patrick’s wheeling and dealing Offseason Plan

PREAMBLE

Where I see the White Sox? Honestly, I have no idea. They returned a lot of the same guys from the previous seasons and did quite a bit worse. Is that the fault purely of poor managing? Does a new face in dugout fix all? Hard to say. I haven’t done one of these in awhile because I always feel a bit overwhelmed at the task. I imagine it’s how Hahn feels every offseason, as his ideas seem to be just about as good (bad) as mine would be.

For this one I thought a little bit about the present and the future. There is definitely still room in the AL Central to win the division with a team that’s not as talented as the 3rd place AL East team, so I think fiddling on the margins could be the way to go. However, looking long term things seem a bit more grim. So I tried to shed some payroll for prospects while also making a major splash to put butts in the seats and maybe launch our way (figuratively and literally) into the postseason. Here’s hoping that Moncada’s music career sputters enough to add some additional motivation to his baseball efforts.

ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE PLAYERS

  • Lucas Giolito: $10.8M – tender, then trade
  • 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 – who?
  • 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) – pickup – then trade
  • 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) — EXERCISED

OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS

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

  • José Abreu (Made $18M in 2021) – retain – details below
  • Johnny Cueto ($4.2M) – let go
  • Vince Velasquez ($3M) – let go
  • Elvis Andrus ($14.25M) – let go

MANAGER

All mystery has been removed. Maybe hire Will Bradley as the hitting coach?

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: Jose Abreu (2 years $32 million) – I like Abreu and I think he’s a decent enough offensive weapon. two years is probably too many, and he seems like a luxury they can’t really afford. But, I’d be sad to see him elsewhere and I need a 1B.

No. 2: Luis Severino (2 years $20 million – opt out after year 1) – Severino may want to bet on himself to get a longer deal as he is still in his late 20’s. The injury thing worries me and likely worries everyone else so I’m not sure what the competition would be. He might come relatively cheap in that case.

No 3. Aaron Judge (10 years $340 million) – boom. Doing it. He’s awesome and hits the ball a mile. He can DH in the later years and I’ll gladly eat that money to watch him hit bombs for the White Sox. Also covers a position that’s been a black hole for a generation.

TRADES

I’m usually bad at these so I used the MLB trade evaluator. None of that means teams would be in for this, but whatever this is all fantasyland anyhow.

No. 1: Trade Garrett Crochet and Andrew Vaughn to the Tampa Bay Rays for Curtis Mead – The Rays have a stacked infield with Yandy Diaz at 3B and Franco at SS but I don’t think Ji-Man Choi is the long term solution at 1B. The Rays also seem to like dudes with some position flexibility, and while flexibility in this case is used extremely liberally (both literally and figuratively) Vaughn does have outfield experience. Crochet also seems like a guy the Rays could turn into a solid back end piece or opener. Mead is coming off an injury, so something to monitor, but so is Crochet. Curtis Mead is an offensive machine that hits the ball really far and makes good contact. He’s probably a butcher in the field. Perfect White Sox, really.

No. 2: Trade Lucas Giolito and Liam Hendriks to the New York Yankees for Oswald Peraza – The Yankees have a lot of infield talent, but need some bullpen help. Giolito is also a guy they might be interested in given his recent success and low price tag. Peraza is a guy the Yankees likely wouldn’t want to give away, but they also have Anthony Volpe as a prospect who might be even better (must be nice). Peraza has a strong hit tool, the potential to hit 20 HRs, and plays a good short stop. Why am I trading for a shortstop you ask?

No. 3: Trade Tim Anderson to the Atlanta Braves for William Contreras – Tim is not a guy that I would be excited to see play for another team. However, I worry about his bat-to-ball skills diminishing and his average dropping as he gets older and the BABIP comes down. In this scenario I’m assuming the Braves cheap out and don’t re-sign Dansby Swanson. Contreras can be a solid starting catcher to pair with Zavala and handle the majority of time time back there.

No. 4: Trade Yasmani Grandal for a pallet of WL Weller Bourbon – kidding, no one is trading that amazing bourbon for him. Yaz sits on the bench and DH’s from time-to-time

SUMMARY

All of this is a long shot, but would be fun to see this active of a trade deadline. I don’t have time to look at the budget, but I think it’s probably close to this years with the movement of some of the bigger salary pieces even with the massive judge contract. The roster:

1B: Abreu

2B: Mead

3B: Moncada

SS: Peraza

OF: Judge/Pollock/Jimenez/Colas

CF: Robert

C: Contreras/Zavala

DH: Jimenez/Judge/Yaz

 

SP: Cease

SP: Lynn

SP: Kopech

SP: Severino

SP: Martin

Closer: Graveman

SU: Kelly

SU: Lopez

Fill out the rest as needed.

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GrinnellSteve

Any idea what the final price tag is on this?