Doug W’s Crazy 2023 Offseason Plan

PREAMBLE

Trading Timmy and Liam to get defense and pitching.  Paying a lot for Conforto and Cueto but they will help out.  Counting on Colas to play well.  The Sox will have a solid defensive team with real outfielders and solid infielders at every position.  The pitching will be sound and will like the strong defense.  Catching might be a soft spot but the Sox will be able to win the Central and if they are actually healthy have a chance for more.

ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE PLAYERS

Write “tender,” “non-tender” or “rework/extend” after each player and their projected 2022 salaries. Feel free to offer explanation afterward if necessary.

  • 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

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 – decline

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) — takes buyout

OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS

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

  • José Abreu (Made $18M in 2021) – let go (sigh but Vaughn needs to start)
  • Johnny Cueto ($4.2M) – Try to retain – one year $12M
  • Vince Velasquez ($3M) – Let go
  • Elvis Andrus ($14.25M) – Let go

MANAGER

Pedro Grifol was already picked.  OK with this.

FREE AGENTS

List three free-agent targets you’d pursue during the offseason, with a reasonable contract. A good example of a bad idea:

No. 1:  Johnny Cueto – one year $12M

No. 2: Michael Conforto – two year $30 contract with player opt out after 1 year. He needs to prove himself.

TRADES

No. 1: Tim Anderson to Yankees for Oswald Peraza, Yoendrys Gómez, and Carson Coleman. Yankees are out of the Shortstop market after signing Judge.  This way they get a star Shortstop that is inexpensive.  The Sox get a major league ready Shortstop and 2 interesting arms that are almost major league ready.

No. 2: Liam Hendriks to Dodgers for Michael Busch and a non-top 30 pitcher as a flier. Busch is blocked for the Dodgers so they can give him up for a reliever they so desperately need.  He could play 2nd or Left Field for the Sox.  He is ready for the majors.

SUMMARY

Catching: Yasmani Grandal, Seby Zavala

Infield: Andrew Vaughn, Oswald Peraza, Michael Busch, Yoan Moncada, Danny Mendick

Outfield: Luis Robert, Michael Conforto, Oscar Colas, Gavin Sheets, Eloy Jimenez, Leury García

Starting Pitching: Dylan Cease, Lucas Giolito, Lance Lynn, Michael Kopech, Johnny Cueto

Bullpen: Reynaldo Lopez, Kendall Graveman, Joe Kelly, Aaron Bummer, Matt Foster, Jimmy Lambert, Tanner Banks, Jonathan Stiever

Payroll is a well under the $190 million budget (Jerry is happy), so there’s room for a deadline move. Might need an expensive starter by the end of the year that someone wants to dump.  Would like to get the 40 man down so can get at least 1 of the Dodgers AA or AAA arms for the last relief pitch to replace Foster (who looked really good a couple of years ago).

OK, it looks like I am giving up on the season with Timmy and Hendriks gone but we really need better defense and we have it in the outfield and the infield now.  Crochet will come up at the end of the season for long relief but let him try to be a starter for now.  He wants to be a starter, let him try. Lopez, Lambert and Stiever are out of time to become starters, so I think they will be happy having a major league career in relief.  Davis Martin plus Yoendrys Gómez, and Carson Coleman can be the arms that can come up if needed.  The Sox should look at the AAA free agents for help also.  They can point out that Martin was called up even though he didn’t do that well at Charlotte – they know it is hard on pitchers down there.

Zavala and Grandal can split the time as catcher.  Eloy will be the DH most of the time. I believe that Conforto will need to prove himself before he gets more than $15M/year.  Hopefully Cueto will take $12M.

I am trading away Timmy and starting 2 rookies in the infield, but both have played in the majors.  If they faulter, the Sox have 4 potential replacements Sosa, Gonzalez, Sanchez, and Rodriguez plus one that could be close by the end of the year in Montgomery.  AAA should be solid this year for a change!

I am expecting Eloy to stay healthy as the DH and have a huge year.  Vaughn will prove he is up and coming start.  Robert can be an MVP candidate.  There is very solid defense except for left field.  Colas should be a solid defender and give you something with the bat.  Zavala and Grandal are solid but not great behind the plate but the pitchers like them (think Astros).  Oswald Peraza and Michael Busch could be stars.  This team could win the central and potentially make a lot of noise in the playoffs.  Hey, they cannot help but play better defense and run the bases better.  Plus, they have a manager who understands stats, relates to players, speaks Spanish, make the players work, and most importantly will be awake in the dugout!

Author

  • DougWW

    Older White Sox fan. Don't make many games in person but watch on MLB TV as much as possible. Like the condensed games but wish they were more like the NFL network condensed games - showing every play so see all the outs.

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GrinnellSteve

I feel like this could work.

upnorthsox

Your FA signings are realistic.
I like both trades but I’d prefer Steve Boyle and Ken Waldichuk over Gomez and Coleman.
I’ve got to knick ya though on no plan B for Colas.