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This is my first go at this, so be gentle.
Given the format of the playoffs, I don’t think you can ever build a World Series winning team. I think the format doesn’t lend itself to a sport that places so much importance on sample sizes, but I can’t think of any system that would work better. Given that belief, I think teams should be built for longevity – attempt to construct a roster that will be capable of making it to the playoffs year in and year out to give you better chances of finally winning a World Series. As a result, I’ve tried to build a team that has some affordable veterans to plug holes while not leveraging too much of the future for a short term that might not pan out. It’s a difficult line to ride, but I’ve done my best. I could definitely see putting this team together and having a repeat of 2011 where everyone regresses and you have an awful, expensive season.
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, nontender
- James McCann, $4.9M, tender
- Carlos Rodon, $4.5M, nontender
- Leury García, $4M, tender
- Evan Marshall, $1.3M, tender
- Josh Osich, $1M, tender
- Ryan Goins, $900K, tender
Write “pick up” or “decline” after the option.
- Welington Castillo: $8 million/$500,000 buyout, decline, buyout
OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS
Try to retain, or let go?
- Jose Abreu (made $16M in 2019), retain (3yrs/36M)
- I think Jose will take the pay cut to stick around and I think he can be a good voice in the clubhouse. Especially with Moncada and Robert.
- 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), minor league contract or get out
No. 1: Nicholas Castellanos (three years, $45 million). With the Cubs already being an expensive team that’s in need of starting pitching and bullpen help, I think Castellanos is a luxury they can’t afford. Fangraphs thinks the $45 million price tag is realistic and I agree.
No. 2: Michael Wacha (three years, $18 million). Wacha had a pretty disastrous year with St. Louis this year, including seeing him moved to the bullpen. He’s young though, has room to grow, and provides some depth to a rotation filled with TJ recoveries. Plus, he’s a less injury prone version of Rodon.
No. 3: Hyun Jin Ryu (5 years, $100 million). Ryu is a Boras client so I don’t know how realistic this is, but he’s been an incredibly solid arm for the Dodgers for a long time. With repeated playoff performances, I’d love to see him at the top of a young White Sox rotation.
No. 4: Adam Wainwright (1 year $3 million). Wainwright is probably destined for retirement. Maybe the Cards sign him so he can end his career there, but if not, I’d love to snap him up on the cheap. He can be a Peavy-esque mentor to some of the kids and can play in the BP or on the rotation effectively.
No. 1: Cubs and White Sox: Kyle Schwarber for Jace Fry, Luis Gonzalez, and $2M.
Deal helps with a lefty power bat in the line up and gets the Cubs some relief in their bullpen. Not to mention Gonzalez is a decent return. Might get shot down since Epstein seems to love Schwarber.
White Sox get 18.10, Cubs get 17.70. Trade gets accepted
No. 2: Red Sox and White Sox: Jackie Bradley Jr. and Christian Vazquez for Reynaldo Lopez
Vazquez provides a really solid, young catching option for the next three years with above average offense and solid behind the plate defense. Bradley Jr. is a little more complicated. Being a Boras client he likely leaves the team for free agency rather than resign. He provides a good defensive CF while we see what Robert is made of though.
White Sox get 24.70, Red Sox get 29.00. Trade gets accepted
If I’ve done my math right (always a dangerous assumption) this should equal $122.9M. A lot of this overage is Bradley Jr. and his last year of arbitration. The Red Sox managed to sign him to a reasonable deal and avoid arbitration altogether and I think I can do the same, saving $2M.
The strength of this roster is that I think it does a fairly good job of addressing some depth needs for the White Sox in the outfield and in the starting rotation while not leveraging too much in the way of young talent for the future.
In the outfield, Schwarber and Bradley Jr. add some lefty help to a pretty righty heavy line up. They also make for interesting trade pieces at the deadline. If Robert turns into a real threat in CF, Bradley could yield some pen help later in the season. Same goes for Schwarber. Castellanos adds a guy that gets on base and has good offensive instincts, while not being “too statsy” for Ricky.
With Ryu and Giolito as one-two punches in the rotation I think it’s much stronger. We’re likely to be stuck with Ryu much longer than we want, but he’ll be a solid top of the rotation guy for the next two or three. I still have doubts we can sign him, but I hear less excitement about him than Cole or Madbum. Wacha strikes me as a good replacement for Rodon. With similar age, similar performance, and fewer injuries Wacha presents an interesting and affordable option for the back end of the rotation. Finally, adding Wainwright gives you a 2 time WS winner who can work with Kopech and Cease. If we suffer another injury, he can step into the role of a fifth starter in a way a lot of other pitchers just can’t.
I don’t think the White Sox will win the division in 2020, even with these changes, but I think it give them a strong shot of winning the WC and maybe put them in a good place to take the division in the following years.
C: Christian Vazquez
1B: Jose Abreu
2B: Mendick (til Madrigal)
SS: Tim Anderson
3B: Yoan Moncada
LF: Eloy Jimenez
CF: Bradley Jr. (til Robert)
Collins, Goins, Garcia, Engel