Record Date: 12/26/2022
- We hope it was a fun holiday weekend as Josh and Jim share their stories.
- According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the White Sox are leaning to using internal options at second base and right field to start the 2023 season.
- Why there is a very uneasy feeling about that direction for White Sox at second base.
- Why there is more reason to believe in Oscar Colas manning right field
- More thoughts about the craziness of Carlos Correa’s free agency
Sox ’23 Offense.
Question marks due to lack of ML track record- 2B, RF.
Question marks due to injury concerns- SS, CF, DH
Question marks due to poor ’22 performance- C, 3B.
Question mark around needed development- 1B
A depth chart that has Leury as the injury inf replacement and Sheets and Billy Hamilton for the OF.
IMO, it would take a 90% hit rate for this group to be playoff quality. Expecting that is wishcasting.
The whitesox always sit down at the poker table looking to draw to the inside straight.
Great insight on Romy vs fastballs, that is terrifying and has me more convinced it will be Sosa or an external option.
Nah, that’s a bit too dour. “Hit rate” isn’t binary. For example:
These things would be huge boons to this team’s playoff odds compared to last season, but I wouldn’t call any of this “wishcasting”—in fact, projections would think these outcomes rather pessimistic.
Needing to fill 104 games missed by Eloy and Luis would certainly not be a “hit”.
1) Because of who their backfill is.
2) Because those “huge boons” comes from a baseline 81 win team, finishing 11 games out, which lost its 2nd best pitcher and best offensive player, while the first place team got better.
That’s just keeping it real. Optimism with this team is completely unfounded, basically. The results keep proving that out and will continue to do so.
The reasons are not difficult to understand. Only the Rays, Pirates, Reds, and A’s have committed less money in free agency and have not signed players to bigger contracts than Beni. Winning baseball is about quality, and the Sox refuse to add any.
I agree that wouldn’t be a hit. That’s my point. You say they’d need a “90% hit rate” on those question marks. But that’s not true. For each of those question marks, we can set relatively low expectations (that is, not a “hit”) and still see significant improvements to their playoff chances. Again, look at the expectations I set for Robert, Jimenez, Grandal, and Moncada above. Those are, all else being equal, bad outcomes, but every one of them makes the Sox a fair bit better—and puts them squarely in the playoff discussion, IMO. And the more real “hits” you get (e.g., Robert plays 150+ games, Moncada gets the OPS to .800, etc.), the more margin there is for the other question marks.
Serious question marks at every single position.
‘Doin’ a heckuva job, Brownie.’
Exactly. The Sox are banking on good health and production from Moncada and Grandal (add C to your ?’s due to injury concerns) who both sucked last year and were hurt for more than 1/3 of the season, plus good health from Eloy and Robert, who both played less than half the games the past two years. Plus two unproven rookies panning out at 2b and RF, with only Colas breaking into MLB top 100 list – barely. I don’t know what the probability of those individual outcomes is, but the chances of it all working out are basically zero.
This team is a ship of fools. Will probably finish within a few games of .500, more likely on the downside of that if they don’t address 2b. Unless they are playing it cool and Segura is in the cards. Even then, it doesn’t change the prognosis of them having real problems elsewhere. This is a worse roster now than when they flopped in the playoffs twice, which was not by accident. They needed to act much differently the past two offseasons, and nothing available to them now can make up for that. But Segura would certainly help. He’s probably the only thing that can.
Here are the current odds — recently updated, as far as I can tell — for the Sox to win the division:
This site views the Sox and Guardians as equally likely to win the division. If we were talking about the Cubs — or some other team with tons of over-optimistic fans with money — I’d be much more likely to buy that the current lines are just out of whack. But we’re not talking about the Cubs or some other team, we’re talking about the White Sox. I see no reason why the judgment of the odds-makers and betting public here should be discounted.
And there are other sites that have the Sox favored over Cleveland:
From 11/7/22, giving the Sox 19:1 WS odds, and the Guardians 40:1
This site from 4 days ago: https://www.oddsshark.com/mlb/world-series-odds
… giving the Sox 25:1 WS odds, and the Guardians 33:1
I know I keep bringing betting odds up, but this should really be a reality check on all of the many people on this site that are absolutely positive that the Sox are nowhere near competing in 2023. I’m sorry, but your predictions of hopelessness and doom are just not close to reality.
ESPN has the Sox ranked 17th currently, which seems about right considering they finished tied for 16th/17th best record over all, and haven’t really done much. I suspect that in the end it will prove out that ESPN is pretty close, and the predictors you cite are the ones that are not close to reality.
Do you have a link? That sounds an awful lot like a power ranking for the 2022 team at the end of the season — not a prediction of power for 2023.
They were 16th at end of 2022, 17th here for early 2023 rankings.
Fair enough, David Schoenfield pegged the Sox for bottom half of the league in 2023.
We know both ZiPS and Steamer project them higher than that, and every betting site I’ve looked at has the Sox as at least equal odds to Cleveland to make the playoffs, but Schoenfield does take the Sox pessimist line.
I’ll just say that I’m not very convinced by Schoenfield’s take in light of the other sources pegging the Sox for better 2023 outcomes. If he’s close to right, shouldn’t there be some betting site out there that show Cleveland as big favorites over the Sox? Why would the betting market be so drastically wrong?
Betting sites set odds to bring in money bet on all sides such that the house makes money on the juice regardless of the outcome. There are no experts believing the Sox are at least as likely as the Guardians to the playoffs leading to the odds being as they are. There are experts who believe that making the Sox have as low or lower payouts for making the playoffs compared to the Guardians will keep the money bet close to even limiting the house’s exposure. This may reflect Chicago being a much bigger place than Cleveland, or the Sox have more name players, or many other things. Looking at playoff odds at betting sites to determine who is more likely to make the playoffs is putting a lot of faith in the wisdom of crowds in an area where crowds have a very spotty track record.
OK, I get the argument, but that’s exactly why I was saying that this argument would make sense to me for a team like the Cubs, with lots of giddy fans who have money to burn, but not a team like the White Sox. It’s possible that you’re still right, but I don’t buy it. I do believe that the wisdom of the crowd should be pretty good here — an opinion which based on a quick search seems to be shared:
“Notwithstanding some of the biases outlined, the fact remains that for major sports such as big soccer leagues and US major league sports, the more ‘liquid’ a market, the better the collective wisdom. Naturally, this makes it much harder for bettors to find value.”
If you’re right though, then betting right now on Cleveland to win the Central should be a high-value proposition for the smart money amongst us — and for the smart money elsewhere as well, which should soon even out any pro-Sox bias for exactly the reason that you cite on how betting sites set odds.
Also, I remember this off-hand from two days ago:
So it’s not like the betting sites and me are the only ones predicting the Sox competitive or winning in the Central this year. I can’t say that I’ve done an exhaustive search of “experts” though — I’m honestly not sure how many “experts” weighed in yet on who they think will win the central, or who those experts are.
Here’s another one:
I can’t find many AL Central projections from “experts” out there. But I am reasonably sure from all these sources that the rest of the world generally seems much more optimistic about the Sox chances than many here do (or maybe than Sox fans in general do).
I’m agnostic about the Sox chances next year. I’ve lived through many seasons of the Sox pleasantly surprising and unpleasantly disappointing.
My only point is about betting lines. I think your reference is much more relevant for sports betting that is different from the lines you are quoting now in that the crowd gets much wiser closer to an event. We’re just past Christmas and you’re looking at lines about making the MLB playoffs next September. There are major free agents who are still to be signed, trades to be made, injuries to occur and/or heal. I think the smart money that may eventually make the crowd wise is not betting on next year’s MLB playoff teams this early.
That’s totally fair. I expect that once all is said and done — and hopefully if the Sox actually get suitable depth/flexibility for 2B and the OF — the lines will remain with the Sox as at least co-favorites, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
I don’t get the sense that there is much that anybody could say or write that would interfere with what you already believe.
ESPN is pretty unbiased, and must see it as unlikely to expect major improvements from a team that has played .500 since July 2021, without any real roster upgrades. So they predict more mediocrity, instead of a much improved outcome. Understandably.
There were people last year who had the Sox as high as 5th in MLB. Finding other optimistic opinions or predictions doesn’t make them justified.
You cited one person who happens to write at ESPN. One guy. It’s no more the official position of ESPN than is anything that Steven A. Smith opines on the NBA shows where everyone argues with each other. Which makes sense, because ESPN would have about 23 totally conflicting official positions on anything related to the NBA if that were true, since they have so many people with so many different opinions.
If you pointed me to several examples of “experts” saying there’s no realistic chance for the Sox to compete in the AL Central for this or that reason, then I’d be much more likely to think your pessimism was justified — even though so many other sources (models, betting sites, other experts) disagree with you.
The fact that you keep relying on one guy who supports your pessimism — in the face of various betting sites, model projections, and other “experts” that disagree with you — suggests to me that if anyone’s position on this is inflexible and evidence-proof, it’s yours.
As I’ve written before, I hope your optimistic view proves correct; it would be great to see October baseball on the south side and even if they can’t win a pennant or World Series, to see them get an ALDS series win—particularly if they could win a clincher at home—would be thrilling.
That said, I think those odds you cite are also warped by the AL central being undeniably the weakest division in baseball: someone will win it and once they’re in the playoffs crazy things could, possibly, happen. So the betting odds account for that, hedging against the remote possibility that injuries to other teams and an uncharacteristic postseason hot streak by our pale hose or Cleveland leads to a surprise championship run.
You’ve repeatedly pointed out before that the 2021 White Sox had the 3rd best record in the AL, but that team
Played in a division without a single other team that finished above .500. On the season, they only played 57 of their 162 games vs teams who finished above .500. I did not check, but I can’t imagine any other team played that many games against sub-.500 competition. Compare that with the Blue Jays who in 2021 technically finished 2 games behind the White Sox in the AL with 91 wins; the Jays, however, played 89 games vs teams who finished the season over .500. This upcoming season’s balanced schedule is yet another reason to feel doubtful that this White Sox roster, even if a number of key components stay healthy and bounce back to 2021 performances, will be a legit threat in the AL. I think the smart money is on Hahn’s creation continuing to be exposed for the mediocre club they’ve been all along.
Maybe that’s dour. But it’s a reality-based dour, informed by a decade of Rick Hahn concocted teams getting some preseason love in some circles before being outclassed by the truly championship level teams in the league.
The Sox had the weakest strength of schedule in MLB in 2021 as you pointed out, and were only a couple games ahead of the wild card teams. Had they played in the AL East, without benefit of weakest schedule, they would have lost at least a few more games easily and not even made the playoffs. That’s why this team was so over rated – they were never that good, or truly one of the top teams in the AL, in the first place. They were really the 6th or 7th best team in the AL in 2021, not the third. To be fair, it’s not like there is a huge chasm of difference between 3rd and 6th/7th. But they were much closer to being just short of making the playoffs than being one of the top teams in the AL, in reality. Hence why they predictably flopped so badly vs the Astros, and finished 25 behind them last year. A woefully inadequate roster with weaknesses that have not been addressed in 3 years.
Oh, I agree with you that the Sox are much less likely to win the World Series than several other teams. If everything goes as well as possible between now and the beginning of the season, I’d expect them to be seen as maybe the 8th likeliest or so in the league to with the WS.
I also agree that the Central is easily the weakest AL division, and the Sox would have a much harder time making the playoffs in either of the other divisions.
I brought up the betting odds mainly to counter the assertion in the initial post that the Sox are some sort of big underdog to win the Central Division. I don’t think that they are. I actually think they’ll be favorites to win the division by season’s start. The betting lines do support those propositions.
So, I think there’s a really good chance that they make the playoffs. And once there, although by no means favorites, they have a shot if only because baseball playoffs can often be more like crap-shoots than, say, NBA playoffs.
I also agree with you that it would be fun to see them win a series, even if they got stomped right after that.
Re: Romy Gonzalez. Fegan said in his article today and him and Colas have been doing hitting drills at Mike Tosar’s house 3x/week. I’ll guess we’ll see what he looks like in Spring Training.
I don’t at all like the idea of starting the season with internal options at 2B or RF. I wish they’d add an established contributor at both positions.
But, I do feel about as good about internal options at 2B as RF. The reason is depth. I like Colas more than any single internal option at 2B—a lot more, even. But behind Colas, there’s nothing. Seriously, who’s next? Yoelki? Hamilton? Reyes? At least at 2B, you have several interesting options you can try, even if I wouldn’t bet on any of them being a playable regular. Romy and Sosa are both intruging enough to try, but Jose Rodriguez has to be considerd a live option by mid-season, too, if he’s healthy (and, if we’re getting crazy, how about Colson Montgomery? Though, I realize that’s a way outside chance).
So I guess it comes down to this: do you feel better about Colas being a good regular by mid-season or any one of Romy/Sosa/Rodriguez? For me, I’d probably take the push.
I don’t think there’s enough quantity or quality to solve either.
The Sox fan’s lament
Would you like to sign to sign an all-star?
Who both fields and hits the ball far
And be better off than you are
Or would you rather be Rick Hahn?
Rick Hahn is a GM with distaste for long years
Always balks at the prices he hears
His stock in trade is tired double-speak
It’s why he’s on a stubborn losing streak
And by the way, if you hate to play the fool
Go out and sign someone who’s cool
Oh would you like to sign to sign an all-star?
Who both fields and hits the ball far
And be better off than you are
Or would you rather be the White Sox?
The White Sox play their baseball in a big market town
But build their teams like a clueless, silly clown
Instead of relieving the holes they create
They think another reliever makes them grate
But if your goal is just a seat at the table
You won’t win big – you won’t be able
So please go sign us another all-star!
Who both fields and hits the ball far
Upgrade – make us better than we are
Build a winning White Sox team
It’s a new year can’t a fella have a dream?
I think one thing that get’s overlooked with this org is that it had a whole cohort of outfielders basically bust. Rutherford, Aldolfo, Basabe, Walker, Gonzalez* etc. Just incredible that none of them could have even been considered as bench/depth pieces.
*I guess the jury is still out on Gonzalez, but of course his success is happening in another org.
To me, Segura is the only acceptable option at 2b. Period. He’s been a 3 WAR level player the past couple years while spending time on the DL last year. After him, there is a big dropoff, including Andrus – whose history the past few years prior to 2022 was pretty shaky. Internal options at 2b… groan. But I’ll say this, I’d rather watch Romy or Sosa all year no matter how much they struggle, than see Leury’s sorry ass playing every day.
Oh well, this is a shabby ownership and a shabby team. If they are realistic about their chances this year and what they’ve done to this team, maybe they are looking at this year as one to evaluate what they have at 2b and RF, with an eye toward better chances in a couple years when they have 110M coming off the books, and know what their needs are. Signing Segura would give them a decent chance at being competitive in a hapless division until that time. Surely they could try for a 2 year deal. But they’re probably too cheap to sign him, even with dollars literally coming right into Jerry’s pocket from Disney and Cohen’s luxury tax payment.
They never develop marginal position players into legit major league players. They can develop a can’t miss first rounder like Tim, but a guy with a background like Sosa or Romy will likely not become anything here. They don’t know how to draft and develop diamonds in the rough
Nothing about Anderson was can’t-miss when he was drafted.
100%, juco kid with speed and obvious talent but no strike zone discipline no real feel for ss, only had a limited baseball background… TA is literally their best job in development in decades.
That was my perception – though I wasn’t following their farm closely when Tim was drafted. Anderson represents one of the few legitimate wins of this front office related to scouting and development: a player who unlocked potential and gained material prospect/player value while in the system.
I’ve been trying to hone my argument and I think the above framing best suits my perspective: this front office has very rarely been able to materially increase prospect value among players in their system. Yes, they did develop Cease and Jimenez, but those two players were already top 100 prospects when we acquired them. Montgomery looks like a potential win, assuming he maintains his trajectory. I want to believe in guys like Jose Rodriguez and Bryan Ramos – they would fit the bill as relatively unheralded prospects who materially gain value – but time will tell.
On the other hand, we spent 1st round picks on players like Collins and Fulmer who generated a mix of flat and ultimately declining prospect value. I’d throw Burger in, but he’s a tough case – the injury issues couldn’t be predicted and the bat may still play in the majors, but the fact that he was a risk to stick at 3B was well documented.
High picks like Kelley, Thompson, Dalquist, and Kath seem to only be losing value (and in the case of Dalquist, seem to be slipping off the prospect radar entirely). There’s a lot of value to be had in selling high on prospects before their value craters. I’m still holding out hope for all of these sliding prospects, but they’re not going to be headlining and trades that materially improve the MLB roster at this point.
It’d be amazing if Jerry’s Boys could actually uncover some gems that show enough to be useful trade chips – then we might not feel like any prospect with a glimmer of hope is untouchable. That would go a long way toward closing roster gaps via trades.
He was drafted 17th which is beyond can’t miss territory but it’s still solidly a 1st round pick and where most were projecting him to go.
Here’s an actual nails it scouting report:
to add to what jim said… madrigal and burger were supposed to be the safest type of prospects— proven college hitters— and that did not exactly work as “can’t miss”. Vaughn too, for that matter.
To be fair, Madrigal can hit and Vaughn’s trajectory is acceptable.
Madrigal hasn’t been able to muster league average offense – career 92 wRC+. Vaughn has been slightly above average, but the jury is very much still out.
Madrigal has missed 100 games each of the past two seasons, and hasn’t hit righties well so far. He would be a perfect fit for this team!
Agreed, but he can hit and his injuries weren’t projectable for drafting.
I ask out of ignorance, but does wRC+ disfavor slap hitters like Madrigal over run producers? As to Vaughn, i was referencing trajectory, factoring in the possible oppression of offensive numbers by playing so out of position.
I’m not intimately familiar with the formulas involved, but stats like wRC+ try to balance factors like on base ability with power to try to distill offensive contributions into a single number. To make up for not having power, a hitter would have to hit a LOT of singles and get on base at a good clip to achieve a decent number. Advanced stats aside, that’s always been the question about Madrigal – can he get on base often enough to compensate for not providing any power? So far, not really. Saying he “can hit” is largely theoretical rather than evidence-based, as is the theory that Vaughn’s offense will suddenly advance now that he won’t be expected to play in the outfield.
I’m not going to start throwing Madrigal stats around because they are so limited, however, .340 and .305 with the Sox aren’t theoretical. I don’t believe my eyes were deceived either.
I agree that an advancement in Vaughn through position change is theoretical, but my comment was, his trajectory is acceptable, and it was meant relative for his age and circumstance.
A high batting average without a much higher OBP or any power behind it isn’t that valuable, hence the metrics that say he’s been a below average hitter.
Again, that’s not what I said. It’s a little tiring that you spin my comments to better suit your position.
What spin? If you try to use batting average to prove your case, it deserves to have more context added.
My comment was, Madrigal can hit. You then measured my comment with offensive production, wRC+, OBP, Power and value, to make some other point. As bobsquad pointed out, there are limitations to the wRC+ metric. It also probably doesn’t take into account, ability to go deep in counts or ability to hit with 2 strikes, both of which have value, although I’m referring to on the field value rather than $ contract value. His bat to ball skills are as advertised, which was my original point to a-t.
With Vaughn, my comment was, Vaughn’s trajectory is acceptable. I went on to elaborate with, “possible oppression of offensive numbers by playing so out of position”. That’s not, “the theory that Vaughn’s offense will suddenly advance now that he won’t be expected to play in the outfield”, which is how you spun my comment.
I’m not trying to offend and was ready to drop it, but you asked and I think your responses reframed my comments to something I never intended, hence the word, spin.
wRC+ is based on wOBA, which weights bases roughly as follows:
1 walk = 0.78 single
1 double = 1.43 singles
1 triple = 1.82 singles
1 homer = 2.36 singles
It largely disfavors a hitter like Madrigal, who has only had 26 extra base hits in his career (about 5% of his at bats, 8.4% was league avg. in 2022). But it also gives him a slight boost over a guy with an equal OBP who swings less.
The bat-to-ball skills were as advertised, but I do think we expected more doubles and SBs on the basepaths.
Thanks for the explanation, makes sense.
If the Sox roll with Colas in RF and Remy/Sosa at 2B they are going into the season with a team that is objectively significantly worse than the last 2 seasons. Those teams were clearly not championship teams.
It seems fair to say that the Sox no longer have any ambition to build a championship team. Arguably the Sox brass all knew they never really had that ambition, but it would be fun to see someone point it out to their faces which makes it a shame that Soxfest was canceled.
Also, if you can’t afford to play major league players at RF and 2B and you already have blackholes at C and 3B…it’s clearly time to sell off players and rebuild again. Not doing that is simply trying to keep a con job going.
You are correct, they were not championship level in 2020/21 and have a worse roster now. This ownership has no championship aspirations. Although I’m sure they would love to win miraculously without signing good players, which we all know is impossible.
I don’t think they will rebuild, but I do think they realize that there is nothing they can do to be championship level this year. They might simply be hoping that Colas and/or a 2b pans out, with an eye toward 2024/25. As far as this year goes, they blew it already and sealed their fate by doing nothing for two straight winters.
Everything you said makes perfect sense, except them keeping an eye toward 24/25. If they have no championship aspirations now, then they certainly won’t have them in 24/25 either. We will lose Giolito, Lynn, Clevinger, Moncada, Grandal, Hendriks, TA and others- that’s over $100M in payroll. Do you think Jerry will all of a sudden spend at the top of the market then? Unless Jerry dies, sells the team, or fires Hahn and replaces him with someone from a winning organization who has complete control over the roster building, then those two offseasons will be spent add more players from the scrap heap, all while Eloy, Robert, Cease and Kopech race toward free agency. The only way this team can win now or in the future is to catch lightning in a bottle, like 2005, but even that year they added Dye, Iguchi, Pods and AJ. They are very content with being mired in mediocrity.
We should have known when they cancelled Soxfest that they had no intention of making the moves needed to contend for a title. They are a bunch of cowards who are afraid to face the real fans, who can see through all of their lies.
The sad truth is that you’re probably right – which gives fans no hope, basically. It does seem almost pointless to follow this team until Jerry dies or sells. My only thinking is that if they got exceptionally lucky and either RF or 2b turns into a plus, somehow (I have hope for Colas), then they have filled that position at no cost and with all the money coming off the books, could conceivably address other needs.
But you’re right, I mean if they weren’t going to do anything in the FA market the prior two years (and nothing big this year, even knowing that all that money is coming off the books very soon, and that next year’s FA crop is crap), when would they ever. An ownership this awful just isn’t conducive to good teams, basically. Oh well, hoping the Bears lose their last two so that they get a very high draft pick, and can build around Fields! That’s the lone hope I have for Chicago sports, since I can’t bring myself to root for the Cubs.
I too have high hopes for Colas- I think he would be better than any of the low rent FAs available. But that is their lightning in a bottle approach, hoping that Colas and Sosa are very good and can fill rf/2b without spending money. I give the Bears credit. They went out and got a GM from a championship team and gave him total control, and McCaskey has gotten out of the way and let him run the operation. I think we will see the fruits of this effort this offseason. They could very well be playoff quality as early as next year if he can get 5 or 6 studs through the draft/FA. And like you, there is no way I could root for the Cubs.
Championship caliber this team is not, but you’d probably have to draw an outcome from the 80th percentile of pessimism to be significantly worse than the last 2 years at those spots. The White Sox got 0.0 WAR from 2B and -0.6 WAR from RF last season; 1.3 WAR from 2B (entirely from Madrigal’s abbreviated performance) and 0.4 WAR from RF the season before.
When I try to watch the youtube video of the podcast, I only get audio with at logo and title in the video. Is there is a trick to seeing the graphics Josh refers to?
I’m totally fine with Colas and Romy/Sosa at RF/2b actually. If you accept that this team is where it is, not lamenting “what could have been”, they are not close to championship caliber. Nor are they a move or two away from that. They’ve moved backwards since 2020 instead of forward. So they might as well use this season as a springboard, see if a couple of their young players are ready or not, and if Lynn or Giolito are any good, hopefully trade one or both mid season.
I think the only way this team ever gets to a championship level, if that is even possible, is if they get good value for the host of players leaving in a year or two. That would be Giolito/Lynn this year, plus TA, Liam, Graveman, and Moncada next year. They should be able to get legit prospects for some of those guys. I know most people don’t think they will ever spend, but with a TON of salaries being shed in the next two years, they might spend some. They did sign Benintendi, to 5 years, perhaps an indication that they might be willing to spend a little bit in the future once they have a ton of free space. If they were totally apathetic, why even bother signing him at all. Perhaps the fact that they gave him 5 years means they could be looking past what will probably be a lost season this year toward a time when they might be able to spend some, and hopefully be a lot smarter this time around – about both FA’s, and extensions. That’s about all I got as far as anything hopeful concerning this team. It’s why I’ve lost so much interest. This team is BORING. Colas and whoever they put at 2b will probably be one of the only reasons I might tune in much in 2023. I hope at least one of them is a pleasant surprise. And that the only trades they make are getting young, controllable talent in return for players who won’t be here much longer.
All that is is rebuild 3. Trade their players for intriguing prospects and hope they spend to supplement them. We just spent the last 2+ years waiting to supplement their young core and they didn’t. Why would that change with the next young core. Let’s face it- we’re stuck until Jerry gets rid of the team or the earth gets rid of Jerry.
Jery selling or the earth getting rid of Jerry — he’s 87 — is more likely 4 years from now than 1-2 years from now. If we’re really just hoping for that, and there is no hope otherwise, then the plan should be to trade everyone (Eloy, Cease, and Robert included), for guys who are likely to be MLB ready (or on the team with years of control left) in 4 years. I wouldn’t pull the trigger til they prove themselves non-competitive near the trade deadline, but if they are non-competitive then, I don’t know why they shouldn’t do this.
I don’t get why it has to be all or nothing. Why can’t they keep the guys who will be under contract for a while (Cease, Eloy, Robert, Vaughn, Kopech, Benintendi, Crochet), and hope that at least a couple guys out of Montgomery, Colas, Ramos, Sosa turn out to be viable players to help them, to give them a good core to add to when their payroll is liberated from 100 million or whatever after 2024?
I don’t see where a poor or mediocre first half in 2023, which is not unlikely and might lead them to trade guys like Giolito/Lynn since they will be gone after the season, would mean they must trade Cease, Robert, etc as well.
The issue is that history indicates that the Sox will not spend that $100M. If the Sox perform poorly on 2023, it’s more likely the payroll will be rolled back.
Even if they do spend, they aren’t going to go in on free agents that require long contracts or even very high single year contracts. You might get another Benintendi.
That $100M in freed up payroll can’t recuse a team with a bottom 5 farm system and self-imposed FA contract constraints that prevent them from signing top tier free agents.
This is exactly where the problem lies. Just because they save $100M in payroll doesn’t mean they are going to reinvest that $100M in future payroll. That’s not how this inept organization works. And even if they did spend most of it, if Hahn is doing the spending, it will be on Adam Eaton, Encarnacion, Leury-types, not superstars.
I don’t understand why people assume Leury sticks. Without Tony, they’ll DFA him in a heartbeat if a better option exists….ala Eaton.
God forbid that Leury plays enough to DFA. He’s fine as a bench player, just not as a starter. I wouldn’t have had any negative bias toward him if he didn’t play a ridiculous amount, or hit in stupid spots in the batting order.
There is no excuse for them not to sign Segura, really. Too much chance that 2b will be a complete hole otherwise.
Yeah I think that’s right. Leury was a disaster in 2022–like almost everyone else on this roster. But he’s got a long track record of being useful, and should be again, assuming he’s deployed well.
I saw a terrible Leury in 2022. Out of position, not going to the correct position on batted balls (base or ball), things that scream, doesn’t know his responsibilities. He was being given the chance of his career with Tony and failed abysmally. You are who the scoreboard says you are.
His glove is nothing special anywhere, and at this point Leury is probably just blocking better infield and outfield depth options. A DFA is on the horizon unless he impresses in ST.
Eaton was a one year deal. Leury still has two years and is owed $11 million. They will seldom pay someone $11 million to play – I doubt they’ll pay that price to make someone go away,
The Sox ate 4.1M to DFA Eaton for half a season without a great replacement. Leury’s impact would be 5.5M per year for 2 years. I don’t think it’s that much of a stretch to believe that the FO would shed him if it’s obvious another player is a significant upgrade to a 31 year old declining in performance.
Taking into account this rosters injury history, bench utility player may be a significant position over the course of the season.
The Reds just ate $22MM to let go of Mike Moustakas, and the Sox themselves ate $14MM last season to let go of Keuchel.
But maybe those were more easily stomached because they were defensible signings at the time, unlike Leury.
Pretty sure that’s not how it works – I believe if they were to DFA Leury, they’d owe him $11 million immediately. I find it highly improbable they’d be willing to pay that price tag. Also, based on that contract, this organization clearly sees Leury differently than we do, so are they really going to jettison him without a clear starter at 2B? I think we’re stuck with him in 2023. The DFA becomes a possibility in 2024 with less time and money on the deal.
I didn’t know that the full contract is immediately payable upon release, thanks. I don’t think we really know how the rest of the FO views Leury, since TLR had such influence.
The solution to the 2b issue is right underneath our noses. If Segura is looking for at least $17m, to stay within the Sox “Cheapness” philosophy, sign Elvis Andrus ($12-$15m). First off, he is a much better defensive player than TA. Second, because of the non-shift rules this year, a second baseman with more range will be advantageous. Move TA to 2b, giving him more time to field and throw from that position. We get to keep TA’s offensive skills and hide somewhat his defensive limitations. Everybody wins, especially the pitchers.