Podcast: Hello, Kendall Graveman

The Chicago White Sox make their first signing of the 2021/22 offseason and its reliever Kendall Graveman. Josh and Jim break down the signing of how Graveman can help the White Sox and ponder what’s next. With Craig Kimbrel still on the roster, what are the offseason priorities for the White Sox? Most importantly, when will they address those priorities.

With Thanksgiving approaching, they also share what they are thankful for in 2021.

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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 sox are certainly gonna spend money on RF and 2nd base after allocating 8 mil a year to another reliever right right…. yes yes I am ready to be hurt again

I like the idea of Kimbrel for Segura, the money is close basically the sox would save a net 1 or 2 mil…. Segura gives you a good bat and glove to plug 2nd base for a year while Romy Gonzalez and Jose Rodriguez get some more minor league at bats and then could figure into 2023. The phillies might be players in the SS market and or could probably bring up Bryson Scott to play SS or 2nd as he looks just about ready to make the leap to the pros. They also fill a big need at closer.

Last edited 7 months ago by knoxfire30
mikeschach

Kimbrel for Segura and Suzuki in right? Not too expensive, might work out OK.

knoxfire30

I would be disappointed if they didn’t come away with at least Suzuki and I feel other than Pederson, of the talked about RF options Marte, Bryant, Castellanos, Schwarber, Conforto he is probably the cheapest option. Considering the sox will still want to grab a SP, another reliever, and backup C its hard to imagine them going top tier… but we can dream.

peanutsncrackerjack

Segura for Kimbral might be stretch. Kimbrel/Suzuki solves 2 problems. Midlevel FAs Escobar and Conforto/Pederson are more likely than Semien and Marte, etc. Another bullpen arm, a mid level starter and that’s about all I’d expect.

peanutsncrackerjack

Oops, ignore my post. I thought Kurt Suzuki was the player included in the Kimbrel trade.

Trooper Galactus

I would not be happy with that. That would mean the entire purpose of picking up Kimbrel’s option was so they could “solve” 2B with Jean Segura at 1/14. There are better options in free agency and it’s still a poor allocation of payroll. I just hope there’s some truth to the rumor that Dombrowski is about to do something stupid.

HallofFrank

I really enjoyed the grocery shopping analogies. But I don’t think the Eisenhower Matrix is a good offseason approach. The matrix helps discern how to allocate time, but assumes targeted projects could all be completed now. That’s not how Free Agency works. Let’s suppose Nightengale can be believed (use your imaginations) and the Sox want Semien and he is Target #1. Semien’s camp may have already made it clear that they are waiting for a new CBA, or taking their time, or whatever. The Sox can’t wait to fill out their shopping list until Semien signs.

Or, in grocery store terms, nabbing the produce first makes some sense, as long as you know how much $ should be allocated there and how much you have to spend on the essentials, like beer and frozen pizza.

Jim Margalus

I’ll miss Adam Eaton for the ease of analogies. I think we’ve called him a laptop battery, an old cell phone and a TV dinner.

Last edited 7 months ago by Jim Margalus
HallofFrank

Eaton as TV dinner and Hendriks as truffle oil are both spot on. And to run the analogy into the ground for good measure, Bryce Harper is the special they were running on Wagyu beef that you dream of while chewing cud-like on your Hungry-Man Salisbury.

PauliePaulie

How will Graveman’s ground ball rate work on a team that doesn’t utilize the inf shift?

mikeschach

Hahn heard someone say, “we need more strikeouts, more Ks from the bullpen”. So he keeps striking out on right fielders and signs HendriKs, Kimbrel and Kevin.

a-t

Very curious as to what Jerry’s budget is set at. This move is, in a vacuum, perfectly reasonable for price, player, and need. I believe the timing (ie first real move of the offseason) is maybe a result of an apparent leaguewide run on free agent pitching right now before the lockout hits, and therefore not particularly indicative of the Sox internal priorities.

Also, sorry for starting a vaccine debate, which I really did not intend to… the M’s are my local team and I simply wanted to add a little more context to that trade, which was quite a shock to a fanbase that was desperate to make it to the postseason for the first time in two decades.

Jim Margalus

No need to apologize. I was teaching curling last night, so by the time I could visit the comments it’d already gotten to the point of insults, so I just closed it.

calcetinesblancos

Is it like the law or something that we have to steal a reliever from each team that eliminates us?

As Cirensica

Nice podcast. Josh, Segura (Hispanic origin name) is pronounced se-GU-ra as Se-GOO-ra, you and in some degree Jim pronounced it like se-GE-ra…just in case he comes to the White Sox.

calcetinesblancos

That makes it sound Japanese.

As Cirensica

Indeed. It does kinda sound like Japanese.

armchairGM

“that’s because you’re saying it Japanese…”

As Cirensica

Your welcome ☺

Whenever you see a Hispanic name with an “u” in it, mentally replace the “u” with “oo” except when it follows a “q” or a “g” (other sounds apply depending)

Jose Abreu?…. Jose Abreoo
Luis Robert?… Loois Robert
Jose Ruiz?… Jose Rooiz

Etc

Jim Margalus

Segura the gentle shark.

mrridgman

I don’t get the love for a potential Segura acquisition, either through a Kimbrel trade or other. Let’s say Kimbrel was traded for minor leaguers so we can look at this with fresh eyes. Should we spend $15.25 M (14.25 + $1 2023 buyout) for one year of a slightly above average second baseman, given Sox’ historic cheapness?

calcetinesblancos

I would take Segura at 2B in a heartbeat over some of the other options.

mrridgman

So would I; but we’re not just talking about spending $15M on a 2B – we’re talking about spending $15M of Sox total budget. Per Fangraphs, Sox could get these players for near or below $15M AAV: Conforto (17), Chris Taylor (15 – I’m not high on him, some are), Schwarber, Jon Gray, Seiya Suzuki. In my view all of these options would benefit Sox more than Segura.

HallofFrank

Uh, that’s not how it works. Except Conforto, all of those guys are projected to net $50m+ guarantees over multiple years. There’s a premium to being on the book only for a year. It’s the reason Kimbrel has trade value in the first place: 1 year, $16m is not the same as 4 years, $64m.

Plus, there’s a good case to be made that Segura is the best add of any of the players you named. For example, he had the highest WAR of them all in 2021 (3.7) and the highest WAR over the last 3 seasons combined (6.7).

mrridgman

Uh, that kind of is how it works. You usually don’t get better players fr one year, and we were discussing the 2022 payroll budget. If we are also going to plan for 2023 and beyond, Sox lose Keuchel and Abreu costs totaling over $35M; in 2024 another $19M with Lynn. A 3 yea $51M deal for Conforto won’t strap them.

HallofFrank

If we’re only discussing the ‘22 payroll, why are you including Segura’s buyout in his salary figure? The reason, of course, is that the ‘22 payroll is related to the ‘23 (and beyond) payroll. The AAV can’t be flattened out. A 1-year, $15m deal is much less financial commitment than a 4-year, $60m deal to a FA.

To take an extreme case, consider that Carlos Rodón is projected by MLBTR to get 1-year, $25–the same AAV as Bryce Harper. Suppose Harper’s contract were available for someone to take on. You comparing Segura to the rest of those contracts would be like (in the extreme) someone saying, “why spend $25m on Rodón when we could have Harper at the same price?”

mrridgman

So, continuing in this line of thinking, Sox should never consider Machado and Harper-type contracts? (They may not anyway for their own cheap reasons). This would leave an organization scrambling to fill short-term positions on a regular basis, perhaps not the optimum way to extend a contention window.
I added the $1M buyout to Segura’s salary because, unless he had a terrific 2022 season, he’s not worth $17+ going forward.
I also wouldn’t have picked up Kimbrel’s option, he’s not worth $15M. Yeah, Sox MIGHT pick up someone of value who can plug a whole, but if that someone eats virtually the same salary, it’s the same as signing a $15M free agent. In the interim, they are in limbo until they find a taker.

mrridgman

Sorry; a hole.

HallofFrank

Continuing what line of thinking? You’ll have to draw the line for me from what I said to the Sox not considering massive contracts. The Sox *absolutely* should go after the Harpers and Machados of the world. My point was that you can’t just flatten out AAV to compare financial investment. Segura at $14m is *much* less financial investment than the players you named will take to sign.

Now, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t sign one of those guys or that they should sign Segura. I’m all for the Sox making financial investments. As I’ve said elsewhere in these comments, I hope they get Semien, who’ll take a lot more money than any of these players. But we can’t pretend like Segura’s contract is equal to those other guys you named. And, like I’ve already pointed out, he’s arguably better than them at a much lower price.

As Cirensica

Getting Segura for Kimbrel is idiotic in my opinion. Why? Because the White Sox couldn’t just no pick the option of Kimbrel, bring back Cesar Hernandez for 4 million or something like that, and end up pretty much in the same situation but paying 4 million instead of 15-16 million.

Segura/Kimbrel trade makes no sense to me.

metasox

Nothing against Segura, but I have assumed the point of picking up the option was not to get saddled with another large contract at a position where other options are available. Unless the Sox are really looking to spend and have a strong preference for a 1 yr commitment. Philly has some young catchers that would look interesting, as an alternative

Last edited 7 months ago by metasox
HallofFrank

Why does trading a 3rd closer for a 3.7 WAR player at the position of most desperate need not make sense to you?

I get that Sox fans are expecting the Kimbrel trade to save money, which would ideally be directed toward Semien. I hope that happens. But, if Semien signs elsewhere, Segura is a solid way to solve 2B.

HallofFrank

I’m not sure they’d buy him out. But, even if they do, there are worse ways to solve 2B. Semien is the obvious choice, but if he signs elsewhere how would you solve 2B? You could spend $100m on Javier Baez? Or a multi-year deal for Escobar? I’d prefer a one-year commitment to Segura, and with a team option. It may not be the best way to offload Kimbrel, but it wouldn’t be easy to find a better 2B for $16m.

asinwreck

Adam Eaton is not a Hungry Man dinner. Adam Eaton is the loaf of French bread you find in the day-old bin that has been there a week and shows evidence of mold.

The next White Sox second baseman is now an unrestricted free agent.

Joliet Orange Sox

Great, it’s hours before dinner and now I’m hungry just thinking about that moldy bread. If it was great in 2016, I’m sure it can’t be that bad now.

Jim Margalus

And he just sucker punched somebody in the VWL.

GrinnellSteve

He has TWTW!

burning-phoneix
Last edited 6 months ago by burning-phoneix
Trooper Galactus

Schilling was mentioned as a possible Rule 5 loss, which I don’t see happening.

soxygen

I love the confusing food analogies. I totally lost track of what you were talking about, and yet I was with you all the way.

I’m not a small guy – 240 lbs – and I would say that Graveman is bacon. Tasty, but not exactly what I need to be my healthiest self.

In contrast, strangely RF is like Brussels sprouts. Food I don’t really want, but need to eat more of. For whatever reason, the front office does not want to eat their vegetables.

Craig Kimbrel is basically the 15 pounds I need to lose. Seriously, can we jettison this contract now? It would take a lot of pressure off my poor knees.