MikeLox’s Offseason Plan: Creating Roster Flexibility

PREAMBLE

I see the White Sox at a point in the rebuild where they need to start putting together a winning season. The time for seeing if the kids can play (for the most part) is over. It’s time to start putting some pieces around them and take the next step toward contention. They also need to have a flexible roster that allows them plug guys in different spots since they haven’t created a lot of depth in their system.

ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE PLAYERS

  • Alex Colomé, $10.3M= Tender (Tough decision, but I think there’s reason to believe his peripherals should believe.
  • Yolmer Sánchez, $6.2M= Non-Tender (He can’t hit)
  • James McCann, $4.9M= Tender
  • Carlos Rodon, $4.5M=Non Tender (If we have a payroll of $120 million I’m not spending any of it on a guy who has NEVER been better than league average, a career 101 ERA+, and has now had shoulder and elbow surgery. He’s not dependable or good. Yes you can never have enough starting pitching but the Sox have Kopech, Dunning, Lambert, and Stiever all coming back or on the rise. Plus Rick Hahn has said he wants to add starting pitching. Goodbye Carlos.
  • Leury García, $4M=Tender
  • Evan Marshall, $1.3M=Tender
  • Josh Osich, $1M=Non Tender = You can find someone to be bad for less than this.
  • Ryan Goins, $900K=Non tender

CLUB OPTIONS

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

OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS

  • Jose Abreu =2 years $34 million. If he doesn’t agree then slap the qualifying offer on him because then no one else will touch him.
  • Iván Nova (made $9,166,167 in 2019)= Goodbye
  • Jon Jay (made $4M in 2019)= Goodbye
  • Hector Santiago (made $2M in 2019 on split contract)= Goodbye

FREE AGENTS

Mike Moustakas 3 years $39 million: Moustakas allows you to Yankee up your infield and DH spot. Moustakas can DH or play second, third, or first base. This allows you to rest Moncada, Abreu, and Madrigal. It also gives you infield depth should someone get hurt. The left-handed power is desperately needed. I don’t know that any other team will offer three guaranteed years, but if your the White Sox it’s clear you are going to have to overpay for some guys.

Yasmani Grandal 3 years $54 million: Grandal got about $18 from the Brewers this year. He should have a similar market this year, but being another year older may make him more willing to accept a three year deal instead of four, which I don’t think is coming his way. Grandal would give a huge boost to the team OBP. He’s always been good at taking his walks, but last year he went nuts and walked over 100 times. He also hits for power and plays good defense. He’s clearly an upgrade to start over McCann who had a poor second half. To keep him fresh though you can also give him at-bats and DH.

Madison Bumgarner 4 years $100 million: I think Bumgarner’s market is going to be smaller with Cole, Wheeler, and Strasburg on the market. Teams looking for a bargain or shorter term deal may look to Ryu. This puts Bumgarner in an odd place. I think he’s a perfect fit for the White Sox. They need a left handed starter and someone with postseason experience. Bumgarner has that in spades. He’s still only thirty. He’s shown some signs of aging, but is still a great pitcher. Because of the number of big pitchers on the market this year I think he can be had for less than five years. He gets the biggest free agent deal in White Sox history.

TRADES

Bernardo Flores for Joc Pederson: Pederson is going into his final year of arbitration and could get $10 million. The Dodgers may want to make a splash in free agency. as there have been rumors of a pursuit of Rendon. The Dodgers have a glutton of outfielders or players who can play in the outfield. Pederson is not a great defensive outfielder, but he’s not necessarily a liability either.  This allows them to get something for Pederson before he walks and save some money.

SUMMARY

The additions via trade and free agency get the payroll to a little closer to $130 million, but they address key needs and allow for a lot of positional flexibility which means you may have to spend less on filling holes down the road. Most of the salary additions are also no more than four years. This allows you flexibility in planning for the future and may make the chairman more willing to offer long term extensions to players like Moncada, Giolito, and Robert or sign another reliver. If not, then you can either choose to try and compete from Opening Day on and just call up Robert and Madrigal or be cheap with them. But even if you keep them down you can fill in the holes in the meantime by DHing Grandal/McCann/Collins and putting Moustakas second and Leury in center. If it’s my call, they’re on the Opening Day roster, so that’s the 26 man I will give you.

C: Grandal

1B: Abreu

2B: Madrigal

3B: Moncaa

SS: Anderson

LF: Jimenez

CF: Robert

RF: Pederson

DH: Moustakas

SP: Giolito

SP: Bumgarner

SP: Kopech (pitching in instructional league makes me believe he could still make the OD roster

SP: Lopez

SP: Cease

CP: Colome

RP: Herrera

RP: Bummer

RP: Marshall

RP: Fry

RP: Cordero

RP: Covey/Hamilton/Non-roster invitee

RP: Non-roster Invitee/FA signing

Bench:

Leury Garca UTIL

James McCann C

Zack Collins C/1B/DH

Danny Mendick INF

 

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MikeLox
MikeLox
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BeefLoaf108

I like the Moose addition, although I think you could pay him less (in theory) and add some more roster depth with that money, either another decent RP (which is a potential weak spot on this roster) or a solid bench bat. The White Sox lack depth.

Eagle Bones

If Jerry is really willing to open the wallet, I like the move too. Would be really good depth around the infield and at DH and allow them to cycle guys through DH for rest (with actual good players and not maybe MLB players like Collins).

PauliePaulie

Well done. A lot riding on last years ‘pen to step it up.
My only quibble is that I think the Dodgers can do better than Flores.

Yolmer's gatorade

I like this one. I think you may need to offer more for Pederson, and there is no guarantee the Dodgers move him, but I like the rest of it. I would bring back Nova to start in the rotation and be the long man once Kopech comes back. I’d also add that you can platoon Pederson and Luery in rightfield for more of an impact. I am still a believer that the Sox can find one major leaguer in the half dozen outfield prospects they have that did not perform too well last year besides Steele Walker.

White Sox Wade

I really like the lineup and I agree with you on Bumgarner. I hope your contract for Abreu is high, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the Sox gave him an overpay for loyalty’s sake.  Nice job!