2023 Review: White Sox Outfielders and Catchers

Record Date: 10/22/2023


  • [Intro] Is Luis Robert Jr.’s terrific 2023 a start to multiple All-Star caliber seasons? If the White Sox were to rebuild, is now the time to trade Robert?
  • [16:29] Andrew Benintendi failed in 2023 to provide immediate impact. What does he need to do in 2024 to be considered “good”?
  • [25:34] Right Field continues to be a mess. Should the White Sox give Oscar Colas a restart and wipe away the 2023 season?
  • [42:50] Korey Lee and Carlos Perez didn’t make a great first impression. How should the White Sox go about resolving the catching position this offseason?
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I am a hard no on the idea of trading Robert. He is entering his prime while on a value contract and even a bad organization shouldn’t think they are 4 years away from contention.

You simply won’t get value back at this point… even if a package started with Holliday or Chourio what would you be gaining… a year or two of service time a little bit of money on the HOPE that either of those guys develop into as good a player as Robert already is, the rest of the package is likely to look good on a BA top 10 list but will offer little MLB impact as we have seen with lots of other big trades….

This team has very little payroll commitment from 2025 on…. they need to spend to supplement a roster that should gain a few SP’s and position players over the next year or two from the system. Montgomery, Ramos, and Quero all have pretty viable paths to starting jobs. Pretty sure we will see Nastrini sooner then later and you have other starting arms that will factor into 2025.. If your window is 2025 (which is should be) then Robert is staying put.


Also given the age of our owner we could have a new owner in place by the time Robert hits free agency. The new ownership group may be willing to spend on high dollar free agents.

I think part of the reason people talk about trading Robert is they feel Jerry won’t pony up the money to keep him in the long haul. I think that is the undercurrent behind talk of trading Robert.


Absolutely. Start acting like the big market team that you are and spend money. A few years ago, the Phillies owner said he was going to spend “foolish money” (or something like that). Now look where they are- on the cusp of two straight World Series appearances. Go out and overpay for Bellinger. Get two good starters. Then when Montgomery, Ramos and Quero should all be ready, add a few more pieces, and they can contend in 2025.


Bellinger has had one season with a WAR over 2 since 2019. The Sox won’t pay him in the first place, but the kind of player they should overpay for are guys like Semien or Swanson, who have shown consistency and durability. Bellinger has been all over the place and missed 115 games since 2020. He isn’t a guy you go all in on, ahead of 2 or 3 garbage seasons no less. This is not the winter to spend big, it’s the weakest FA class in years, and they would have a much better selection of players in a year or 2.

Jerry hasn’t spent in free agency like a grown ass man since Albert Belle. If you want to know who might wind up with the Sox next year, think Joey Gallo. His last productive stretch was the first half of 2021, so he would fit right in with their modus operandi. Bellinger will never wear a Sox uniform, unless it is at age 37.

Last edited 1 month ago by LamarHoyt_oncrack

Bellinger was very good last year, was finally fully recovered from his injury, is left-handed, plays great outfield defense, has good power, steals bases. He has all the things the Sox are looking for. They have to take a chance that he is back to his pre-2020 self. He’s only 28. I don’t want another full-on rebuild like the last one. Jerry said he doesn’t either. So spend money this year. Bellinger is the best position player available. Plus there are several good FA pitchers out there. Time to spend like a big market club. If he wants attendance to be better that 1 million, Jerry needs to get the fans excited. Another full rebuild so soon after the last one will cause even a lot of die-hard fans to turn away.


What are the estimates on Bellinger’s contract? With so little available in free agency, likely a good bet guys get better deals than expected.


hard to find a real good comp but a few years older a bit more consistent George Springer got 6 for 150, id imagine bellingers number starts there and pushes towards 200 mil depending on opt outs and other things


That sounds about right. I don’t care, it’s Jerry’s money!


The scuttlebutt is that he’s looking for a $200 mil contract and just might get it. This for a guy who was non-tendered 12 months ago and had 3 good months out of 6 for the Cubs this year.


I can’t even fathom Getz negotiating a contract with Boras. I think Boras would play him like a grand piano. Boras has squeezed money out of owners and front office executives that are a lot more sophisticated operators than Getz.

Jerry will probably have his secretary block Scott’s number on Getz’s iphone.


Yeah, let’s have another year of Sheets and Colas in right. I didn’t watch last year because they made no effort to get better. And I won’t watch this year if they do nothing again. And I’ll bet there are many, many fans out there who share that sentiment.


Or get Hernandez who has at least been consistently good the past 5 years or trade to fill the position. Why does it have to be the guy who most resembles Rodon going to the Yankees? Bellinger would’ve been and was a great signing last year, not so much this year.


“Time to spend like a big market club”. The time to do that was after 2020 and 2021 when they were in the playoffs, not after a team that just lost 100 games. They are in full rebuild already, pretty much. Not even a genius GM with a good owner could turn a roster this bad into a good team in 2 or 3 years. It didn’t happen overnight with the Astros and Phillies, look where they were a decade ago. It takes time, and our owner and GM suck balls, as does the farm system.

It is purely wishful thinking to suggest that their “solution” is for Jerry to FINALLY spend serious money on free agents that are actually good, when he hasn’t done so in 25 years, and could have the past 3 winters before they traded half their pitching staff. Bellinger will get a much bigger contract than they have ever paid any free agent, probably by a factor of at least 2, and will be in demand by teams that don’t have a cheapskate owner. We can talk all we want about what we want Jerry to do, he has never done it and it is all but an impossibility that he is going to start now. Hence why everybody wants him to sell the damn team. I mean sure, Ohtani would be great too, but making the case for him or Bellinger doesn’t change the owner we’ve got, or that neither will be in a Sox uniform in 2024.

Last edited 1 month ago by LamarHoyt_oncrack

“Not even a genius GM with a good owner could turn a roster this bad into a good team in 2 or 3 years.”

The 119 loss 2003 Detroit Tigers were in the World Series by 2006. And it was achieved primarily through outside acquisitions. This organization does not deserve any optimism that it could successfully deploy such a strategy for a quick turnaround, but the idea that this team is so bad that there are no paths to contention in the short-term even with competent leadership isn’t true.


I agree. I know Jerry won’t do it, but some spending on potentially difference-making free agents is what is need now. The Tigers took a chance on Ordonez after his injury-marred 2004 season and it paid off well for them. Jerry has to take some chances and spend big if he wants to get back to having his team be relevant. Otherwise, he can sit back and let Getz try to rebuild this team. I think they have a better chance of becoming successful by spending than by relying on Getz to build this team back up.


That was done by a former JR employee, but yeah you have to get past the man at the top and he wouldn’t resign one of the big signings by the Tigers (Maggs).

Actually, look at that 2003-04 off-season by Dombrowski. That’s a thing of GM beauty.


Discussing a strategy that would only be possible with a different owner is pretty moot. Speculating that they could or might spend their way to a winning team via good free agents while Jerry owns them is even more nonsensical than those who projected 90 wins rather than losses for this ridiculous team. Replace Jerry, then a lot of things are possible. Until then, very little is.


I don’t push back at any comment rightfully identifying Jerry as a brick wall that this organization will continue to run into until he’s gone. I do push back at the idea that a competent GM and good owner couldn’t get this team back into contention in the short-term, which is the comment that I was responding to.

I also don’t see talking strategy as moot, because while we all know how Jerry operates and will continue to operate, I do find catharsis in discussing this team with fellow Sox fans and see their ideas in how this organization can turn itself around even if we know Jerry won’t allow it. I mean, isn’t that the purpose of the annual off-season plan project? It’s fun, even while the Sox aren’t.

Last edited 1 month ago by BillyKochFanClub

Yes, you stated it very well, Billy. We know Jerry won’t do anything meaningful to help this team. I just like putting out ideas that competent front offices might think about, and I like hearing what all of you think. Like you said, that’s why we do the OPP. If we put in our OPPs what we think the Sox will actually do, that would just be an exercise in futility.

As Cirensica

This is a good comment BillyKochfanclub. Thanks. I concur.

Last edited 1 month ago by As Cirensica

Discussing free agents as though they would choose to be a white Sox is as moot. We Can throw all the names and dollars and terms around we want but if they’re truly of value, they won’t choose here, why would they…


Now both teams in this year’s WS were 100 game losers 2 years ago, and they got there by different paths. Texas spent big to supplement a few key developments and Arizona built almost exclusively thru trade and player development.

As Cirensica

Is Swanson or Semien available? No.
Bellinger is.


Yep. You have to deal with what you have in front of you. Yes Harper, Machado, Semien, Wheeler would have all be great, but that’s in the past.


And what’s actually in front of them is all determined by ownership. “The money will be spent”. After all the phony narratives and 3 straight wasted offseasons full of opportunities to sign good players, you wanna believe they’re gonna make good on that now, coming off and heading into a 60 win season when Jerry knows attendance is going to be terrible? Ok.


You know they’re not going to do it, I know they’re not going to do it. Every one on here knows they’re not going to do it. I’m just saying that’s what they should do. We’ve talked about this before. We’re screwed until Jerry dies.


Read my post below. I know Jerry’s not going to spend. We’ve all been saying that this whole offseason. Every time we put out suggestions about what should happen, you come back and say it won’t happen. WE KNOW THAT!! Ok?

As Cirensica

A trade involving Robert will include a Holliday AND some other top 50 prospects. I would say, at least 3 or 4 top 100 prospects. That type of trades just don’t happen often.

I am also a hard no in trading Robert. I think the White Sox can be brought back into contention within a year (2024 is very likely a lost year). This team just needs to spend money smartly, and start, right now, to bring in players that will help Colson and Robert to achieve good results. We need to get rid of our unathletic mono-dimensional players which will occur this year (Grandal) and next year (Eloy and Moncada). Show Tim Anderson the door, and wish him luck. Start signing good players that will be here when Colson and Ramos start arriving. Cody Bellinger must be the highest priority of Getz. Even if that is the only player he signs this year, that would be a good off season


15 minutes in and we are still talking about trading Robert, Fail, fail ,fail…


Not much else to talk about with this group of outfielders and catchers. Robert is good, and literally ever other player in those two position groups was bad to the point of not even meriting much discussion.

I don’t want to see them trade Robert and agree with a lot of the other comments arguing against it. However, if we’re getting into predictions, I don’t think the idea can be dismissed entirely. The Sox are more likely to make trades than make a significant splash in free agency, and what other assets do they have that teams might actually want? The list is pretty much Robert, Montgomery, and maybe some of the pitching in the lower level minors.

JR’s Culture Club

I agree with this— I don’t want them to trade Robert, but…

As others have stated, this free agent class is very weak, which could make a loser in the Bellinger and Ohtani sweepstakes overpay in a trade for Robert. So if they could get a package of 3-4 top 50 prospects with at least one being a top 10, then maybe it could be worth it and could help turn the franchise fortunes around faster… we know they are not going to go the 2021 Rangers or 2003 Tigers route and sign top players to big money deals so they might as well load up on highly regarded prospects and aim for 2026.

It exasperating following this team even with a hardened sense of hopelessness …. But it helps to read the posts and comments here at Sox Machine!


The fail was in the amount of time given to it. Yes you have to acknowledge the elephant but beyond that was overkill. It should’ve been the shortest segment in the podcast and instead it was the longest, that’s the fail.


I mean, it should be a live option and if it happened it would signal a shift in the direction of the franchise for the next, what, decade? That seems worthy of significant attention.

I don’t think they should trade Robert because I think they should try to compete in 2025. But if I thought they were still several years away (like some on here seem to think), then I would think they should trade him.


Leaving aside the specific of trading Robert, I just don’t see any realistic path to being competitive in 2025. Getting to that point requires so many best case scenarios – such as a productive middle infield comprised of Sosa and Montgomery, some amount of production from guys like Ramos and Quero as rookies, and almost an entirely rebuilt starting rotation…on a team that doesn’t spend much money, have much prospect capital to trade (or an impressive track record of player development, health, and good fortune). I just don’t see it. I think trying to win in 2025 will be premature…which, incidentally, is also how I felt about going for it in 2021.