Stone Cold Big Tone’s Off-Season Plan

PREAMBLE

This plan is a combination of a WIN NOW team, along with a team that has the room to continue development in the minors with a couple KEY players. I did go over the “soft-cap” by $9M but I’m not all that worried about it… You Been, THUNDERSTRUCK!

ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE PLAYERS

  • Nomar Mazara: $5.6M | $5.9M | $5.7M – NON-TENDER
    • Bad move in hindsight.  Better options on the market for a similar cost.
  • Carlos Rodón: $4.5M | $4.5M | $4.5M – NON-TENDER
    • Too much money for a guy that doesn’t have a spot in the rotation or the bullpen. Not too many innings to waste in 2021.
  • Lucas Giolito: $2.5M | $5.3M | $2.5M – TENDER (4M)
  • Reynaldo López: $1.7M | $2.2M | $1.7M – TENDER (2M)
    • Will end up getting traded, stay tuned.
  • Evan Marshall: $1.3M | $1.9M | $1.4M – TENDER (1.8M)
  • Adam Engel: $1M | $1.4M | $1M – TENDER (1.2M)
  • Jace Fry: $800K | $1M | $800K – TENDER (900K)
  • Yolmer Sánchez: Uncertain – NON-TENDER

CLUB OPTIONS

  • Edwin Encarnación: $12M
    • DECLINE
  • Gio González: $7M ($500K buyout)
    • DECLINE
  • Leury García: $3.5M ($250K buyout)
    • PICK UP

OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS

    • Alex Colomé (Made $10,532,500 in 2020)
  • RETAIN: 2YR/25M. I wouldn’t say i’m thrilled here but it’s necessary to have that veteran presence at the back end of our flame throwing pen.  Liam Hendricks is another option here (really the only other CL option on the market) but he would be more expensive than Colome, and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. He gave up 2 earned runs in 21 games last year, he was effective to say the least.
  • James McCann (Made $5.4M in 2020)
    • Let Go: Loved McCann as much as the next Sox fan but his time here is done. I unfortunately think he is going to be exposed a bit when he plays as an everyday starter. He deserves his check however.
  • Jarrod Dyson (Made $2M in 2020)
    • Let Go: …

COACHING STAFF

  • Manager: AJ Hinch-  This is the best fit overall.  Don’t give me any of the “we don’t want a cheater here” bs.  Hinch paid his dues and is one of the best managers in baseball.  Psych guy who is great at handling the clubhouse, and has a great feel for working analytics into his decisions. Not much more to say here, get it done.

 

  • Pitching coach: Ruben Niebla- I am stealing this from a few other plans I have come across. Not going to lie I had no clue who this guy was until this project.  Come to find out, he’s the man responsible for the everlasting merry-go-round of churning out quality arms in Cleveland. Served as the teams minor league pitching coordinator from 2013-2019. Last year he was named the Indian’s assistant pitching coach.  I’d like this mind in our system.  See if he can work some magic with guys like Cease/Lopez and guide the development of guys like Kelley and Dalquist.

 

 

 

FREE AGENTS

Marcus Stroman (5 years, $75M)

  • Stroman slots in as the number 3 starter on this team, and adds a little swagger to what Tim Anderson already provides. Signing Stroman puts less pressure on Michael Kopech, Dane Dunning, and Dylan Cease to have immediate success, and allows Kopech to work back from his injury at a proper pace.

Trevor Cahill (1 year, $2M)

  • Strictly rotation depth. Having another guy here will take even more pressure off younger starters.  If Kopech doesn’t start in the MLB this year, having another veteran that throws strikes is very helpful.  This is another guy who is sinker/changeup heavy which plays well at GRF. Totally fine with cutting him when Kopech is healthy at this salary.

Michael Brantley (2 years, $32M)

  • Brantley is the key to the White Sox DH troubles.  He has been put in the DH role more and more as he gets older and has taken to it well.  He is always going to hit, and mash righties.  Brantley in my mind, will DH until Vaughn is ready for consistent at bats, then he will fill in RF.

Tyler Flowers (1 year, $2m)

  • Need a veteran backup catcher with McCann departing.  Flowers is a name we all remember.  Gives you a great glove behind the plate, and a bat with a potential homer here and there when Yaz needs a day off.

TRADES:

Reynaldo Lopez and Matthew Thompson for Andrew Benintendi (2021 – $6.6M)

  • It’s time for Benny baseball to change his Sox. Barring the fact he has not played RF in the big leagues, I don’t see why he can’t start now. The Red Sox are looking for pitching, ReyLo can slot into their rotation and Thompson is a great piece for them to develop.

 

Trades total – $6.6M

SUMMARY

With all of my moves, the 2021 payroll sits at approximately $144M.  Being only $9M over the soft cap doesn’t worry me all that much.  Jerry spent more than we anticipated last offseason and we have clear cut needs this offseason.  It should warrant another winter full of check writing.  I’m not saying we will spend like a big market team, but Jerry wants another ring and trusts Hahn with his money as much as anyone else. Here is a look at my 26 man roster::

 

SS Anderson

DH Brantley

1B Abreu

LF Jimenez

CF Robert

3B Moncada

C Grandal

RF Benintendi

2B Madrigal

 

– Engel

– Flowers

– L. Garcia

– Mendick

 

SP Giolito

SP Keuchel

SP Stroman

SP Cahill

SP Dunning

 

– Cease

– Cordero

– Fry

– Foster

– Marshall

– Heuer

– Bummer

– Colome

 

I have Kopech, Vaughn, and Crochet all starting in the minor leagues.  Yes, all will be up at some point in 2021.  Kopech is going to need more time than spring training to be ready to start a big league game. I think Vaughn will get his service time manipulated.  The Sox still see Crochet as a starter so they will be stretching him out in the minors.  Hard pill to swallow after seeing what he can do this past year, but our pen will be fine without him.

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