While Rick Hahn said the trade market, the White Sox’s activity has thus far been limited to free agents with the signings of Mike Clevinger and (unofficially) Andrew Benintendi.
But now that the top 22 free agents on MLB Trade Rumors’ rankings have found homes, the teams seeking more certainty in their bullpens may have nowhere else to turn.
The Mets opened the rumor mill on Tuesday with a nascent-stage rumor involving Liam Hendriks, which was backed by Jon Heyman.
The Mets seemed like a real possibility before they extended impending free agent closer Edwin Diaz for five years and $102 million. They still may be, what with Steve Cohen indulging all luxuries this winter. They just reached a deal with Carlos Correa for 12 years and $315 million immediately after the Giants ran into issues with Correa’s physical as they tried to wrap up a 13-year, $350 million deal, but it’s hard to find a great return from the Mets that doesn’t involve Jeff McNeil, who hit .326/.382/.454 and approached 6 WAR by both metrics. Maybe they longer need McNeil, but when you look at this infield, you can see why they’d want him.
The Mets have other useful infielders to deal — Luis Guillorme and Eduardo Escobar — but neither would represent the best the White Sox could do with Hendriks, especially with the Dodgers, Braves and Phillies all needing bullpen help.
Speaking of the Mets, Michael Conforto’s market is starting to stir. The Rangers appear to be in closest contact per the Dallas Morning News, but Ken Rosenthal cited the Mets and Blue Jays among other interested teams.
Rosenthal also said teams had concerns about Conforto’s throwing arm…
Some of the teams considering free-agent outfielder Michael Conforto are concerned about his ability to throw at full strength, citing the surgery he underwent on his right shoulder last April. If Conforto requires time at designated hitter, he might be less attractive to clubs that want more of a full-time outfielder.
Boras, however, said Conforto is throwing at 150 feet, putting him ahead of players who are just starting to get ready for the season.
… and DH time is harder to accommodate if Eloy Jiménez needs it to play a full season. This sounds like it could just as well be a leverage ploy, but given Conforto’s extended absence, there’s an outside chance that he could be Lonzo Baseball, which keeps me from being fully aboard that trolley.
These Hendriks rumors are frustrating. If the front office is willing to move an All Star level closer, they better be getting back a strong everyday 2B.
Agree 100%. If you want Liam, who is the best player available at his position, you’re going to have to pay.
There is zero incentive for the Sox to make a bad deal unless Jerry McDuck is telling Hahn to shed salary. You absolutely only trade him for a great return, or you wait and see what you can get at the AS break.
I would hang on to Hendriks until the all-star game. And if the team is the same dumpster fire as last year, move him for prospects to begin rebuild 2.0. I think trading him now isn’t helpful.
This wouldn’t be rebuild 2.0. It would be at least rebuild 3, and if Hahn is leading it, I want no part of it. Getting a quality 2nd baseman and dealing from a position of strength is the way to go.
If they need to re-allocate funds then the guy who should be traded to solve that problem is Gravemen
If they are serious about winning in 2023 then I dont see the point of a lateral move in trading Hendrix an elite closer to plug a different hole such as 2nd base when you could sign a decent 2nd basemen
If they have their eyes to the future then they certainly shouldnt be looking at players coming back with only a year or two years of control.
The only reason to talk to the mets is if the sox arent going to try to contend in 2023 and Hendrix could get a return back they cant turn down like a Bety or Parade type prospect of course several other teams may be open to a prospect exchange as well and I dont see Hendrix’s value coming down in the next few months, sox may as well give 2023 a shot and adjust accordingly at the deadline
So the question is, what makes the Sox a better team?
Its a rebalancing act… im not sure either way is gonna be significantly better then the other but 1 probably has the potential for a higher output given how flukey bullpens can be.
That’s what I’m thinking. A lineup of:
looks pretty balanced, and potentially very good.
The question is, can you win a game you never lead?
I think closers are overvalued. Some fans seem to think that the low WAR numbers for closers compared to other positions are a flaw in WAR. I think it reflects how closers are only useful at all if the team is doing well and that there are lots of guys who can do a closer’s job.
Over the course of 2021-22, Hendriks produced 4.3 bWAR for the Sox while Moncada (!) produced 4.9 bWAR. If you can find a team that will trade a position player for a closer, make the deal!!
I don’t think they’re overvalued generally. I think the White Sox specifically overvalue them because Rick didn’t like the angry voicemails he got in ’13 and/or ’14.
You think that way until the White Sox start blowing up leads in the 9th constantly. In 2021, the Phillies were a good team that barely make it to.500, missed the playoff because they led the Majors with an ugly 34 blown saves.
I believe in the value of a good bullpen just not high-priced closers.
The Phillies were better in 2022 (NL Pennant) and did it with ten different pitchers recording saves (4 of those pitchers had 5 or more saves, with no one with more than 12).
Well barely, and you could say that they advanced from the WC round because St Louis didn’t have a good closer. But yeah, Schwarber was the smarter pickup. Someone should tell Hahn that as he chose Hendriks over Schwarber, and Kimbrel over Duvall, and Pederson, And Soler, and Rosario. In fact there’s an idea, when you have a problem with injured OF maybe blugeoning the issue with answers is better than smartest guying it with something completely unrelated. Come to think of it, I guess that’s what Philly did with their BP issue too.
Probably 2 seeing as 1 is impossible as the Mets wouldn’t trade McNeill. It’s almost embarrassing to Sox fans that people are even bringing that up.
I suppose Busch would be possible. But McNeill is an absolute pipe dream
Not nearly as embarrassing as Sox fans on Twitter asking for McCann and Escobar in return for Hendriks.
This should tell you all you need to know about the current value of James McCann:
It was impossible that the Mets would get Correa and yet 28 GMs woke up to that world this morning. Right now, today, this minute between the Mets Blitzkrieg and the Christmas blizzard there may be things possible for Hahn that weren’t possible yesterday and wont be tomorrow. If there’s even the possibility that they can get McNeill then that changes any discussions they’ve had with other teams and may open others. Could Cronenworth be possible? It was unlikely yesterday but today Preller, who is all in, has to contend with the Mets with Correa and now possibly Hendricks. How about the Dodgers? They were willing to let Hahn dangle for less but now Hahn comes back with Busch+ and that’s only good for right now. Same with St Louis, and Philly, and the Braves, the Jays, the Rays. When times like these happen, if you’re not ready to act then you are a loser. Hahn should have 15 different conversations going on right now. If/when the Mets publicly refute a McNeill deal, and they have no reason to do that while they have Hahn on the line for Escobar, then tomorrow becomes yesterday and Hahn goes back to getting played like Kimbrel for Pollock but today things are possible. Let’s make a deal man.
Totally agree. Now now now.
So knowing how the Sox operate, Hahn probably took the day off.
Hahn has done pretty well extracting maximum trade value from premium chips. The game of chicken he played with Quintana was brilliant. Hahn has failed on many levels, but a Hendriks trade in this moment should be in his wheelhouse.
It doesn’t even need to be Hendricks who gets traded in the end. He could lead with Hendricks and settle with a Graveman deal because once Hendricks is gone Graveman’s off the table and vise verse but nothing gets done without pressure.
Anyhow, as roke1960 hinted, he’s probably in Cancun today with his cellphone off. Such is Sox life.
Obviously, possible trade returns make anyone potentially available. But I agree that the focus should be on dealing Graveman or Kelly, and on simply getting rid of Diekman and his salary, rather than dealing Hendriks. Hendriks wants to be out there with the game on the line, and Graveman can not pitch two days in a row. If the team is trying to contend, which do you want? Also, I like Reynaldo, but jumping to the conclusion that he is ready to close is wildly optimistic.
So you choose option 2. And you make very good points. Anyone out there choose option 1?
I don’t think it’s as far a leap for Reylo as portrayed. He handled high leverage pretty well last year, IMHO. To qualify my statement, I am from the camp that closers are often overvalued and contrary to SS’s sentiment, I believe more pitchers can accomplish the task than are given the chance.
This aligns with my thinking. This team is trying to thread the needle and just squeeze out enough wins to get to the playoffs. It seems like having an elite closer like Liam is fundamental to doing that. If we were a 95 win team on paper it may make sense to move him
I’m fascinated to see how the Mets will manager their 40-man roster. I don’t know if they would be interested in an Escobar-Joe Kelly swap, but that would break their infield logjam without running into the hurdles Jim identified for a Hendriks deal.
Eh. Escobar might well be Harrison 2.0, which would be fine for some people. But I think it’s jogging in place, at best. I am holding out hope for Merrifield, and NOT for Hendriks.
Escobar, unlike Harrison, can hit from the left side and has more power. To get off Joe Kelly’s space on the 40-man, I’d take that. (For Liam Hendriks, it would be a poor return.)
Escobar on the 2022 Sox would have strong Gio Gonzalez 2020 vibes.
Whit Merrifield had a .673 OPS in 2022. Josh Harrison had a .687 OPS. I’m not sure at this point in his career that Merrifield is much better than Harrison 2.0.
It is a fair concern, but Merrifield is a bit younger, he’s fairly cheap, and if you could get him for one of our overpriced relievers, I think he would be worth a shot. In 2024, I think the White Sox believe that Jose Rodriguez might be the second baseman. But, yeah, Merrifield is not a solid answer to the second base issue. He is a stopgap that is attainable without a long-term cost.
And also gives you flexibility in RF for 2023 which is important.
Whit Merrifield is getting old, and he was also bad last year. His only pro is that he’s kind of versatile, but he can’t play CF or SS and we already have a crappy utility player in Leury.
I’m fine with trading Hendriks if they bring back real value. Guys like Escobar or McCann should NOT be considered.
The McCann talk is wild , dude was bad in 2021 and horrific in 2022, and is still owed like another 20+ mil…. his value is shockingly negative. They should almost have to pair him with a big time prospect to unload him.
If they want a garbage for garbage deal it should be Kelly, Diekman, Garcia for McCann
“…it should be Kelly, Diekman, Garcia for McCann”
Yippie yi yo kayah Buckaroo! Damn I like that trade, then DFA McCann. If that gets done, I’ll vote for you for Mayor of SoxMachine!
It would be the most White Sox thing ever to trade Liam for crappy players a team would give away if they could.
There would be no point in signing Conforto if he doesn’t look 100% ready to play the OF. This team doesn’t need a left-handed DH, and I would much prefer to just roll with Colas. Let Conforto learn how to swing a bat again with some other team.
Lonzo Baseball really got me.
The Mets are so far beyond the lux tax line that they’re paying about 90% on overages. Correa also locks up 3B for them for the next forever. Which means a really wacky trade could work:
CL Liam Hendriks
3B prosp. Brett Baty
2B/3B Eduardo Escobar
C James McCann
~$13M in cash, covering much of McCann/Escobar’s contracts
Baty is the big prize here, a lefty-swinging 3B with huge power but respectable hit tools and average to a little above defense. Correa’s presence makes him a little superfluous. The Sox get him for both Hendriks and helping the Mets dump McCann; Escobar is the vet 2B we need but is also helping Cohen avoid some unnecessary tax to afford his stars.
The interesting part with McCann and Escobar and the NYM tax situation. Because the Mets are paying so much in lux tax, the $21.5M owed to those two for ‘23 is $20M in lux tax (bc McCann’s deal is slightly back-loaded) and thus “really” costs NYM $21.5M + 0.9*$20M = $39.5M! Thus: if they take on Hendriks’ $14M ($14.5M lux tax for his final two years), he effectively costs NYM about $27M for ‘23. $39.5M – $27M =~ $13M.
On the Sox’s side of ledger (by payroll commitment):
Baty +min (basically free)
= -$5M. So this trade actually SAVES about $5M for the Sox in costs, but it’s neutral for the Mets, because they’re paying taxes on payroll but not on cash they send to other teams.
In the end, the Sox get the lefty hitting 2B they want, a pretty good lefty thumper 3B prospect who’s about ready, and some financial relief for ‘22, paradoxically, at the price of having to pay McCann $12M for ‘23.
But for ’23, that is essentially Hendriks for Escobar, which makes the Sox worse. Baty isn’t going to play as long as Moncada is there, and McCann has become the catching version of Leury.
McCann’s defensive value is enough that he’s still above 0 fWAR, and I think that the Rate is very friendly to his high-contact medium-pop game, so I’m not overly concerned there.
Trading Moncada is the obvious solution here.
If the Mets pay those salaries, the $ goes against their salary cap #.
Not that Cohen seems to care about spending $.
Although he may care about giving up a top 20 prospect, for a guy who could end up the 7th inning guy in that stacked ‘pen.
If they officially retain part of the contract, yes, they do. But sending cash as part of a trade is a different thing, and I believe it’s exempt. And Hendriks is not a 7th inning guy! he’s very clearly the 2nd best reliever in that pen… and frankly he’s less volatile than Diaz too. He’s not very much far behind Diaz.
It’s not like sending cash (cash considerations) in a prospect trade. It’s covering the contract. It counts against the cap.
Ottavino was better last year.
Diaz was WAY better.
Wish we had an owner like that! Is Elon interested in owning a baseball team?
Send him a tweet to ask him.
The stumbler for the Mets on that one may be Correa’s IR history and need of a quality backup.
I’d rather they not trade Hendricks but if they do then the Mets are the perfect trade partner. And, I’d love to get Brett Baty back in return. He’s gonna be a great LH bat and the Sox could play him at 2B or elsewhere until Moncada’s contract is up.
Or, if the Sox were able to be creative and willing to spend a couple of bucks they could do very well taking Escobar, McCann and Carrasco off their hands and maybe unloading Leury Garcia.
I do not understand the “keep Hendriks” movement at all. The relief pitcher market is tight now, and elite closers are a hot commodity. Everyone has been saying this for weeks, and everyone seems to believe it. If that’s true, then the Sox absolutely, positively should trade Hendriks for the best package that fills their needs at 2B, OF, and/or C.
Why? Because the return will almost assuredly be better than the value of keeping Hendriks on the team. His value is not astronomically high in a vacuum. It’s so high right now only because of the market. Otherwise, his value is exactly what it would normally be to have a closer of his quality on the team. And if they don’t take advantage of that high market value, the Sox are left with the much lower value of just Hendriks helping the team win.
I’m so confident his trade value is higher than his value to the Sox because — as everyone also seems to agree, and have been saying for weeks — the Sox bullpen is pretty good even with Hendriks out of the mix. The same is not true at all for 2B, 4th OF, and C. Add in the hot closer market, and it just stands to reason that they should be able to better fill their team needs by trading Hendriks rather than keeping him.
The only thing that derails this logic is if there are no good trade fits with the teams that need closers. This might be true for the Mets, though I personally think a deal centered around Guillorme and a top prospect or two would still be a good idea. And here are where some other likely trade candidates (and the Sox) stand with their bullpens (just trying to get a broad idea, I’m pulling fWAR projections for the top 5 non-Hendriks pitchers from each team’s depth chart page):
Sox: 0.9, 0.5, 0.5, 0.5, 0.2
Yankees: 0.9, 0.6, 0.4, 0.3, 0.2
Jays: 1, 0.6, 0.3, 0.3, 0.2
Dodgers: 1, 0.6, 0.6, 0.6, 0.2
Cards: 1.4, 0.7, 0.5, 0.2
Phillies: 1.4, 0.8, 0.5, 0.4, 0.1
Mets: 2.1, 0.6, 0.4, 0.2, 0.1
As a general matter, it looks like the Sox, Yankees, Jays, and Dodgers have roughly equal bullpens right now — excluding Hendriks. But the Sox have glaring needs at other spots, and all three of the other teams seem to have useful fits for the Sox that they may not need quite so much, for example:
The rest of the teams seem to have better non-Hendriks pens than the Sox, but there still may be trade fits where the other team has players the Sox need more than they do, like:
Maybe some of this is related to a weird psychological/economic phenomenon called the “endowment effect,” which just means that in experiments, people act as if things they already own have more value than things they might gain, even if the things are rationally of equal value (as in, people will do more to keep a dollar than to gain it): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endowment_effect
So maybe it’s just that we already have Hendriks, and are afraid of losing him even if we might be getting back more value in the abstract.
But a more likely reason I expect is that people just think that having an “elite closer” in general is much more important than it really is. I’m not sure what to say about that, except things like: The Sox had an elite closer last year, and it didn’t do them much good. Also, the Sox may well have a solid closer already waiting in the wings in the current bullpen, but we’ll never know unless we try it out.
Anyway, I’m interested to hear other explanations for why people would not want to trade Hendriks.
I would only trade Hendricks if it got us at least a 2.5 fWAR 2B or RF AND freed up enough $ to spend on a FA with upside at a position of need.
I’m looking at this in a player out/player in way. Replacing Harrison, Hendricks, Abreu and Cueto with (for example)Eduardo Escobar + prospect, Crochet, Benintendi and Clevinger does not inspire confidence in a ’23 playoff run.
I also think people here are way overvaluing Hendricks.
The reason we are valuiing Hendriks so high is because the rest of the league is valuing relievers very high. Look at the slaries being paid to some pretty ordinary relievers. Hendriks at 2/$30M is a great deal.
Yes, but that’s only value in the market. If they don’t trade him, they don’t get his market value.
My expectation is that his market value is a bit lower than what many of us hope — even though it’s still a bunch higher than the value of just keeping him.
In response to PauliePaulie, your trade criteria still seem to overvalue Hendriks to me. I’m only aware of 3 models that project his 2023 fWAR value (all on the Fangraphs website), and for him they are: Steamer (1.3 fWAR), Zips (1.7 fWAR), and FGDC (1.9 fWAR). Why would we require 2.5 fWAR back in order to make it a good deal? Really, more than 2.5 fWAR back in your scenario, since we get enough money freed up to sign someone like Adam Duvall as 4th OF.
If the Sox had their other team needs all filled, or maybe just a reasonable FA signing away from filling them, then it’d make more sense to me to want to keep Hendriks. But we’re just not that team right now.
Trades aren’t next year’s projected fWAR for next year’s projected fWAR.
You’re right on the money. There is no other reliever available right now that is as valuable as Hendricks. And several good teams could really use him in their bullpen. I still think the most logical choice is the Dodgers, with Michael Busch coming to the Sox. I would assume Graterol, Daniel Hudson or Blake Treinen would be the Dodgers closer right now. Hendriks is a huge improvement over any of those three. The Sox really need to solve 2nd base after years of trying to patch it up. I thought Madrigal was the solution, but his inability to stay healthy helped get him out of town. And unless the Mets are willing to overpay to get Liam and the Sox can get McNeil, I’m not taking Escobar or even Brett Baty for him.
All the projections and inflated endowments are are nice to consider but you have to remember the “White Sox effect” where guys the team bring in end up forgetting how to play baseball when they put on a uniform. Hendricks is one of the rare guys who actually showed up and kept their end of the bargain, and two of the others the team let walk this off-season. So of course Sox fans will want to keep a guy who hasn’t gone full Adam Dunn. You can project a McNeil or Torres being better value on paper but this team makes a living of never following those projections half the time for good or bad.
Plus, if there’s one positive in this goofy offseason of spending its that the AL Central as a whole isnt very involved in it. I dont know how sustainable the way Cleveland won last year is, the Tigers and Royals spun their wheels a bit with their own rebuilds and the Twins have even more questions then the Sox. And while it would be nice to spend with the Mets or Dodgers the reality is the owner will never want to reach that 200 million payroll mark and the team is to much of a blackberry in an iphone world to make the most of working in the margins like the Rays. Its a huge compromise in defeat but i would be happy with the team making runs at the division and falling short in the playoffs then blowing it up again for “Rick Hahn: The rebuild 3, this time for sure.” that will reach the same restrictions this current team has.
I dont think Jerry or the rest of the front office cares what the Mets, Rangers or Yankees do. They only care to keep close to the rest of this rock fight of a division, and while its annoying to follow the Sox are still right in it.
If the Sox trade Liam in December, they need a current MLB everyday player in return. If its the Mets, then they need McNeil as compensation. They could even take on McCann’s contract at that point. You only trade him for a ludicrous return from a real organization trying to buy an all-star team. Yanks/Mets/Dodgers/Padres are all in an arms race, so settling on Eduardo Escobar doesn’t do it. Torres from the Yanks, or Lux from the Dodgers works too.
Trading your all-star top tier closer before spring training (The Sox probably win 75 games without him in 2022) is another White Flag while all the big market teams are spending large. Trading one of your best players for prospects in December is an awful look. There will be plenty of time to flip every movable asset for prospects on July 1st, and if the first half goes poorly, there will be plenty of good teams willing to move their best prospects. The White Sox are sitting on a gold mine of marketable players that could bring back pretty good prospects from some of best farm systems: TA, Lynn, Gio, Liam, Graveman, Bummer. Doing it now for prospects is a punt.
The return is the return as far as I can tell.
As far as timing, IMO it makes much more sense to trade him immediately, while there are still available players (Adam Duvall, Segura, etc.) that we would want to pick up after making the trade. If we wait til Spring, our chance for those guys is gone.
McNeil posted a 5.7 WAR last year compared to 1.7 for Liam. McNeil is enormously more valuable based on every metric, as is any good position player compared to a closer. McNeil is a bleeping great player. Well loved in NY. He is going nowhere.
Escobar is available, and like it or not is the best mlb level 2b they are going to get off the Mets. Maybe they can get him for Kelly.
Folks have already disliked this idea, but I am telling you, Guillorme would be a better pickup than Escobar.
Adjusted to a 100 game season, Steamer projects Escobar for 1.3 fWAR and Guillorme for 1.8 fWAR. Guillorme is no joke. On top of that: (1) he’s only 28, while Escobar will be 34 next season; (2) he’s left handed, and his career wRC+ against RHP is 111, while Escobar, who is a switch hitter, has a career wRC+ against RHP of only 92; (3) he looks like an above-average defender at 2B, and around average at SS and 3B, while Escobar at this point is basically 3B only, and he’s not good at that either; (4) he’s estimated for $1.5M in arbitration, while Escobar is under contract for $9M; and (5) he wouldn’t be a free agent until 2026, while the Sox would have only two years of control over Escobar.
I kind of doubt the Mets want to let go of Guillorme b/c he’s important to their current team for all these reasons, but maybe they would for Hendriks.
They just spent a billion dollars to buy a WS in the next 2-3 years, I think they can overpay on one more deal. Ludicrous is Liam for McNeil, but Liam moves their needle way more than McNeil, especially in a 5 or 7 game playoff. The Sox are in a position where they can get way over market or they don’t make the deal. Market rate deals will be had at the trading deadline, now is the time to get double or triple the value. McNeil/Torres or hold. Liam helps the Sox win a division too.
If I thought, as you suggest, that the Sox would win only 75 games without him, then I would agree. I assume you project them now for something like 77-78 wins, although 2-3 WAR for him seems a little high.
But even ZiPS (the most pessimistic model) projected them for 83-84 wins (after the Clevinger signing but before the Benintendi signing), and I’m pegging them for more wins than that. Given that, I’d be happiest if they just made their team better right now, and went with an attempt to compete this year.
I think the Dodgers need for Hendriks is more acute than that of other teams. They really need him on the back end. For the Mets he’s just one more star. Plus now the Dodgers may feel they need to keep pace.
I think the Dodgers are lightly punting this year cause they’re letting the payroll reset a little and dont know how the Bauer contract is going to be handled for their books. At least thats what i thought one reason why they’ve been sitting this off-season out was over.
Lonzo baseBall, brilliant
I’m starting to hope that they trade Hendriks just so that I can stop seeing Sox fans misspell Hendriks.
If the Sox do trade Liam Hendriks, I hope in a few years they sign Kyle Hendricks so we can call him Kyle Hendriks.
As long as someone on the team uses Karl Hendricks’s “The Ballad of Bill Lee” as walkup music, it’ll all be good.
I’m hoping someone will use Jimi Hendrix covering Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” as a walkup song but I don’t expect it to happen.
I also would be in favor of the Sox hiring George Hendrick as a coach whose entire job was to tell Vaughn that he was born too late because players who could hit but couldn’t field used to be allowed to play the outfield and even get MVP votes as long as they didn’t get close enough to flyballs to be charged with more than 5 errors or so in a season. Hendrick is alive and younger than Dusty Baker by a few months. He and Baker had very similar careers over the same time period except Dusty was a better fielder and Hendrick had his name misspelled more often.
Yankees could use Hendriks and wouldn’t mind making a big splash to compete with the Mets. Maybe the Sox send them Liam for a nice package of Lyle Mouton, Carlos Martinez and Jhonny Nunez.
I have to believe the Yankees are feeling the heat from both the Mets and the simple fact they haven’t won it all since ’09. They need a lock down closer and if we get Gleyber Torres we are finally set at 2nd base. Either the Yankees/Torres or Dodgers/Gavin Lux sure makes sense to me. Lopez gets his shot as closer and JR puts money back in his pocket that he spent on Benintendi
Torres/Lux makes sense to you because you’re not thinking about it from the other team’s perspective! I’m not downplaying Liam’s value, but I think everybody is out of their mind if they think they are getting allstar level position players like McNeil or Torres in return. Closers aren’t worth as much as position players, in WAR terms, or salaries. I mean it’s not close, and has never been close. McNeil and Torres posted WAR’s between 2 and 3.5 times what Liam did last year. The Sox aren’t getting either for Liam except in somebody’s fantasy.
Lux is the starting SS on LA now which probably rules him out. Now Busch might be possible because he isn’t a starter on the Dodgers. I’d be extremely happy with that. I’m sure there are several other teams/possibilities, or possibilities with the NY teams that don’t include their all star level starting 2b’s.
I agree with you that every day players are more valuable than closers. I saw some rumors about the Yankees being open to move Torres — perhaps in a trade with Seattle—and then in another thread proposed a Hendrix and prospect for Torres deal.
It may be that such a trade is pure fantasy. But we also need to acknowledge that trades are not simply made value for value. The Yankees with an almost 2WAR defensive shortstop and many highly regarded young middle infielders like their top prospect Volpe and like Cabrera and Peraza may indeed, given their bullpen thinness and lack of a sure fire closer, see Hendriks as more valuable to their quest to win a World Series this year or next year than Torres. Hendriks crushed Torres’s WAR production in 2020 and 2021. So the Yankees may like that consistency in exchange for
a player who they can replace who
had an excellent bounce back year in 2022 but who could regress back to 2021 performance, as well.
The Mets and McNeil don’t make much sense: they re-signed their premier closer and don’t seem to have as many middle infield prospects.
As someone mentioned above, I’d prefer the Sox not trade Hendriks unless they get an offer that feels
like it has too much upside, given our thin everyday starter roster at 2nd and RF, to reject.
I’m with you on Lux, but Torres is a real possibility, primarily because the Yankees also have Oswaldo Peraza, DJ Lemahieu and other young 2B options — and secondarily b/c Torres is set to make just shy of $10M this year in arbitration, so a Hendriks trade doesn’t bump their payroll that much.
Even a Yankees beat writer suggested trading Torres and another piece for Hendriks:
Of course, his idea got mocked as too good for the White Sox, but someone proposing a version of the same trade that was better from the Yankees perspective — Hendriks and Crochet for Torres, also got mocked as proposing a deal way too good for the Yankees:
Maybe the Yankees can get something better from someone else for Torres, but given the needs and rosters of the two teams, it looks like it could be a good Sox/Yankees trade fit (at least as the main framework with a piece or two added in either direction if necessary).
I still think Torres is probably the Yanks best 2b, and that they will likely keep him. Or want something else in addition to Liam in a trade. We’ll see, you softened my belief in the possibility of Torres, although that rumor didn’t come from any reliable team sources from either side, so I have to believe is speculative even if it makes some sense.
Since Torres will be gone after 2024, I think Busch would be much better for the team in the long run just because he will be cheap and controllable for longer, and is importantly a lefty hitter. Torres hits right handed, and doesn’t hit great vs RHP (OPS about .700 for 2021-22 combined). Torres would still be better vs RHP than a nothing hitter like Garcia, but he does not really help their biggest and most important weakness in a big way. Their flops vs the A’s and Astros in the playoffs were not by accident, and had a lot to do with there nemesis of hitting vs RHP. Torres would certainly help their chances to win the Central, but I don’t think he is enough to make this team a good bet for a deep October run if they won the central.
Busch is really the ideal trade candidate from my perspective, b/c of his being a lefty hitter plus longer contract. He sounds like a really good mlb ready prospect. They absolutely need to add guys who can rake vs RHP. I think ideally they should look to add players who will be around after 2024 when they have an astounding amount of salary coming off the books, and might be able put themselves in a better situation than they are now with more intelligent signings, hopefully. With 100M coming off the books, they might have some willingness to get involved with some free agents better than Beni. Maybe. I hope that their chances in 2025 might prove to be better than they are right now if they do much smarter things this time around. We’ll see.
I think the Sox should definitely trade Hendriks for the Mets’ infield depth:
Nobody needs to worry about McCann anymore. He was traded to Baltimore to backup A.R. Thank god
Now when the Mets trade somebody like that with cash considerations, it’s essentially free money for them actually, no? By trading McCann, his salary doesn’t count toward the luxury tax. So instead of paying his salary plus the tax, they just get him off the books and send his salary as cash consideration to Baltimore, saving the luxury tax on his salary, which is basically his salary (or 90 percent of it). So they literally save money by paying other teams to take albatross salaries they don’t want, weirdly. I think this is true, somebody pls correct me if I don’t understand how this works.
You wonder if they might give Escobar to the Sox for free, and pay the Sox to take him. He’s not the 2b I want, but is a good backup infielder if they don’t have to give up anything for him. Or for Kelly.
Y’all crack me up. Rumors of Liam being dealt, Sox go from their biggest contract in franchise hx from Yas to Benintendi (a few more million to set the new high water mark) and the Sox fan base here is abuzz. Back to chasing that carrot are we? Seriously, folks? You’ve been duped so many times and you’re seemingly falling right back in line with ostensible giddy optimistic potentialities of a return from dealing our highest leverage allstar bullpen arm during a ‘contention window’. Maybe it’s just me, but something is wrong with this picture. Whatever return you’re hoping for doesn’t bode well for this ‘23 squad any way you look at it. Getting prospects? Cool, we’re supposed to be winning now. Getting an over the hill Eduardo Escobar type? Cool, we add another contender to our top flop prospect for the ‘23 szn. Yeah he’s another left handed hitter option we need with some power, but at what cost? Subtracting the pen’s finest piece for an age 34 szn second baseman? Whaaa?
Highlight of 2022 szn was seeing the epic banner traverse the bleachers at the Rate with a pointed call to action—SELL THE TEAM—. Let’s please not forget that so soon. I know these are exciting times with this capitalist system’s favorite money making holiday (Xmas). We all should know by now no highly anticipated gift will ever be under that Sox tree so long as Reinsdorf, erm sorry the Sox ownership group, is the head of this snake.
How did Graveman fair in closing situations last year? Aaron Bummer, nope. Kelly, 😬. Crochet? (Ugh so glad we spent a first round pick on a bullpen arm who never profiled well to be a starting pitcher in the MLB). He needs to get back on the field healthy first and foremost before declaring him our closer. Lopez? His first year in the bullpen was 2022 and some think he’s a good fit as a closer? It is Sox formula, however, to put players in the best possible position to fail, so it does seem within the realm of possibility they go down this path. Regardless of what happens with Hendriks, please stow that would-be ticket money for a rainy day, not a day at the ballpark. They don’t deserve your hard earned money until they do. I truly believe the Sox faithful here will absolutely know when that time comes. And let me tell ya, this ain’t it! 😂
Sox baseball hasn’t shown to be entertainment for some time now. After all, that is what you’re paying for, right? Entertainment
I’m not seeing much of this giddy optimism you are worried about. I see dour, dourer, and dourest.
Your broad brush of painting failed closers is flawed. Bummer hasn’t been good in any role in 2 years, Kelly was a dumpster fire, and I wonder how many of Graveman’s failures at closing were on a second consecutive pitching day, which he sucks in?
If you want to go on to infer neither Reylo or Crochet are legitimate possibilities, please offer reasons because it seems you just waved them off dismissively. Sure, there are the Matt Thorntons of the world, but there’s the Rollie Fingers also.
I am in your camp of non supporting, but it’ll be a lot easier this year from my new home in Kansas 🙂 But not having “excitement” about our prospects of being a contender doesn’t diminish the daily joy of listening to reason with a good hit of hopium here.
Graveman was 6-for-7 in actual save situations last year, and 16-for-19 when combining his days in Seattle. That’s fine.
He also has five other blown saves attributed to him, but those came in the seventh and eighth innings when he would’ve never been expected to record the actual save in the ninth. When he’s been given the ninth inning the last two years, he’s been average.
During the season, I complained about NBC Sports Chicago using saves/save opportunities for all relievers, because every reliever who wasn’t a closer looked terrible in that category, and Steve Stone would make an offhand comment about how a reliever hadn’t fared well in ninth innings, which was seldom ever the case when they noted a guy was 2-for-7 or something. Around the halfway point of the season, they switched to using holds for non-closers. Graveman led the league in that category.
White Sox Twitter, you’ve done it again. Was Hahn not clear after the Joc Pederson saga that your trade speculation is the reason he is kept from making upgrades to the roster?
So we’ve gone from multiple titles and parades to hoping for bouncebacks. Could a bounceback happen? I don’t know but we better hang on to our BP just in case…