Tonys Back in Arizona and we have to pick up the pieces plan

PREAMBLE

Pedro said it best today when he said the 2023 version should work hard and hold each other accountable, play good defense and be strong fundamentally. Basically, he wants the Sox to be the opposite of what we saw in 2022. We can’t let Pedro fail the way Tony failed. 

ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE PLAYERS

  • Lucas Giolito: $10.8M—Tender
  • Dylan Cease: $5.3M—— Tender
  • Reynaldo López; $3.3M–Tender
  • Adam Engel: $2.3M—-Non-Tender and tie up Hahn’s hand so he doesn’t give him $15 million
  • Michael Kopech: $2.2M—Tender
  • Kyle Crick: $1.5M—Non-Tender
  • José Ruiz: $1M—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 option
  • Josh Harrison: $5.625M ($1.5M buyout)  Buy out

PLAYER OPTIONS

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

OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS

It’s strange that so many people want to dump three of the best performers for the White Sox. I know the bar was low but come on man.

  • José Abreu (Made $18M in 2021)—-Retain. See Below for contract.
  • Johnny Cueto ($4.2M)—-Retain. See Below for Contract
  • Vince Velasquez ($3M)—Let go.
  • Elvis Andrus ($14.25M)—Retain. See Below for Contract.

MANAGER

Nailed it. Pedro Grifol. Ok, I thought his name was Giratol but I nailed it after the announcement. I was especially happy that the Lamo GM let us know that Juan Uribe approved of the manager getting his old number. Damn Hahn is lame.

FREE AGENTS

No. 1: Jason Heyward (one year, $720,000). Because the Cubs are responsible for Heyward’s $24.5 million salary next year, any team signing him next year would be responsible for paying him only the required major-league minimum of $720,000 (reducing the Cubs’ cost by that much). Pedro is supposed to be an expert at fixing people. So, fix him. If he doesn’t, Colas is ready after a month or six weeks in AAA.

No. 2: Sign Jose Abreu (1 year for 8 million). Jose earned his salary over the course of time with the White Sox. However, going forward, I see his value being more in line with his Cuban brother, Yuli Gurriel, who earned 8 million this year after coming off a season hitting .319 with 15 homers and 81 rbis and obp of .384 compared to Abreu’s 2022 of 15 homers, 75 rbis, .304 avg and .378 obp.

No. 3:  Sign Johnny Baseball Cueto. 1 year $4.3 million. He gets a raise! He had a surprising year but it was under .500. The year before nobody wanted him after going .500 and the four years before that accumulated 14 wins. The postmortem on his career was written until he came back. We have backup options in case he flops. I like his influence on the other pitchers.

No. 4 Sign Elvis Andrus. 1 year 6 million. 2nd year mutual option at 6m. He is a good defensive shortstop. However, there wasn’t a line around the block when Oakland set him free.  I like his character and if Pedro uses him correctly to warm the spot for Montgomery, we can get the last bit of baseball he has left out of that body.

TRADES

No. 1: Trade Andrew Vaughn and Cespedes (trade value 33) Tampa for Josh Lowe and Brandon Lowe (trade value 32.8). Tampa needs cost control and a first baseman. Tampa has an excess of middle infielders. Sox need left-handed hitters. Brandon Lowe has had injury issues and Josh is now 24 and it’s either do or die for him. It’s my fantasy trade and Trade Values says it works so done deal. Vaughn isn’t a left fielder and we probably ruined him by force feeding him MLB pitching when he should have played in the minors.

No. 2. Trade Garcia and Cash for minor league lottery ticket. If we have to eat a large portion of the contract, so be it. Thanks Rick

No. 3: Trade Kendall Graveman to Brewers for non-roster minor league pitcher Lucas Erceg, a former top 30 prospect as a hitter who has become a reliever. This is a salary dump. If they would take Kelly, I’d prefer that move but ….?

SUMMARY

I wanted to work Rodon in as a signing but 31.6 million a year is impossible to fit into the payroll. I will predict that nobody else will put Heyward on their Free agent signing list. So, I’ve got that going for me, which probably crushes my credibility.

Grandal      18.5
Lynn           18.25
Moncada   17.8
Hendricks 14.33
Eloy            9.5
Robert        9.5
Kelly           9
Foster           .720
Garcia         5.5
Bummer     3.75
Diekman    3.5
Cease         5.3
Lopez         3.3
Kopech       2.2
Ruiz            1
Mendick     1
Anderson   12.5
Giolito        10.8
Pollock       13
Abreu         8
Cueto         4.3
Andrus       6
Heyward    .720
B.Lowe       5.250
J. Lowe         .720
Zavala          .720

A. Lineup  —Anderson would be utilized as an “athlete” playing various positions. Andrus would play short for the majority of the games (115-125 depending on production). Zavala is the backup catcher, splitting time with Yaz. Pollock gives Heyward (or Colas) a rest. Sheets gives Abreu a rest and Eloy a rest.

    1. Anderson   SAK (Swiss Army Knife)  SS, 2B, LF, RF,DH
    2. Abreu           1B
    3. B. Lowe        2B
    4. Eloy               DH
    5. Robert           CF
    6. J. Lowe          LF
    7. Grandal         C
    8. Heyward       RF
    9. Moncada       3B

Rotation: Cease, Lynn, Kopech, Cueto, Giolito
Closer: Hendricks
Set up: Lopez, Bummer, Kelly
Others: Diekman, Ruiz, Foster, Lambert, Banks
I don’t know what to do with Garcia. We have him on the roster but I would try to trade him.

It isn’t perfect but no plan is because Rick did something to the pooch that cannot be discussed on these pages. We hope that Giolito, Moncada, Robert and Eloy rebound to what we thought they could be last year. We hope Kopech takes a Cease step forward. We hope keeping Johnny Baseball and Elvis in the building improves our dedication to baseball. We hope Heyward sticks it to the Cubs by finding his stroke under the tutelage of Pedro. If not, he’s cut and Colas comes up. No harm, no foul. At least JR will be happy because he’s cheap.

TA playing various positions will allow him to showcase his athletic talents and remain hitterish. We improve our defense by having Elvis man short most of the time. This plan comes in right around 190 million

 

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GrabSomeBench

I like the Tampa deal but I doubt Heyward has anything in the tank

upnorthsox

I think he’d rather retire than work for league minimum. He gets the $24 mil either way.