Beau Wills OPP 2021-2022

PREAMBLE

Losing Carlos Rodon will hurt, but there are many more holes to fill moving towards 2022. The obvious points of emphasis are who is playing Right Field, who is playing Second Base, what happens with Craig Kimbrel, who fills the gaps in the rotation, and who makes up the bench. I look to answer all of these in the plan by utilizing trade pieces and assets in order fill out a championship caliber roster that did not meet expectation and got hit hard by the reality of postseason baseball.

ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE PLAYERS

Write “tender,” “non-tender” or “rework/extend” after each player and their projected 2022 salaries. Feel free to offer explanation afterward if necessary.

  • Lucas Giolito: $7.9M- Extend, 6 years, $125 million
    • Gio wants to be here, the club wants him here, and the fanbase wants him here. Lock him up now while you still have the arbitration advantage to pa slightly less than market value and add some years past the end of arbitration eligibility.
  • Reynaldo López; $2.8M- Tender
  • Evan Marshall: $2.3M- Non-Tender
  • Adam Engel: $2.2M- Tender
  • Brian Goodwin: $1.7M- Non-Tender
  • Jimmy Cordero: $1.2M- Non-Tender
  • Jace Fry: $1M- Non-Tender

CLUB OPTIONS

Write “pick up” or “decline” or “rework” after the option.

  • Craig Kimbrel: $16M ($1M buyout)- Pick-Up
  • César Hernández: $6M- Decline

OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS

Try to retain, extend qualifying offer, or let go?

  • Leury García (Made $3.5M in 2021)- Re-Sign, 2 years, $10 million
  • Carlos Rodón ($3M)- Offer QO (I know it wasn’t done but it was a mistake) and let walk
  • Billy Hamilton ($1M)- Re-Sign to a Minor League Contract
  • Ryan Tepera ($950K)- Re-Sign, 3 years, $12 million

FREE AGENTS

No. 1: Michael Conforto- 3 years, $55 million. Just like Grandal, beat the market and go get the guy that makes A TON of sense for this lineup. Lefty power who plays good outfield defense and could play any of the 3 positions if injuries require that. Other than Sheets and Grandal, the lefty power aspect was not present in the lineup this year, and it was evident throughout the playoffs that having good balance was vital to the teams who had success.

No. 2: Kurt Suzuki- 1 year, $2 million. Im guessing no one saw the coming, but call me crazy for wanting some stability, experience, and enough ability for the backup catcher position. In all totality, I was not completely unamused by the performance of Seby Zavala last year, but I don’t know if it’s something I want to see again. Collins: don’t get me started. Suzuki has a WS ring, has been around a time or two, and can be someone who is added with the ability to do his job while also being another solid addition to the clubhouse.

No. 3: Yusei Kikuchi- 1 year, $16 million. I could see Kikuchi returning to Seattle on this same deal, however if they are willing to move on and his market a for multi-year deal is not hot, I think the White Sox could wait and jump on this and make a really great deal in terms of making a strong push this year. Kikuchi was battled by an above 20% HR/FB rate which is not ideal, but the idea that that reoccurs does not seem likely. I think this could be a late offseason steal who slots in at SP 3/4 and could be a really nice addition to the rotation.

TRADES

Following Free Agency, the White Sox are at $220 million, which is hefty. Lets cut that down.

No. 1: Dallas Keuchel and Micker Adolfo to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Sean Poppen and Caleb Smith. Getting rid of Keuchel helps clear $18 million from the payroll, and although Adolfo could be helpful in the future, to be able dump Keuchel might require something of benefit to the other side. With the universal DH incoming, Adolfo might be a nice piece for the rebuilding D-Backs, while the Sox get in return a couple of pieces that may be very helpful in the bullpen. The goal here is to get the D-backs to eat this whole deal, therefore I wouldn’t be surprised if the White Sox added more to this deal or upped the prospect in deference of Adolfo.

No. 2: Craig Kimbrel to the Philadelphia Phillies for Jose Alvarado and Scott Kingery. This one clears around $15 million for the Sox while also addressing the Kimbrel issue. Kingery has not been what the Phillies thought he would be and my have already found his replacement with out of nowhere production from Luke Williams. However, his upside is high and he would still serve as an upgrade over Danny Mendick. Alvarado is cheap and effective and adds another high velocity bullpen that will be just fine without Craig Kimbrel. The Phillies get their wish of a proven closer, and both teams win this one.

SUMMARY

Right now, this plan puts the White Sox at $179 million, however the Giolito deal would be structured with an AAV of $21 million, but would instead be increasing over the years. Hahn would structure the deal as follows. Yr1- $12 million, Yr2- $16 million, Yr3, $20 million, Yr4- $23 million, Yr5- $27 million, Yr6- $27 million. With this structure, this place the White Sox firmly at $170 million and addresses some big needs. Conforto fills RF and the lefty power problem, Suzuki solves the backup catcher dilemma, and Kikuchi helps bolster the rotation. The second base hole will have to be filled by a combination of Leury Garcia and Scott Kingery, but I think that is a hole that can be hidden behind a deeper lineup and fortified bullpen and rotation. I also think 2B becomes a trade deadline emphasis and there will be better options than in this free agency class (Ketel Marte). I think this team standalone could consider themselves favorites to win the AL, and they may be a deadline move away from cementing that.

Lineup

Tim Anderson SS

Michael Conforto RF

Luis Robert CF

Yasmani Grandal C

Jose Abreu 1B

Yoan Moncada 3B

Eloy Jimenez LF

Andrew Vaughn DH

Leury Garcia 2B

Rotation

Lance Lynn RHP

Lucas Giolito RHP

Dylan Cease RHP

Yusei Kikuchi LHP

Michael Kopech RHP

Bullpen

Liam Hendricks RHP

Ryan Tepera RHP

Aaron Bummer LHP

Jose Alvarado LHP

Reynaldo Lopez RHP

Garret Crochet LHP

Sean Poppen RHP

Jose Ruiz RHP/Caleb Smith LHP

Bench

Kurt Suzuki C

Adam Engel OF

Gavin Sheets 1B/OF

Scott Kingery IF/OF

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burning-phoneix

I don’t think 16 million for Kikuchi is a wise investment. He’s been quite mediocre and I think he will be available for much cheaper (if he doesn’t just quit and go back to Japan) I’ve seen analysts predict he could settle for deals in the 8-10Mil AAV range which should free up cash in your plan.

GrabSomeBench

I don’t know if you added Kingery’s contract into your calculations. He gets 6 mil this year and another 8 the year after. That’s a lot of dough for a guy that hit .053 last year and .159 the year before. Why not just re-sign Hernandez? They both suck but Kingery is off the charts sucky