roke1960’s Offseason Plan

PREAMBLE

Well, after one of the most disappointing seasons in White Sox history, some big changes must take place.  We got off to a good start when Tony left the manager’s job.  But the offseason will probably be a disaster because Rick Hahn is still in his job.   We will most likely see more dumpster diving and overpaying for relief pitchers.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t put our 2 cents in to try to improve the Sox.  So here’s my attempt.

ARBITRATION ELIGIBLE PLAYERS

  • Lucas Giolito: $10.8M  TRADE.  See below.
  • Dylan Cease: $5.3M  Are you kidding?  TENDER
  • Reynaldo López; $3.3M  TENDER.  A no-brainer.
  • Adam Engel: $2.3M  Non-Tender.  He has outlived his usefulness.
  • Michael Kopech: $2.2M  TENDER. Another no-brainer.
  • Kyle Crick: $1.5M Non-tender
  • José Ruiz: $1M Non-tender.  Like Crick, no need to pay more than the minimum for useless relievers
  • Danny Mendick: $1M TENDER.  Solid utility guy.

CLUB OPTIONS

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

  • Tim Anderson: $12.5M ($1M buyout)  PICK UP.  Another no-brainer.
  • Josh Harrison: $5.625M ($1.5M buyout)  Buyout.  He was solid, but we need to go in another direction.

PLAYER OPTIONS

Write “exercised” or “takes buyout.” The question here is whether you think Pollock could do better than one year and $8 million on the open market. I’m filling it in with “exercised” unless you can provide a compelling argument against it.

  • AJ Pollock: $13M ($5 million buyout) — EXERCISED.  He will return.  He’s not going to find anything better.

OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS

Try to retain, extend qualifying offer, or let go?

  • José Abreu (Made $18M in 2021).  After a fabulous 9-year run, it’s time for Jose to move on.  Thanks for a great 9 years, Pito.
  • Johnny Cueto ($4.2M)  RETAIN.  2 years, $16M.  Cueto is rewarded for almost saving our season.
  • Vince Velasquez ($3M).  Let go.  No need to pay him $3M.
  • Elvis Andrus ($14.25M).  Let go.  Thanks Elvis for trying to keep us in the race.

MANAGER

I’m not too picky about who the manager will be, but I don’t want any of the ex-Sox that have been mentioned.  That rules out Ozzie, Thome, AJ or anyone else that has strong ties to the Sox.  My top 3 choices are Joe Espada, Matt Quartaro, and Sandy Alomar.  I know Alomar has ties to the Sox, but I think of him as a Cleveland guy.

FREE AGENTS

Ok, this is where we break the $190M line.  Jerry must spend on at least 1 premium free agent to give us fans some hope.  There’s no way he springs for Judge, but I would easily take Brandon Nimmo.  Though I am going in a different direction:

CARLOS RODON- 5 years $130M or 4 years, $110M.  The non-QO offer actually helps the Sox here.  Boras is appreciative of the Sox not tying a QO to Rodon last year, and Jerry’s loyalty pays off as he brings back one of his highest draft picks ever.  And the Sox have the best 1-2 punch in baseball with Cease and Rodon.

JOHNNY CUETO- 2 years, $16M.  Cueto is rewarded for almost saving the Sox’ season, and the Sox have one of the best 5th starters in baseball.

KOLTEN WONG- 1 year, $9M.  The Sox need to get more left-handed.  And Wong gives them some pop and good defense at 2nd.

TRADES

Since we have 5 starters in place, it’s time for a big move:

Lucas Giolito to the Dodgers for #7 prospect pitcher Gavin Stone and #13 prospect outfielder James Outman.  Giolito is walking after 2023.  The Dodgers need starting pitching.  And Giol.ito will be a stud in LA.  The Sox get a hard-throwing major-league ready long reliever/6th starter in Gavin Stone, who will slide into the rotation for Lynn in 2024.  And Outman absolutely mashed in the minors last year, with 31 HRs and a .978 OPS, along with being a plus defender who can play all 3 outfiled spots.  And he’s left-handed.  The outfield will be manned by Outman, Robert and Colas, with Pollock as the 4th guy.  I have faith that the 2 young guys will be ready for the job.

Joe Kelly and $4M for a high A pitcher.  Some team will pay $4.5M for Kelly.  His stuff is too good.  But the Sox need to move on.

Leury Garcia and $8M for a torn bag of lopsided baseballs.  Under no circumstances should Leury be on the White Sox in 2023.  He has negative value to them.  Some rebuilding team will part with a few old baseballs for a guy who can play most postions for $1.5M.

Jake Diekman and $2M for …well, nothing.  Some sucker will pay $1.5M for a hard-throwing lefty.

SUMMARY

Well, that’s it my tentative 26-man roster is:

STARTERS

Cease- $5.3M
Rodon- $27M
Lynn- $18.5M
Kopech- $2.2M
Cueto- $8M

TOTAL- $61M

RELIEVERS

Hendriks- $14.3M
Graveman- $8M
Lopez- $4M
Bummer- $3.75M
Gavin Stone- $700K
Lambert- $700K
Best right in camp- $700K
Best lefty in camp- $700K.  Hopefully Crochet fill that spot by mid-season.

TOTAL (plus Kelly and Diekman money)- $38.85M

CATCHERS

Grandal- $18.25M
Zavala- $700K

Hopefully, Grandal can regain some of his lost form.  I’d love to move that contract, but no one is taking that one.

TOTAL- $18.95M

INFIELDERS

Vaughn- $700K
Wong- $9M
Anderson- $12.5M
Moncada- $17.8M
Mendick- $1M

TOTAL (plus Leury and Harrison)- $46.5M

OUTFIELDERS/DH

Eloy- $10.3M
Robert- $9.5M
Pollock- $13M
Outman- $700K
Colas- $700K

Total- $34.2M

26th man- Sheets, Romy or Sosa.  Since the Sox added several lefties, Sheets can probably be traded.

TOTAL PAYROLL- The payroll checks in right at $200M.  I think I covered everything.  My biggest concern is putting two rookies in the outfield.  But both were extremely impressive last year.  Again, I could easily see Nimmo taking one of those spots, but I would rather have Rodon paired with Cease at the top of the rotation.   I like the balance between lefties and righties, and the outfield defense should actually be a plus.

 

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roke1960
roke1960
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PauliePaulie

K. Wong is also very high on my offseason wish list.
Insane how much $ the Sox will have to give away to jettison garbage off the roster.

GrinnellSteve

I, too, traded for Gavin Stone. I like adding Outman to the deal, but I don’t feel like they’d give up that much for 1 year of Gio. I’d fire Rick and hire you to see if you could make the Dodgers do the deal!

MattVerplaetse

Not sure that the Dodgers give up prospect capital to buy low on Giolito when they could just spend in free agency to reinforce their rotation.

shaggy65

I really like the idea of paying half of Kelly’s contact to make him tradable. Results aside, the guy just seems like a jerk.

charlie

Would love Rodon back.
Do you think they’ll make a serious run for him?

chipporter

Liked it, thanks.