Sox Give out their 2 Biggest Contracts Ever and Execute a 3-Team Blockbuster

PREAMBLE

The injury bug that plagued the sox this past season made some of the holes in their roster blatantly clear as the season went along, very different than in 2021 where we succeeded in hiding them until of course we played a very good houston team. 2B, corner outfield, and a LH bat are just a few… This plan will address these as well as several other holes i see preventing us from a WS Championship.

*assumes key members of the “core” return to levels of performance that we believe to be reasonable (not talking career years) –

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; time to move on, need someone more durable but speed and defense should be prioritized in his replacement
  • Michael Kopech: $2.2M Tender
  • Kyle Crick: $1.5M Tender
  • José Ruiz: $1M Non-tender; please dont make me watch him again this year
  • Danny Mendick: $1M Tender; hope he gets healthy would be a great depth infield piece

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 (per buster olney)

OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS

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

  • José Abreu (Made $18M in 2021) Let go; it pains me to say it but it is time to move on from Jose – his replacement is already on the roster, has a very high floor and is controllable/cost effective. It seems as though Jose has lost some of his power and though i greatly admire the way he was able to adapt at the plate and take more walks, with the roster construction that this team has and the holes that need to be filled, i cant see a reason to bring him back.
  • Johnny Cueto ($4.2M) Retain; hope you can sign him for 3-4M and you have a SP depth piece that eats innings and seems to be a great influence in the clubhouse
  • Vince Velasquez ($3M) Let go
  • Elvis Andrus ($14.25M) Let go

MANAGER

Love the Grifol hiring. Think it will be really good for this team

FREE AGENTS

No 1: Carlos Rodon (5 years $150M): I dont think this is the max I would pay but you made the mistake of not extending him last year and now you have to pay for it. This addresses the need for a top of the rotation left handed starter.

No 2: Dansby Swanson (5 years $115M) CURVEBALL! Why do you ask am i spending over $100M on a shortstop when we have Tim anderson? Well, here’s why: Tim anderson is a great baseball player but i dont think hes a great shortstop. Honestly that isnt even a knock on him.. he started playing when he was what 18 years old? If you sign the reigning NL gold glove winner who has a lot of winning experience and push TA to second (assuming hed be okay with it which is a big IF) you immediately have one of if not the best defensive infields in baseball and your infield is then set.

Andrew Benetendi (3 years $50M or 4 Years $60M): Plugs two blatant needs and now that Pollock’s $13M is gone it should all  be put towards Benetendi. The link with Grifol also helps.

Also need to dabble in the low end SP and corner outfield market based on what you do above.

Notes: Why not Brandon Nimmo? Well, i think hes going to be too expensive on top of the fact that Steve Cohen will rue the day he loses a player to Jerry over money.

Obviously the top two signings would both be the biggest contracts that the sox have ever given out but at this point in the window, you have to cover past mistakes somehow.

TRADES

No 1: Sox trade Liam Hendriks to the Dodgers, and Colson Montgomery and Bryan Ramos to the Athletics, the Dodgers trade Ryan Pepiot to the Athletics, and the Sox receive Sean Murphy (C) from the As and Caleb Furgeson from the Dodgers LHRP

WHY? Sox fill a hole that i think is being extremely overlooked when i look at this roster and lineup. You have Grandal who you dont want behind the plate in a big game (see dodgers benching him in playoffs and his high number of PBs) and cant run and you have zavala who is lets be honest a very solid backup. Sean murphy instantly makes this team a better baseball team and can play 120+ games behind the plate allowing Eloy to DH consistently. He is also under controlled and cheap for the next 3 years. You also get a young LHRP in return which we know we need in case Crochet and/or bummer do not perform / are injured. Yes you give up Liam hendriks but a closer is a luxury we cant afford and in order to get value in return you have to give up value hence Montgomery (reminder that we signed Swanson and hopefully can ultimately extend TA so your middle infield is set).

Summary

If you go into next season with a lineup of:

Murphy (C), Vaughn (1B), TA (2B), Swanson (SS), Yoan (3B), Benetendi (LF), Robert (CF), Sheets, Colas (RF) and a rotation/bullpen of Cease, Rodon, Kopech, Giolito, Cueto, Martin, FA??/Lopez, Kelly, Graveman, Crochet, Bummer

I am one happy camper and ready to win a WS

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Touhy
Touhy

Member of the Strap it Down White Sox Podcast

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upnorthsox

There’s just no realistic chance that Cueto signs for $4 mil.

I like the thinking around the 3 team trade.

a-t

Can’t get behind that trade at all, certainly not without also moving Grandal. If you want to angle for high-end play at catcher, just hope he rebounds. Zavala is also being underrated here, or, rather, the dearth of quality catching is being underrated. His framing has improved greatly, such that he was above-average (#13) in fWAR among catchers despite half or less as many PAs. Granted, he won’t BABIP .400+ again, but excellent defense/framing and meh bat is just fine for a contender at C… especially when it costs league min salary. Houston has spent the past three (highly successful) years doing just that with Maldonado.