ModeShow33’s Offseason Plan – Power Infusion

PREAMBLE

What a disappointing season. My offseason plan project is focused on our offense and adding some power back to this lineup by adding a few lefty sluggers through trades and free agency and established right handed bats with reverse splits. Our rotation also gets a boost adding a high-priced familiar face!

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

CLUB OPTIONS

  • Tim Anderson: $12.5M ($1M buyout) – PICK-UP
  • Josh Harrison: $5.625M ($1.5M buyout) – DECLINE

PLAYER OPTIONS

  • AJ Pollock: $13M ($5 million buyout) — EXERCISED

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

MANAGER

Kevin Long. Personally I preferred Joe Espada but all sources have indicated that the Espada ship has sailed. My whole offseason plan project offensively hinges on re-energizing the White Sox power production and I think Long’s track record in building potent offenses is the right man for the job. In free agency I plan on giving him some pieces that have a track record with hitting the ball out of the ballpark but they’ll need his expertise to tap back into their old ways.

FREE AGENTS

LHP Carlos Rodon – 3 years, $83m. For $30.5m in 2023 & 2024 Hard Carl is back. Sox can tradition alive not doling out a contract valued over $100m and allow Rodon to hit free agency again after his age 31 season to maximize by offering him a player option for his 3rd contract year valued at $22m if he were to accept due to injury or faltering performance. This gives the White Sox an ace in Dylan Cease and a player who has pitched like an ace in the previous two seasons in Rodon. Should’ve tendered him the QO last offseason but everyone’s hindsight is 20/20, hoping this deal will right past wrongs better than hiring TLR did.

OF Joey Gallo – 1 year $8m. Prove it deal. My main goal with this roster position player wise will be adding left-handed hitters who have the potential to hit the ball out of the ballpark. Gallo’s offensive production has fallen off a cliff. Kevin Long’s abilities as an offensive wizard will be tested with Gallo. If he rebounds the White Sox add a left-handed thumper who has played a Gold Glove caliber corner outfield spot in the past, if not he gets released or traded (glass half full) and Colas takes his place at the All-Star break. For his efforts he gets $9m in 2023 to hit in a hitter friendly ballpark under the tutelage of a renowned hitting coach as his manager, if he taps back into his power driven prowess of his Rangers years he gets to hit free agency after the season to cash-in on his refound prowess.

OF Hunter Renfroe – 2 years, $19m*. Continuing in the same vein as Gallo in the sense of “Ball goes far, team goes far”. Renfroe is a player that finds his value solely in his ability to hit the ball out of the ballpark. He’s a right-handed hitter who has produced a higher wRC+ against right-handed pitchers than lefties. Last season he hit 29 homers for the BrewCrew. Rumors around Milwaukee that he may be non-tendered as the team is possibly shifting roster makeup wise, so if his contract gets retained then this whole plan becomes null and void.

OF Jackie Bradley Jr. – 1 year, $1m. Two-way MiLB deal. Pays JBJ $1m if he makes the big leagues after his invite to spring training. If not he’s back in Charlotte as minor league depth in case Luis goes down, if he shows some signs of life in spring training he starts the season as the White Sox back-up CF at a low price. Not expecting much of anything from him but he provides above average defense with a below average offensive profile, we are in a number crunch here now salary wise so he’s the best I can think of to man CF competently. Gallo also has experience in CF if Luis were to go down for an extended period of time.

TRADES

Liam Hendriks & Cash Considerations to Tampa Bay Rays for 2B Brandon Lowe – Tampa Bay’s pitcher usage is anything but conventional. Even though they are the masters of making something out of nothing using as little salary as possible to build a contender every single year Liam gives them a highly effective closer to compete in the gauntlet the AL East proves to be each year. Brandon Lowe kills two birds with one stone, he fills our blackhole at 2B while being a left-handed hitter which the White Sox drastically need. Lowe is entering his age 28 season and is controllable through the 2024 season. In 2021 he hit 39 home runs driving in 99 RBIs, this year was hampered by injuries. Hoping Kevin Long’s offensive influence allows him to rebound and our training staff figures it out. Cash considerations are sent Tampa’s way to ease the pain on their pocketbooks.

Leury Garcia (Salary Dump, Jerry, Hahn & Co. pinching pennies) & Sean Burke to the Oakland Athletics for PTBNL or Cash Considerations: Sox need every bit of cash they can get to fix the mess of this poorly constructed roster. Leury is a drastically ineffective player and we have a number of minor league infielders who can do his job (Sosa, Yolbert, Mendick, Romy). Let the young guns try to take that rotational IF spot and run with it. Oakland needs to fill a roster next year that has no prayer of competing anytime soon. Oakland gets Sean Burke in return for the $11m they’ll be paying Leury the next two seasons. Burke gives them a pitching prospect that can make an appearance on the roster at the tailend of this season or start in the big leagues in 2024.

Joe Kelly & Jared Kelley to the Los Angeles Angels for Touki Toussant: Another salary dump. The Angels need bullpen help and maybe Kelly bounces back for them. They always seem to need pitching help and we send them another Kelley in return to make Joe Kelly’s salary a little more palatable in return for this season. Jared Kelley was hyped as potentially the best prep arm in his draft year, so far his pro career in the Sox system has been underwhelming. At the very least he’s another shot at the dart board for the Angels player development staff and Kelly is a warm body they can trot out of the bullpen to try and free Mike Trout from his misery-filled existence as a Los Angeles Angel. The White Sox gets a swing man bullpen piece in Touki Toussant, nothing special. Allows Davis Martin to start the season in AAA and get stretched out inning wise in order to fill in if need be at the Major League Level.

SUMMARY

Lowe – 2B
Anderson – SS
Robert – CF
Eloy – DH
Renfroe – RF
Vaughn – 1B
Moncada – 3B
Gallo – LF (Pollock vs. LHP)
Grandal – C

Rotation

Cease
Rodon
Lynn
Giolito
Kopech

Bullpen:

Graveman
Bummer
Crochet
Lopez
Foster
Lambert
Diekman
Toussant

Bench:

OF – Pollock
C – Zavala
IF – Mendick/Sosa/Romy
1B/OF – Sheets

This plan has the White Sox payroll coming in a little bit about $190m at around $196m by my calculations, maybe we can slip that $6m by Jerry’s accountants when they’re not looking.

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ModeShow33
ModeShow33
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a-t

I like the FA signings, tho I think given age Rodon’s AAV may need to be even higher to go short-term. Salary dumps seem reasonable too. I am however quite skeptical about Hendriks for Lowe’s feasibility.

I can’t see the Rays voluntarily spending *twice* as much money on a single player for all of ’23 as anyone else currently on the roster if they can help it, much less for that player being a closer. They already have like four guys who were as dominant as Liam was on a rate basis already. Lowe signed a highly team-friendly extension, so he won’t be subject to being unceremoniously dumped for arb costs either.

texag10

Lowe is still cheap this year but bumps up to 8M in 2024 and then the club options really increase. I wonder how available he is with Brujan in the minors. The Rays have a lot of near term depth up the middle though that we certainly need to give them a call.