Thanks to Yasmani Grandal and Andrew Vaughn, the ideal White Sox lineup has changed

With Luis Robert returning from the injured list a few days after being activated, the White Sox almost had their ideal Opening Day lineup all on the field at the same time for the opener against Texas.

  1. Tim Anderson, SS
  2. Luis Robert, DH
  3. Eloy Jiménez, LF
  4. José Abreu, 1B
  5. Andrew Vaughn, RF
  6. Yoán Moncada, 3B
  7. AJ Pollock, CF
  8. Yasmani Grandal, C
  9. Josh Harrison, 2B

In terms of names and order, this is about as close as optimized when balancing track records with their 2022 performances.

But it wouldn’t be the 2022 White Sox if questions didn’t remain, and the White Sox’s 3-2 loss introduced several. When it comes to problems with immediate solutions or salves, I think they can be rounded down to two.

No. 1: Isn’t Seby Zavala the primary catcher now?

The answer seems obvious. It’s just that my conviction feels slightly disingenuous given that I would’ve shrugged at the prospect of the Sox outrighting Zavala in favor of Carlos Pérez over the first three months of the season.

Zavala has twice as many extra-base hits as Grandal with less than half of Grandal’s plate appearances. While Grandal still remains above-average as a receiver, Zavala’s right there with him. If you put any stock into catcher ERA, Zavala maintains quite the edge (3.55 to 4.91). Neither is defined by his throwing.

Under normal circumstances, I’d be a little apprehensive about overexposing Zavala. He’s striking out nearly 30 percent of the time even while succeeding. Zavala says that he understands how to make quicker corrections to his balance, but there’s a chance that the league could figure out the new vulnerabilities in his approach and beat him into the ground.

It’s just hard to heed that potential pitfall when Grandal has turned the batter’s box into a bottomless pit. The utility of whatever walks he draws is sharply reduced by his first-percentile sprint speed, and he’s walked just twice over his last 10 games because pitchers realized they don’t have to be careful. Anything on the outer half will do.

2021
2022

Grandal is hitless in his last 21 at-bats, so while dropping him down to eighth and treating him like the Reese McGuire is the prudent thing to do when he plays, it’s probably smart to take it one step further and regard him as the backup — and that means no time at DH.

I’m not willing to say Grandal is toast just because it’d be such a staggering decline in impact from one year to another, but over the final two months and change of this season, it’s probably worth knowing what kind of burden Zavala can shoulder, in the event that a normal, surgery-free offseason can’t get Grandal back on track to salvage the last year of his deal.

No. 2: Does Andrew Vaughn actually have to play the outfield?

Vaughn had a miserable night in right field Thursday, failing to catch one ball behind him and one ball in front of him during the later innings, then colliding with AJ Pollock on a ball he did catch. I didn’t see Pollock call for it, but any collision reduces confidence in both parties.

As White Sox fans, we’re used to seeing the team punt defense in the outfield corners, which makes Vaughn’s glaring inability to cover ground all the more noteworthy. I just called Gavin Sheets a sentient armoire two days ago, and yet he inspires more confidence.

There was some mild disagreement between the metrics over Vaughn’s 838 innings in the outfield last season. Combine it with the eye test, and as long as he played left field instead of right, I was content to chalk him up as a mild liability.

This version of Vaughn has been a disaster in either corner. He’s only played 352 outfield innings this season, so extrapolating such a small sample to cover a full season can reduce his work to a caricature. But when everything points to Vaughn’s work being ghastly, showing the full-season paces for each metric makes it easier to conceptualize the damage of running him out there.

Metric 20212022
DRS (1,200 innings)-7-40
UZR (150 games)-0.2-24.9
OAA (1,200 innings)-7-33

Poking around the Statcast leaderboards, Vaughn trails only Nick Castellanos and Juan Soto in Outs Above Average, but that’s because both All-Stars have played far more outfield this season. When it comes to Statcast’s success rate metric, Vaughn is bringing up the rear by a sizable amount out of 123 qualifying outfielders.

  • 121. Gavin Sheets, 81%
  • 122. Joc Pederson, 81%
  • 123. Andrew Vaughn, 77%

It’s even worse when sorting it by success rate added, which accounts for the difficulty of the batted balls an outfielder faces.

  • 121: Nick Castellanos, -5%
  • 122: Christopher Morel, -5%
  • 123: Andrew Vaughn, -11%

Sheets ranks 115th out of 123 in that metric at -4%, so he’s the ordinary kind of ugly this year. Vaughn’s outfield play is off-the-charts abysmal.

Tony La Russa wasn’t willing to chalk up the rough night to Vaughn’s abilities

“I think they were just bloops in there,” said Sox manager Tony La Russa, who was disinclined to heap blame on a spacious Globe Life Field outfield, and certainly not his player. “He wasn’t playing all that deep. Those balls were just perfectly placed. He did a heckuva job keeping the ball in front of him. We also had a bloop that fell for a triple for us too, and they don’t play deep (either). Their fielder is shallow. It’s a good-sized outfield, but we weren’t all that deep, and neither were there. Just bloops.”

… but I also wouldn’t expect La Russa to light up Vaughn, because any tirade would have to end with an acknowledgement, spoken or tacit, that La Russa’s the guy who keeps sending him out there. Vaughn’s outfield positioning card probably reads, “Just try your best. We’re very proud of you” in Jerry Narron’s calligraphy.

If you relegate Grandal to strict backup-catcher duties until he starts actually stinging the ball during his appearances, then that eliminates one candidate in Vaughn’s way for primary DH work (Vaughn hits just as well as a DH as he does anywhere else, alleviating that concern). Robert could simplify matters further by playing center field with conviction, which would free up Adam Engel for spot duty in right field while rotating Pollock and Sheets based on offensive needs. If Eloy Jiménez keeps hitting, leave him be.

Given what we’ve seen so far this season, I’d expect the condition of the players to continue to prevent the most convoluted of consequences, but these are a couple ways where La Russa can reduce liabilities without cooperation elsewhere.

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Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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gibby32

Absolutely right. But Tony? Who knows?

upnorthsox

I would just point out that Eloy hasn’t played more than 2 consecutive days in LF since he came back and has played 8 of 19 games as DH. I think it’s fine for him and Vaughn to switch of between LF and DH this season, everyone else can just take a breather if they need a night off. AJ and Sheets can switch off in RF with AJ getting most of those.

Greg Nix

Agreed. Vaughn and Eloy should rotate between DH. Pollock and Sheets can platoon in RF. Play Engel whenever someone needs a day.

Qubort

I’m a huge Grandal-stan, but he should be back up catcher and no DH right now. Perhaps him getting 3/4 days of rest before each game will help him slightly. Either way, this time of year, feelings and contracts need to be ignored and best option to win needs to play. Currently, that’s Seby.

I’m concerned that Vaughn trying to play so out of position is going to stunt his growth for hitting. Anytime he spends trying to improve for the outfield is a waste. He is NOT an outfielder. Let him DH or spell Abreu at 1st and just focus on being the player you drafted him to be. Asking him to jump from A ball to the majors was already a ridiculous ask, but he’s handled it pretty well.

Good organizations put players in the positions to help them succeed. The Sox have never done this.

calcetinesblancos

I know the Sox are incapable of thinking this way, but they don’t owe Grandal anything besides millions of dollars. Even if he weren’t outperforming Grandal offensively I would still want Seby catching at least half the games because I simply don’t believe Grandal can be relied on in terms of health. What if he gets hurt in the next few months? If we happen to get into the playoffs we need someone catching who is very familiar with all of our pitchers.

gibby32

In real time, I wanted the Sox to lose Grandal at the trade deadline and keep McGuire, eating money which would have been necessary. A Zavala-McGuire alighnment would not be optimal, but better than what we have now, I believe.

HallofFrank

No way. Grandal has been a disaster this year and he should be losing playing time to Zavala. But let’s also not forget that Grandal led all catchers with a 159 wRC+ last season—and that’s 19 points higher than 2nd place. His best two months? August and September. When he’s right, he’s got an upside that McGuire can’t touch.

Joliet Orange Sox

Grandal also has a career wRC+ of 118. It’s impossible for us to know what combination of factors (health, age, …) have led to Grandal’s miserable performance this year but his past performance makes it impossible to just write him off. I agree with Jim saying “I’m not willing to say Grandal is toast just because it’d be such a staggering decline in impact from one year to another”.

a-t

It’s pretty clearly health. That doesn’t mean he’s a lock at all to rebound this season or even next— due to age and being a catcher, health is far from a given— but given how he played last year, it’s clearly not decay of skills.

calcetinesblancos

He’s almost 34, which is like 54 in catcher years. I would personally be shocked if he gets back to the same level of performance we saw last year.

HallofFrank

And he was 33 last year. So.. is that like 48 in catcher years?

No one expects him to reach last year’s performance. That was an outlier. But it seems reasonable—based on age and past performances—to expect something in the ballpark of 110-120 wRC+. A 114 wRC+ would be his worst offensive season since 2017—and I’d take that. Adding a lefty to this lineup at that performance would be huge.

As Cirensica

A staggering decline in production can be the result of health issues. We lived it with John Danks. Grandal has had some surgeries recently. It is possible he will never be close to the pre-surgery production.

I am on the wagon that leans towards thinking Grandal is not healthy enough to be productive, and there is a possibility he will never recover the necessary conditions he needs (good knees) to be productive again. In other words, there is a possibility he is toast.

soxygen

I think there is a very strong possibility that the best two options we’ll have with Yaz next year are (1) pay him to play for someone else, or (2) pay him to play DH/1B.

I wish we hadn’t traded McGuire…But you know, there really is no way to acquire a 35 year old middle reliever at the deadline without trading a cromulent back up catcher. And this team really needs Sheets on the major league roster for the month of August if it is going to have any chance of making the playoffs. So I guess we did the right thing (all sarcasm intended).

Last edited 11 days ago by soxygen
Augusto Barojas

People can speculate on whether it’s health or age with Grandal. Whatever the reason, his poor production is also reality at the moment. Aside from debates about catcher, there is no way in the world that Grandal can be the DH of this team when his OPS is less than a hundredth of a percent higher than Leury. Pollock, Engel… anybody not named Grandal or Leury should be DH.

soxygen

I 100% agree with you that he should not be DHing very often right now based on how he is hitting, and as Jim said, now that he is our backup catcher we probably shouldn’t use him that way.

I think the hope for next year would be that if he never catches, he’ll be able to maintain his legs which would improve his results at the plate.

Last edited 10 days ago by soxygen
ChiSoxND12

I feel like Yas has been criminally underrated his entire career and I really want him to shut a lot of you up.

gibby32

While I am of the view that we would be better off right now with McGuire as opposed to Grandal, I respect all of the contrary views. It always is hard to know when assessing players in their mid-thirties when they are in a slump and when they are toast. I’ve been wrong and I’ve been right. So have all of you. I may be wrong about Grandal. But here is why I think not: he is in bad physical shape playing the most difficult position; he may be the slowest player on the planet; his performance this year is shockingly bad, not to mention infrequent due to injury. In addition to that, here is why I think it would be/have been smart to move on: Savala and McGuire have been working well with the pitchers; Grandal is making 18M/year. I hope that this is one of the times that I am wrong. But in any event, he should never be the DH, particularly since Vaughn should almost never be an outfielder, which means either he or Abreu should be the predominant DH.

Nellie Fox

Larrusa makes the lineup everyday with a dart that shows where Garcia will start, the rest will be determined after a short nap.

calcetinesblancos

Wrong order of operations; naps come during the game, which is long after the lineup card is submitted.

Qubort

There’s a nap before the lineup card is made and then again during the game. Day drinking makes one sleepy.

Torpedo Jones

Thank you – an elderly drunk is likely taking several short naps during the day.

upnorthsox

An elderly drunk can nap while drinking, we are a talented bunch.

lifelongjd

The Sox are running out of time and must play their optimal lineup nearly every time out or else they risk missing the postseason. I appreciate TLR sticking up for Vaughn and don’t disagree with what he said, but I think either Engel or Pollock make those plays. Not making those plays cost them the game and gaining ground in the standings. That’s the bottom line that should be clear to all.

I don’t believe the Sox are a better team with Pollock/Engel in RF over Sheets or Vaughn, but they sure are better with any of them over Yas at this point

Joliet Orange Sox

Great post Jim!

Here’s the success rate added for Sox position players according to Baseball Savant:

+3% Moncada, Harrison
+2% Abreu, Engel
+1% Robert
0% Leury
–1% Anderson
–2% Pollock
–4% Eloy, Sheets
–5% Burger
–8% Vaughn

Vaughn looks better in this list than in Jim’s article because this is his season total and Jim only listed his OF number (as that was what he was discussing). Vaughn is at –2% as an infielder and –11% as an outfielder.

Leury is –1% as an infielder and +4% as an outfielder.

This particular metric correlates well with the tiers I put up based my just watching the games in the comments of last night’s recap post.

This is another confirmation that Vaughn in the outfield should not really be an option.

itaita

This is why i would like Vaughn to cycle between Jose for 1B and DH starts. We presume hes going to be taking over for the position next year so it wouldn’t hurt to get him back into the groove of playing first. Unlike guys like Eloy who just look clumsy always Vaughn looks athletic enough and i think with more reps he could be a “fine” first basemen defensively.

soxygen

Good piece by Jim, as usual.

I’m generally in agreement with the framing of these lineup issues.

It will be interesting to see whether the Sox are able to create any payroll space next year to optimize the roster. Options include…

1. Not re-signing Abreu; Vaughn as primary 1B.

2. Trading Eloy for prospects.

3. Trading Moncada; Burger is primary 3B.

4. Trading Grandal (probably requires retaining a large portion of his salary); Carlos Perez or NRI backup catcher.

Joliet Orange Sox

I don’t view Burger as an option at third base. He’s 36th out of 36 among qualified third basemen with his –5% success rate added according to Baseball Savant (Moncada is 4th on that list).

The ball finds bad defensive outfielders often but it finds bad defensive infielders every single game. If Moncada is dealt, the Sox need to find someone other than Burger to play third.

calcetinesblancos

I agree; you would hope Burger would eventually get better with the bat, but that is definitely not a concern compared to his defense. If he wants to play 3B at the MLB level, he has to get a lot better.

a-t

I don’t particularly like any of those options, and I don’t really think they *need* to make payroll space. Keuchel coming off the books plus Pollock 15M -> 10M and then Abreu resigning for about the same $ would have them at about the same payroll as now, accounting for arbitration raises etc.

They currently have a hole in RF, utility infielder/longterm 2B, and they will have a hole to fill at 5th starter. What makes the most sense to me is to basically run it back, but trade preferably Sheets, maybe Vaughn or Eloy if they really have to, to fill 2B or 5th starter. San Diego might be interested in replacing Bell for cheap in the offseason w Sheets in exchange for say Ha-Seong Kim, for instance. Let RF be handled by Haseley/Pollock until Colas is ready. Again, this is a down year, but really talented teams have those and rebound to expectations the next year all the time.

Right Size Wrong Shape

Edit: Misread your comment.

Last edited 11 days ago by Right Size Wrong Shape
soxygen

“Running it back” sounds like my idea of baseball purgatory!

I don’t think you can fix this roster by swapping out some guys who make the major league minimum/first year arb eligible for other guys making the minimum/first year arb eligible, which is what most of the “trade Sheets or Vaughn” ideas sound like to me…In any event, it will be interesting to see what the front office chooses to do.

I imagine that even though the front office keeps pointing to a lack of leadership in the clubhouse, the need to regain our swagger, etc, that none of the core veteran guys will actually be held accountable by the front office either. Just no accountability up and down the org. Rick will be back, Tony will be back, Jose will be back. And somehow next year will be different!

Last edited 11 days ago by soxygen
a-t

They need a new hitting coach and training staff. Manager too, but that’s not happening short of a medical emergency that forces re-retirement. But these are fixable things.

Again… I just see other teams who completed rebuilds on about the same timeline as the Sox like the Padres, Braves, Phillies, and Jays having similar fluctuations in performance. I don’t think the Sox are special— a rebuild gets a core of talent sufficient to contend, but it’s really hard to be successful every single year. Three of those teams missed the playoffs last year, and the Sox have much less fearsome competition both now and in the foreseeable future for the division than them.

Nearly everything that could go wrong has gone wrong this year— injuries for some key players and regression from established talent level across the roster— and they’re still just 2 games out of first because the division rivals are meh. Improved training and coaching is how you address underperforming your talent level.

Alfornia Jones

#1 unfortunately has to be baked in for next year. Trading Eloy or Yoan just doesn’t work, we would get nothing in return. Those are the guys they built the team around, so stuck until at least their options come up. Next year:

1b: Vaughn- they can’t spend another 20 mil on 1b or Dh when they have something close to replacement on the roster. He probably has a good 1-2 years left, but there’s no room for Abreu.

Dh- Sheets and platoon with all the righties on the team. No Grandal reps here unless he shows something or Sheets implodes.

RF- Judge. Top load a contract with opt outs every year, offer $50mil per year for 3-5 years and hope his market is like Correas

2B- in house with one of Sosa, Gonzalez, Sanchez.

The only tradable assets are TA or Gio (Cease and Kopech are off limits). Getting a haul for TA needs to be looked at.

A new front office and coaching staff first.

a-t

Abreu’s the best of the 1B/DHs and it’s not very close at the moment. I know he’s getting older but he’s also apparently getting better. Look at what Atlanta did: they let Freeman walk and gave up a bunch of prospects to get Olson and sign him to a cheaper long-term deal, but Freeman’s got a 160 wRC+ and 4.9 fWAR to Olson’s 124 wRC+ and mere 1.9 fWAR.

Pito isn’t getting a six year deal. Two years, maaaybe 3, is probably it. That’s perfectly fine. Just trade one of the other DHs for a position they need.

HallofFrank

I continue to be baffled by Sox fans who want to let Abreu walk. He continues to be an incredible hitter who should— for the 4th straight year—garner some MVP votes. In addition to being excellent on the field, he is this team’s leader and arguably its best clubhouse presence. Assuming they could get fair value, I’d rather they trade Vaughn than let Abreu walk.

Here’s how I wish they’d handle Abreu: sign him to a 2-year, $34m contract with an infinite amount of team options after that at $12m/year. The first year the Sox decline the team option, there’s a player option for $5m.

soxygen

I wonder how much we really know about his leadership in the clubhouse. People think he’s a great leader, but then this entire season has happened which would seem to be at least SOME evidence that his leadership is not that impactful.

But as to the numbers, I think going from Abreu to Vaughn would probably cost us a win over the course of the season. The question is do you think you could buy two wins for whatever we would need to pay Abreu. Sure it would be a step back at 1B, but the idea would be to take a step forward somewhere else.

I imagine that the team will re-sign him, so we will all end up having a chance to see how that works out.

soxygen

One final point re Abreu’s leadership: I would think that if we were to see evidence of that anywhere it would be with the play of Yoan and Luis Robert. We can’t know how much any player is affected by things like COVID, but certainly we can all agree that at times both players have appeared to “mail it in.” So I guess I’ll just believe in Abreu’s leadership when I see it rather than conforming my opinion to the prevailing narrative.

Last edited 10 days ago by soxygen
a-t

Luis Robert signed with the Sox in the first place because of Abreu. C’mon, man.

Torpedo Jones

While his role as a Cuban ambassador has proven extremely valuable in adding and acclimating new players to the team, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a day-to-day leader in the clubhouse. I could easily picture a scenario where he’s a more quiet “lead by example” type rather than a more hands-on mentor for guys.

No idea if that’s the case or not – just not assuming his role in selling new players on the org equates to day-to-day motivation and leadership.

soxygen

That has nothing to do with it, though.

I’m talking about things like say, bottom of the 3rd in our recent 9-2 win over KC when Abreu isn’t even trying to run to second on Yoan’s infield ground ball (even after Witt initially drops the ball) and when his mentee Moncada isn’t even trying to get to first (as Stone said at the time, Yoan was conceding the second out before they even had the first out).

Last edited 10 days ago by soxygen
a-t

Hasn’t the training staff told like most of the lineup to not push it?

HallofFrank

Well, sure. We don’t know what he’s like in the clubhouse. But that’s true of every player. We only have the evidence before us. And that evidence suggests he’s an excellent leader. Not sprinting to 2nd when the ball beat him by 30 feet isn’t a good reason to suggest he’s not a leader. He appears to have an infectious personality, has fun, plays hard, and cares deeply about winning—that’s a leader, in my book.

soxygen

He also didn’t run hard yesterday on the fly ball that wasn’t caught in RF. Do leaders get to decide when they have to run? And do we apply the same standard to other players?

HallofFrank

That is truly a bizarre standard for leadership. I’d be surprised if more than 2% of MLB players sprinted on every batted ball—and most of that 2% is made up of fringe players trying to stick. It’s a long season. Almost no one sprints hard on routine fly balls (even if they’re inexplicably dropped). Nor, frankly, should they. Leadership is playing hard and playing every day, even when you’re not 100%—which Abreu clearly does.

soxygen

Ok, so he isn’t running hard but he is playing hard? You kind of lost me there. Isn’t running part of playing?

Last edited 10 days ago by soxygen
HallofFrank

Are you saying that anyone that doesn’t run 100% on every batted ball isn’t playing hard? If so, I think you need to adjust your definition of playing hard. Or simply admit that no one really plays hard—at least not on a daily basis.

I don’t think jogging to 1st base when you hit a routine pop-up means you aren’t playing hard, no. Abreu does play hard.

soxygen

I’d like to see him run hard when it matters. Sprinting back to the dugout after the 3rd out in the field doesn’t mean anything. It’s cute, but it’s just being goofy and it isn’t being a leader.

And again, if it’s ok for Abreu not to run to first, then is it okay for the younger players that he is supposedly mentoring or leading?

To me it sounds a little like “because he is a leader he doesn’t have to run.”

Last edited 10 days ago by soxygen
Right Size Wrong Shape

I’ve always said that the problem with this team is that Jose Abreu doesn’t try hard enough.

soxygen

Then you are alone! That isn’t at all what I said. I just don’t think his leadership is some valuable thing that should dictate our plans for the next few years.

Last edited 10 days ago by soxygen
Right Size Wrong Shape

I guess we’ll just have to ignore the opinions of every teammate he’s had who has commented on his leadership and years of watching him play every single day no matter how bad he’s hurting, and instead focus on that time he didn’t run hard.

soxygen

We should definitely re-sign the old codger then!

Right Size Wrong Shape

I think arguments could be made either way; it depends on what the offseason plan is. But when it’s time to decide, leadership and playing the game the right way should go in the “Keep” side of the ledger.

As Cirensica

This. Abreu is productive and possesses a rare quality on this team: He can play regularly without the need of rest. He is indestructible, and he looks like he takes care of his body during the off season. Extend this guy asap.

soxygen

I can 100% agree with the facts that he is productive and rarely gets hurt.

I do think we need to have the humility to acknowledge that we don’t actually know whether he is a good leader in the clubhouse.

Wasn’t there a story earlier this summer about Kenny (?) saying that there wasn’t enough leadership from veterans in the clubhouse? If so, who else would the front office be looking to among the players to be a leader but Jose? I’m not sure I believe that story 100% – it was Nightengale after all – but we really don’t know what happens in the clubhouse or anything about who is an effective leader among the players.

Last edited 10 days ago by soxygen
Qubort

Because he’ll be 36 before the next season starts. At some point Vaughn and Abreu career arcs will cross each other and the one going up is way cheaper. If Abreu is willing to return for a huge discount, sure. But to give out $34 million for next years Grandal-esqe collapse seems baffling to me.

a-t

His bat hasn’t slowed and he’s really cut his K rate, especially vs RHP, which is a very sticky change. Grandal’s a bad comp bc we’re talking 1B vs C, the least and most physically demanding positions respectively.

a-t

I’d also like to point out that he’s actually out produced his current 3y/$50M contract. He’s played at a 3.9 WAR/600 PA level with most of it in the books, which is a deal tho not a crazy one at an AAV of $16.6M.

Alfornia Jones

The hole in the lineup and field is RF, and they cost more than easily replaceable 1b. Abreu looked done in April/May, one these Junes he isn’t going to defrost. My guess is he wants out of cold weather anyway. They have 3-4 in house options that save $18mil for 75-80% of the WAR.

Negative WAR in RF is way more detrimental.

Remember, the Sox moved on from the greatest player in club history 2-3 years early. They easily replaced him too. Nobody overvalues 1B and DH like the Sox front office and their fans. It’s the easiest position on the field to get fungible or better value , especially when the replacement is already on the team for cheap. The whole $18 mil needs to go towards RF, then find the other $20 mil or more to sign Judge. He’s the exact player they need and he’s available.

Or resign Abreu and relive this hell another season.

Soxfan2

Agreed and it doesn’t even have to be Judge. Vaughn at 1B and Nimmo in RF makes the 2023 White Sox much better than Abreu at 1B and Vaughn/Sheets in RF.

HallofFrank

You’re just making several assumptions here. Like: Abreu will collapse in the next 2 years or Vaughn will outproduce him. I find both of those things improbable. Even if there’s a decline, Abreu’s shown sustainable changes that should make that decline soft and graceful. It’d be borderline shocking if he fell off a cliff like you’re suggesting.

And for the record: everyone said the same thing before the previous contract,and that proved to be an excellent move.

upnorthsox

Shocking? We don’t even have to go beyond the guy Abreu replaced to find an almost possible carbon copy situation. Konerko coming to the end of a 3 year contract in 2012 at 36 where he had 3 AS appearances and 3 yrs of OPS+ of 160, 141, and 130 resigned to an ill advised (Sox perspective) deal where his production suddenly plummeted from the 130 OPS+ to 82 to 64 and HR’s from 26 to 12 to 5. Yeah it can all happen that fast and we should know that because we went thru it. I suppose it was different back then because Konerko wasn’t a team leader or say a team Captain….
And your suggestion is to trade Vaughn instead? I suppose we should have done that with Abreu then in 2013 (or maybe we should’ve forced him to play RF, that would’ve been a treat) and we wouldn’t have to worry about any of this now.

Unlike in 2013 we have an opening at DH where we could take a chance that Abreu still has a couple good years left, so 2yr/$24mil to be DH or thanks and we’ll see you at your retirement ceremony.

Last edited 10 days ago by upnorthsox
metasox

I prefer to never see Vaughn in the outfield. But if there are any home / road defensive splits to suggest he is better at home because of being more familiar with the ballpark and how to read the ball off the bat, that might be a case where it could be comtemplated on a very limited basis. But I don’t know if that is the case.

dongutteridge

Your suggestions make perfect sense. That’s why we won’t see them.

Sell the team, Jerry.

Foulkelore

Tony failed to read Jim’s article. Vaughn is in RF again today, even with Robert in CF, so Grandal can DH.

Joliet Orange Sox

Yet another day that I’ll spend a lot of time humming “I used to be disgusted; now I try to be amused.”

upnorthsox

But 4th game in a row that Mr Garcia isn’t starting, you can only ask Tony to compromise so much.

a-t

I feel like Hahn snapped a little after failing at the trade deadline and told TLR that Leury better not f’in play unless he has to

Torpedo Jones

That would align with my theory that TLR wants to keep trotting Vaughn out in RF to make us appreciate – nay, demand! – the “stellar” defense that Leury brings to that spot.

soxygen

Ugh. Whither Engel?

Last edited 10 days ago by soxygen
Ted Mulvey

Late to the party on this, but Mrs. tedsox has a quibble with Gavin Sheets being akin to an armoire: she says he’d be more like a chifforobe because it has drawers. (ba-dum-tsh)

bdinello

Grandal will make $18.5 million dollars this season and 18.5 next season to complete the largest contract in White Sox history. This season, halfway through his contract, he is now a backup catcher and a DH hitting under .200 with 2 HRs. Yes, there are 1,000 things wrong with the Sox, but this is has to be on top.

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