to shake things up in any way.

Position Players:

SS: Tim Anderson
RF: Ian Happ
3rd: Nolan Arenado
DH: Eloy
CF: Luis Robert
1st: Andrew Vaughn
LF: Gavin Sheets
2nd: Yoan Moncada
Catcher: Seby Zavala/Jose Trevino

(Bench: Leury, Mendick, Colas)

Starting Rotation:

Dylan Cease, Lance Lynn, Michael Kopech, Lucas Giolito, Jose Quintana

Bullpen:

Reynaldo Lopez, Graveman, Kelly, Bummer, Ruiz, Crochet, Lambert, Diekkman

Total Payroll: 188,603,333…roughly

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ChiSox BMar
ChiSox BMar
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Trooper Galactus

Love the Happ trade if the Cubs would be willing to take that package for him.

HallofFrank

Really? I wouldn’t give up Ramos for a year of Happ. Happ was excellent this year, but ‘22 is an outlier and BABIP-inflated. He’s probably a ~2 win player.

I like the target. I just think Ramos is an overpay. He’s getting Top 100 love.