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I’m going to keep this short and sweet. My number 1 goal in this plan was to trade away any big contracts and bring back good players on cheap contracts in order to free up cap space for a surprise free agents 😉 I tried to balance out the lineup so we aren’t so righty heavy, and improve our teams defense a little bit.
- 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
- Tim Anderson: $12.5M ($1M buyout) Pick up
- Josh Harrison: $5.625M ($1.5M buyout) Decline
- 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
Pedro Grifol, I guess. Not necessarily excited about the signing, but also not upset about it. I’d like to say I’m in the “cautiously optimistic” boat with Josh.
No. 1: Aaron Judge (8 years, $330 million)
Aaron Judge is the best player in baseball right now. Why wouldn’t you want him on your team. Hahn tried to offer this much to Harper and Machado, so why not try again? It’s a higher AAV over less years, but then we’re less likely to end up with a Miguel Cabrera situation. Some reports have said that Jerry might be willing to really spend this offseason. Even if the rest of the team is full of inexperienced players on rookie contracts, signing Judge would sell plenty of tickets, which is probably all Jerry really cares about anyway.
No. 2: Carlos Rodon (5 years, $120 million)
Time to do what we should have done last year, and sign Carlos Rodon to the long-term deal he deserves. I think the Phillies have shown that two studs at the top of your rotation and a lineup full of mashers is a good recipe to make a deep run in the postseason. With Cease and Rodon, we accomplish half of that.
No. 1: Trade Liam Hendriks to St. Louis Brendan Donovan and Steven Matz.
The Cardinals could use a stud reliever, and they have enough good young prospects who can play second base/outfield that Brendan Donovan is really just a luxury for them. If they can use him to get an elite reliever AND unload Steven Matz and the remaining 3 years, $35.5 million on his contract, it seems like a no-brainer.
The Sox get a good lefty second baseman who has 5 years of control left, and a starter who may be overpaid, but could provide some value if he can stay healthy.
No 2. Trade Lucas Giolito and Andrew Vaughn to Baltimore for Cedric Mullins.
I took the road less traveled and traded for an Orioles outfield NOT named Anthony Santander. Obviously this is a lot to give up, but Cedric Mullins has 3 years of control left. He’s lost a little bit of power since his 2021 season, but a quick look at baseballsavant says that last season he was actually getting TOO MUCH under the ball. His average launch angle increased 3.5 degrees, and he hit about 4% more popups. Maybe Pedro and the increased analytics department can get Cedric back to his 2021 self. If they can do that, this trade looks like a no-brainer.
No 3. Three team trade between Sox, Yanees, and Brewers: White Sox get Clay Holmes, Jonathon Loaisiga, Rowdy Tellez, and Brandon Woodruff. Yankees get Kendall Graveman, Lance Lynn, Joe Kelly, Luis Robert, Lenyn Sosa. Brewers get Jasson Dominguez, Eloy Jimenez.
The Yankees are getting their replacement for Aaron Judge, and a solid starting pitcher to shore up their rotation a little it. They also have to take on the salaries of Kendall Graveman and Joe Kelly. In return, they give up a top 25 prospect and 2 of their seemingly infinite young solid relievers. The Brewers are getting an outfielder and DH combination they could build on for the next 4 years. The Sox are getting two better relievers that make <10% of what Kelly and Graveman were. Getting Brandon Woodruff and having him be your #3 starters makes this team look very scary for the postseason. And they get Rowdy Tellez, who hit 35 HRs last year, to replace Eloy at the DH. Most importantly, they get a 255 lb beast, and the partnership potential with him and #fromthe108 is LIMITLESS.
This roster looks WAY different than it did last year. The Sox currently have 11 guys who make more than $8 million, and I traded away 7 of them. The payroll is sitting at a nice $189.85 million. I think the 15k saved should go towards brining back Dollar Dog Wednesdays, although that may result in Rowdy Tellez having an off-day every Wednesday at home. After all these transactions, here’s how the 26-man looks.
Bullpen: (closer by committee)
C Yasmani Grandal
1B Jake Burger/Gavin Sheets platoon
2B Brendan Donovan
SS Tim Anderson
3B Yoan Moncada
LF AJ Pollock
CF Cedric Mullins
RF Aaron Judge