Qubort Saving Rick Hahn’s Job Offseason Plan

PREAMBLE

Half of the teams in the post season this year, didn’t make it to the playoffs in 2021. This team needs some better luck staying healthy, but all teams need that. There are still pieces on this team that with some tweakage, they could reclaim the division next year. I’m not going to eat contracts or sell too low, so Moncada, Grandal, and Garcia are here to stay.

ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE PLAYERS

  • Lucas Giolito: $10.8M           Tender
  • Dylan Cease: $5.3M               Tender
  • Reynaldo López; $3.3M       Tender
  • Adam Engel: $2.3M                Adios
  • Michael Kopech: $2.2M       Tender
  • Kyle Crick: $1.5M                    Adios
  • José Ruiz: $1M                         Adios
  • Danny Mendick: $1M           Adios

CLUB OPTIONS

Write “pick up” or “decline” or “rework” after the option.

  • Tim Anderson: $12.5M ($1M buyout)           Pick up
  • Josh Harrison: $5.625M ($1.5M buyout)     Buyout

PLAYER OPTIONS

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

OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS

  • José Abreu (Made $18M in 2021) Pass.  I would love to keep Jose as luxury piece and allow him to age gracefully and end his career here. However, the roster management has been so poor that we can’t afford the salary of such a luxury. Abreu might be the most underrated White Stocking in history.
  • Johnny Cueto ($4.2M)     Pass. He’s about to make bank and I’m not willing bet against father time.
  • Vince Velasquez ($3M) He did the job you expect for a guy making $3 million. Another minor league deal would be fine, but I’ll pass on him for now.
  • Elvis Andrus ($14.25M) Thanks for making the end of the season exciting, but this is an easy pass.

MANAGER

I don’t really care as long as there isn’t a White Sox connection. Espada would be my first choice. It’d be nice to have someone in the locker room that knows first hand what it takes to be great over years. But as long as it’s not Ozzie, AJ, Willie, Konerko, Thome, Swisher, or anyone else crazy, it’ll be fine.

FREE AGENTS

Xander Bogaerts: 2 Years $75 million + Team Option Year 3 $50 million, (Player opt out after Year 1)

There’s a few things at play here. The Sox never do straight up free agent signings nor are they willing to go over $100 million. This contract stays true to Sox bizarre rules. It’s also similar to the Correa deal where Bogaerts can opt out after one but can also claim to have netted a bigger deal because of the 3rd year the Sox will never pick up.  I’m fine moving either him or Tim to second.

Corey Dickerson 1 year $4.5 Million

He’s left handed and old, but could give platoon status to Pollock.

Jose Quintana 2 Years $15 Million

I know he had a bounce back year but his age and style of pitching might keep him within reach price wise. I don’t expect him to match last year, but a left hander that eats innings is needed.

TRADES

All trades show the Sox overpaying on Trade Simulator. I think the simulator is too gracious with the Sox pieces, but throw in a low prospect here or there and the trades should be reasonable:

No. 1: Trade Lucas Giolito and Jake Diekman to Cardinals for Dakota Hudson

The Sox are never going to sign Giolito long term and I don’t blame them. His ups and downs are aggravating. But 1 year at 10 million for potential Ace stuff might be enticing enough for the Cards to eat Diekman’s contract. Hudson seems to fallen out of favor with the Cards as he ended the year in Triple A. But he’ll be cheap for years as he enters his second year of arbitration.  He’s also two years removed from Tommy John so I feel like his arrow is pointing up.

No. 2 Liam Hendriks to the Mets for Jett Williams and Calvin Ziegler

We need the cap space and the Mets will be hungry for a closer when Diaz walks in free agency. This would greatly bolster the farm.

No. 3 Joe Kelly and Jake Burger to Dodgers for John Rooney

This is purely a salary dump. Kelly may have a bounce back year, but the Sox can’t afford to find out. Rooney probably never sees the big leagues and that’s just fine with me. I suppose “the money will be spent” was accurate,  just in the worst freaking ways.

SUMMARY

The plan would make the Sox favorites to win the AL Central and help build the farm. Nothing is long term so it maintains flexibility. It banks on some health, growth, and bounce backs, but all teams not named the Dodgers typically do. It comes in right at $190 million. The money has been spent.

Lineup

1. Anderson – 2B
2. Bogaerts – SS
3. Robert – CF
4. Eloy – DH
5. Moncada – 3b
6. Vaughn – 1b
7. Dickerson – LF
8. Pollock – RF
9. Grandal – C

Seby, Garcia, Romy, and Sheets would be your bench. I hope Colas kicks the door down, but I don’t like the Sox to keep asking rookies to save the franchise.

Starting Rotation

Cease
Lynn
Kopech
Hudson
Quintana

Bullpen
Lopez
Martin
Crochet
Bummer
Foster
Random Righty
Lambert
Graveman – His pay requires him to close. Earn that money.

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Bogaerts and Quintana are key signings in my plan, too. I really hope Boston continues to snub Xander and he enter the free agent market. I think it could help improve the club’s poor fielding trouble by having an SS who is a plus defender and it could creatively solve the perennial right field problem: TA shift to right field, with the hopes of it being easier on his legs, as well. The org should pitch it as a Robin Yount type move. Guy was a stud at SS and in the OF; not that TA is Robin Yount but he could be an all star at both positions. Your contract offer to Bogaerts is probably more realistic than mine, but I’m hoping against hope that this is the year the franchise wakes up and recognizes the need to add some premier talent to a solid but not great core.