Podcast: Grading the White Sox 2023 Offseason

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Record Date: 1/18/2023

Rundown:

  • With a payroll of around $180 million and not having many trade assets, it seems the White Sox are done adding this offseason. What grade do Rick Hahn and the White Sox front office deserve with their offseason activity? Josh and Jim share their grades.
  • MLB Network ranked Eloy Jimenez as the 10th-best left fielder in MLB. Yes, you read that right.
  • Follow-up discussion on Jim’s column about the White Sox bullpen status without Liam Hendriks.
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knoxfire30

Was very tempted to go F, but I think its a D.

The positives:

Bientendi forcing Eloy to DH and Vaughn to 1B is a 3 for 1 exchange and obviously the biggest move of the off season

The 2nd biggest exchange on the good side is probably Grifol for LaRussa… even having no baseline for Grifol its almost impossible to imagine he could be worse then LaRussa

The negatives:

Year 3 or 4 of not addressing RF and 2nd base is absolutely criminal. In house options may exist but any contending team not planning on filling starting lineup positions with proven commodities is asking for disaster.

Overall lack of depth in the SP available after the opening day 5 is underwhelming and knowing the innings limit that Clevinger and Kopech may face its impossible to assume that the sox wont be scrambling to find reliable innings from the starting rotation. The positional player depth is atrocious. For a team banged up ALL THE TIME, who already is taking a chance starting guys who are unproven or need big bounce backs at 2nd, C, and RF its pretty easy to imagine that they will have to over use bums like Luery Garcia when players falter out of the gate or get hurt.

Spending less money in 2023 then 2022 ( your peak contend year) while also taking in a 30 mil windfall from Disney is inexcusable. It defies logic to once again sit out the top tier of the free agent market. Minimal long term commitments exist for this franchise, and plenty of money is coming off the books after 2023.

Sox didnt even attempt to get a player like Dylan Cease an extension…. again with little to no future money committed why hasnt a perennial cy young candidate being approached by what could be a team friendly extension deal???

After the dust has settled on this off season its hard to see how a team minus Abreu, Andrus, Cueto, and Harrison, is somehow better off with only the additions of Clevinger and AB. 2022 started as world series or bust, 2023 seems to be about hoping for bounce backs just to simply win a bad division with no one expecting a post season run where you would be able to beat the astros, yanks, dodgers, mets type elite teams….

HallofFrank

Why do you think the Sox “didn’t even attempt to get a player like Dylan Cease an extension?”

A “D” is a reasonable grade (though I think Jim’s D+ is right) so I’m not balking at that. But I’ll never understand why White Sox fans think they know everything that Rick Hahn has or hasn’t tried to do. The missing premise seems to be: “If I haven’t heard about this thing, then it couldn’t have happened.” The fact is: you (and, I assume, the vast majority of the people reading this) have virtually no clue what kinds of conversations the White Sox have had with Dylan Cease nor, for that matter, what they are planning with Cease.

After all, Spring Training is usually the time for extensions: Sale, Quintana, Eaton, Anderson, Bummer, Moncada, Eloy—all signed their extensions between February 22nd and March 24th. Robert is the only exception in the last decade, that I could find.

knoxfire30

because yesterday or the day before dylan cease said they havent talked about an extension at all

i hope they do talk to him in spring, but the grade is as of jan 19th….

Last edited 1 year ago by knoxfire30
HallofFrank

I don’t think Cease saying, “As far as I know, there is nothing in the works in that regard right now” is proof that the Sox are uninterested in an extension or that it hasn’t been mentioned to him.

But it doesn’t matter. The point is: Exension talks happen in the spring. So a grade as of Jan 19th shouldn’t include extension talks. There’s plenty to criticize. Why criticize them for something that hasn’t happened yet?

ChiSoxND12

So instead we’re supposed to assume Hahn has been making legitimate efforts to extend him (and other measures that would ostensibly improve the club)? Again: benefit of the damn doubt. He merits zero of it

HallofFrank

Nope. Believe or assume whatever you want about Hahn and his efforts. Just don’t grade him on it. Grade him on what he has done. This is what’s so bizarre about it, to me: there’s so much to be critical of, why pick something like this? It’s grasping at straws when Sox fans definitely don’t need to grasp at straws.

LamarHoyt_oncrack

We may not know everything, but we do know that Cease is a Boras client. He is eyeing a $200+ payday, at minimum, when he hits free agency, with the possibility of playing for a much better team as well. We all know that the Sox will never give anybody that kind of money, and that Boras would never in a million years let one of his clients take the pittance that the Sox would offer.

Last edited 1 year ago by LamarHoyt_oncrack
a-t

I think Grifol and co. represent an excellent chance at a team-wide rebound over TLR & Menechino et al. Not that it solves 2B, but the Sox are sunk with any 2B if their stars don’t produce like they’re expected to.

as I’ve expressed before, I think the “can’t beat top teams in postseason” narrative is silly. The playoffs are not entirely, but largely, a crapshoot, as Moneyball puts it. Getting hot at the right time is more important than anything… besides not being the Minnesota Twins, anyways. The most important part of team construction for playoff success is top-end starting pitching, and the Sox should be pretty excellent there.

Augusto Barojas

The playoffs are not a crapshoot when your team hasn’t been able to hit right handed pitching for 3 years and has done nothing about it, and a team like the Jays has 5 right handed starters. Guardians do as well for that matter, which doesn’t bode well in head to head after a 7-12 record last year against them.

The Sox have a glaring weakness, which was critically important to address for obvious reasons. Because of Hahn’s genius they have ignored it for 3 years instead (and Jose was one of their best hitters vs RHP), and it will leave them at a disadvantage in every postseason series they play, if many uncertain things go right simultaneously for them to even get there. The “anything can happen in the playoffs” crowd has made comparisons to the Phillies last year because they weren’t a great team. The Phillies had Schwarber and Harper, without either of whom they wouldn’t have won an October series. The Sox can’t boast of a single truly dangerous left handed hitter on their entire roster. Unless Colas is great, which is really the only way this team has any future whatsoever.

bobsquad

I think it is possible to disapprove of the job Hahn has done in that regard and still acknowledge the marginal improvements that this team should have over last year’s. Benintendi had a 132 wRC+ against righties last year. And if his presence in the outfield can help keep Eloy healthier even a month out of the season, he had a wRC+ of 145 against righties last year himself.

Colas had a .999 OPS against righties in the minors last year. I expect Sosa to get the majority of the PT at 2B (if not right out of the gate) and if he can improve his contact, he doesn’t look to be a liability — he had a .888 OPS against righties in the minors last season.

Augusto Barojas

Replacing Abreu with Benintendi makes them worse vs RHP, not better. Abreu hits RHP and has power. Eloy can hit righties, sure (if he is healthy), but they need more than him. As a team this is a worse group than they had in 2020 when Abreu was MVP, and even with Eloy AND Abreu they couldn’t hit righties as a team very well then, either.

As someone else pointed out, this team is number two this offseason in WAR lost vs added. If their record improves it will only be because of Grifol and guys coming back from injuries. They have, for the third straight offseason, made no improvements to the roster net/net.

ChiSoxND12

“Pretty excellent” seems like a pretty large exaggeration, IMO.

Also unfair to loop Menechino in the same sentence as someone as powerful and destructively disastrous as TLR.

White Sox Wade

What would the Sox do? Take the 5 pitchers at $1 and pocket the remaining $10 for Jerry’s kids…

a-t

No active pitchers, eg Sale, listed

ChiSoxND12

I hate “brand Twitter” more than almost anything. Especially when it’s the Sox. Just pandering nonsense. You traded away your best ever SP to watch him close out a WS elsewhere bc you failed so spectacularly. Don’t insult us

Adam

I’m a sucker for this type of stuff. I’d go

Buehrle
Black Jack
Contreras
Fernandez
Alvarez

Foulkelore

A nice combination of my two favorite Sox rotations: 1993 and 2005.

Augusto Barojas

F minus. A complete betrayal of the fanbase to get 30M from Disney and pocket the money without even getting a halfway decent 2b like Segura who would have cost like 1/4 of that. Jerry and friends not only pocketed the money – they reduced the payroll!

What I don’t understand is why they even bothered to sign Benintendi and Clevinger. They will pay them 23M this year. I don’t know how many fans in attendance it takes to make $23M, but if they think that the difference those two will make at the gate will be worth that, they are out of their minds. Fans are putting up billboards trying to shame Jerry into selling the team. People are sick of their bullshit and some like myself will not buy a ticket under any circumstances now. The amount of additional gate revenue that getting Beni/Clevinger should bring is probably going to be much closer to zero than $23M. The people who will pay money to see them now will go no matter what. I mean is there anybody who would not have gone to a game who is going to show up now to support this clown show just because they added those two mediocre players? As cheap as they are, it made no sense to sign either of them really, as far as economics go.

If everything went right for this team enough to win this hapless division, this is still a deeply flawed roster that can’t hit right handed pitching and would look silly in the playoffs again. Which is why even if they were in first place on Sept 1 I wouldn’t pay for a ticket. 3 straight winters of doing next to nothing, and pocketing 30M from Disney. After cancelling Soxfest, because they don’t have the balls to face the fans. Jerry and Hahn can go fuck themselves.

Per your question about why sign Clevinger/Benintendi, it’s not to sell more tix but to keep existing season package owners from dropping out. It gives just the minimal amount of hope that they are indeed trying. Nothing has ever changed since Jerry made that statement that 2nd place is just the right amount of effort to keep fans interested.

Foulkelore

After your posts all offseason, I think you should have come in here and posted a B with no explanation given.

As Cirensica

I graded them with a C in Josh’s poll, but then I remembered that it would be like validating & acknowledging Rick Hahn. Hahn does not deserve any of that. He is a moron with luck.

Last edited 1 year ago by As Cirensica
mohoney

This fish rots from the head, and Rick Hahn is not the head.

I wonder how he would do working under an owner who just set the budget and got the hell out of the way, like good owners do…

jorgefabregas

The team is number 2 behind the Dodgers in terms of net 2022 WAR lost vs. added. Yes, such a measure doesn’t capture the benefit of getting Vaughn out of the outfield, but it’s extremely uninspiring when the team already wasn’t good enough last year and is supposedly going for it.

BenwithVen

I dunno, an F? They still have the same holes that they did at the end of 2021 and for the 2nd year in a row the FO didn’t bother to address them EVEN AFTER ACKNOWLEDGING THEM. Robert and Eloy have to play at least 130 games for this team to go anywhere, and really, what are the chances of that?

HallofFrank

An F is too low. They may have the same “holes” at 2B and RF, but they definitely don’t have the same weaknesses as they did at the end of 2021. They’ve addressed OF defense, players playing in their right position, the platoon problem, and on-field management, to name a few.

Those may not be “holes” (strictly speaking), but they were clear problems—massive problems, even—that have been more or less addressed. It seems bizarre to me to give them an F when they’ve clearly addressed several of the central problems of the previous year.

To be clear, I’m not defending the offseason. Jim’s D+ seems about right.

BenwithVen

I’m sorry, but I’m not going to applaud this team for doing the bare minimum of getting players to play at their natural positions. The fact that this needs to be brought up as a positive is ridiculous in its own right. They had holes that they’ve identified for 2 years now, and they still haven’t been addressed. Oh, and this roster is still paper thin in the middle of a contention window. They get an F.

HallofFrank

Okay, so, you addressed one of the four weaknesses I named. But it’s not like the White Sox are the only team to play players outside of their natural position. Almost every team does this (yes, even the good ones). Fact remains: it was a weakness in 2021 that they’ve fixed this offseason

Plus, giving the offseason a “D+” is hardly “applauding this team.” There actually is space between “applause” and “F.”

Augusto Barojas

The 30M Disney windfall coupled with lowering the payroll and not even getting a cheap ~10M 2b shows just how phony and cheap they are, to the core. They are one of the worst ownerships in MLB, and probably professional sports. You can find worse, but still the point stands.

peanutsNcrackerjack

The way they addressed the out-of-position defense is to let Abreu go. They could have done that simply by sitting him last year. This is not a positive outcome from off season maneuvers.

HallofFrank

Abreu out moves one of Vaughn/Sheets from the OF to 1B. But it doesn’t change the other’s position or Eloy in LF. They needed to add a LF and RF to fix the other two. And they are adding a RF (Colas), even if it’s not an ideal or stable fix.

peanutsNcrackerjack

They had a left fielder last year, and no right fielder. Now they have a left fielder and no right fielder.

a-t

Huh? They didn’t exactly have a competent LF and RF last year being sat for Abreu/Vaughn. Sheets can’t defend, Pollock’s bat turned into a noodle, and Eloy can’t stay healthy with full-time OF work. Abreu or no, Benintendi and Colás look a lot better than the options available there last year.

peanutsNcrackerjack

We are evaluating off-seasons here, right? This time last year we were happy to have added Pollack as a seasoned good glove/good bat upgrade. Now we have the same MO for left field. Benintendi>Pollack? Ok. marginal upgrade. Look, I hope Colas is ROTY in 2023, but the guy barely cracks the top 100 prospects and he’s 24 years old. The alternative is a pile of cast-offs. The FO quit on this rebuild and it stinks. No applause here for this off-season.

a-t

Benintendi is a lot younger than Pollock, eg not at risk of suddenly being cooked like all mid-30s players are, and a lefty. Also not as historically injury-prone. Colás is definitely not a slam dunk, but again… it’s about being a better option than Sheets, lol. I’m not exactly praising the FO, just disagreeing that merely sitting Vaughn or Abreu would have fixed the issue of guys out of position in ‘22.

Last edited 1 year ago by a-t
As Cirensica

I don’t think Benintendi is a marginal upgrade over Pollock.

mikeschach

“We’re not going to just be able to throw money at the problem. So, you have to get creative and the trade market may be a more fruitful path for us to go as opposed to free agency in the coming months,”

Well, the free agent market was certainly not too fruitful. 1 good outfielder for two gaping holes and 1 formerly good pitcher who didn’t look too great coming back from injury.

Still no major league right fielder or second baseman, not to mention alarming lack of depth, pretty much everywhere you look.

And everywhere you look you are also praying for bounce-back years from underperforming and/or over-injured incumbents.

So, Mr. Hahn, put your creative where your mouth is, since money clearly isn’t forthcoming. For once in this window, put together a complete team. Compete. Why is that so difficult?

Bonus Baby

Gave them a D so far, but if they actually made a decent trade or two before the season I might upgrade to a B.

1) Benintendi is not a great player, but he’s a great signing for them. An average or above-average LF is a nice improvement in and of itself, but getting Eloy to DH alone (if they do that) is huge, and Vaughn to 1B is also good. All-in-all, Benintendi instead of Abreu is a big improvement.

2) Clevinger is a bit disappointing, but he seems at least kind of OK. I was really hoping for someone like Chris Bassitt. That would have required freeing up payroll, so I always wanted them to push trading Hendriks much harder and much earlier than they did. I kind of expect they could have and should have just traded him at the winter meetings so they had clear payroll available for a quality SP.

3) You could add Grifol and company here, but I don’t really give them credit for this because they should have and could have easily done something similar 2 years ago. It’d be like giving them credit for the truly horrific management they chose to have before this year.

4) Still no decent 4th OF option and a wing and a prayer at 2B leave this in D range. There’s really just no excuse for not doing better here given all that they’ve been through for the last few years. Depth is important, and Leury really should never play another game in a Sox uniform. If they managed to get Laureano and Kemp or better (harder now that Hendriks is out, but still doable IMO), then I’d give them a B solely because they would at least look like a real, complete MLB team — without bubble gum and rubber bands penciled in for key backup positions.

Separately, it’s blatantly obvious that if this year’s team does not compete, they won’t be competing for a few years at the least. They really should just blow it up, everything and everyone more senior than Colas, and look to 4 years from now or so.

a-t

I wouldn’t say everything and everyone more senior than Colas, lol. Definitely Robert, probably Cease, Kopech, Vaughn, Benintendi can stay.

Bonus Baby

OK, I do agree with Benintendi, at least if he doesn’t have a sudden explosion of production that makes him way more valuable than I think he is. But I still think everyone else should be dealt, so long as they’re getting traded for good value (like not right now for most of the core players, since they’re coming off a huge down year).

https://www.spotrac.com/mlb/chicago-white-sox/yearly/payroll/

The problem is that when I imagine the next year the Sox might be competitive, I look at their multi-year payroll summaries, and considering that they probably can’t count on all that much help from the minors in the next 3 years or so (outside of the top 2-3 guys), I have a tough time imagining them being competitive before 2026.

You could say, “well, if they make some good free agent signings” — but that’s exactly what they seem unlikely to do for the next couple of years. I think the anti-JR and Co. crowd is right that until he and they are gone, we can’t expect a contending team that has free agent acquisitions as its core, or even a large part of its core.

So if they are unlikely to be competitive before 2026, then how important is it to have 1 year of Eloy and Vaughn, and 2 years of Robert? Kopech and Cease will already be unrestricted free agents at that point.

And what to me is realistically the only way they are likely to get a critical mass of rising minor leaguers ready to compete in 2026 is if they make the most use of their veteran trade capital soon. And the most trade capital is likely to be specifically Cease, Robert, and Eloy.

All things considered, the Sox did generally fine in their last rebuild before the year 2020 or 2021. This time around, they’d have even more trade capital to build a strong minor league system, and it could be hoped that Jr. and Co. are most likely gone by 2026, so they might actually be more active on the FA market by then.

That’s why I think, if they’re not competitive now, everything should generally go — specifically the most valuable players.

a-t

I don’t think that a total teardown is all that necessary. You can reload quicker by trading Lynn, Giolito, Grandal, much of the bullpen, Moncada and Clevinger if any takers, and then of course TA for a big haul. Target guys closer to the bigs than not, and you can have a Fun Exciting Team the next year with Ramos, Rodriguez, and Montgomery debuting in ‘24. The outfield is mostly set long-term with Benni/Robert/Colás, and you’ve got an interesting, talented infield mix with the forementioned infield prospects. Then you target mostly but not exclusively pitching prospects in trading away the vets. Vaughn and Eloy remain as offensive bastions. Payroll commitments are pretty low, and while I don’t expect them to suddenly be signing Harper etc, you could fill C or rotation & bullpen spots capably. Tho, in this vision, they’re supplying Katz with a cornucopia of pitching talent, so I‘d expect the rotation & bullpen to be largely homegrown.

Bonus Baby

I’m not saying this is an impossible plan, but I am saying that I still don’t see it as likely — at least not to compete within the 2024-25 time frame.

The rotation would be: Cease and Kopech (both through 2025 only), and then ?, ?, ?.

Position players: Benintendi LF, Robert CF, Colas RF,
Ramos 3B, Montgomery SS, Rodriguez/Sosa 2B, Vaughn 1B, C ?. I assume Eloy DH. Only C is a total mystery, but all of RF, one of 3B or SS, and 2B could also turn out to need FA improvements.

Bullpen is largely a ?, though I think we can assume a few of them will be on the team or in the minors already.

As far as your guys to trade, I assume they’ll wait until the trade deadline to see if they’re competitive or not, and by that time Lynn, Giolito, Grandal and Clevinger may not have a ton of value. TA will have value, but still only 1.5 seasons worth, which may net less than we’d hope.

As far as trade acquisitions, is this really enough to expect more than 1 (maybe 2 if lucky) guys who are able to start and contribute in 2024-25? I kind of doubt it.

And Montgomery/Ramos really may be better kept in the minors until at least the end of 2024.

Payroll for Liam (2024 only), Eloy, Robert, Benintendi, Graveman, Leury, and Bummer is around $67M. Min salaries for the rest of the 26-man roster gets you to around $82M. That is a nice low payroll figure, but is it really enough to fill all the above holes and have them legitimately compete in 2024-25? I doubt it. Three 2-war per year SP and one C would probably cost at least another $65M ($147 total), and you may still need several more guys in the BP and even at IF or RF depending on performances of guys coming up.

Given what we just went through with team payroll, this seems like it’s not leaving much margin for error. Yeah, you could do that, but it could well lead to a not-particularly competitive team in 2024-25, and then not much in the way of additional guys coming up from the minors for 2026-27. I’d rather just shoot for 2026 and get the much better restocking of the farm system you’d be sure to get if you also traded Robert, Eloy and Cease.

ChiSoxND12

I heard Tony Kemp & Ramon Laureano might be available?

mohoney

The big question:

Is moving Andrew Vaughn to 1B actually “good?”

The guy has now put up a sub-.700 OPS in the 2nd half 2 years in a row.

It seems like the only way we will actually see any “stars” in this rebuild is if Wil Cordero punches us in the face.

a-t

D+ seems right.

Benintendi to lock down LF from the left side and Vaughn to 1B is the cold-hearted, correct move. I think for their specific OF needs— steady & solid (not risky), competent defense, lefty, not that old— Benintendi was the 3rd-best FA outfielder available. Judge and Nimmo would have been better obviously, but I kinda doubt they could have signed Nimmo. Cohen‘s not about to be outbid on money for guys in general, and imo paying significantly more for Nimmo than the Mets did would not have been wise. So imo that move is a B to A-, depending on your feelings about Benintendi himself.

Clevinger looked like an overpay at first, but it’s become apparent since that there’s just inflation this offseason. I like the general move of snagging a reclamation project for Katz for 5th starter, in lieu of my much preferred choice of bringing ‘Los home. I think I’d have slightly preferred Manaea for 2/$20M, but it’s a wash w/ Syndergaard’s 1/$13M. C to B- there. We’ll see how it works out.

Doing nothing about 2B isn’t acceptable. This is the sticking point. Fix this competently if unspectacularly with Guillorme, Wendle, etc., and the offseason rises to C+/B- ish.

New coaching staff looks pretty good on paper. Very annoying that it’s happening now instead of after Renteria was fired, but that’s all on Jerry. I’m pretty certain it will be a big upgrade, but I’m not terribly enthusiastic about fêting the FO for putting out that dumpster fire. I guess they get a little credit as the dumpster fire was started by Jerry, not them.

They also need a 4th OF. Marisnick, Reyes etc are good quality to have in Charlotte for 5th/6th OF, but I’m a little ticked that they didn’t sign Duvall for 4th. I’m fine with Colás getting the first best shot at starting RF, but they could really use a 1.5 WARish OF to back up him and Robert in case of struggles or injury.

asinwreck

Is a Jerry Reinsdorf-owned business capable of earning an “A” for an offseason? Moving the 4-grade scale to B/C/D/F would more accurately reflect fan observations of what this organization is doing. This isn’t based on snark or recency bias, but history.

In which offseason this century have the Sox deserved an “A” for the offseason? When an Alex Rodriguez or Bryce Harper elite talent has been available to perfectly improve the roster, the White Sox have opted for Royce Clayton or Jon Jay instead. Time after time, glaring deficiencies are unresolved with predictable results. Penny-wise and pound-foolish decisions are the rule.

Even going into 2005, we were worried about how the losses of Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Lee would affect the offense. The resulting season (and filling the worst holes with AJ Pierzynski and Tadahito Iguchi) turned out to be the best-case scenario, but few of us were confident that was a championship-level roster that January.

The only spring I can remember when I thought “this organization is sincerely making the moves necessary to compete for a championship” was 2006. I didn’t like the way Kenny Williams kicked Frank Thomas out the door, but Jim Thome’s lefty power and OBP skills were perfect for that team. Javier Vazquez was every SABR-oriented fan’s idea of a championship rotation mainstay. Even trading fading superprospect Joe Borchard for Matt Thornton seemed a sensible reallocation of resources.

The team fell short, but the process of building the roster was a lot better than what we usually see. Including this year. I believe Rick Hahn thinks he has solved RF and 2B with Colás and Sosa. I believe Hahn thinks NRIs to Billy Hamilton, Jake Marisnick, Victor Reyes, Erik Gonzalez, and Hanser Alberto provide adequate depth in case anything happens with those rookies. I also believe that that’s a time-tested recipie for failure from an organization that long ago lost the benefit of the doubt and it is not hard to see this roster going 76-86.

We need an “F” grade. That’s the vote I would cast. Lacking it, I gave a “D” to individuals who don’t deserve the mercy.

As Cirensica

In line with the ending in 2nd place is better philosophy.

hitlesswonder

I agree it’s an F. But that’s based on measuring the effort to build a team capable of winning a playoff series. That’s what I would attempt to assess. The Sox lost their most productive hitter and second best pitcher by performance and replaced them with lesser talent. During a supposed window of contention. And we know they have the money to do better. Not signing Segura and Duvall to cheap short term contracts is mind boggling and gives away the game. They have resources to do that and chose not to.

I don’t think the Sox objective was to build a playoff team. Signing Benintendi and Clevinger and calling it done looks like trying to spend as little money as possible to build a team that will strongly compete for second place. I think they’ve done that. They are unlikely to be atrociously bad. They are unlikely to be better than Cleveland. In that sense I think the Sox would give themselves an A.

asinwreck

You hit the nail on the head. The White Sox are not committed to contending. Unless we are surveying the heirs of the board of directors, having the option to issue “A” grades seems unnecessary.

GrinnellSteve

I just want to point out that if they replaced ’22 Abreu and Cueto with ’23 Abreu and Cueto, they would have been replacing them with lesser talent.

As Cirensica

The difference between the Astros and the White Sox: They sign Abreu to complement the core whereas we are lamenting losing Abreu as if he would poised to be part of the core. We are definitely in two different planes, and the Astros will always have an edge vs this incompetent FO.

a-t

76-86 only happens with the Roberts, Ceases, Moncadas, Giolito, etc collectively being as unavailable + ineffective as they were in ‘22. If that repeats, 2B is irrelevant.

Yeah, they’re very much counting on rebounds with a new coaching staff, because between ‘21 and ‘22 they ‘lost’ around 14 fWAR from their core, defined as Eloy, Moncada, Giolito, Lynn, Abreu, Grandal, Robert, and Cease. The core is why they missed the playoffs last year, and the core will determine if they make or miss them this year. Not that they shouldn’t make the team as good as possible with a competent 2B, ofc.

soxtalker999

If I had to grade them at this point, I’d make it an Incomplete. They have obvious holes or depth issues that need to be addressed. But some of those moves may depend on how the rest of the off season and spring training play out for other teams and individual free agents.

mohoney

It’s a D, and the only reason it’s not an F is because the Benintendi signing relegated Eloy to DH, which is addition by subtraction.

If Eloy is “uncomfortable” having to sit between at-bats, just put an unplugged TV camera in the dugout and let him wave at it for 3 hours a night.