Zoinks! Shaggy’s Offseason Plan

Let’s not overreact.  We still have a strong core, an open window of contention, and good team chemistry.  Don’t hit the Madrigal Button, er, I mean…  don’t hit the Panic Button and do something stupid that you’ll regret.

ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE PLAYERS

  • Lucas Giolito: $7.9M  TENDER
  • Reynaldo López; $2.8M  TENDER  – A perfectly reasonable long relief plan with a touch of upside
  • Evan Marshall: $2.3M  NON-TENDER
  • Adam Engel: $2.2M  TENDER  – Even if he only plays in 50 games he’s still worth the money.  As soon as we get rid of him we’ll need someone with exactly the same skillset.
  • Brian Goodwin: $1.7M  NON-TENDER  –  Hopefully he’ll accept a minor league contract because he fit well with the mojo of the team.  Sadly we already have two poor defensive left fielders and don’t need another one.
  • Jimmy Cordero: $1.2M  NON-TENDER and sign to minor-leage deal for his remaining rehab.  He’ll be up by July
  • Jace Fry: $1M  TENDER

CLUB OPTIONS

  • Craig Kimbrel: $16M ($1M buyout)  PICK UP  – He obviously wasn’t a fit for our 8th inning role for whatever reason. But the K rate was still scary and he’s succeeded most of his career with high BB rates.  Someone will still take a flier on him and hope for a repeat of that first half.
  • César Hernández: $6M  DECLINE – He’s worth the $6M, but wasn’t a fit on the Sox and wouldn’t have any real trade value

OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS

  • Leury García (Made $3.5M in 2021)  RE-SIGN for 2yr/$11M.  This is a little more than he’s worth on the free market, but it’s honestly fair value. Moreover, it’s a well-deserved thank you for his years of loyal service.
  • Carlos Rodón ($3M)  EXTEND Q.O.  –  I’m of the opinion that his shorter release will keep him healthier long-term, he just wore out in ’21 under a workload he wasn’t used to. I expect him to accept because Boras knows he’s just one more solid year away from a mega-contract.  I’d love to ink him to a two-year contract for less annual money, but Scotty B wouldn’t sign it.
  • Billy Hamilton ($1M)  –  RE-SIGN for 1yr/$1M.  Someone has to play LF in the 9th inning.  He adds speed and defense to a team that sorely needs them and I feel like his bromance with TA7 will continue to rejuvinate him.
  • Ryan Tepera ($950K)  –  LET GO  –  We saw peak Tepera this year and he was great. But at age 33, I just don’t think he’ll live up to the 2-year contract he’s about to sign.  I’ll go after other pitchers who are older but have stronger track records.

FREE AGENTS

No, we can’t afford that guy you really want.  And I’m sorry, but Semien isn’t signing here to play 2B–he told me in person at SoxFest ’14 that SS is his favorite position.  Instead, we ignore RF for the umpteenth year in a row and double-down on the most cost-effective way to improve your club–the bullpen!

  1.  RHP Collin McHugh (1yr/$5M with team option in ’23)  His numbers as a reliever have always been stellar.  He’ll turn 35 in June and has had some recent injuries, but he still posted an excellent ’21 season in a very tough AL East.  He’s also notably different from the rest of the flame-throwers on our staff.
  2. RHP Alex Colome (1yr/$4M with team option in ’23)  Hope he bounces back with a team where he obviously felt comfortable. Proven success as a set-up man and has experience picking up saves when needed. He lost a tick on his cutter in ’21 and blew several saves, but he was better in the 2nd half
  3. RHP Blake Parker (1yr/$2.5M)  Last year’s Sox lacked a guy who could come in and succeed with runners on base.  Parker has had well-above-average LOB% his whole career and fairly low HR rates. Absolute nails in high-leverage situations. Yes, he’ll turn 37 next summer, but he’s been good so far. Yes, his K rate really dropped last year, but so did his hard-hit percentage.

TRADES

  1. LHP Keuchel to NYM for 2B Robinson Cano and $6M/yr  –  Mets have had good luck with pitcher reclamations and their strong defense should really help the ground-baller. Cano was originally signed by the previous regime, so the current one wouldn’t mind moving on from Cano’s age 39 and 40 seasons to make room for them to re-sign Javy Baez.  Meanwhile the lefty, future-HOFer Cano would be a solid, if expensive, way to fill 2B for the Sox. He gives them a genuinely good hitter the next two years.  And though he’s not young, I’m betting after his PED suspension he has a big chip on his shoulder.
  2. RHP Kimbrel to LAA for SS prospect Kyren Paris  –  Angels always need pitching help because they often make questionable acquisitions like this. They don’t have enough at-bats for all their minor league SS prospects and wouldn’t mind parting with one. Perhaps Paris’ injury problems have convinced them it’s time to move on?
  3. RHP Ruiz to TOR for C Reese McGuire  –  Two young, bottom-of-the-roster guys swapping teams. McGuire is a back-up catcher in his prime with good defensive metrics–including a strong throwing arm–and four years of team control. James McCann 2.0, anyone?  Maaaaybe has long-term starter upside as a former 1st Rd pick. Toronto likes their starting catcher and also has a couple promising mlb-ready prospects, so they can spare him. Ruiz puts up good low-leverage numbers, but the Sox have plenty of guys who can fill that role. The Blue Jays, on the other hand, need exactly that—quality arms to fill out their bullpen.

SUMMARY

The roster finishes around $180M because it pretty much has to.  The bench doesn’t look strong here, but I’m starting Vaughn, Burger, and Gonzalez in AAA to smooth out their rough edges and fully expect them up for much of the year.

Lineup

  1. SS Anderson
  2. CF Robert
  3. 3B Moncada
  4. 1B Abreu
  5. C Grandal
  6. LF Jimenez
  7. DH Sheets
  8. RF Engel
  9. 2B Cano

Bench

  • UTIL Garcia
  • OF Hamilton
  • RF Adolfo
  • C McGuire

Rotation

  1. Giolito
  2. Lynn
  3. Rodon
  4. Cease
  5. Kopech

Bullpen

  • CL Hendriks
  • LH-SU Bummer
  • RH-SU McHugh
  • LHP Crochet
  • RHP Colome
  • RHP Parker
  • RHP Burr
  • LR  Lopez
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shaggy65
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aseballnut

I really think your plan is creative. Great job!

GrinnellSteve

I forgot Cano even existed.