It’s Something Alright – Dingo_Sox Offseason Plan

PREAMBLE

Well this organization is a tire fire, clearly problem and toxic if you get to close to it.  However it seems like they are finally making some strides in player development which is something we haven’t been able to say in a while.  However the dysfunction at the top has caused structural damage to the windows and the house this team inhabits.  I’m not sure about anyone else but the disconnect between dugout and front office felt very similar to the end of Ozzie’s tenure and that’s not good.  The depth of this team needs to be reworked and the defense needs to addressed in a major way.  So we are going to be targeting depth, rebalancing the lineup with actual good hitters, and not selling the future down the river for an all in season.

ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE PLAYERS

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

Fairly simple, no real surprises.  For garbage time we can do a lot worse than Ruiz for a lot more money.  Only reason I remembered Crick for the sporcle was because I started working on this the week it came out.  I have been a supporter of Engel but its time, however if in January you don’t have a home Charlotte will have a spot for you.

OTHER ROSTER CLEANUP NOTES

Protested in the Rule 5 Draft

  • Yolbert Sanchez
  • Bryan Ramos
  • Jose Rodriguez

No really questions here. Mieses looks like he might be turning into something but OF are rarely taken in this phase, pencil him at the charlotte roster to protect him the minor league phases.  Also we are non-tender/release Adam Haseley and Mark Peyton.  And finally release Leury Garcia, just go away.

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

Duh

PLAYER OPTIONS

  • AJ Pollock: $13M ($5 million buyout) — EXERCISED – I would be legitimately shocked if this doesn’t occur.

OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS

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

  • José Abreu (Made $18M in 2021) – As much as I want to retain the writings on the wall unfortunately.  Painfully let go.
  • Johnny Cueto ($4.2M) – Let go, go get another strong 1 year deal elsewhere good sir.
  • Vince Velasquez ($3M) – Let go, he was a prioritized project that didn’t pan out.  Maybe the lockout pretty much anyone saw coming is why but we will never know.  I’d be interested on a deal similar to Cueto this past year but with less money if he cracks the roster.
  • Elvis Andrus ($14.25M) – Retain.  1 year/10 Million with a club option for 2024 at $12 million.  Why, well get there soon.

MANAGER

Kevin Long

My first pick would be Espada but I have a strong suspicion he’s the next Astros manager and is probably what’s hold this entire process up.  (Note as I was writing this up over two days curse you Merk!) My third choice would be Ron Washington followed but Ozzie.  I also have a strong inkling that Justin Jirschele will on the staff in some capacity.

I do think interviewing Ozzie was a good idea as he said, “No one knows this team better” and I would agree.  Getting his honest baseball thoughts directly to the decision makers can only help.  The only way hiring Ozzie to manage would ever be considered a good idea is if it’s the way they want to signal KW’s contract is almost up.

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: Brandon Nimmo (five years, $120,000,000, $16 Million as a signing bonus 24/22/20/20/18). It makes far too much sense to not go for it here, far too many boxes can be checked in one fell swoop.  Great defender in the corners, good in center, lefty, and is a good leadoff hitter.  Currently I have him penciled in at LF, and will be filling in for Robert when needed.  I’m a little scared about how he will age given the sheer amount of injuries he has dealt with in his career. However, this move will help at least making the product more watchable on the field because the outfield was trash last season.  And that leads me to No 2 . . . .

No. 2: Michael Comforto (one year, $12,000,000). We are double dipping on the corners this offseason because unless an emergency occurs, I want outfielders in the outfield.  I also would rather have Colas absolutely force the issue in spring training for a roster spot.  Sox were previously in on him and presumably still are, if he’s healthy.  It’s a small 1 year deal for a Boras client to prove his healthy and his power should play nicely at the Rate to rebuild his value.  If it doesn’t work out for him its only 1 year, and if it doesn’t work out for the team trade him people are always looking for left-handed power.

TRADES

Well Rick said that this was going to be more fruitful so oh boy:

No. 1: Trade Tim Anderson to Los Angeles Dodgers for Ryan Pepiot, Michael Busch, and Nick Nastrini.  There are difficulties assessing Tim Anderson’s trade value.  He means more to the Sox than probably most organizations and that’s not even saying anything about his value to the community at large.  That said, he and Hendriks (more on that later) have the most trade value on the team that were not already named untouchable.  So, we try and fix multiple holes at once with that one.   Ryan Pepiot is an immediate factor in our SP depth for 2023 and is the first one called up for injury/ineffectiveness.  Maybe some combination of Katz and Zaleski can get something going on his fastball command and get that ironed out.  Michael Busch would slot in at 2B, he checks a lot of boxes and perhaps his defense can be a WIP for the time being to be passable at 2B.  Nick Nastrini’s got stuff and got hit a bit this year but overall the control issues he had in the past are more in control now.

No. 2: Trade AJ Pollock and 8 Million to Los Angeles Angels for Jo Adell, Luis Rengifo, and Andrew Wantz. Let’s start this one here, neither team are near expectations and the Angeles are probably trending it the opposite direction.  I think the Angeles are going to give it one more shot before tearing down with new ownership.  So I imagine that the Angels are not going to be big game hunting this offseason.  So why this collection?  The White Sox return isn’t great for starters, we have: a former top prospect that desperately needs a change of scenery, a utility infielder, and a serviceable reliever.  Nothing great, Pollock can still be a serviceable LF and they only have to pay $5 million for it as we are picking up the entire value of his player option.

No. 3: Trade Liam Hendricks to Seattle Mariners for Harry Ford and Emerson Hancock. Probably the closest to a white flag in the bunch but as I said in the beginning, this is about something that will last.  Hendricks is a luxery item this team cannot afford to keeps.  Our starter depth is unmentionable terrible as is our catcher depth.  Perhaps this will help fix both of those items down the road.  I do not believe Seby Zavala or Carlos Perez are the long term solutions at C nor do I think that its Adam Hackenberg.  Harry Ford can hit, if he can put it together defensively then this is a slam dunk on that alone.  Hancock has some question marks on his shoulder and he looks like he lost steam at the end of the year, the numbers were good before that and perhaps buying low on him might pay off in the long run.

No. 4: Trade Garrett Crochet, Jake Burger, Romy Gonzalez, and Wes Kath to Miami Marlins for Jesus Luzardo and Sixto Sanchez. The White Sox have coveted Luzardo in the past and this offsesason shouldn’t be any different.  The Marlins have a glut of pitching and really nothing else.  Here they have an absolute scattershot of talent at various positions and runway times.  Lot of boom, even more bust with whats being offered from the Sox side.  Sixto Sanchez was once a highly touted pitching prospect that hasn’t been healthy since 2020, proving once again TINSTAAPP.  While I have little to no faith in the White Sox medical team, perhaps a normal offseason might help balance that out.

SUMMARY

Well we made a bunch of trades, added a bunch of good hitters (most happen to bat from the lefthand side), and replenished the SP depth chart.  The 40 man roster with all of these adjustments lands at 40 precisely with plenty of DFA bait in the reliver area.   Payroll comes out a touch over at $194 million with all the dead money included.  While we dealt a number some good players, this team can compete with some better defense and (basically) stay healthy.  In the process Colas is still penciled in on the opening day 26 man roster.  We have outfielders in the outfield, added 4 left-handed batters, and added a bunch of power.  However, we dealt the face of our franchise and weakened the bullpen.  The bullpen is more of a luxury item when you can’t get to the situations in game.

C Yasmani Grandal SP Dylan Cease
1B Andrew Vaughn SP Lance Lynn
2B Michael Busch SP Jesus Luzardo
3B Yoan Moncada SP Lucas Giolito
SS Elvis Andrus SP Michael Kopech
OF Brandon Nimmo RP Kendall Graveman
OF Luis Robert RP Andrew Wantz
OF Oscar Colas RP Joe Kelly
DH Eloy Jimenez RP Jake Diekman
C Seby Zavala RP Aaron Bummer
Inf Danny Mendick RP Jimmy Lambert
Inf Luis Rengifo RP Reynaldo Lopez
OF Michael Comforto RP Jose Ruiz

With a healthy rotation (pun definitely intended) in the OF to manage the playing time this team should be better than 2022.  Bryan Ramos and Colson Montgomery are probably going to be here sooner than later to replace 3B and SS respectively.  There is only so much disbelief I am willing to suspend when dealing with how this organization works.  Let’s hope David Stearns is ticketed to this front office next offseason.

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