orajestad9’s Offseason Plan

PREAMBLE

Its time to start making discernible moves towards contention now that we’ve seen some of the core start to produce.  The team needs to fill the glaring holes that exist now and also work towards a better offensive strategy that includes less strikeouts and a higher on base percentage.

ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE PLAYERS

Write “tender” or “non-tender” after each player and their projected 2020 salaries. Feel free to offer explanation afterward if necessary.

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

I love what Yolmer adds to the clubhouse but at $6.2M for a glove only utility infielder I think we can match the production for less money.  I don’t see any reason to bring back Osich or Goins. Both players were below replacement level during their time with the White Sox.

CLUB OPTIONS

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

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

OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS

Try to retain, or let go?

  • Jose Abreu (made $16M in 2019) – Retain
  • Iván Nova (made $9,166,167 in 2019) – Retain
  • Jon Jay (made $4M in 2019) – Let go
  • Hector Santiago (made $2M in 2019 on split contract) – Let go

FREE AGENTS

List three free-agent targets you’d pursue during the offseason, with a reasonable contract:

No. 1: Jose Abreu (2 years / $30 million):  The White Sox have so many first base/DH players in their minors that it seems like someone should have risen to the top to compete for this spot but alas here we are.  Abreu is great in the clubhouse and still a solid hitter.

No 2: Gerritt Cole (6 years / $220 million): This just beats out David Price for the largest contract in history for a pitcher.  I am skeptical that the White Sox will seriously pursue Cole this offseason but I think these are the types of aggressive moves that its time for at this point in the rebuild.

No 3: J.D. Martinez (4 years / $80 million): Martinez is the type of player that hasn’t cashed in as much as expected in the past few offseasons.  He is a great hitter who is pretty much only DH, which eliminates some of the competition for his services.  Additionally he is already 32 years old which I think helps keep is contract south of $100 mil.

No 4: Ivan Nova (1 year / $10 million): Nova wasn’t spectacular but was a respectable innings eater.  With uncertainty with pitchers coming back from injury (Kopech & Rodon) and from a down season (Lopez), Nova provides a stable presence at the bottom of the rotation.

No 5: Martin Maldando (1 year / $3 million): I’m not sold on Collins as the catcher of the future and with an additional roster spot this season it makes sense to add a good defensive catcher to pair with McCann.  The only issue with Maldanado is he is right handed like McCann.

No 6: Dellin Betances (1 year / $9 million w $12 mil club option): Betances pitched 0.2 innings last season for the Yankees due to injury.  As a result I don’t think he is going to receive a larger multi-year contract.  This is a prove it deal that can pay off for the White Sox due to the club option if Betances is back to form next season.

TRADES

Propose trades that you think sound reasonable for both sides, and the rationale behind them:

No. 1: Trade Gavin Sheets and Bernardo Flores Jr. to the Dodgers for RF Alex Verdugo: Sheets has been consistently solid at the plate in the minors since the White Sox drafted him in 2017.  Sheets fits in behind Max Muncy in the Dodgers 1B organizational depth chart and can take over for Muncy if the Dodgers decide to cut bait due to his increasing arbitration price tag starting after next season.  Flores Jr. has been solid for the Sox since being drafted and is a lefty that could slide into the Dodgers oft injured rotation in a year or two.

Verdugo had a good year in limited playing time due to injury last season.  He hasn’t yet developed the home run pop that you want to see out of your RF (12 homers in 377 PAs last year) but he plays solid defense in right and gets on base without striking out a ton.  He’s also only 23 and bats lefty.

SUMMARY

This gets us to around $134 million in payroll, which would have been 15th in the majors last season and just below league average.  I think the White Sox should start the season with Robert and Madrigal in the opening day line up, although in reality this is doubtful.  Below is the 26 man roster with last season’s Fangraphs WAR total included.

DH- J.D. Martinez

C- James McCann

1B- Jose Abreu

2B- Nick Madrigal

3B- Yoan Moncada

SS- Tim Anderson

RF- Alex Verdugo

CF- Luis Robert

LF- Eloy Jimenez

 

Super Util: Leury Garcia

C/DH: Zach Collins

Util IF: Danny Mendick

C: Martin Maldanado

Util OF: Adam Engel

 

SP: Gerritt Cole

SP: Lucas Giolito

SP: Reynaldo Lopez

SP: Dylan Cease

SP: Ivan Nova

RP: Alex Colome

RP: Aaron Bummer

RP: Evan Marshall

RP: Jimmy Cordero

RP: Jace Fry

RP: Dellin Betances

RP: Kelvin Herrera

Injured Players set to return in 2020: Michael Kopech, Carlos Rodon

 

The idea behind this plan is to make a legitimate push to contention without mortgaging the most important pieces from the farm or without going bizerk on the payroll.  While $134 million is higher than prescribed by this exercise its still on the low side for a franchise in a large market like the White Sox.  I wanted to address some of the swing miss, as well as low OBP, and right handedness in lineup but there weren’t a lot of options that fit where the team is right now.

The rotation is better and could be really good if Kopech and Rodon come back in good form.  This would allow the White Sox to choose to put a starter in the pen (e.g. Lopez if he struggles again or Rodon as another lefty).

The lineup has another potent bat in the form of JD Martinez and competence in RF from Verdugo.

I wanted to do a bit more with the bullpen but I was running out of cash.  I think Betances is a good risk to take though even with his injury concerns.

Let me know what you all think.

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orajestad9
orajestad9
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LeftistLefty-Righty

no way the dodgers make that trade

burning-phoneix

I thought I was the only one looking at Betances. That being said, I think the Dodgers will be looking to trade Pederson rather than Verdugo

mvrock

JD Martinez has 3 years left on his current contract. He will earn $23,750,000 in 2020 and then he can opt out after 2020, or stick with Boston for $19.35M in ’21 and ’22. So, you’re only adding 1 year and $17.5M. I really don’t think that’s what he has in mind if he chooses to opt out of his deal. Why would he even opt out? He can play this year for more and then opt out.