Podcast: 2022 Season Preview – Outfielders

Record Date: 3/31/2022

Next in the series of 2022 Season Previews, Josh and Jim preview the Chicago White Sox outfielders. Is 2022 the year Eloy Jimenez unleashes and hits 40+ home runs? Will Luis Robert stay healthy and repeat his 2021 breakout to be a legit AL MVP candidate? And who will we all see play in right field?

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Josh Nelson

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

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knoxfire30

The whitesox have done just about everything they can to screw up Andrew Vaughn, and I still think he is just such a talented hitter he is going to overcome it and have a big year/career.

I would trade Sheets over Montgomery, Sheets has 0 defensive ability, literally can’t hit vs lefties, and the sox future at 1b/dh is still very bright as I dont believe they let Abreu walk, and internal options for if that happens abound in Vaughn, Burger, even Eloy at some point. The outfield squeeze may be on too as Cespedes and Colas continue to progress.

The only hesitation I have towards moving Sheets is the teams refusal to add lefty pop to the lineup and to Sheets credit he did show power vs right hand pitching which the sox sorely lack. The value though of Manea is going to outweigh what they lose in Sheets. And for the record I would trade Montgomery as well if that is what it took, the sox window is now, and a toolsy SS who is 3 or 4 years away cant stand in the way of title dreams.

Last edited 4 months ago by knoxfire30
jhomeslice

Forget that Sheets can’t hit lefties, he is one of their only plus hitters against righties. They’ve struggled vs RHP since the start of 2020, I mean come on. Sheets looks like their DH against righties, and is the last guy they should look to trade.

Augusto Barojas

They’re not trading Sheets unless they are even stupider than they have shown.

HallofFrank

Yeah, but that’s what makes it tough: Sheets looks like good help for this team, but we’re also talking about the best Sox prospect versus a guy you’ve all but admitted is a platoon-only DH bat. It is a tough call, though.

HallofFrank

I’ll take the 3rd option and say they should move neither for Manaea—at least not yet. I wouldn’t be upset if they did, since Manaea would be a nice addition. But I also wouldn’t mind seeing what they have in Cease and Kopech (and I guess Keuchel, too). If those guys look worthy of a playoff start before the trade deadline, I’m comfortable rolling with what they have, even if it means a bit too much of Reynaldo and Vince during the season.

Augusto Barojas

Well Crochet’s injury does not sound good. He has seemed like a poster child for TJ surgery, we can only hope that’s not where he is headed. So Bummer now their only good lefty reliever, for a while at least.

knoxfire30

If Im the whitesox im looking at which rebuilding teams have that 2nd lefty vet bullpen arm they dont need and trying to talk them into adolfo who could be of interest to teams who have OF and DH at bats to give out.

Augusto Barojas

I don’t think Adolfo has a lot of value, personally. But this turn of events certainly suggests it wasn’t such a bright idea to sign 3 right handed relievers. It’s not like an injury to Crochet is a huge surprise, I was waiting for it all of 2021. We can only hope he isn’t out for the year.

It is unlikely that if they find a lefty reliever, that he is going to be Crochet’s level of ability. I don’t think Bummer is either, frankly. How great is their bullpen going to be now with one lefty?

knoxfire30

Obviously not going to get someone on Crochets level, but a 2nd lefty type from a rebuilding squad shouldnt be too hard to come by with adolfo and maybe a lotto ticket type arm thats a few years away (funny a guy like mckinley moore) would be the type of throw in for a trade like this

shaggy65

Good thing Sousa has looked lights out this spring and appears ready for the majors.

I’d hate to lose Crochet, but the Sox do actually have several lefty relievers with upside in the high minors so there’s no need to panic.

rugbysox

Yes – Sousa looks ready and I’m holding out hope that they can reign in Crick’s control because that slider is elite

andyfaust

According to a release by MLB today, umpires will be mic’ed up to address the fans in the stadiums in order to explain replay reviews, not unlike the NFL does already. Upon hearing this news, Joe West has just un-retired because he couldn’t pass up the chance for fans to hear more of his golden voice.

dwjm3

I glad they are doing this simply because I won’t have to listen to Benetti

call for it anymore. He was fixated on this issue.

HallofFrank

He was. But I always thought he was making too much of it. I don’t need to know an umpire’s reasoning for any play, and fiddling with the announcement just takes more time. I’d much rather they crack down on the length of time reviews can take. I believe it was Stone who suggested a 30-second look at the available camera angles. If it’s not obvious, call stands. I like that a whole lot.

dwjm3

My thoughts exactly

GrinnellSteve

Stoney is right. Replay should quickly fix obvious mistakes. Perfection at any cost shouldn’t be the goal.

The last few minutes on the clock at a basketball game are unwatchable. Every few seconds, the refs are destroying the flow for minutes at a time.

andyfaust

Also, I don’t think we will even be listening to the umps on the field opining on any calls, but rather them simply relaying the explanation from NY or wherever the actual review is happening.

phillyd

Reads note…checks calendar…remains skeptical.

Yolmer's gatorade

The box! The box!

Ceverettsdinosaurs

I’m told he had an MRI this morning and is awaiting results. They fear it’s TJ but no confirmation yet.

Augusto Barojas

Where did you hear about MRI and fear of TJ?

Ceverettsdinosaurs

Non-public sources.

knoxfire30

Kimbrel for pollock???? Or is this an april fools stunt

jhomeslice

No way! Whoa…. best move of the offseason by far. I have no idea the terms, but jeez. I never thought they would get anything for Kimbrel, much less a solid outfielder. He hit righties pretty well last year too, even though he is right handed. Thanks Knox for being all over this, had not heard!

It’s on ESPN, I assume this is not a cruel April fool’s joke. Somebody deserves to be shot if that is the case.

Last edited 4 months ago by jhomeslice
Foulkelore

Yep, balanced splits both recently and in his career.

Foulkelore

No kidding, just saw this and got excited. I will hold back for now, just because of this stupid day.

Last edited 4 months ago by Foulkelore
dwjm3

Finally something to be happy about with this team

jhomeslice

According to Passan on twitter, it is straight up. Pollock makes 10M, so the Sox save 6M on top of the deal. I sure hope this is legit.

snoopy369

10M? Pollock’s 2022 plus 2023 buyout of a player option is $18m ($13M 2022 + $5M buyout, or $10M contract, in 2023 – definitely won’t be picking that option up)

https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/p/polloaj01.shtml

Last edited 4 months ago by snoopy369
jhomeslice

Passan says Pollock makes 10M this year, plus 10 next year with buyout.

Says same thing here
https://www.nbcsportsedge.com/baseball/mlb/player/19635/aj-pollock?category=contract

snoopy369

I’ve seen that repeated a few places, but I think Passan is just wrong – no reason to believe Baseball Reference would be wrong here, and it doesn’t make sense for his 2022 contract to be *less* than 2021 (when factoring in the buyout).

phillyd

Check COTS. Passan is more correct

  • 4 years/$55M (2019-22), plus 2023 player option. Signed by LA Dodgers as a free agent 1/26/19. $12M signing bonus (paid in $4M installments 2/28/19, 5/1/19, 7/1/19). 19:$1M, 20:$12M, 21:$15M, 22:$10M, 23:$10M player option ($5M buyout). 2023 salary increases $1M each for 400, 450, 500, 550, 600 plate appearances in 2022. 2023 salary increases $1M per point based on finish in 2019-22 MVP voting: 5 points for first place, 3 points for second-fifth place, 1 point for sixth-10th place. Pollock may opt out of contract after 2021 season and receive $5M buyout with 1,000 PA in 2020-21 or 1,450 PA in 2019-21. Assignment bonus: $1.5M for each trade.
snoopy369

Yeah, I see the difference: BBR is including the signing bonus. So 2021 was $15M and 2022 is $10M + buyout $5M.

Last edited 4 months ago by snoopy369
jhomeslice

I could care less. Kimbrel is gone, and the Sox got a real outfielder in return. That’s all that matters.

andyfaust

Which raises the questions, who is the best remaining FA SP, and is he worth $6M on a one year deal?

andyfaust

After checking the list, the answer to the first question is debatable, but the answer to the second question appears to be a resounding “no”.

Augusto Barojas

Keuchel threw 4 scoreless vs the Dodgers regulars. I really think he will be way less awful than last year. There is a pretty reasonable chance to believe he will not suck as much, I mean he’s had a very solid career and is not old, nor does he rely on high velocity pitches.

andyfaust

Haha this is the second time today I’ve noticed an extremely optimistic comment from you. Very rare around here. And good on you.

ForsterFTOG

Kimbrel cost them an extra $6M last year vs Madrigals salary.
Jerry’s even Steven.

andyfaust

Oh please be true!!!!

andyfaust

Kimbrel for Pollock!! Yes please.

a-t

Kimbrel for Pollock, god bless

GrinnellSteve

This changes the offseason!

LamarHoyt_oncrack

Totally. I mean Pollock is a legit hitter, .800 career OPS. It means we won’t have to watch Adolfo/Haseley. Hallelujah!

Foulkelore

It sure does. I really thought the Kimbrel option pickup was a mistake, and not addressing RF was certainly a mistake. It turns out Hahn did turn Kimbrel into a valuable OF for this team. I’m not sure he could have done something as good with $15 million (Kimbrel contract minus $1 million buyout) for this year, not without a multi-year committment anyway.

shaggy65

Welp, looks like you’re gonna have to re-do this outfielders podcast…

rugbysox

Finally addressed an actual hole with this trade.
No more Leury in the outfield!
Late innings defense of Pollock Robert Engel.
Continued destruction of LHP.

jhomeslice

This trade avoids so much complete nonsense. No Haseley or Garcia in RF. Gives them tons of positional flexibility, and if Sheets continues to struggle vs lefties at DH, they have plenty of platoon options for him now.

Hope we get some good news on Crochet, if he needs TJ would make a bittersweet day.

NDSox12

I see Pollock has only started one game in RF in his career. Yet, he’s no doubt far more capable of playing that position than anybody on the roster besides Robert/Engel.

jhomeslice

I would prefer someone in right that is a centerfielder rather than a first baseman.

Foulkelore

Your ideas are intriguing to me, and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

Last edited 4 months ago by Foulkelore
ForsterFTOG

Direct quote from Moneyball?

andyfaust

Haha you gotta warn us before you fire off a hot take like this one!

Foulkelore

Another thing: I know it’s only spring training, but Kimbrel got lit up in his only appearance, and his velocity wasn’t there. It’s possible his decreased velocity remains an issue. Even if Kimbrel returns to being the good version of himself, this trade makes sense for the Sox, and there’s a definite chance he doesn’t.

jhomeslice

Kimbrel was a grenade. He might do ok with the Dodgers only because he will be used in the 9th inning. Unless the Sox did that, I have no faith he would have been worth anything as an 8th inning guy again.

Just a solid, positive move that was a no-brainer. Even saved a few million. I’m stunned.

knoxfire30

With pollock on board wonder how that shakes up the roster, saw that Burger, Collins, and Heasely were sent down. Interesting battle for backup catcher seems to have Zavala in the lead. Makes sense to keep mendick over burger too as im sure the sox view burger as someone who needs 500+ at bats in AAA as oppose to mendick who is more of a utility guy they may want to carry with TA out first couple games