Podcast: 2022 Winter Meetings Preview

Record Date: 12/4/2022


  • Mike Clevinger signing is official. How does the contract stack up compared to the market?
  • Jacob deGrom joining Texas was predicted by Josh and Jim, but the amount of years is a surprise.
  • How busy are we expecting the White Sox to be?
  • A breakdown of the Max Kepler trade rumor
  • Which free agents do we expect to sign this week
  • Possible blockbuster trades

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Josh Nelson
Josh Nelson

Josh Nelson is the host and producer of the Sox Machine Podcast. For show suggestions, guest appearances, and sponsorship opportunities, you can reach him via email at josh@soxmachine.com.

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Think you guys are actually selling Cease short… these deals are only getting bigger if he maintains what he is doing and doesnt get better or worse he hits free agency on the old side of 29… so he would be pitching in his age 30-37seasons on an 8 year deal…. think he is looking at 320 mi then which is basically the Cole deal.

Not getting my hopes up, but would be nice to sign a left hand hitting OF: brantley, bellinger, bientiendi, gallo…. paired with a larger trade for lefty hitting 2nd baseman, lowe, chisholm, croneworth (need pads to sign 1 of big 4 SS)

I dont think the sox are capable of a reynolds or murphy trade given the competition on those guys and the lack of high end prospects the sox can offer without creating a bigger hole. Of course thats also the problem with trying to acquire the aforementioned 2nd basemen.


Cease had a nice yr but he needs to string a couple more together to move into that range. Let’s see what Rodon gets which may be a better comp.


Random question: is it heard of for a team and agent to team up on some gamesmanship?

Here’s how the progression of this happened in my mind:

  • wouldn’t it be funny if the White Sox were the mystery team that’d offered Aaron Judge 9 years? –>
  • If it was the White Sox, it’s probably like $25m AAV and so $225m total. –>
  • Wait, that sounds like something they’d do, because then they could say, “seat at the table” but there’s little chance the offer would be accepted. –>
  • Who that offer is really good for is Judge, because now he can use a 9-year deal as leverage for real suitors. –>
  • I wonder what the Sox could get from his agent in return?

In this case, there’s no way that’s what going on—for several reasons, but primarily because I don’t think Judge’s agent represents anyone else of note.

But, hypothetically, could that be a thing that teams and agents do? The Sox offer helps Judge immensely, while the agent could pass some key information (“hey, if you offer this guy x years for x dollars, he’ll sign with you because he likes Chicago”). This may even be illegal, I suppose, because it’d presumably be bad for the agents other clients? Though, perhaps not necessarily so.


9 at $273 mil? That would be similar to 7 at $39 AAV but at $30 mil AAV instead (along with all the annoying shit they like to throw in like deferring $4 mil for 10 yrs so hey only $26 mil AAV).

Always fun to dream! But yeah, not a chance.


The highest hope I had for them is that Nimmo might be on their radar, and that the 5 year 110M range that has been speculated for him would work. I mean, it’s ridiculous that they could claim to not be able to afford that. He’s had an injury history so there is risk, but is just a damn good lefty hitter. But hell, he’ll probably wind up with the Astros.

Jim Margalus

I don’t think the player’s side needs a team that involved to make up that kind of scenario, because there aren’t formal bids that need to be accepted or rejected, so a bluff is a bluff is a bluff.

Maybe Judge has a nine-year offer, but it reminds me of James Shields supposedly having 5/$110M on the table (he signed for 4/$76M) or Jeff Samardzija having $100M (he signed for 5/$90M). Or sometimes that player does have that unrealistic-sounding deal, but it’s not in a place he ideally wants to sign (Robinson Cano to Seattle comes to mind). In any case, it comes to a point where the market says “If you really have that deal, sign it,” and then the hands are revealed.


Verlander to the Mets…good for us and bad for us in some respects…Gets him away from the Astros but the salary numbers are scary


2 for 86 peanuts.


Carlos Baerga had most of the terms of this deal posted on his Instagram yesterday. Kinda fun when random former players post this stuff, IDK why.


Sox should sign Baerga.


I think Mets got a lot better. As great as DeGrom is, Verlander is just a way better bet to be healthy. Texas gave an awful lot to a guy who hasn’t made 20 starts either of the past 2 years.


Trea Turner to Phillies for 11years and over $300 million. No wonder the Sox don’t want to get involved too much in free agency. There are teams that are going to regret some of these contracts.


Phillies went to the World Series last year. I’m guessing their owner doesn’t have too many regrets. It depends on what someone values. If you don’t take risks once in a while, you don’t win, basically.


Turner will be 40 or so when the Phillies are out from under his contract unless there’s details we don’t know about yet. I wouldn’t want JR to take those kinds of risks.
There is a fine line between spending smart and spending stupid.
Not too many teams can spend like that. I don’t mind a Nimmo but the money being doled out to some of these guys is pathetic.
I’m hoping Hahn makes some trades and a free agent signing.
I’m to the point where I don’t even want to know how much these guys make.

Right Size Wrong Shape

I don’t understand what’s “pathetic” about it. The Phillies want to win, and they’re willing to spend the money to do it. Players are worth what someone is willing to pay them. What’s pathetic is selling a fanbase a bill of goods, but then not once signing a big name free agent during their competitive window. The Castellanos deal looked bad most of last season. Did that deter Philly from going out and getting one of the best players on the market this offseason? Nope.


Agreed. Next offseason I’m sure Hahn and JR and Williams will be congratulating each other for once again dodging paying the best players as the Sox finish third in a lousy division. Success!


I don’t go for someone is worth what someone is willing to pay. The Yankees or Dodgers can pretty much dictate the market. Phillies are somehow in the same boat or close to it. Kind of unfair to think the Sox can keep up with them. Maybe money is spread out differently. Do the Yankees have a board of directors or is it just the Steinbrenner’s? Phillies? Dodgers? I have no idea.
I’m sure as hell not happy with the Sox as I’ve stated many times but to give an 11 year, $300 million dollars to a shortstop that’s turning 30? Not.

Right Size Wrong Shape

So it’s okay for a billionaire to lie about spending money and trying to win, only to secretly be trying to get 2nd place every year. But you draw the line at a player earning a big contract in a free market. Huh.


I would be ecstatic if the Sox “overpaid” for a player of Turner’s caliber. The Phillies surely have overpaid for a couple of players. And they went to the World Series, and added another great player today. Good for them.

I don’t think Philadelphia is a bigger market than Chicago. I don’t know about their tv deals, but in 2022 Philly was 16th in attendance, like 200K more fans than the Sox at 19th. If the Sox had a better team that gap would be slim to none. And they spent 40M more than the Sox last year. They basically have cooler owners who are making less of a profit than the Sox one would have to guess because of how much they spend. But one would have to assume that they are baseball fans themselves, and enjoy bringing the energy, fun, and excitement of a winning team to their city. Money can’t buy happiness but it can buy a way better baseball team than the boring one we are stuck with.

I applaud the Philly ownership for sharing their wealth with their city and fans, and showing that there are things in life more important to them than money. I’m sure they made their share of it anyway, just less than the Sox ownership group. And you seem to be siding with “fiscal responsiblity” or something for the Sox, as if wasting their entire rebuild doing basically nothing is preferable to taking some risks. I don’t get it. Nimmo would be nice, but he wouldn’t make this team championship caliber by himself. And they won’t even go after him. The word pathetic applies to Sox ownership, not Philadelphia or ownerships with a heart and some balls that sign good players.

I mean, if someone had an utterly stupid amount of money in such excess that it was almost meaningless, why wouldn’t they spend it in a way to maximize the happiness and joy it can bring to their city, rather than prioritize maximizing profits, or hoard it like the Sox ownership, like Gollum from Lord of the Rings?

Bonus Baby

I’d be reasonably happy with Kepler: he’s a plus OF defender (where the Sox have been so awful recently), he’s very consistently produced at least average (2 WAR) over the last 7 years, and he’s a lefty to provide balance to the lineup.

Also, his $8.5M contract for this year should really allow the Sox to not only upgrade with an average or better 2B, but also to pick up a 4th outfielder who hits lefties well. Colas would likely benefit from that already, and Kepler is also potentially a worry in that regard, as his career L/R splits are 111 wRC+ v RHP, and 73 wRC+ against LHP. It’s true that in 2022 splits slightly reversed for him: 94 against RHP and 98 against LHP, but his typical splits were even more pronounced than normal in 2021: 115 wRC+ against RHP, and only 45 wRC+ against LHP. As such, I’m assuming 2022 was more of a fluke than a sign of some trend.

This all of course is dependent on what the Sox would have to give up. But if it’s not too lopsided and doesn’t create a new hole that they can’t fill, I’d be good with it.