White Sox Roster Rumors: Oscar Colas makes team, Leury Garcia does not
The Chicago White Sox have yet to announce the final 26-man roster they plan on bringing to Houston for Opening Day, but the leaks have begun.
It’s been talked about much this past week, but Chicago Sun-Times White Sox beat reporter Daryl Van Schouwen tweeted that 10-year veteran Leury Garcia will not make the Opening Day roster. Garcia signed a three-year contract after the 2021 season and is owed $5.5 million in 2023 and an additional $5.5 million for 2024.
Garcia played 676 games over ten seasons after being acquired in the Alex Rios trade to Texas Rangers in 2013. In 2021, Garcia had his best season posting a 2.1 WAR according to Baseball-Reference, hitting .267/.335/.376 while playing 126 games. His super-utility role was needed due to the number of injuries White Sox players suffered during that campaign.
In the American League Division Series, Garcia provided one of the most memorable home runs hit at US Cellular Field / Guaranteed Rate Field. His three-run shot in the third inning sparked a comeback for the White Sox and unleashed an energy within the stadium not felt since 2008.
After the contract, there was much speculation about how Tony La Russa would Garcia as there was a roster hole at second base. La Russa thought Garcia was not a starting second baseman but a super utility player in the lineup daily. That faith from La Russa was not rewarded. Garcia posted his career-worst season in 2022, hitting a dismal .210/.233/.267, which equaled a 42 OPS+, or 58% worse than the league average, and his WAR was -1.0.
In the offseason, Romy Gonzalez’s hype train left the station thanks to new manager Pedro Grifol. That self-generated excitement should have put Garcia’s status with the ballclub on notice. Then the signing of Hanser Alberto, who played with the Kansas Royals in 2021 and was known as one of Grifol’s guys, put Garcia’s roster spot in jeporady.
Alberto had a monster Spring Training at the plate, Gonzalez showed some life late, and Garcia hit .222/.263/.417 in 36 at-bats. No matter how much was owed on the contract, Garcia did not impress Grifol enough to merit a roster spot.
As of this writing, we still need to find out who won that super-utility role on the bench, but Garica being DFA, will open a 40-man spot to add Alberto, who signed a minor league contract.
Earlier this afternoon, The Athletic’s James Fegan tweeted that Rule 5 Draft Pick Nick Avila would not make the White Sox Opening Day bullpen. The White Sox now must offer Avila back to the San Francisco Giants for half the cost (approx. $25,000). If the Giants don’t accept Avila, then he will enter waivers. That would allow the White Sox to negotiate a deal with Avila to join their AAA roster in Charlotte.
In that same tweet, Fegan also mentioned that former Cleveland Guardians reliever Bryan Shaw would not be making the Opening Day roster. Better known for his rubber arm, Shaw has ten seasons of 60+ game appearances but had a 5.40 ERA in 2022 for Cleveland.
Even though Avila and Shaw won’t be part of the White Sox bullpen, Grifol plans to carry 13 pitchers.
In a bit of good roster news, and it shouldn’t come as that big of a surprise, but Oscar Colas has made the team. Colas had a hot start to Spring Training but has cooled off recently, where his slash line settled at .267/.279/.450. Nevertheless, Colas will be in Houston for Opening Day, which opens up the possibility of the White Sox gaining an additional draft pick in 2024. As Colas has below 60 days of service, if he wins Rookie of the Year, the White Sox could gain a first-round compensation pick. With Julio Rodriguez winning Rookie of the Year in 2022, the Seattle Mariners were awarded the 29th overall pick in this upcoming MLB Draft.
At least this gives me some confidence that TLR isn’t still hanging around influencing organizational decision-making.
In a circumloqutious way, this is more evidence that JR has completely checked out on The Sox.
+1 for circumloqutious
Mr. Antus, my soph HS New Trier East English teacher. Weekly spelling bee’s of uncommon words. He would read passages from Call of The Wild while standing atop his desk and acting it out. By far my most memorable teacher ever.
I posted this in the other thread, but I’ll move it here where it belongs.
I’d love to know the backstory on how we came to sign Leury to that contract.
Did LaRussa go over Hahn’s head to get that deal through?
Did Hahn get duped by LaRussa into making that deal?
Was Hahn just dumb enough to give that contract out on his own?
I suppose we will never know with the opaque nature of this organization.
I think it was a combination of TLR wanting Leury back at all costs and Hahn having zero capacity to accurately gauge the market for him. His signings of guys like Eaton and Clevinger shows just how clueless he is when it comes to valuing marginal talent.
Jim talks on the podcast about how it’s impossible to parse exactly who is doing what in the front office, and maybe it doesn’t really matter – just evaluate them as a unit. Instead of saying any single one of Hahn, Williams, and Reinsdorf is bad and incompetent, just settle on the White Sox Front Office is bad and incompetent.
I already evaluate them as a unit, but that doesn’t stop me from being curious about how the sausage is made sometimes.
They throw poop into the grinder and call what comes out of the other end sausage.
Yummmmmmmmmmmm. Shit sausage……………………….
That’d make a good minor league team name.
Turdwursts vs Trash Pandas
I think I will never eat eat sausages ever again
Sounds very Upton Sinclair
The Jungle is Hahn’s favorite cookbook
Whatever TLR wanted TLR got. Why? Because if RH or KW objected, JR was just a TLR phone call away. If this wasn’t so, Leury would be on the 2023 White Sox.
Jose Abreu might’ve signed him like he signed himself that one time.
Eloy in RF again today, could they be thinking about using Colas more as a DH?
You just ruined my excitement with Garcia going bye bye. I doubt they put Eloy in RF too often. It’s just a big injury waiting to happen. Let’s just be happy with today’s events and go from there!
*If Jake Burger makes the 26-man roster . . .
On Opening Day, you could see Eloy Jimenez in RF and Burger DH vs. Framber Valdez.
Do both Sheets and Burger make the roster? That leaves a bench without much defensive versatility or even average level competence.
This is my opinion – but I don’t think Gavin Sheets makes the roster and gets optioned to Charlotte, starting the season there.
Between Sheets or Burger Burger mashes lefties and Sheets doesn’t mash anyone. So I think you are correct. Burger backs up Vaughn and Moncada. Marisnick or Hamilton?
Well, if DVS sources are right, I’m going to be wrong about Sheets.
I really thought Hamilton and Burger would duel it out for that last roster spot. 🙄
Why the hell is Sheets making the roster over Haseley, an actual outfielder?
And Romy made the team too. Does that mean Burger doesn’t?
Right or not I’m still kinda peeved at hasely for Mendick injury. Now I’m sure Mendick is gonna be a steal for NYM
Mendick just got sent to AAA.
Since we haven’t heard anything definitive about Sheets or Burger, I would imagine the team is keeping the phone lines open for chatter on them.
Since we won’t have Leury doubling as a 4th outfielder, I think we’re looking at a real OF backup who can cover center like Marisnik or Hamilton and then one of Sheets or Burger. Apparently Alberto is in. I know Sheets has an option left. I’m guessing Burger does, too. Then it comes to whether they prefer one’s bat over the other. Or they want a lefty or a righty.
What about Romy? He’s played LF and RF this spring, which makes him a possibility as a direct Leury replacement.
They also put Romy out in CF a bit in spring training. I’m not sure how good he is there, but they tried it. Colas has experience in CF too in the minors and in spring training.
At this point, I’m at peace, because I know it’s not going to happen.
But it would be really nice to have Ramon Laureano on the team so they could put him in RF rather than Eloy.
“i’m at peace.”
Keep telling yourself that.
What is the genesis for the TLR is responsible for Garcia’s contract claim? He’s been with the org since 2013, they obviously were comfortable with him. Seems bizarre to assume LaRussa, who had no relationship with Garcia before 2020, was the controlling force on this specific transaction, and only this transaction.
Because of Tony’s unhealthy obsession with playing Leury as much as possible and in prominent roles he was clearly unsuited for. Regardless, Hahn is not off the hook on that contract.
Who can forget this unforgettable lineup?
Apparently the game before and the second game of a double header when Leury first hit 3rd was more forgettable. That lineup had an amazing 7 players starting the day below .200. Leury went 1 for 3 getting 1 of the 3 hits that game for the Sox. He also had a BB which is significant in that he only had 7 all year. Come to think of it, Leury got a BB in that game too so 2/7 of his walks last yr came batting 3rd.
Yes, those first 8 seasons are on the Sox FO but it doesn’t take long for a manager to “fall in love” with a player and when Garcia’s contract was up my feeling is that TLR had a big say in bringing him back. 3 years was too many and the money even worse.
Colas as ROY is very very very optimistic for a guy projected to be the main starter on the league’s worst situation in RF according to Fangraphs.
He has roughly 4-8% chance of winning ROY based on Vegas odds. In 2019, according to a study by Craig Edwards, the 29th pick was worth about $10M. It’s probably a bit more now. So the expected return on this aspect of the decision is about $400-$800K. Weigh that with slight increase in reputation with international signees and amateurs, goodwill with Colas and his agent, avoiding grumbling in the clubhouse if the rest of the team thought he was the best player, and whatever value he would provide playing early in the year over and above other options. Weight that against the odds that they will wish they had one more year of service time for 30 y/o Colas + the cost of Super 2 (assuming he doesn’t get sent back down), etc.
Diekman is trying to pitch his way off the team today. I hope he succeeds.
I was a little surprised that Middleton made the team. Glad Santos is making it and I wonder if the Sox figure out a way to keep Avila.
Where was that reported (I’m trying to keep track of all the news coming in)?
Might be referring to the speculation (not reporting) by MLBTR: https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2023/03/bryan-shaw-nick-avila-wont-make-white-sox-opening-day-roster.html
I believe it was on MLB Rumors.
Every time I see “Gregory Santos,” I think “George Santos.” I hope they’re different people.
George pitched for the Yankees. Long time ago.
Seeing a lot of people happy Leury is getting the boot but i thought he was a really solid White Sox player who was one of the few guys the Sox got in a trade that actually worked out pretty well during that time. I for one enjoyed the Leury Garcia experience and it wasn’t his fault they gave him that goofy contract or TLR running him out there to die last year. That being said its really nice the reason hes going is cause another guy took the spot. Sometimes when it comes to this teams roster they’re given 3 lumps of poop and have to pick the one that smells the least!
We’re happy they’re willing to move on from him given they shouldn’t have signed him past last season in the first place.
What’s with the poop comparisons today? Is there a hidden meaning behind it all?
It’s the #2 of metaphors
Yeah Leury was a symptom, not the disease.
Our long national nightmare is over.
It seems the Sox will be replacing Leury Garcia with Hanser Alberto. I’m not upset but I’m also neither relieved nor excited.
Allow yourself to be happy. Until you shouldn’t be.
I don’t think they’re going to miss Leury, but there’s also a decent chance that they just got worse at his spot on the team.
True. But there’s also a decent chance they got better?
It’s probably a coin flip for who’s the better option. So let the tiebreaker be Alberto is 2 years younger and the whole fanbase doesn’t hate him (even if it’s unjustly, and misplaced anger).
Play the hot hand and hope for the best. Luery is just a phone call away.
Bench will consist of: Zavala, Alberto, and who two else?
I’m thinking it’s one of Romy or Burger (probably Romy) and one of Haseley or Marisnick (probably Marisnick)
I saw somewhere (source needed) that Sheets was expected to make the roster. This was a few days ago. Maybe Merkin? But that could be wrong.
Guh. No genuine backup CF?
I think Grifol said that Colas will shift over to cover CF.
There was zero doubt Colas was going to be the starting RF when the Sox signed no RF in the free agent season. I sincerely hope this is not too much too soon for him. I recall we had another OF rookie a few seasons back who was a sure thing and he just floundered. I don’t recall his name but I remember Opening Day and he looked lost at the plate. You guys will probably remember who he was.
That was 6 years ago, and no one considered him a “can’t miss” prospect, if he was even considered a prospect at all. He was more of a “we have no one else to put out there” prospect. Colas isn’t “can’t miss” either, and they also have no one else to put out there this year, but he’s a much better prospect than May was.
No one expected Jacob May to make the opening day roster till he put up good numbers in spring training. He’s not a cautionary tale for Colas. He’s a cautionary tale for Alberto.
HA! I was going to say Joe Borchard.
Watched Yoan Moncada strike out, handle 2 routine ground balls and then leave the game in the 2nd inning with back stiffness. What the what??
And here we go! He must not be motivated enough. Maybe Vaughn can move to 3rd and Sheets to first.
As soon as a manager says a player has to be motivated then it’s time to find another player. That pissed me off. $17 million a year must not be motivation anymore.
One thing is for sure, their bench is going to play. A lot. And when that happens, it will be very apparent that Leury being on the roster had nothing to do with why this was and still is a completely mediocre team.
Business as usual then.
For punishment Hahn the Con should pay out the rest of Leury’s contract since he didnt deserve it in the 1st place!!!
Alberto is apparently a Vibes Captain, so I wouldn’t be surprised if this is as much about turning the page on last year’s clubhouse as anything else.
Yes. I mentioned this above, but I’d be fine if the tiebreakers were Alberto is two years younger and the whole fanbase isn’t (even if unjustly) annoyed at him.
I think “Hanser Alberto” is probably Grifolian for “Leury Garcia.”
Gonna be real fun when Rick Hahn keeps Hanser Alberto only to realize that Hanser Alberto is Hanser Alberto
Hanser Alberto does, however, make it much easier to DFA his spot for Lenyn or whatever if he’s not getting it done. No agonizing over pulling that $5.5M Leury tooth any more.
Who cares? A utility infielder is probably the easiest possible thing to acquire midseason for virtually nothing. Get Yolmer on the phone!
The word “versatility” is really stretched when you’re a defensive minus in every position except LF. I’m pleasantly surprised to see us cut a guy who added nothing to the team–salary be damned.
That said, if Leury doesn’t hang around in Charlotte I’d love to see a tribute post sometime soon. He was a White Sox for a long time and left us with plenty of memories.
I remember a mid July game last year where in the bottom of the ninth in a 2-3 game against the Tigers TLR pinch hit Leury Garcia for Seby Zavala. I won’t say I will miss having Leury as an option. However, no one made the Sox sign him. I’ve never heard anything other than Leury was a great clubhouse guy. Finally, there is zero real reason to think Hanser Alberto will be better than Leury Garcia this year. Thank you Leury Legand for the post season memory and for providing slightly below league average production on a lot of bad teams.
I remember being baffled by that. Another move pointing to TLR being out of his mind.
I’m really not a Hanser Alberto stan but I don’t know why people keep saying “there are zero reasons to think Alberto will be better.” Alberto’s best was better than Leury’s best, Alberto’s worst was better than Leury’s worst, Alberto’s in-between was better than Leury’s in-between, and Alberto is two years younger.
If they had picked Leury, that’d have been fine, too, since there are reasons to prefer him to Alberto. But people act like they only picked Alberto because he had a better spring. That’s certainly false.
Yeah, Alberto was also good enough to maintain a role, albeit a small one, with a much better run club last season. While I’m taking the under on a 1.0 WAR from Alberto, his bat-to-ball tool feels more valuable off the bench than what Leury would have offered.
Hitting 1 WAR could be a bad thing because it means he’s playing enough to accumulate 1 WAR! I’m hoping for a .695 OPS with good defense (what he did ’20-’21). Basically, Josh Harrison off the bench.
“Finally, there is zero real reason to think Hanser Alberto will be better than Leury Garcia this year.”
Silly. We do not have the results yet, except for those cited by HOF.
There is last year and this spring. While you can argue injury and meaningless ST stats, it’s still substantially more than zero.
You know what? I apologize. I misread, or misunderstood, or spaced out with respect to, your comment. I agree with you completely.
I can’t wait for the celebration of DFA’ing Diekman as well. Combined with Leury that will be 9M wasted in 2023. Add Kelly, will make it 17.5.
Can they DFA Hahn? Would solve more things than getting rid of Leury, Diekman, etc.
FYI, Leury’s whole $11 mil counts against 2023.
Unless of course they can trade him…..so, Leury’s whole $11 mil counts against 2023.
I’ll bet some team will take a chance on him for free once he is officially DFA’d. Unless 2022 is Leury’s new baseline, the Sox will be paying a mediocre but not entirely useless utility player 11M to play for someone else. For two years.
Replacing him with Alberto, whose career WAR is almost identical. Hahn is a genius!
With WAR being a rearward, accumulative stat, don’t you think basing future projections on it, somewhat dubious in that it doesn’t account for trendlines?
$11M for Leury Garcia to go away and these cheapskates won’t spring for real talent.
You gotta love Clevinger with 5 earned in 1.1 innings in his final spring “tune up”. The problem with signing him was not isolated to him being a psycho. He’s not likely to be good, either.
Darvish got shelled with 5 Er in 2020’s final tuneup against the sox and that season worked out okay for him.
Pitchers are often still working on something obscure, even in their final tune up. I wouldn’t read too much into it.
Clevinger hasn’t done anything since 2019. If he had a great outing, I wouldn’t read to much into that, either.
He looked antsy on the mound today. And if that’s just his adaptation of the weird wind up he used to do for 2023 rules, then… I can’t say that does anything to relieve my concerns. I’m more worried about his adjustment to the pitch clock than anyone else on this team.
Cutting Leury lacks the effervescent joy that the Eaton DFA did. I’m not sure it makes them any better, honestly. But if you were to tell me 9 months ago that they would be done with Leury and Tony before the 2023 season, I would have taken it. I’ll take it now.