burning.phoneix’s “We’ve lost Osich all is lost” Offseason Plan

PREAMBLE

Despite the farmhands’ attempts to sabotage the whole thing, 2019 was overall a positive year for the White Sox. I had hoped that we get somewhere between 70 to 75 wins before the season started to show some progress on the rebuild and I’m relieved we got in that range. The pieces we were hoping to build as our new core (Timmy, Eloy, Yoyo) all stepped up and some other players that were write-offs or irrelevant at the start of the season surprised us (LuKace Gioeliteo, Jimmy Cordero, James McCann, Aaron Bummer, Evan Marshall Law) while only a few young pieces disappointed or failed to turn their careers around (Lopey, Palka, Fulmer). Pretty much 99% of the remaining riffraff is irrelevant to the future and I don’t care how low their OBP and K% is.

That being said, the Front Office is facing a situation eerily similar to when they couldn’t build a core around Sale, Q, Abreu and Eaton.They somehow stumbled on a core that can be even better than that one and they can’t afford to swing and miss twice in so close a time period. Even with the constraints of 120 Million USD, there’s plenty the FO can do to not only finally get over .500 but also make a run at the Wild Card, the team had so many negative WAR contributors that even getting middling players should make the White Sox a post season threat.

ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE PLAYERS

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

 

Alex Colome is overvalued at 10.3 Million USD, I understand that. I don’t, however, think he is as bad as his peripherals indicate. Call me old fashioned but I do believe that part of what makes elite and veteran relievers effective is down to makeup. Colome would give up loud contact and walks but still keep his cool and nail down the Save. A one year, 10 million dollar contract isn’t the worst thing in the world. Even if the worst case scenario ends up happening and he regresses to his FIP of 4.08? That’s still considered perfectly average by FIP+! Just goes to show you what the Bouncy Ball era has done to bullpens across the league.

Yolmer Sanchez is a player near and dear to many of our hearts. I am in favour of resigning him but not at the 6.2M arbs gonna give him.. As great as GG is, a glove first no bat 2B isn’t gonna get it done in today’s league but would be great for a spot on the bench of a contender. Give Danny Mendick the start this season and get some PA in hopes you can flip him at the deadline when Madrigal comes up and keep Yolmeme as a backup infielder.

James McCann , as many expected, regressed to his old ways in the 2nd half of the season but his pre-all star break form was quite something to behold and should give him enough Sox cred to get the tender at just under 5 million. Won’t break the bank and provided a decent backstop. Yes, he’ll likely never hit that way again and his defense is still terrible but the intangibles of Game Calling and Pitcher management are there. Hell, if his only contribution is getting Gio to feel comfortable on the mound? Worth it.

I miss Rodon . I miss that Slider. Even if his Starting pitching days are numbered, having that Slider+Aaron Bummer in the Bullpen will keep lefties awake at night and his starter pedigree means the 3 batter limit won’t effect him. I still think he should start in the rotation and we’ll see how it goes from there.

I was surprised to see many people tendering Leury. I don’t think I’ve seen a single plan that left him out. I’m sorry but you all are overvaluing “Can play OK defense at nearly all positions”. His bat is Yolmer-tier and his defense is nowhere near as close. You got Engel to do the Yolmer role in the Outfield. There’s no room for Leury in a Mendick,Yolmer,Madrigal infield. Save the money and let him go.

Evan Marshall really surprised me this year. Had no idea who this dude was going into the season and after Nate Jones and Kelvin Herrera went down I was bracing for a league worst pitching statistics from rotation and bullpen. To my pleasant surprise, Marshall, Jimmy Gundrero, Colome and Aaron Bummer were arguably the best combination in any bullpen in the league. They locked down the 7th, 8th and 9th innings all season and he’s a steal at just 1.3 Million. Sign him up!

I’ve been singing the praises of Josh Osich in the comments section of many an OPP and rankled at how many of them non-tendered him. There’s not much use in talking about it anymore since the FO thinks like many of you do and he’s heading to Boston. Yes, his splits against righties are bad and the 3 batter limit is coming up but I contend that he’s more valuable that people realize considering a lot forgot that he’s actually the bullpen leader in Innings Pitched. He went in there for 2 or 3 innings after the likes of Covey, Lopey, Despaigne and Detwiler shat the bed and had to contend with the entire opposing lineup at times. Even with all that, his ERA+ is average on the league with a good WHIP too, his downfall is the bouncy ball (2.0 HR/9) that might get nerfed this year. The Red Sox might have gotten a steal here.

Also who cares about Goins?

CLUB OPTIONS

  • Welington Castillo: $8 million/$500,000 buyout

Whatever weird thing the front office did. Unlike most of the fanbase, I think it was a good idea to ship of bonus pool money. It’s money left over from signing the likes of Yolbert Sanchez, not future money so the Sox are still gonna be in there on July 2nd with 5 million odd dollars. In any case, yeah buyout Beef. I’ve been calling for the team to cut him since he disgraced the White Sox with PEDs. How dare he do PEDs in the house Frank built?

OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS

Try to retain, or let go?

  • Jose Abreu (made $16M in 2019) RETAIN RETAIN RETAIN
  • Iván Nova (made $9,166,167 in 2019) Let Go
  • Jon Jay (made $4M in 2019) Let Go
  • Hector Santiago (made $2M in 2019 on split contract) Sign to a Minor League contract

Jose Abreu is my favorite active Sox player. For all the complaining about Reinsdorf being too loyal, I couldn’t believe that at the time of writing Abroo is not only unsigned (6th November BTW) but has a QO attached to him. The fact Abroo was not only NOT extended last offseason but also extended a QO is an insult and proves Jerry doesn’t give a damn about anyone other than who can make him money, not cost him money. “But the QO is great! He gets a small pay raise!” It’s 100% intended to depress his FA value to get him to sign a cheaper contract or to avoid paying a larger overall despite lower AAV. It’s disgusting to treat a dude who loves the club this way but that’s Jerry for you.

 

Ivan came in and did what he was advertised to do. Eat up a lot of innings with 4ish ERA baseball. Can’t ask for much more than that….well actually you can ask for more than that which is why we better Veteran presence than Nova. Ivan, I salute you but it’s time to move on.

 

Jon Jay….I’m already memory holing him.

 

Hector Santiago can’t stop coming back to Chicago. So let’s send him to Charlotte and bring him back up if our bullpen or rotation re-destruct.

FREE AGENTS

No.1 Gerrit Cole 245M/7 years Player Opt outs after year 4

Yes, I understand that this most likely will not happen. Even though its less guaranteed money than Machado, the FO has always been wary of giving long contracts to pitchers and for good reason. Unless you’re Max Scherzer, none of the deals turned out great for the club who signed it (off the top of my head) but Gerrit Cole doesn’t need to deliver sub 3.00 ERA all 7 years of his deal. Just the first three years of excellent pitching is enough to get the Sox into contention (pending adding other pieces). 245 over 7 also gives Boras the feathers he wants so desperately in his cap: Largest overall contract ever given to a pitcher and highest AAV given to a pitcher. If the FO really wants to show that “the money will be spent”, they should put up this contract.

Now that we’re done daydreaming:

No.Break in the likely case of noGerrit: Zack Wheeler $95M/5 Years

Unlike other pitchers we’re looking at, Zack Wheeler both has experience in a hitter’s park and a shit defense so he should fit right in with the White Sox rotation. He’s put together two solid seasons in a row and while injury concerns are valid, look at this through Kenny-o-Vision: Injury concerns means less competition for him to get his man!

No.2 Yasmani Grandal $76M/4 Years

This deal should have been done last year. Yasmani should have had suitors galore last year and something better than the 60M/4 the Mets gave him last year. Giving him a small upgrade on his 1 year deal’s AAV should do it. I love James McCannon but his defensive skills leave much to be desired and his bat is flukey. With a rotation and bullpen full of wild, young arms, the little bit of leeway a great framer and blocker like Yasmani provides would make the pitching statistics team wide get better. He’s also a good friend of Zach Collins as they both went to the same college and work out in the off season. If we can get Yasmani to take Zach under his wing we might get a passable backstop out of him.

Also, he’s Cuban! Gotta have more Cubans.

No.3 Julio Teheran $18M/2 Years

I was really surprised the Braves cut ties with one of their longest serving and most steady member of their rotation. I understand completely though, Julio’s peripherals have always looked bad and continued to look bad last season. In an article by Pitcher’s List, they narrowed it down to a combination of having a great outfield anchored by perennial gold glove candidate Ender Inciarte, playing in a decent pitcher’s park and Julio’s own defense on the mound chipping in.

This can be a disaster in the making, of his three peripheral busting tricks, two are not present in Chicago. In fact, they are not only absent but the exact opposite. Sox Park is a notorious hitter’s park and our outfield is a mishmash of great and mediocre defenders with a DH masquerading as a left fielder (Sorry Eloy). Worst case scenario? He regresses into his FIP of being Ivan Nova, same salary and all.

That being said, a man doesn’t beat his FIP by nearly an entire point of ERA season after season just by riding his teammate’s gloves. Just get Coop to teach him a Cutter and get rid of his Sinker and he should be all good. (Just in case though I only have him for two years)

No.4 Darren O’Day $3M/1 Year

With our bullpen workhorse Osich gone we need another veteran bullpen arm to help carry the load. Darren O’Day hasn’t pitched regularly since the 2018 season but his cameo appearances for the Braves at the tail end of last season show a guy who still has his stuff and he has been above average to lights out during his entire career. Being gone for so long and being so old, Darren won’t command a large price tag. I don’t see a team going over 5 million AAV for him.

No.5 Mal Tiempo $26M/2 Years Mutual Option of $10M for a third year.

Pay the man, Jerry.

No.6 Yolmeme Sanchez $15M/3 Years

Yolmer can’t hit but like I mentioned earlier. Having a Gold Glover on the bench is invaluable for a contending team the Sox hope to be, especially one that provide great defense at nearly every infield position. Also, what are we gonna do with all the portraits we have of him hanging on the walls of our Dominican facilities? We’re gonna waste all the paper and ink we paid to get them printed? You might as well steal the hotdogs at the game you villians.

TRADES

No. 1: Trade Blake Rutherford, Luis Gonzales and Dane Dunning for Jorge Soler: Let’s be real. Ozuna? Dickerson? Puig? All the OF options this year aren’t that exciting and with a loaded 2020 FA outfield class next year. It’s better to hold off and try for a trade. I tried this on the baseball trade value bot and it not only accepted it but also thought I was overpaying for Soler and would accept a deal without Dane Dunning. I disregarded that and took the lowest possible hypothetical value it gave for our two OF “prospects” and took the absolute highest trade value it gave for Soler and it needed a sweetener so Dane Dunning it is. It helps that Soler’s contract reads as “only” $4M for 2020 but he can actually opt into Arbitration this year and after clubbing 48 homers he 100% will. MLB Trade Rumours puts him at an estimated $13M for the year and Sportrac has him at $11.2M so I put it in the middle at 12 Million. This and the fact he’s a free agent after next season should mean the Royals are open to trading him if they can’t ink an extension.

Soler’s bat is monstrous. Imagine a lineup with Moncada, Abroo, Soler, Eloy and Robert back to back. It will make Sox park look like a real bandbox and keep opposing pitchers awake at night. His glove is so-so but at least its not a liability.

If the Soler experiment doesn’t work out, we can non-tender next season so at least we won’t be saddled with a long contract and can go for the OFs available in 2020. If he continues to mash, he gets Arb next season if the FO can’t get him to sign an extension.

Plus this advances the “make the White Sox the unofficial Cuban national team” agenda.

SUMMARY

As you might have noticed, I have made no offers for a DH like hitter in this plan. That’s because unlike you premature evaluators, I though long, hard and deep about my plan and waited till I knew where all the opt-ins and opt outs and QO were going. (Any statement that it was due to procrastination is slander). Platoon the two question marks there, Zach Collins and Yermin Mercedes and see what they can provide at the MLB level before injured players and new prospects filter into the MLB squad.

The opening day 26 man roster will look like:

Yasmani Grandal C

Abreu, Jose 1B

Mendick,Danny 2B

Anderson, Tim SS

Moncada, Yoan 3B

Jimenez, Eloy LF

Engel, Adam CF

Soler, Jorge RF

Collins, Zack C/DH (or Yermin if facing a lefty)

 

 

Bench

McCann, James C

Palka, Daniel “RF”

Sanchez, Yolmer Carlos 2B

Mercedes, Yermin C/DH

 

Rotation:

#1/ACE Giolito, Lucas

#2 Zack Wheeler

#3 Julio Tehran

#4 Cease, Dylan

#5 Lopez Reynaldo

 

BULLPEN

Evan Marshall

Jimmy Cordero

Bummer, Aaron CLOSER

Herrera, Kelvin

Colome, Alex

Hamilton, Ian

Darren O’Day

Fry, Jace

 

Rodon and Kopech will begin the year in the minors rehabbing. This is make or break time for Lopez, either he puts together solid starts or he’s down into the bullpen to make room for whoever is ready first: Kopech or Rodon. (Ian Hamilton is sent down to AAA to make room) if Rodon can’t cut it, he gets banished to the bullpen (Jace Fry, sorry but Rodon on his worst day is still a better lefty). Once Robert is finally done with service time manipulation, send Palka down and have Engel be our 4th Outfielder. Similarly, once Madrigal is ready to come up, it’s time to decide what to do with Danny Mendick depending on how his audition with the big team went. Could be sent down or even flipped for some lottery tickets.

 

This entire roster costs around 122 Million dollars which sets off the no-no alarm in Jerry’s box. Just salary dump Colome or Herrera during the season and it will right itself.

That about wraps it up, I probably messed up something like forgot to put a dude I signed on the 26 man or completely butchered how a 26 man roster even works but it’s 2 AM and my web browser already ate this plan once before so I just want to get this out before something wild happens in the Winter Meetings and this is all obsolete before I post it.

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andyfaust

I like it. Except for the Teheran signing. I don’t see much reason to give him that kind of money when there are several FA starting pitchers that are better than him. I’d rather sign Nova on a one-year for less than half that AAV, or preferably, spend a little more for a much better FA.

peanutsNcrackerjack

Wheeler and Teheran in the starting rotation would be great. Soler and Grandal would add thunder to the batting order, and I always liked Yolmer over García as the bench option.  And the bullpen appears serviceable. just wish this had a better left handed alternative to Collins/palka/Mercedes. Three AAAA players waste roster spots. 

denman

I get your evaluation of Palka, but it’s a tad early to write Collins off as a Quad-A bat and who knows about Mercedes.

peanutsNcrackerjack

I hope I’m wrong about Collins. He’s a first round catcher that can’t catch, so I’m probably being too critical about his chances as a big leaguer.