andyfaust’s offseason plan (if i criticized your’s, here’s your chance to even things)

As spring training began this year, I was so angry with the Sox front office over the disastrous offseason, I declared that I would not renew my MLB.tv subscription for 2019.  That lasted until the night before opening day at KC, when I broke out my credit card and signed up again because, like all of you, I cannot stay away from this club.  I am in it for life.

Like most of you, I think it’s time to flip the switch and start spending on free agents in order to maximize the window of competitiveness.  My plan probably isn’t even close to feasible, but I think it’s a good plan because it addresses RF, DH, SP and catcher with some real difference makers.  I will also mention off the bat that I went over the $120 by nearly $10M but hopefully the White Sox will recognize that they must strike while the iron is hot and begin spending now.  I would point out that, although exceeding the spending parameters set in this exercise, my payroll is still roughly $10M less than the 2019 MLB average payroll.

ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE PLAYERS

  • Alex Colomé, $10.3M tender
  • Yolmer Sánchez, $6.2M  nope
  • James McCann, $4.9M  tender
  • Carlos Rodon, $4.5M  tender
  • Leury García, $4M tender
  • Evan Marshall, $1.3M tender
  • Josh Osich, $1M nope
  • Ryan Goins, $900K nope

CLUB OPTIONS

  • Welington Castillo: $8 million/$500,000 buyout   I’ll give you one guess…

OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS

  • Jose Abreu (made $16M in 2019)  Re-sign  @ 2 years/$18M
  • Iván Nova (made $9,166,167 in 2019)  thank you and goodbye
  • Jon Jay (made $4M in 2019)  I’d sooner take a kick in the nuts.
  • Hector Santiago (made $2M in 2019 on split contract) thank you and byebye

FREE AGENTS

No. 1: Gerrit Cole (seven years, $224 million  $32M AAV). Go to $250M+ if that’s what it takes.  This guy should be offered a blank check to join this club as far as I’m concerned.  I’ve read this week that he’d prefer to go to California, but what I learned last offseason is that the club offering the most GUARANTEED money, usually gets the FA.  Let’s be that club. Can the White Sox learn from their past mistakes?

No. 2: Yasmani Grandal (four years, $80 million).  I think this offer can get it done.  He helps any club tremendously.  Let’s be that club.  He would immediately be the head and shoulders leader in walks on the club.  McCann gets worked in against LHP occasionally.

No. 3: Kole Calhoun RF (three years, $24 million).  Is this too light?  I dunno.  No one at Sox Machine seems to like this guy and calls it a total Sox move, but I think you could do much worse.  If he can repeat 2019 numbers, he immediately becomes the #2 guy on the club in terms of walks (by a healthy margin, I might add).  Helps balance the lineup between lefties and righties. Solid D, great arm, hits homers.

No. 4: Blake Treinen rhp reliever (one year, $4 million).  Assuming he’s cut.  I stole this from someone else’s plan.  My other FA signings have left me with very little money to address another key concern of mine, the pen.  He seems like  a good bounceback candidate.

No. 5: Tony Cingrani LHP reliever(one year/ $2 million).   Good strikeout guy.  Must get over shoulder injury in the offseason though. Adds another lefty option in pen.

TRADES  (just one, and you’re gonna hate it)

No. 1: Trade Dane Dunning and Luis Basabe and Zach Burdi to Chicago Cubs for Kyle Schwarber. I’m not sure what the package for Schwarber is, but his value must have been boosted by his 2019 performance. This gives Cubs three near MLB ready prospects (once the injuries and surgeries are behind them) at positions they need.  If the TJ surgery scares them, sub Stiever for Dunning and make it a Hoosier for a Hoosier trade.  You can switch the package around however you like, but I’m not touching Robert, Madrigal, Vaughn, Kopech, or my guy Steele Walker. I think they can strike a deal and still keep all of those guys.

Sox get a real DH.  This kid was born to be a DH.  Some of his antics this year pissed me off, but I can deal w/ it, can you?  If he repeats 2019 numbers, (which I think he can improve on), he immediately becomes the 2nd place guy (tied w/ Calhoun above) on the club in terms of walks.  Are you noticing a trend here in added walks?  He can play LF in a pinch and would be the emergency catcher after Grandal, McCann, and Collins.

SUMMARY

This club will get on base way more, and will mash way more HRs.   My batting order would probably be:

Opening Day Lineup

  1. Anderson SS  R
  2. Moncada 3B S
  3. Abreu 1B R
  4. Grandal C S
  5. Jimenez LF R
  6. Calhoun RF L
  7. Robert CF R
  8. Schwarber DH L
  9. Madrigal 2B R

That’s nine hitters you are looking at.  Even assuming Madrigal hits zero HR’s, this lineup of 9 guys would produce over 200 home runs themselves.  What’s more, there is a very good balance of right and left handed hitters, and I’ve added three hitters that work the pitcher and actually get walks which should help the entire lineup (Grandal 109, Calhoun 70, Schwarber 70).  In 2019, Yolmer led the club with 44 (Narvaez had 47 in Seattle btw…).  So those three represent a HUGE improvement as far as I’m concerned.

Rotation

  1. Cole RHP
  2. Giolito RHP
  3. Cease RHP
  4. Kopech RHP
  5. Lopez/Rodon whichever stuggles more can pitch in the pen.

I really wanted to add another SP free agent, but I ran out of money.  I think both Lopez and Rodon could be tremendous bullpen pieces if they falter in the starting role.  Lopez seems so close to figuring it out.  Rodon needs more than a few consecutive healthy months, but I’m still excited to see what he can be. I’ve come to really like him.

Bullpen

  1. Colome will start the season as the closer
  2. Herrera will be closer to his normal self and futher from the 2019 disaster
  3. Bummer LHP-Thornton 2.0
  4. Treinen, we’ll see.  fingers crossed
  5. Cingrani  LHP also a lotto ticket
  6. Cordero  he was fun. suns out guns out
  7. Marshall not a bad option in low leverage situations
  8. Rodon or Lopez  could be dynamite here

I opted for Marshall over Osich, but could be convinced otherwise if you thought they needed another LHP.  Treinen and Cingrani need to bounce back, but if I hit on one and miss on the other, I’ll take it.  Not a huge step forward from 2019 pen, but again, I ran out of money after adding the big FA’s (and I’d do it again!)

Bench

  1. Engel
  2. Mendick
  3. Collins
  4. McCann
  5. Garcia

This club of 26 (actually 27 including Rodon) comes in at $129.8M after I included Castillo’s buyout.  This is perfectly reasonable to me.  I’d prefer to be in the 140’s where they could add another innings eating SP and another good BP arm.  But I love this batting order, which was a priority for me after getting Cole.  I think this club would set a Sox record for HR’s after a year where they only hit 182.  They would also add about 250 walks. Not bad.

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andyfaust
andyfaust
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roke1960

I would like to see at least one more pitcher added who can start. Relying completely on Kopech and Lopez to be in the rotation at least until Rodon comes back likely means a bunch of starts from Covey. Otherwise, this is a very good plan.

burning-phoneix

Behead those who non-tender Osich

burning-phoneix

Also, do buyouts count against payroll?

Neat_on_the_rocks

in a perfect world Kole Calhoun would be a fine addition. I think what a lot of us see is the absolutley perfect whitesox candidate who signs on with us and immediately craters into one of the worst hitters in the league. yes he had his best offensive year as a hitter this year but its hard to know if the juiced ball will be back.

he is 32 years old and not athletically gifted. I admit his 70 walk ability does provide a nice floor. I see he somehow wo na gold glove in 2015 (wat??) But I was under the impression he is just an average Right Fielder. And his defnsive values on bref and fangraphs are basically neutral at best.

if we could get the estimated .230/.320/.450 with average defense Calhoun on a 2 year deal, I would welcome that with open arms if it meant we spent some real money else where (Starting pitching along with either Grandal or JD)

But I’m extremely nervous to project that slashline in his age 32 season in his very first season ever away from Anaheim.

Eagle Bones

There’s also a big difference between “Kole Calhoun: Complementary Piece” and “Kole Calhoun: Biggest Acquisition of the Offseason”.