White Sox let another premium right fielder pass them by

As the White Sox try and fail and try and fail and try again to plug right field for three winters running, it’s been hard to ignore the way the free agent market begged them to swing big.

Two offseasons ago, when the payroll was clean and the White Sox could use a landmark signing, Bryce Harper remained on the open market into February, when the Philadelphia Phillies finally landed him. It took a 13-year deal, but that allowed his annual salary to remain comfortably below $30 million a season, which the White Sox could have afforded then and now.

This winter, with Yasmani Grandal, Dallas Keuchel and José Abreu all aboard for significant salaries, but the rest of the payroll controlled and postseason expectations justifying further expenditures, George Springer lingered in free agency into the second half of January. The pandemic eliminated limited his market to all but two teams, with one of them uncertain about where it might be playing its home games.

As a result, Springer had to settle for a deal more reasonable than Harper’s. He’s signing with the Blue Jays, whether they’re in Toronto or Buffalo next season, for six years and $150 million.

$25 million a season for an outfielder who solves offense and defensive issues through his age-36 season doesn’t strike me as daunting, especially considering that a team like the White Sox might’ve been able to pay him less. The Blue Jays have had a helluva time landing landmark players this winter, with the Sox besting them once in the Liam Hendriks derby. Maybe the Sox would’ve had to pony up for the same amount, but initial reports suggest Toronto had to pay an Uncertainty Tax.

Instead, the Sox continued their methodical experiment in seeing how little they need to spend on a right fielder for the third consecutive winter. After whiffing on Jon Jay for $4 million and Nomar Mazara for $5.56 million, here comes Eaton for $7 million. The White Sox are acting as though they’re limited to $1.5 million increments on this quest, which would prevent them from signing a Springer-grade solution until 2034. Considering Rick Hahn will still be GM then, I wouldn’t rule it out.

By sitting out the top of the market year after year, even when it so beautifully bends to their will, it makes the scorched-earth nature of the rebuild all the more pointless. They could have traded Chris Sale, José Quintana and Adam Eaton for the same packages and attempted to compete a year or two earlier. Instead, the Sox saved money they didn’t spend in service of flexibility they’re afraid to use. The White Sox still may well succeed without either thanks to the strength of the rebuild-starting trades and the lackluster efforts elsewhere in their division, but it sure would’ve been nice to see Jerry Reinsdorf try spending money to make money, since making Reinsdorf money to spend hasn’t been a strength of this front office.

* * * * * * * * *

Speaking of Quintana, he’s off the market as well. He signed with the Angels for one year and $8 million, which is neither a bargain nor boondoggle. I wouldn’t have minded seeing the White Sox sign him at that price, but with Eaton already on board, I might’ve been a little reluctant to see the White Sox again resort to familiarity, even if that particular signing would’ve made more sense.

(Photo by KeithAllisonPhoto.com)

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Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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knoxfire30

An elite two way player for 25 mil a year, that could have plugged RF for the entire contention window shouldn’t have been unreasonable. The whitesox didn’t even make an attempt… #littlekidtableforlife

Some wild Corbin Burnes rumors flying around the internet, something to keep an eye on.

andyfaust

I agree. The price seems right. All the moves in the rebuild leading up to this point should allow the Sox to spend on elite pieces to fill the final few holes. That’s the point of a rebuild, no?

Also, Burnes would be awesome but i’m highly skeptical on this. I’m higher on Madrigal than most people, but he doesn’t seem like enough as a headliner. Especially to a team like MIL who already has a young, right handed, former 1st rounder 2B with an excellent hit tool, Hiura (whose glove is worse, but power is WAY better). Maybe move him to SS over Arcia? Also, I think there was already a post from Jim about this earlier this week, but I don’t know if Sox have the pieces to acquire Burnes. Losing Madrigal and Heuer would hurt, but I don’t think that’s even enough to get him.

dwjm3

Can you fill me on the rumor? I’m not seeing it.

Eagle Bones

It’s really not even worth repeating. It’s not coming from any kind of reliable source.

knoxfire30

As soon as I saw Madrigal I figured it was internet bs, but for anyone who likes that stuff its essentially Burns for Madrigal, Hauer, and a prospect…

Corresponding move is sox sign LaStella…

Last edited 1 year ago by knoxfire30
Eagle Bones

Yep. Not dumping on you for mentioning it, just trying to frame it appropriately for folks reading it here.

As Cirensica

In the end, Hahn (White Sox) hasn’t changed their pauper ways. Dumpster diving approach is the norm. The only difference this time is that the core is better or at least more numerous than before, but the complementing pieces are pursued in the same fashion: cheap short terms patches and praying for rebounds or “untapped” potentials. It is like they just don’t learn.

The thing is that it might work this time because, as Jim pointed out, other AL central contenders got worse, and the Eloty/Abreu/Moncada/Robert/Anderson core brings a lot more power to the punch, but we are still bringing the Melkys, Gillespies, Avisails, the Adamses (Dunn/La Roche), the great closer (Robertson/Hendriks).

Hahn puts the team in a position leaving not too much room for things to go wrong. Pitching staff is still not deep enough. A major injury exposes the White Sox to fall prey of the dreaded Mired in Mediocrity. A major injury in the Giolito/Keuchel/Lynn stronghold, and the team will free fall because we pretty much have nothing to patch. If Cease doesn’t panned out to at least be decent, we are screwed. If Eaton gets injured (not a rare occurrence), we only have Leury/Engel to get by, and so on.

jhomeslice

I agree with the sentiment but would not use Hahn’s name. He doesn’t own the team, and is not the reason they did not go after Springer. Just saying, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Springer would have made the Sox the best team in the AL. If Hahn had the money to spend he would have. Any GM would. But he doesn’t, because of Ebeneezer Reinsdorf. Just saying, any criticism should be directed at Jerry, nobody else. Without Hahn’s shrewd trades, they would not be in the position of having a good core to build around to begin with. It’s not Hahn’s fault that he has a 7M budget to spend on 1 year of a rightfielder.

Qubort

Rick Hahn is the general manager and this notion he deserves no critisim is beyond played out. He prioritized elite closer over elite RF. That’s his prerogative, but the fact that the White Sox have had the worst DH AND RF for years falls entirely on him.

Right Size Wrong Shape

How is it even possible to have a bad DH? You only have to find somebody who can do exactly half of what a normal ballplayer does well.

oldtimer

How quickly we forget virtually everyone fawning over EE a year ago. I’m sure Nelson Cruz is the answer – how good he not be??

Trooper Galactus

I think most people, even with the benefit of hindsight, do not object to signing Encarnacion. The problem lay more with the team’s unwillingness to jettison him when it was clear he was hurting an otherwise highly competitive team and costing them an opportunity to evaluate other players.

mrridgman

The priorities might be coming from LaRussa (supported by Reinsdorf).

asinwreck

Q going to the Bermuda Triangle of veterans pitchers in Anaheim. May his luck be better than Julio Teheran’s (among a long list of unfortunates).

asinwreck

Veteran, not veterans. Coffee taking a while to kick in this morning.

Michael Kenny

Don’t look at the list of free agent outfielders next offseason…

Greg Nix

It’s not all bad… why, Adam Eaton might be available for a one year deal!

Trooper Galactus

Eaton could suck ass and be a giant douche all over again and I’d still take him back before signing Odubel Herrera.

Eagle Bones

This Avisail Garcia fellow seems like he has some interesting potential…

Oddvark

I’m not particularly optimistic that it will happen, but I’m still hoping for Conforto.

Trooper Galactus

Starling Marte seems like a potentially realistic option. Given he’ll be entering his age-33 season, there’s some risk involved, but it also means there will be a limit to the number of years he gets, which might put him in the White Sox’s financial comfort zone.

Oddvark

Mark Canha’s another player who will be entering his age-33 season next year who has been above average the last few years and who will certainly be cheaper than Conforto or even Marte.

Trooper Galactus

Late bloomer who runs a high walk rate; would fit nicely in this crop of free swingers. Nice idea!

metasox

Isn’t the thinking that Cespedes steps in next season?

MarketMaker

i’ve got a white sox hot stove prediction for you:
it’s gonna be cold, it’s gonna be grey, and it’s going to last you for the rest of your life.

Eagle Bones

it’s gonna be cold, it’s gonna be grey, and it’s going to last you for the rest of your life.

Eat at Arby’s.

quickly0and2

George Springer is not a right fielder at this point in his career. He is a center fielder. So from the start, Springer and the White Sox were not a true fit at this particular time. I really don’t see this as a moment when the Sox let a right fielder pass them by.

Last edited 1 year ago by quickly0and2
Eagle Bones

And Manny Machado was a shortstop until the Padres offered him the most money. There are endless examples of players switching positions like this when moving teams (and honestly switching doesn’t even seem like the correct term here). Springer has played nearly twice as many innings in RF as CF in his career.

quickly0and2

And yet Springer signed with a team where he can play center field. Seems like that was somewhat important to him. And if the White Sox would have had to top $150 million or top 6 years to get him, it still doesn’t seem like a great fit. I get why the Sox apparently weren’t all-in here. But maybe I’m in the minority.

Eagle Bones

They allegedly offered him $25 million more than the Mets. I don’t think CF is why he chose to go there. It’s sounding like Springer, like a lot of other players, didn’t really want to go to Toronto for some reason (uncertainty in terms of where they’re playing, tax reasons, geography, who knows?) There was one report (I’m not going to be able to recall who it was on Twitter) that basically said Springer’s camp was more of less begging other teams to jump in before he signed this deal.

denman

While I can certainly recognize the benefits of having Springer patrolling right-field for the Sox in 2021, I can think of non-financial “baseball” reasons for not signing him to a 6 year,150MM deal. One factor is age. With Abreu, Grandal, Keuchel and now Lynn and Hendriks playing key roles, there is reason to weigh carefully a multi-year commitment to another player who is 1/2 decade older than the key players of the young core. Given what Springer signed for, I’d bet it was the length of the contract more than the AAV that gave the Sox pause. It’s also unclear how much the right-handed hitting Springer would improve what was already the best offense in baseball against lefties. Knowing that Cespedes (the younger) was all but signed and having reports from Getz that Aldolfo and BRuth had progressed, I’m not sure “cheapness” is the only factor in play in not pursuing Springer. I’m hot for the Sox to sign Brantley, but if takes more than a 2 year commitment to land him, then he seems less of an ideal fit what ever the dollar amount involved.

Last edited 1 year ago by denman
texag10

The Dodgers have been blocking prospects with Free Agents for awhile now. Doesn’t seem to be hindering them in any way.

Trooper Galactus

Yes, I recall when a 27-year old Adam Eaton was incensed at being moved from center field to right field and how horribly that turned out for him and the team.

vanillablue

Seems clear that Reinsdorf’s red line is a nine-figure contract. There’s no way he’ll approve one, so Hahn doesn’t even bother going after guys in that range. (I know they supposedly offered 5/$120M to Zack Wheeler, but who knows if that’s really true.)

Otter

They were in on Wheeler and Machado. But they also love finishing in 2nd place.

texag10

Offered 9 figures to Tanaka when he first came over as well. It’s not like the offers haven’t been there.

dwjm3

the Royals, Cleveland, Oakland, and the White Sox are the only teams in baseball that have not given out 9 figure deals. It really angers me every time I think about that. We operate like a small market team with elite free agents.

knoxfire30

Pirates too, but point taken.

denman

Wheeler, Wheeler’s wife, Wheeler’s agent and every reporter who covered the negotiations all know that the reported offer to Wheeler was really true.

Otter

So for the price of Eaton and Hendriks, the Sox would get 80% of the way to Springer, at least on an AVV for 2021. After the disaster of two winters ago when they paid Jay and Alonso a good chuck of the “gap” between what Machado was offered and what he got, they continue to make the same damn mistakes.

The Sox probably were never signing Springer because that’s not how Jerry operates (Jerry’s fear of spending money when he’s 93 (if he even makes it there) is less than ideal). I never thought it was a realistic option… but the way the Sox do spend their resources is so odd. And a lot of that is on Hahn. We’re looking at yet ANOTHER half assed winter for Hahn. He’s got to go and that’s been the case for years.

Eagle Bones

So for the price of Eaton and Hendriks, the Sox would get 80% of the way to Springer, at least on an AVV for 2021.

This is so true and it hurts to read. This should have been so simple.

As Cirensica

So for the price of Eaton and Hendriks, the Sox would get 80% of the way to Springer, at least on an AVV for 2021.


Cishek/Herrera freed up $15,500,000 (If you include Colome, it is 10.3 million more)

Hendriks will be paid 11.3 million and has an AVV of 13.5 million

There is your Hendriks’ money with a couple of millions to spare.

Last edited 1 year ago by As Cirensica
jhomeslice

Yeah, I mean they had almost 50M coming off the books with Colome (10), EE (12), Mazara (5), McCann (5), Cishek (5), Rodon (4), Gio Gonzalez (5). How can anybody be impressed with what they have done?

texag10

I mean, I won’t ever take the FO’s side when it comes to spending money but they added 22M+ to the payroll without actually adding any players. Anderson, Moncada, Abreu, Eloy, Robert, Giolito, and Lopez all got raises 1.5M or higher. They are all still damn cheap compared to market value but to say we had 50M to play with is disingenuous.

jhomeslice

Thats fair, true. But still cheap, and the Blue Jays are likely to be as good by the end of this winter if they are not done.

Eagle Bones

I’m thoroughly enjoying the uprising of the “we must be positive” crowd downvoting comments like this.

Oddvark

Have you noticed the downvotes that posts with a non-negative take get?

The funniest thing to me is watching votes go up and down as people respond as much to the votes than the content of the posts.

Eagle Bones

I have and frankly I’m not a fan of the down vote functionality at all (I don’t use it myself). I can see the purpose of the “rec” button that was on the old site to highlight insightful posts for readers, but I’m not a fan of like grading people’s posts.

joewho112

It could be useful if people only used it for trolls and what-not as opposed to expressing disagreement. Maybe if they relabeled it to make the purpose clear (if that is in fact the purpose)

Eagle Bones

That’s true, I think the old site had a “flag” button, right? That seems more apt.

Oddvark

Woo-hoo! Moved some of my posts up to 0.

As Cirensica

I can see people replying with the word “downvote”…to downvote.

Right Size Wrong Shape

Hmmm, I don’t know about this decision. Is there a way that you can make it so that I can voice my displeasure with one click of my mouse?

Trooper Galactus

I get I’m not the most popular commenter, but I was rather baffled by some downvotes I got the other day for pretty benign stuff.

Joliet Orange Sox

I haven’t given or received any of the recent downvotes but there have been many more downvotes recently than in the past. I always thought downvotes should be reserved as a way to flag a post as out of bounds (ad hominem attacks, overt racism,…) not to express disagreement about opinions on baseball. I know I’m late to this discussion but I’m all for removing downvotes. I’ve actually upvoted some recent comments I disagreed with because I thought the downvotes were too much.

texag10

I’ve used downvotes in the past for stuff other than “out of bounds” topics but they’ve mostly been limited to “we should trade giolito and moncada for wander franco and start the clock over” type stuff that’s just plain idiotic.

Right Size Wrong Shape

That was meant as a joke. Someone should downvote me.

Foulkelore

If there isn’t proper overflow protection, maybe we can upvote you enough to go into the negative. I feel safe posting this nerdy, coder comment, because I can no longer be downvoted.

Oddvark

comment image

Foulkelore

Well, this just seems much worse.

Oddvark

😉

Eagle Bones

Oops didnt mean to speak on behalf of everyone. Dont do anything on account of me jim.

MarketMaker

ha! i noticed immediately.

jhomeslice

I’m not trying to be argumentative, but why would any of this be on Hahn? If I were GM, of course I would want to sign Springer. But there would be nothing I could do if Reinsdorf would not let me spend the money, right? I don’t see much of this on Hahn, personally. I don’t think Hahn thought Eaton was the best rightfielder available. What can he do if he is given almost no money to go get a quality rightfielder? If he was not payroll constrained, the Sox could have had Darvish for 3 years instead of 1 year of Lynn, quite possibly without giving up Dunning because the Cubs did not get anybody as good as Dunning in return due to Darvish’s contract.

I see all of this on Reinsdorf, 100 percent, but that’s just me.

vanillablue

Part of the GM’s job is to manage the owner.

HallofFrank

What does that even mean? It’s generally not part of a person’s job to manage someone who can fire them.

When talking blame, it’s important to identify the wrong. If the wrong is a tight budget, the blame goes to JR and not Hahn. But if we’re talking poor moves, the blame goes to the whole Sox FO—Jerry, Hahn, KW, the lot of them. At this point, I’m not sure it makes sense to parse out who is for what move.

Oddvark

I do think it is part of the GM’s job to make the case to the owner, when appropriate, for why more spending is appropriate based on the team’s competitive state and needs, the players that are available and how they address the team’s needs, and the expected market rates for the players. If Hahn is just accepting the budget he is given and not arguing for more when justified, he is not doing a good job.

Unfortunately we have no idea if or when Hahn has asked for more money to spend, or how good of a job he did in presenting his case if/when he did. We know that he was ultimately ineffective with respect to top of the market players in the $100M+ contract range, but it’s hard to say if anyone else in his position could have done better.

HallofFrank

Well, sure, Hahn might make strategic pleas to spend, but *of course* Hahn wants more money to play with. It’s only good for Hahn if the Sox spend big. He loses nothing. He doesn’t have an incentive to play cheap.

But making a plea for more money is different than “managing” an owner.

Oddvark

I think it’s not just always pleading for more money because “of course”, but how well does he make a strategic case for specific players at key moments. I don’t know if Hahn makes good arguments in that regard, but I think it is something a strong GM should be doing.

phillyd

Apparently 26 or so other GM’s are not making good arguments to their owners right now either.

As Cirensica

Loads of other GMs do a LOT better than Hahn with fewer dollars. Hahn sucks, and should be accountable. Reinsdorf is cheap? Yes, sure, and that’s another topic.

texag10

I’d like to see this list of “loads of other GMs” that do “a LOT” better than Hahn.

As Cirensica

Indians / A’s, Rays come to mind with recent success, but if I dig deep on a WAR/$ of signed free agents among GMs, I am confident Hahn does not do well.

MarketMaker

well, hahn just had his first playoff season in eight years as GM, so… just think of every GM who didn’t need eight seasons to do it?

HallofFrank

It’s not another topic, it’s the topic I originally responded to. See my original response to vanilla blue. I agree that Hahn (& Co.) can be blamed for a lot (as I said in my original response), but not signing Springer—or Machado or Harper for that matter—isn’t one of them.

Put it this way: if JR went to Hahn three years ago and said, “plan on running a payroll of $180m or more for this window,” do you think the Sox have signed a premium FA at this point? I think the answer is “almost certainly yes.”

As Cirensica

I have to agree with you.

vanillablue

it’s called “managing up.” in Hahn’s case, it is most definitely his job to convince Reinsdorf to spend money when necessary.

MarketMaker

managing up happens a lot. hell, it might be the dynamic for half of direct report relationships.

HallofFrank

“Managing up” is just another way of saying “dealing with a superior.” I hope Hahn is doing that, yes. But that’s quite different than making him to spend $150 million extra.

Trooper Galactus

$150 million would basically be their 2011 payroll adjusted for inflation, and well below the commensurate rise in league revenues.

HallofFrank

Sorry for the unclarity — I was referring to Springer’s contract.

Trooper Galactus

These guys managed to find a way not to pay the entirety of the contracts for shitty players like Dunn, Castillo, and Jones. They could have signed Springer and I wouldn’t necessarily be convinced they would actually pay all $150 million to him.

texag10

Its crazy that the perception of Dunn is that he was a shitty player, all because his first season here turned in to one of the worst seasons a major leaguer can have and was his only season as a below average hitter.

Trooper Galactus

Yeah, I’ve always said that if you take away Dunn’s first season the contract went about how I would have expected. Thing is, by the time they traded him in that final year, he wasn’t particularly good, though I will agree in hindsight that labeling him “shitty” and lumping him in with the likes of Castillo was inaccurate.

jmoney

Hahn should have been fired for the hiring of La Russo based on that logic. Placating to the owner and boundaries given is one thing, but truth is, Hahn just hasn’t mastered the finding “cheaper” options piece of his job, which isn’t ideal but the way he gets these younger players to sign extensions has been a good counter to those failures IMO.

mrridgman

Pretty much everybody on this site knows that Hahn didn’t hire LaRussa.

As Cirensica

Considering that Hahn hired Ventura, maybe it is best if Jerry or other people choose the managers.

As Cirensica

ohhh….oops. Thanks for the correction. In any event, extending him is somehow worse because there is knowledge

Eagle Bones

I dunno, I think I’d actually rather have the Karate Kid managing than the current Hall of Famer Baseball person. If Hahn had gone that direction, I’d put my pitchfork away.

Otter

Hahn has half assed every single offseason as GM other than maybe 2017. His record at evaluating major league talent is horrible. And he traded away Tatis for James Shields. He’s a bad GM.

Hahn knows what his budget is and does a pretty horrible job at filling out the roster with that budget. Okay so he doesn’t have $200 million, but he has $125 million or whatever and he thought signing Adam Eaton FAR SOONER THAN NECCESSARY was the Sox best option even though there were much better options available at roughly the same price. We do this every year with Hahn, and every year he falls flat on his face and every year some commentators fail to realize Hahn sucks.

Rich Hahn is very good at signing players to extensions that work out for the Sox. But he pretty much sucks at trades, evaluating talent, and signing talent.

Jerry and Hahn can both suck! That just happens to be the case.

35Shields

What’s the point in trying to correctly divide blame between the Hahn/Williams/Reinsdorf group? They will be together making terrible decisions for this franchise for the forseeable future.

asinwreck

You know who’d be a great RF for the 2021 White Sox? Bryce Harper. How that saga turned out ensured that the RF for the 2022 White Sox will be Dexter Fowler or Adam Eaton (barring a change in ownership over the next 14 months).

mikeschach

any outfielders on the Jays the Sox should try to get? Jays are rumored to be in on Brantley after Springer – so maybe someone worthwhile could shake loose.

andyfaust

DH Rowdy Tellez. Lefty masher, but mostly because his name is Rowdy.

Eagle Bones

Not ragging on you because this it’s a fair question to ask, but this is such a sad Sox fan type question. Hey this other team over here is actually dramatically improving themselves. Do they have any scraps we could take off their hands?

Benintendi is probably a better fit than anyone on Toronto’s roster. It sounds like they may try to move Grichuk, but he’s kinda overpaid, is kind of meh and hits righthanded.

asinwreck

Echoes of Kenny Williams getting Royce Clayton after the Alex Rodriguez signing made him redundant in Texas.

mikeyb

Definitely a bummer that they didn’t sign Springer (although I’m more hung up on not getting Harper still), but the good news is that with so many teams intentionally tanking, there are a ton of trade options available, theoretically for pretty cheap. While all of these guys might not be elite RFs, if Eaton isn’t playing well at the deadline, you could make a move for a guy like Yasztremski, Gallo, Soler, Heyward, or Trey Mancini. I would certainly be happy with any of them coming in to play some RF/LF/DH.

denny

Santander

mikeyb

I would have no complaints, although he’s young enough and under contract long enough that I’m not sure he would be easy to pry free.

jhomeslice

I wish it were not justified, but the sentiment in this article is spot-on compared to the media outlets giving the Sox props for what they have done this offseason. To be fair I do think that for 2021 alone, they should be very good if Lynn/Keuchel/Giolito are healthy and Giolito has no problems pitching to someone other than McCann. They should win the division with relative ease, probably by 10 games unless the Twins get Rosario, Cruz, or Odorizzi back. But beyond that, they are World Series pretenders, and will be weak going into 2022 because the only dollar they have spent on 2022 or beyond is on Hendricks, who only replaces Colome, which was not one of the reasons they fell short in 2020.

This team has so much talent and potential that it’s hard to disengage and not have high hopes. There is a chance they could win anyway, at least make it to the World Series, if they got lucky. But they don’t stack up well with the Padres and Dodgers, because unlike those 2 teams, the Sox are not all-in. They have their payroll limits set like they play in Ohio, barely above the Reds.

I don’t know that it is an issue of “they never learn” as much as Reinsdorf never loosening his clutch on every last dollar he has. If he won’t spend, there is nothing to learn, because there are no alternatives to what they are doing. You can only hope something changes if he considers that he is near the end of his life and can’t take anything with him.

Eagle Bones

They should win the division with relative ease, probably by 10 games unless the Twins get Rosario, Cruz, or Odorizzi back.

The Twins are still good. Is this a controversial opinion?

Right Size Wrong Shape

They are also going to sign somebody. I doubt the replace those guys with a bunch of AAAA players.

jhomeslice

The Twins are still good, but how can they not be worse by losing Cruz, Rosario, Odorizzi? If they lose all 3, or even 2, they should get worse, no?

Lynn should be worth a few games in the standings, as should a healthy Moncada. Kopech should help, hopefully. Plus their RF/DH production should be much better, even though I share the sentiment on Eaton being a pitiful choice. He will be better than Mazara when he is healthy enough to play, as would Engel. Anyone they put at DH should be better than EE.

Anyway not dissing the Twins too much, but the Sox got better, even if not to the extent that we would have liked. And the Twins got worse. Maybe 8 games will be the difference, I doubt the Sox have to sweat it out to win a weakened division. Beyond that they will be just another playoff team because of all the things you and others have pointed out. A waste, really.

Oddvark

The Twins have also lost May, Wisler, Clippard, and Romo from their bullpen.

But there are a ton of free agents still to be signed, and I suspect the Twins will add at least one SP, one bat, and a couple of bullpen pieces. They look like a decent team as-is, and they will look better by opening day. It’s unlikely that it will be a cake walk to win the division.

tommytwonines

Tyler Clippard – 10 innings pitched for the Sox in 2017 and 0.5 WAR. 1.80 ERA. Sometimes stats are silly!

mikeyb

And I believe in his first couple of outings for the Sox, he only got 1 guy out, picked up a loss, and was generally atrocious.

phillyd

I bet Kirilloff can match or at least come close to Rosario’s production

Last edited 1 year ago by phillyd
Eagle Bones

FanGraphs depth charts (which includes ZiPS and Steamer projections) has them less than 1.5 wins behind the Sox and, as Oddvark said, that’s before they’ve made basically any additions.

jhomeslice

Well alright then, maybe the Sox dont even win the division. I am usually the one that is pessimistic and puts the Twins ahead of them. In any case, if Grandal is the highest compliment they choose to spend on in terms of contract size to add to their core, their chances in the post season or of winning a World Series in the next few years are mediocre at best. The Blue Jays may quickly be emerging as another team that is just as good. They might be better if they add Bauer and/or others.

Anyway need some positive vibes even though most people here are disappointed with their offseason, as am I. If Lynn is top 10 Cy again, the Sox will be a lot better for sure, even if only for 2021. He might have made the difference in their game 3 loss to the A’s.

Eagle Bones

No arguments here on their playoff chances with the current roster. Though with the more random nature of baseball, you’ve got a chance if you can get in (which kinda seem to be what they’re banking on with the possibility of the expanded playoff field being brought back in some form or fashion).

I’m gonna sound like a broken record, but just for sake of argument, FG depth charts already has Toronto ahead of them by about two wins (this is with Brantley included, but I believe they were also slightly ahead before that).

texag10

Good thing Brantley is in Houston then

roke1960

Fan bases are really funny. I went to the Twins page on the local paper there and read the comments about the Sox adding Hendriks. They are talking about how the Sox are being so aggressive and spending big money (their words, not mine), while the Twins do nothing. Many “fans” on there think the Sox will win the division easy and the Twins will fight to beat out the Royals. The grass is always greener in the other teams’ ballpark.

HallofFrank

I don’t hear anyone here being jealous of the Twins… no? I think most of us here agree the Sox are better right now—with the obvious caveat that the Twins will likely add and are Sox likely done with major additions.

It should be a close division race depending a good deal on how much the Twins actually do add. Which only compounds the frustration for each fanbase: for the Sox how the $ is being spent and, for the Twins, the utter lack of $ spent.

roke1960

My comment was more about the Twins fans who think the White Sox are being aggressive and going for it, while we think the Sox aren’t doing enough.

The reality for the Twins is they have large holes in their roster compared to last year. They lost 2 starters (Odorizzi and Hill), 4 relievers (Wisler, May, Romo and Clippard), Rosario, Cruz and Marwin Gonzalez. That’s nine players from their 2020 roster. And so far they have replaced them with Hansel Robles. They are planning on having Larnach replace Rosario, much like the Sox may put Vaughn at DH. They will certainly add some, but they have stated that one of their biggest offseason priorities is finding a replacement for Gonzalez as super utility player. They don’t sound like a team that is going to spend big. And their contention window has been open at least 2 more years than the Sox. Their big players are much closer to free agency than our young guys. If they don’t strike this year, the Royals and Tigers will creep up on them much quicker. It will be very interesting what they do in the next month. As more and more players are coming off the board, their chances of making a big strike are dwindling. And that’s good news for the Sox.

jhomeslice

The Twins are not the Sox competition if winning a World Series is the goal.

As Cirensica

This might be, the best comment made on this whole thread.

Just John

Agreed.

Jerry and Rick strike me as win-the-division-at-the-winter-meetings, win-the-playoffs-at-the-trade-deadline” type of guys. Only, when the Sox are leading the division in July, they morphs into “on-second-thought-we-appear-good-enough” guys.

Last edited 1 year ago by Just John
Oddvark

A bit off topic, but the Royals could be an interesting team to watch this year. They have surprisingly signed 3 of the top 50 free agents (per MLBTR’s list). I don’t think they will be contenders (does anyone?), but they’ll be less of a pushover than last year.

MrStealYoBase

There is running your team like a business, which is understandable. Then there is running your team like a business poorly, which is what this is.

What does it say about your owner when he is being outspent by a publicly traded company (Rogers)?

grittyiq

Not as upset by this one, at least relative to machado/harper since they’re already adding outfield talent in the form of cespedes (and hopefully colas eventually). Hard to sell a path to the big leagues and then immediately block him with a superstar. I’ll be more upset if they don’t add another starter

MrStealYoBase

I keep having to say this but giving Eloy Jimenez innings in the field should not be a priority that precludes adding better defensive outfielders.

grittyiq

Disagree, moving a potential superstar to DH at 24 years old is very premature, even for Springer. And I think Eloy would disagree as well

MrStealYoBase

The 24 year old superstar is worth nothing if he’s on the injured list.

Is having Eloy for 115 games role-playing as a left fielder more valuable than having his bat in the lineup for 160 games?

MrStealYoBase

Alright since this sentiment got voted down I’ll pose this question a different way.

Say you disagree and think 115 games of Eloy in left is more valuable than making sure you have his bat for every game. Is it that much more valuable that you would sacrifice the opportunity to add another good player?

Eagle Bones

Don’t be deterred by the down votes, keep fighting the good fight! Haha seriously, there has to be someone with some burner accounts on here, like literally anything with any minor tinge of negativity towards the org is being down voted.

Right Size Wrong Shape

Who was that guy who appeared for a month, and instantly everyone started getting tons of downvotes? Then he disappeared and so did the downvotes.

joewho112

Did he have Iowa in his name?

Right Size Wrong Shape

No. I don’t always agree with him, but he doesn’t strike me as unhinged like the other guy.

joewho112

The guy I have in mind was accusing people of being on Covid’s side because they thought MLB should be more careful. Maybe we’re talking about different people

Right Size Wrong Shape

I think my guy was pre-COVID.

Oddvark

This whole site is rigged! You can’t trust all the “quetionable” votes that the people who run the site refuse to investigate and throw out.

Eagle Bones

I mean it seems odd that advocating for trying to keep Eloy healthy with some DH time warrants down votes, but hey sure I’m up for a good conspiracy theory.

Oddvark

It was just a Trump joke …

Berrys Wallbangers

The key to Eloy playing left is to have him play deep enough that he cant build up enough speed to hurt himself when he hits the wall.

grittyiq

Totally valid concern and stance! I just feel its too soon to give up on the upside of a serviceable left fielder that hits like Eloy. His talent warrants giving him more of a chance imo. And he’s found other ways to hurt himself besides

HallofFrank

In the short-term, or in isolation, you’re right that Eloy would be more valuable at DH. But putting him at DH now all but consigns him to a career there and, long-term, that’s a body blow to his value.

The only way he becomes a serviceable LF is by playing there. As long as there’s a shot that he can be a serviceable LF, the Sox should keep running him out there because he’s a lot more valuable if he is.

Trooper Galactus

When a guy is as big a net negative on defense as Eloy is, putting him at DH isn’t a blow to his value. The only argument for keeping him there is that there are isolated metrics that point to a better defender than he’s been, but it places a lot of faith in him improving.

HallofFrank

As I’ve already admitted, he’s more valuable at DH than LF right now. But if there’s still a chance he turns into a serviceable LF, the Sox should keep him there.

The point, however, is more basic: the Sox have to balance long term value with short term value.

Oddvark

I agree that playing Eloy at DH would provide more “value” to the team. But I think the main argument for having him in the outfield is to treat him as a human and try to accommodate his personal desire to play the field rather than just treat him as a commodity.

It’s not always realistic to accommodate every player’s desire as to where/how much they play, but I can understand wanting to give Eloy a shot since he is expected to be a key part of the team for many years, and it would be good if he is happy to be here.

Trooper Galactus

I’m all for trying to squeeze outfield play out of the guy, but depending on what their outfield mix winds up like, it’s could be inevitably better for the team.

Eagle Bones

Yeah, they should at be looking to make him playing the outfield an option instead of a requirement.

knoxfire30

Brantley joining Springer in Toronto… wow

Eagle Bones

Good for the Jays and their fans.

HallofFrank

But we’ve got payroll flexibility here.

Eagle Bones

I can’t wait for next offseason to hear why it was such a smart idea to sign a 36 year old Charlie Blackmon to play RF instead of opening the wallet for Conforto.

As Cirensica

What is the AVV of Mr. Flexibility?
Is his contract eternal?

HallofFrank

I prefer to call him by his full name, Ever-Unfulfilled-and-Pointless Hope.

As Cirensica

Only player in baseball with a self renewal clause. In addition the options are limitless and with the auto-picked box ticked. Full-on no trade clause.

joewho112

Hahn is like the kid who goes home from Chucky Cheese with a pocket full of tokens because he didn’t want to waste them too quickly

Trooper Galactus

Who still has Showbiz Pizza tokens lying around?

HallofFrank

Well, apparently the deal is not done, per Passan and others.

Trooper Galactus

JFC, that is terrible.

Eagle Bones

This idea that the Cano deal was somehow bad continues to baffle me.

As Cirensica

I read somewhere an analysis that Jayson Werth’s contract wasn’t that bad. Cespedes contract was going to be good before injuries showed up.

joewho112

ARod had 4 seasons of >4 fWAR immediately after signing contract in 2007 plus another couple >2 fWAR. Plus 2 shortened, bad seasons. Not really a bad outcome especially after you include the fact that the Yankees won a World Series in there

Eagle Bones

Yep, something like 14 fWAR during his deal. Nothing wrong with that.

Trooper Galactus

I mean, sure, Hamilton was a disaster, but for entirely non-baseball reasons. The rest of them produced in some fashion at least in the early parts of their contracts as intended.

Eagle Bones

The thing that is really stupid about this kind of exercise is it ignores the performance of every other player who didnt sign a deal fitting these parameters during those age 31+ seasons (which seems like relevant data in such an analysis).

Oddvark

Isn’t the argument against big-dollar long-term contracts for older players precisely that they are “bad” because of a high(er) risk that something will go wrong — be it injuries, reduced performance in the latter years even if they produced in the early parts, or off-field issues — resulting in the contracts weighing down the team’s budget when the player is no longer performing at levels commensurate with the contracted salary?

I don’t agree that the contracts listed were all bad or really prove anything — if you want a quality player on your team, which you should, the market may require you to pay for it — but pointing out Cespedes’ injuries, Hamilton’s issues, and/or others’ production in the early years seems to miss the point of the risks involved with “older” players.

Trooper Galactus

I think with every player signed to a long-term deal in his thirties it’s understood that the last years are going to be a boondoggle; the whole point is to get the excess value in the early years and be willing to take the hit on the back end with the entire contract evening out value-wise over the full term. Obviously Pujols’ contract turned into a complete debacle way earlier than anticipated, but Werth and Rodriguez panned out just fine for their contracts and even Choo was not a complete disaster by any means even missing most of 2016.

HallofFrank

I agree with the points you’ve been making about the original Tweet being… misguided?

But reading this post is a decent argument against big contracts for post-31. Many of them were a disaster but a few turned out “fine.”

I’d say teams more or less owe players these contracts if they are going to continue to pay players pennies on the dollar when they are valuable. But I do think it’s true that these big contracts for old players usually (not always) aren’t a great use of funds for the team.

Eagle Bones

This tweet is basing it’s conclusion (poorly I’ll add) on a sample of 8 players in MLB history and ignoring how every other MLB player performed after the age of 31. I’d say without hesitation that this is a flawed exercise.

Last edited 1 year ago by Eagle Bones
karkovice squad

I’d go a step further in the contract structures. All of these deals are more properly understand as loans or deferred payment by the players. That’s more explicit in say Konerko’s deal that finally expires this year or Hendriks’, where the payments are still being made after the player is retired. But it’s just as true for Harper taking a 13-year contract to spread the costs out over a longer-term.

It reduces the upfront cash flow hit, it reduces the overall cost of the deal to the team because inflation makes the back-end less costly, and it also means teams can duck some of the expenses by trading the contract without having paid full value.

That there are fewer teams willing to make these deals at all is more about labor policy than anything else.

Last edited 1 year ago by karkovice squad
Oddvark

I recently made a similar point on another site where some people were criticizing LeMahieu’s 6/$90 deal, and I suggested that if you conceptualize it as paying something like 25+20+15+12+10+8, where that’s the value you are paying for even if the cash is distributed at $15M each year, it looks like a pretty darn good deal.

Adding $10M to each year may not make the contract value as clear on a 6/$150 deal, but I get the principle.

Tigerbomb

Not going after Springer was smart, IMO. However, I agree with the overall premise that the White Sox are way too tight with the wallet now that the window is open. For what Springer’s annual pay will be the Sox could spread that around much more effectively, but they aren’t even doing that. Michael Brantley is truly the one that got away, not Springer. Brantley was the perfect fit for this club and this window. LH bat, good average/OBP guy to compliment a lineup full of sluggers, and could rotate with Eloy between DH/OF. Furthermore, he wouldn’t break the bank or require more than 2-3 years commitment. People have these pipedreams of sustained windows when in reality the championship window is open for two, maybe three years. (Which is why the money is better spread around than signing one of the very top FA’s.) There were (and still are) so many older but good FA’s out there that could add depth. Probably could’ve added Brantley (2-3 years), Paxton (1 year + option), and a backup catcher for the same annual cost as Springer on a 5-6 year deal, but without the long-term commitment. This team has made itself contenders for sure, but far from a juggernaut. Championship teams have depth. They don’t bank on their un-proven top prospect (Vaughn) to be a key player, they make him push the issue rather than leaving the job open for him. Zach Collins isn’t a backup catcher on a championship team. Teams rarely make it through a season with 5 SP’s. Rather than banking on Cease/Kopech as your 4-5, they should start the season in MiLB as solid replacements when the need comes. DEPTH. Maybe they aren’t done making moves yet, and there’s still in-season trade action too. But it’s awfully concerning that they are being as frugal as they are with the window now open. Hendricks is really the only spending they’ve done. Lynn/Eaton are like a combined $16 million which was coming off the books with other departures anyway. You don’t have to sign the biggest free agents out there. But with this fine core ready for primetime, if you’re not even willing to spend a little scratch to fill holes and add depth then the whole rebuild could end up being very anti-climactic.

Last edited 1 year ago by Tigerbomb
oldtimer

So much to comment on so I’ll pick just one. “Championship teams have depth. They don’t bank on their un-proven top prospect (Vaughn) to be a key player”. Let’s be fair. The Sox were a 93 – 94 win team over a full season last year with EE. That’s what Vaughn has to replace. Their not banking on him to be Lester like when the Cubs acquired him!!! Unless a lot of scouts are really bad at their jobs, Vaughn will be better than EE was last year. After 100 or so minor league at bats (service time bs), he’ll get his at bats and will grow into a solid offensive player eventually replacing Abreu. I believe he will have his ups and downs but I wouldn’t be surprised if he cracks an 800 OPS in his rookie year.

kwallace23

This is 100% on Jerry. He’s basically making hundreds of million dollars, if not more, at the expense of millions of fans’ emotions. He takes advantage of the most brand loyal customer (sports fans) to get richer in such a painfully obvious way. The Blackhawks showed us what difference a new owner can make. That’s the Sox best hope to act like a franchise that’s actually from a big market.

Trooper Galactus

I might feel a lot differently about the White Sox missing out on Brantley and Springer if we hadn’t had to watch almost the exact same disaster unfold year after year.

asinwreck

Brantley is not joining Springer in Toronto, but he won’t be in Chicago either.

Foulkelore

Options are getting thin. Rosario would still be nice.

Eagle Bones

Joc (Kenny finally gets his man)

Foulkelore

Oh yeah, I forgot he’s still out there too. That would also work.

denman

Brantley got just about what I expected for him. I doubt that we’ll ever know the details of what other offers came his way. I’d be somewhat surprise if Toronto wasn’t offering more. This feels to me much the same as Strasburg last off-season. The current team basically had a right of first and last refusal and only had to make a competitive offer to retain the player. So much for my trumpeting him as an ideal for the Sox.

roke1960

Twins sign JA Happ. I hope the Sox are lucky enough to face him 6 times.

Trooper Galactus

Certainly Anderson is looking forward to it. I believe he’s 9-for-16 against him with an OPS over 1.600.

Gus

im not surprised, go get Jurickson Profar for cheap already Rick.

Trooper Galactus

I’d actually be on board for getting Profar as a bench option on a multi-year deal. If his bat can hold up at a 110 OPS+ level, great, you have a good OF option moving forward. If he falls back to being a below average contributor, fine, you just have an in-house utility player for when Leury leaves.