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Listen, the Sox had a great year last year and finished the season well over the mark they were projected to finish at. While the regular season was great, (the postseason wasn’t great and neither was the ESPN crew they put out for us) last year’s offseason may have been better purely because Jerry spent his money, but not all of it. Jerry surprised me last year, he did the thing that so many Sox fans and even the Cubs fans around me criticized him for, not spending his money, and many people called it a “gamble” when he spent so much, like the “overpaid Abreu and Keuchel deals”, and the big Grandal deal. Well, those “gambles” paid off dearly and now the Sox have a young, experienced, and competitive team for years down the road. Jerry can’t stop now, he’s too far into this, and no more what if players like Mazara and Gio Number 2, (my mom didn’t know the players names and she didn’t know the difference between Giolito and Gio Gonzalez, so she called Gonzalez “Gio Number 2”) it’s time to really kick this team into World Series caliber.
Write “tender,” “non-tender” or “rework/extend” after each player and their projected 2020 salaries, arranged by the three calculation methods described by MLB Trade Rumors. Feel free to offer explanation afterward if necessary.
- Nomar Mazara: $5.6M | $5.9M | $5.7M Non-Tender: Sometimes the only way to win is to lose, and as much as I hoped Mazara would hit 15+ bombs last year, let’s just say he was 14 shy.
- Carlos Rodón: $4.5M | $4.5M | $4.5M Non-Tender: This was hard for me because he’s a lefty and I think he could be a decent addition to the bullpen if he returns to his 2017 form with the wipeout slider, that would be great, but unfortunately I don’t see it happening with those injuries.
- Lucas Giolito: $2.5M | $5.3M | $2.5M Extend: (6 years – $110 Million backloaded). Pretty self-explanatory. But I think he’ll make about 5 Million this year
- Reynaldo López: $1.7M | $2.2M | $1.7M Tender: I think he could be a bullpen guy that throws harder than he would if he were a starter, you’ve probably heard this before on other Offseason Plans, go check them all out they are all really good and interesting, but he could be an Andrew Miller type of guy.
- Evan Marshall: $1.3M | $1.9M | $1.4M Tender: The production the Sox could get for this little is insane, definitely a tender or even an extension candidate.
- Adam Engel: $1M | $1.4M | $1M Tender: His hitting showed serious improvement last year and the Sox need him in the outfield for someone like Jimenez
- Jace Fry: $800K | $1M | $800K Tender: Decent lefty with a pretty good curveball, I think he is valuable for being this cheap as well, but I might be biased because he signed my glove and tried to sign it again a year later.
- Yolmer Sánchez: Uncertain Non-Tender: Yeah this one hurts the most, but there are obvious replacements and we’ll probably pick him up after a team cuts him.
Write “pick up” or “decline” or “rework” after the option.
- Edwin Encarnación: $12M Decline: His production was worth maybe 2 Million if I’m generous, with Vaughn coming up anyways, there is no room for 12 Million on the bench
- Gio González: $7M ($500K buyout) Buyout: The reunion didn’t go so well and 7 Million is way too much.
- Leury García: $3.5M ($250K buyout) Buyout: This one also hurts because I love the versatility he brings to the club, but 3.5 Million is just too much especially when I would rather have Mendick.
OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS
Try to retain, or let go?
- Alex Colomé (Made $10,532,500 in 2020) Resign: 3 years – 36 Million. Great closer last year and if Crochet’s future is going to be as a starter, then I think we will need Colome for now
- James McCann (Made $5.4M in 2020) Let Go: Unfortunately, he became too good and he doesn’t want to be a backup or get paid like one anymore. You were my Mom’s favorite player.
- Jarrod Dyson (Made $2M in 2020) Let Go: He’s almost useless if the 10th inning rule goes away, so that one was easy.
Here’s a first: Pick your manager and pitching coach, with any elaboration.
- Manager: A.J. Hinch – Steve Stone said it best on Twitter, (btw if you don’t follow him on Twitter, you totally should) that the Sox need a Manager with Postseason experience, and I totally agree, because if the Sox hire a manager that’s never coached a game, much less a playoff game, then what was the point of firing Ricky? Besides the obvious lack of managing the DH. Hinch seems like the perfect candidate for the job, and he gets to coach a young team. However, if Jerry doesn’t like that he cheated, then Tony La Russa would be my second choice purely because of the experience, he’s seen it all, and won it all 3 times. The only problem is that it would seem like he would take all the fun away from a fun team, the team just wouldn’t feel the same way it does now.
- Pitching coach: Matt Zaleski: He did such a great job in Triple-A with multiple pitchers on the team now, just look at what he did with Dylan Cease. He just feels like the guy that can get Cease and Kopech back to their dominant Triple-A selves again.
List three free-agent targets you’d pursue during the offseason, with a reasonable contract. A good example of a bad idea:
No. 1: George Springer (Three Years, $64 Million) – Gets to reunite with Hinch and he is only 31, if he can replicate his previous seasons, especially the 2019 campaign, then this would look like a steal.
No. 2: Marcus Stroman (Four Years, $58 Million) – Bauer is too expensive and probably won’t want to play with Hinch and/or Springer, so how about a groundball pitcher that has been more reliable and been doing it for years, sounds kind of like Dallas Keuchel. Anyways, he’s a good pitcher especially with the pretty good defensive infield.
No. 3: Jose Quintana (One Year, $6.5 Million) – He is a really good innings eater, every Sox fan already knows that though, and although I think he’ll start in the bullpen, he could make it to the rotation is he pitches like his old, better self.
No. 4: C.J. Cron (One Year, $3 Million) – He would be getting more if it wasn’t for that knee injury, but just in case Vaughn gets injured/ isn’t ready for the Majors, then Cron could be a valuable backup and he is a good trade option at the deadline.
No. 5: Extend Andrew Vaughn (5 years, $36 Million) – A great contract for both sides and he would be on the opening day roster.
Propose trades that you think sound reasonable for both sides, and the rationale behind them.
No. 1: Trade OF Blake Rutherford and RP Ryan Burr to the Cubs for C Victor Caratini – The Sox could try to fill the hole at backup catcher with Zack Collins, but he just isn’t a catcher, and while some people may say to just sign Jason Castro, I say that Grandal is already the defensive-minded catcher while Caratini is a better hitter, like Mccann, and we would get Caratini for two players that have no spots on the current roster. Rutherford doesn’t walk and doesn’t perform as well as he should be, and Burr was injured last season and he has been bad in the Majors. Caratini also has 3 years of control and will only be making $1.4 Million this season.
- Tim Anderson – SS
- Yoan Moncada – 3B
- Jose Abreu – 1B
- Yasmani Grandal – C
- Eloy Jimenez – LF
- Luis Robert – CF
- George Springer – RF
- Andrew Vaughn – DH
- Nick Madrigal – 2B
- C.J. Cron – 1B/DH
- Adam Engel – OF
- Danny Mendick – 2B/3B/SS
- Victor Caratini – C
- Lucas Giolito
- Dallas Keuchel
- Marcus Stroman
- Dane Dunning
- Dylan Cease
- Garrett Crochet – Long Reliever
- Michael Kopech – Long Reliever
- Jose Quintana – Long Reliever / Middle Reliever
- Matt Foster – Middle Reliever
- Reynaldo Lopez – Middle Reliever
- Evan Marshall – Middle Reliever / Set-Up Man
- Aaron Bummer – Set-Up Man
- Alex Colome – Closer
*Note, with all of the depth for the Bullpen, I had to leave out some name for the 26 man roster, but I do think that either Jimmy Cordero, Codi Heuer, or Jace Fry could replace someone like Reynaldo Lopez. There is also a chance that they could all make it to the bullpen by years end due to injury/bad performance. I also want to say that I do think Garrett Crochet and Michael Kopech will start in the bullpen, but they will end up getting some starts this year.*