Reaver10’s Off-Season Plan (Ft. Jerry DiPoto-level trades)

PREAMBLE

The Chicago White Sox should be a playoff team for at least the next 3 seasons. There were many ways 2022 went wrong but players not being held accountable may have been the biggest problem the team had. La Russa had his in game faults but the biggest problem I saw was not caring if players hustled, telling them to only hustle if they feel like it. (Something he did on his first go around with the club as well, according to one source I read that I can’t find the link to now but essentially was the same thing saying a player didn’t hustle to 1st on a grounder because of a sore hamstring and later legged out a double going full speed). If the (reported) new manager Pedro Grifol can get these guys to hustle and hold them accountable when they don’t? This team has talent enough to make noise in the post season.

ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE PLAYERS

  • 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 – Tender
  • Danny Mendick: $1M – Tender

CLUB OPTIONS

  • Tim Anderson: $12.5M ($1M buyout) – Pickup
  • Josh Harrison: $5.625M ($1.5M buyout) – Decline/Buy-Out

PLAYER OPTIONS

  • AJ Pollock: $13M ($5 million buyout) — EXERCISED

OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS

  • José Abreu (Made $18M in 2021) – Let Go
  • Johnny Cueto ($4.2M) – Re-Sign (2 years at $7.5M/yr with a mutual option)
  • Vince Velasquez ($3M) – Let Go
  • Elvis Andrus ($14.25M) – Let Go

MANAGER

Considering the reports are out, I will pick Pedro Grifol. For what it is worth, my top choice at the start of the off-season went to Grifol’s old organization as Matt Quatraro takes the helm at Kauffman Stadium.

FREE AGENTS

As much as I want Trea Turner to play 2nd, I do not think Jerry would dip into that level of spending.

No. 1: Michael Conforto (1 year, $16M+2nd year mutual option for $18M, 2.5M buyout). Conforto looked like a great option last year before the shoulder surgery was disclosed. A lefty bat with a corner outfielder could be looking for a prove-it contract after not playing anywhere in 2022

No. 2: Corey Knebl (2 years, $5M/yr). I was looking elsewhere in the Phillies pitching ranks for Noah Syndergaard but financials did not work out so we brought back Cueto instead and hope for a reclamation project with Knebl.

No. 3: Adam Frazier (2 years, $5M/yr). Coming off a down year with Seattle, Frazier will be looking to recover the form he had with Pittsburgh when he was highly sought after at the trade deadline in 2021.

TRADES

No. 1: Trade Yoelqui Cespedes (no. 12 on White Sox top 30), Garrett Crochet, Romy Gonzalez, and Seby Zavala to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Gavin Lux and Phil Bickford. The White Sox get their second baseman in Lux, a Kenosha, WI native. Lux might be expendable if the Dodgers do move Mookie to 2nd as has been rumored. According to Baseball Trade Values, an online MLB trade value simulator, the Sox slightly get a better deal, acquiring 36.3 points of value for 33.6 points of value, or roughly the difference of the Sox adding Tanner Banks into the trade.

No. 2: Leury Garcia, Matt Foster, and Jake Burger to the Milwaukee Brewers for reliever Trevor Gott and OF prospect Carlos Rodriguez (no. 28 on Brewers Top 30). Sox move on from Garcia with better options at utility infielder and give Burger a chance where he isn’t blocked by Moncada. Burger can probably play every day at 3rd in Milwaukee if they move Luis Urias to 2nd after letting Kolton Wong walk. Gott has pitched in 191 MLB games to a 4.80 ERA which isn’t blowing anyone away but he is a bullpen arm. Carlos Rodriguez is only 21 and MLB Pipleline has his MLB ETA as 2024 but he is essentially the mold of Engel/Podsednik, speedy outfielder who won’t give you power with an average arm but can get to any ball in the OF.

No. 3: Kendall Graveman and IF prospect Yolbert Sanchez (no. 26 on White Sox Top 30) to the Arizona Diamondbacks for outfielder Jordan Luplow and SP prospect Bryce Jarvis (no. 17 on Diamondbacks Top 30). Graveman likely gets a shot to close over Ian Kennedy in the desert and the Sox get a good defensive 4th outfielder in Luplow, even if he doesn’t offer much with the bat. Jarvis has some mid-rotation upside and can likely be used as depth this year in the mold of Davis Martin. Yolbert is likely a utility guy at the majors in my opinion and feels redundant in the organization after Lenyn Sosa and Jose Rodriguez.

SUMMARY

C (2): Yasmani Grandal (18.25M), Carlos Perez (575k)

IF (6): Andrew Vaughn (900k), Gavin Lux (800k), Tim Anderson (12.5M), Yoan Moncada (17.8M), Adam Frazier (5M), Danny Mendick (1M)

OF (4): AJ Pollock (13M), Luis Robert (9,5M), Michael Conforto (16M), Jordan Luplow (2M)

DH (1): Eloy Jimenez (10.3M)

SP (5): Dylan Cease (5.3M), Lance Lynn (18.5M), Lucas Giolito (10.8M), Johnny Cueto (7.5M), Michael Kopech (2.2M)

RP (8): Jake Diekman (L) (3.5M), Jose Ruiz (1M), Liam Hendriks (14.3M), Joe Kelly (9M), Aaron Bummer (L) (3.75M), Phil Bickford (800k), Reynaldo Lopez (3.3M), Trevor Gott (800k)

The Sox shore up second base with Gavin Lux and hope Michael Conforto can be the answer in RF on a prove-it deal. If not, it gives Gavin Sheets time in AAA to figure out how to handle the outfield/depth since Oscar Colas might not be ready.

One move I wanted to make but couldn’t find the money was to get Noah Syndergaard into the rotation instead of Cueto. Gavin Lux has had ups and downs in LA and they might be looking for something more stable at 2nd, even if they do not move Mookie back to his original position after dropping 350M on Aaron Judge.

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Reaver10
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Jacob_Shiner

I like some of these moves, but I don’t think the dodgers would say yes to the gavin lux deal. They currently have 3 catchers with more value than Zavala. Plus, they have the numbers 41 and 42 overall prospects (much better than Romy) that are both infielders and mlb ready. I just don’t see them trading major league talent for that grouping.