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The White Sox are ready to win some pennants, and perhaps a World Series or two. However, they need leadership experienced in the art of modern baseball and winning big games, and they need to plug virtually the same player dike weaknesses as in 2020. The plan involves the following assumptions:
- Vaughn is ready to be a full-time hitter in the lineup (perhaps with a few weeks “seasoning’ in the minors to start the season, ala Madrigal). The WS believe this (I realize there is a danger in trusting the WS personnel judgment).
- Kopech start the season in the minors, which along with innings limitations, minimizes his 2021 MLB impact.
- I have great reluctance in trading the major additional pieces, because Vaughn is going to play; Cease may have a Giolito-type epiphany (strong belief that Cooper didn’t know how to help him); Collins will be the backup catcher; Dunning will probably be in the rotation; Lopez has little current value; and the rest of the MiLB cast is speculative at best.
- Eloy needs another year in LF before we determine he can’t play the field.
- Garrett Crochet develops as a starter in the minors.
- Nomar Mazara: $5.6M | $5.9M | $5.7M – non-tender
- Carlos Rodón: $4.5M | $4.5M | $4.5M – non-tender
- Lucas Giolito: $2.5M | $5.3M | $2.5M – tender
- Reynaldo López: $1.7M | $2.2M | $1.7M – tender
- Evan Marshall: $1.3M | $1.9M | $1.4M – tender
- Adam Engel: $1M | $1.4M | $1M – tender
- Jace Fry: $800K | $1M | $800K – tender
- Yolmer Sánchez: Uncertain – nnon-tender
- Edwin Encarnación: $12M – decline
- Gio González: $7M ($500K buyout) – decline
- Leury García: $3.5M ($250K buyout) – decline – can’t afford, Mendick will suffice
OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS
- Alex Colomé (Made $10,532,500 in 2020) – goodbye
- James McCann (Made $5.4M in 2020) – goodbye, with fond memories
- Jarrod Dyson (Made $2M in 2020) – goodbye
- Manager: Hinch (1), or Bochy (2)
- Pitching coach: Manager’s choice from Tampa, Cleveland or WS Milb organizations
No. 1: George Springer (five years, $115 million). The best available. Some thought given to best lefties, decided Brantley’s age would make it too likely that he would be a repeat of recent WS short-term vet signings, and Pederson’s body type looks like it may not age well.
No. 2: Marcus Stroman (four years, $80 Million). Second best available, and Bauer too expensive.
No. 3: Mike Minor (one year, $8 Million). Pretty good without 2020, a chance to rebuild his value on a one-year deal.
No. 4: Taijuan Walker (two years, $10 Million). Insurance for the young pitchers, trade bait if not needed.
None – see above.
SS Tim Anderson
2B Nick Madrigal
RF George Springer
1B Jose Abreu
LF Eloy Jimenez
C Yasmani Grandal
3B Yoan Moncada
DH Andrew Vaughn
CF Luis Robert
C Zack Collins
IF Yolmer Sanchez
IF Danny Mendick
OF Adam Engel
RHP Lucas Giolito
LHP Dallas Keuchel
RHP Marcus Stroman
LHP Mike Minor
RHP Dane Dunning, RHP Taijuan Walker, RHP Dylan Cease
LHP Aaron Bummer
RHP Evan Marshall
RHP Codi Heuer
RHP Matt Foster
LHP Jace Fry
RHP Jimmy Cordero
The payroll comes out to around $149 million, if Jerry balks then drop Walker. I feel confident about the starting lineup and the rotation, less so about the bench and perhaps all the youth in the pen without an experienced closer.
I think there’s a decent chance for quality jumps from some of the young starters once they have been exposed to teaching concepts unencumbered by old-school logic. This might not happen until 2022.