White Sox add second patch at second base with Josh Harrison

The White Sox signed Leury García to his three-year, $15.5 million deal the day after my son was born, so by the time we got settled back home and I reestablished whatever counted for a writing routine, my first guess felt like a late hit.

Well, the addition of Josh Harrison kinda requires me to lay out my thinking on the García signing, because one of them would probably be enough on the roster.

I didn’t really want to see the White Sox retain García, but it’s not personal. García earns that kind of salary with his versatility, but seeing him start in a corner outfield spot two postseasons in a row — the first one coming off a busted thumb with no rehab games — made me think his flexibility makes the White Sox a little too comfortable with their depth chart.

Look at this way: García is a decent choice to start a week’s worth of games, especially when he elevates his play to emulate the player he’s replacing. He’s just not an ideal choice to start a week’s worth of the season’s most important games, especially lower on the defensive spectrum. That’s exactly where the White Sox have found themselves. He’s a security blanket, but sometimes of the false-sense variety.

Still, García’s signing can’t be properly weighed until you see who the White Sox roll with at the most pressing positional-player shortages. Let’s say the White Sox went out and signed Marcus Semien to play second base and Michael Conforto to play right field. García’s presence then looks like a killer bonus, and if he ended up starting in right field this October, the body count that necessitated that development would probably be in the double digits.

Then there’s the least active scenario. You know, the one where where Hahn signed García as the primary second baseman and hoped that one of their other utility prospects could get the job done, while leaving right field to Andrew Vaughn, Gavin Sheets and Adam Engel. That’s all well and good until Eloy Jiménez runs over himself with Roger Bossard’s lawnmower.


On that spectrum, the signing of Josh Harrison is much closer to the latter situation than the former. However, just like the García signing, slagging his presence feels unfair to the person.

Assessed individually, Harrison should be expected to play second base something like 60 percent of the time and bat ninth, with the ability to provide spot duties at four other positions. It’s overkill to call him a mistake for that job. Over at FanGraphs, Ben Clemens outlined a more positive future.

There’s a world where Harrison is an All Star this year. He’s a line-drive machine who rarely walks, strikes out, or makes soft contact; that kind of skill set leads to blistering hot streaks when the ball is falling in. He managed a .294/.366/.434 line in Washington last year before being traded, good for a 116 wRC+, and I guarantee you that White Sox fans would be happy with that performance.

His season didn’t end there, though, as he hit .254/.296/.341 in 48 games with Oakland, which would be far less exciting to South Siders. Those are the breaks when you’re a swing-happy, low-power hitter; when the ball isn’t falling, or when you aren’t drawing your fair share of walks for whatever reason, things can get ugly.

Let’s put it this way: I think there’s a one-in-three chance that Harrison outperforms Nicky Lopez, who Mike Matheny recently anointed the best second baseman in all of baseball. That’s a good result for someone the Sox signed to a one-year, $5.5 million contract, and a particularly good deal when you consider their alternatives.

Indeed, we might waste no time loving the Josh Harrison Era. He’s been a favorite of every clubhouse and fan base he’s played for, and even hostile crowds enjoy giving him the business.

He goes about the game with an easy charisma, and a style of play predicated on making things happen. Baseball would be better off with more guys who have the talent to create action and value.

Here are the problems: He’s 34, and he’ll turn 35 a week after the cutoff for determining the age of a player’s season. The little experience he’s had in the American League is the kind no player wants — .220/.263/.307 over 84 games with the Tigers and A’s. You can write off the first sample as injury-hampered and the second as merely small, but as a player with his skill set gets older, it might be harder to make a living as a King of Medium Contact for one reason or another.

Rick Hahn’s history with one-year deals also suppresses enthusiasm. Sure, he got Carlos Rodón right last year, but 1) Rodón was a re-signing, not external help, and 2) Adam Eaton was just as bad as we thought he’d be.

Harrison resembles Eaton as a modest acquisition that Hahn intends to mitigate risk. On paper, Harrison represents an improvement that maintains the front office’s precious flexibility. It just invites a different kind of danger thanks to their track record of professional scouting, in that he’s devoting the resources of a medium-sized contract that could’ve been directed toward actually solving a problem. Let’s say Harrison achieves his 20th-percentile PECOTA projection of .253/.316/.368. Combine his contract with García’s deal, and the Sox spent $11 million without fixing a position. This happens a lot.


Whenever I first-guess an acquisition I’m not a fan of, I try to temper the urge to be savagely right with an observation or two that keeps me from being completely wrong. My overall assessments of the Rodón and James McCann signings prognosticated poorly, but at least they referenced ways it could work.

Since the Sox signed Harrison, I’ve been wrestling with the prevailing side on the move. He can play the game in a way that makes everybody forget about Nick Madrigal for a while, so I don’t want to plant my flag as The Guy Who Didn’t Want Josh Harrison Around. It’s also right to be skeptical of that being such a heavy part of the argument for him, because the Sox have a history of intangible-heavy free agents who didn’t produce enough to last the season.

I think I’d be more comfortable if Harrison were replacing García, rather than running alongside him. García has speed on his side and the Sox would lose his outfield abilities, but his absence might indicate the desire to improve the outfield in such a way that rendered those skills unnecessary. Should the Sox stand pat in right, they’ll have two guys who are great for situations where Tony La Russa needs somebody, and less so for situations where La Russa needs something. Doubling down on guys who don’t offer a something means you could be one wrong turn from getting nothing times two.

Now, if the Sox went out and signed a real-deal bat for right field and/or DH, all significant concerns about this signing would melt away, and we could merely state our preference about which good-vibes guy should be getting more than half of the plate appearances in the spot that receives the fewest of them. That’s the world everybody should want to live in, and it’s still within Hahn’s power to make that happen.

Other first guesses

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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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texag10

This reminds me of my fantasy teams where I always assume I can get a bunch of mediocre players and guess right on when their hot streaks are going to occur so I can approximate a superstar without paying the price. It’s been 20 years and so far I’ve never actually accomplished that goal.

snoopy369

I think Harrison might be, to some extent, the price the White Sox are paying for their lack of depth. In an ideal world, where there is depth elsewhere, the Sox could afford to go a bit more all-in on the second base front.

However, on a team where if you lose one player you basically have to play Danny Mendick, you have to make slightly different choices. Leury is one of them, but Josh Harrison might be the best second baseman on the market *who can also play elsewhere*. Yes, Leury should be able to cover various positions, but… what if he is already doing that? Lose one player for a few months, Leury’s your man. But then… what happens if Tim needs a day off? It gets messy.

Signing Josh Harrison means we have more depth, and that’s a *major* weakness of the Sox. Hopefully this signing means the Sox have the flexibility to sign Conforto or Castellanos.

Of course, that doesn’t mean I will forgive Jerry or Rick if they *don’t* sign a high-level RF…

jhomeslice

I will go out on a limb and say there is no chance the Sox will sign Conforto or Castellanos. If I’m wrong I would be ecstatic, but pessimism proves justified again and again with what the Sox do when it comes to free agents.

dwjm3

I don’t think you are going out on a limb. It is the probable outcome.

karkovice squad

I think they should have been able to carry both Garcia and Harrison as supersubs behind full-time starters at 2B and RF. The reluctance to have Engel, Sheets, &/or Vaughn as minor league depth backing up a better starter is puzzling to me.

Foulkelore

Cubs are getting Suzuki for 5 years, $70 million + $12.375 million posting fee. There goes one good option, and more importantly, some of those who lost out on Suzuki may quickly pivot to other OF options. I’m getting pessimistic, but there still hasn’t been much noise about Conforto or Castellanos. However, thinking about it, if the Sox wanted one, their best chance was to sign one before Suzuki made his decision.

dwjm3

The Cubs gave out two contracts that are the equivalent of the White Sox record contract in an offseason where they aren’t likely to be a contending team. I don’t want to hear from Cubs fans that Ricketts is cheap.

Foulkelore

Also, keep in mind why the other player you reference with the contracts (Stroman) wasn’t even an option for the Sox, regardless of money (TLR).

dwjm3

Yes, we couldn’t sign Stroman since Jerry insisted on hiring a relic as manager.

LamarHoyt_oncrack

Sox have wrong manager, wrong owner, and now it is clear, the wrong GM.

itaita

Dont know if its a hot take or not but i dont think Hahn is a terrible GM. Hes one of the more hamstrung guys out there in terms of budget for a “”””””””””””big market”””””””””””” team. Not to mention TLR getting tossed in his lap when he wanted somebody like Hinch or Cora.

texag10

I don’t hate Hahn but he did some of this to himself. We have like 190Mish committed for this year with like a quarter of that in the bullpen. It’s not like things get better next year where we have 150Mish already committed before accounting for all of the salaries for Arb/Pre-Arb players. He was right that the money would be spent but the Sox were never going to be a luxury tax team so it’s been a pretty shitty plan so far.

soxygen

Hahn better be really confident that TLR is going to know what to do with all of those relievers.

soxygen

Well…it’s a fine line between understanding the constraints someone is under and giving them a pass for choosing to continue to work for a crappy boss.

As a lobbyist, I deal with this all the time. I recently had a legislator’s chief of staff tell me that they didn’t sign up for all the angry stakeholders and constituents. I said, “no, literally, you did. You chose to work for a jerk and a liar.”

Last edited 3 months ago by soxygen
Trooper Galactus

Why is it people are always happy to acknowledge that Hahn works within restrictions without also referencing his horrible track record in doing so? Other GMs deal with far more onerous restrictions than he has to far more success. He’s his own worst enemy when it comes to rounding out a roster.

calcetinesblancos

Lol, it’s really mind-blowing that out of all the managers we could have had, we chose one that would actually prevent players from coming here. Not that it matters since we never sign anyone of significance anyway, but still amusing.

jhomeslice

Ricketts is not cheap at all compared to JR. The Sox have yet to give out a contract within 70M of what the Cubs gave Lester. Grandal was barely half of the 155M they gave him.

This team is not going to win a title with Granal as the highest contract they give out, I’ve said that before and will almost certainly not be proven wrong.

Augusto Barojas

Cubs had higher payroll than the Sox – in 2021.

calcetinesblancos

Sox FO should absolutely be embarrassed, and I’m embarrassed to be a Sox fan right now. Just pathetic that the Sox weren’t in on a guy like that who would plug right in to what they need. Between that and the thought of having to watch another season of La Russa I’m not looking forward to this season as much as I wish I was.

Augusto Barojas

Seiya was completely affordable. Yeah, this offseason has been an embarrassment, and just incredibly wasteful without making them arguably any better.

dansomeone

The Suzuki K is actually $85M plus a $14.625M posting fee according to mlbtraderumors. Which makes it larger than any K in WS history

Last edited 3 months ago by dansomeone
Foulkelore

Thanks, they had the wrong details earlier. That’s a pretty big difference.

Trooper Galactus

It was larger even without the posting fee.

jhomeslice

Cubs sign Seiya Suzuki, 5 years, 70 M. So just like that, even the Cubs who are not competing give out more contract dollars to one player than the Sox do to 5 guys. I would rather have Seiya Suzuki than Harrison/Garcia/Kelly/Kimbrel/Velasquez. But at 14M annually for Suzuki, the Sox could have STILL gotten Garcia and Kelly.

Augusto Barojas

Cubs did have to give 12M posting fee, but still true. I am surprised Seiya was that affordable, he probably would have been the cheapest RF the Sox could have signed in annual dollars compared to Conforto, Castellanos.

calcetinesblancos

Who cares? Even with the fee it’s $16 million a year. Look at what Olson just got, and he was still prevented from getting full value because he still had two arb years left.

jhomeslice

Reinsdorf is too cheap to make this team chamipionship caliber, it’s as simple as that. Hahn isn’t too smart apparently either, when it comes to figuring out what they need. That doesn’t help.

calcetinesblancos

I’ve defended Rick in the past but I’m done with that nonsense. You could have skipped our new AARP players (Kelly and Harrison) and put that money towards Suzuki, a player in his prime who can play defense and fills your glaring hole in RF. But why do the easy and obvious things when you can do whatever the f**k they are currently doing?

HallofFrank

The obvious thing is to sign Michel Conforto. Can we at least wait until he signs elsewhere for everyone to flip out? I’ve heard almost no one stump for the Sox to sign Suzuki until he actually signed.

calcetinesblancos

You’re actually right that nobody seemed into the idea of signing him, and for the life of me I don’t understand why that is. I’ve been all in on Suzuki since I heard he was going to be posted because I honestly think he fits on this team better than Conforto, plus he’s younger.

I will be happy to admit I was wrong if we sign Conforto. You have no idea.

jhomeslice

I mean of course we’d all be happy if the Sox signed somebody like Conforto. But there has been not even a whisper tying the Sox to any outfielders this winter. And we all know Conforto won’t be cheap enough for it to be a real probability.

I agree with you I would have preferred Seiya to Conforto, he will be interesting to watch on the Cubs. I only hope they don’t get Correa now.

calcetinesblancos

I hope they do get Correa; it might wake the Sox up.

calcetinesblancos

Just pathetic. The hilarious thing is that I bet Suzuki would pay for himself via all the merch he’d sell (Japanese people are crazy about their MLB players), plus it would just create a fresh angle for the team and also fill a hole. But obviously with TLR at the helm, “fresh” is not the vibe this team is going for. More “stale,” “predictable,” “lame,” and “not good enough to win a trophy.”

GrinnellSteve

Schwarber to the Phillies.

ForsterFTOG

The $20M AAV should tell us Sox fans about their teams willingness to sign Bryant, Conforto or Castellanos.

HallofFrank

Do you think—for good or ill—the presence of Romy Gonzalez affected Hahn’s plan for 2B? I think it was Jim who loosely compared Romy to Marcus Semien, and that comparison has haunted me since. Harrison strikes me as a half-assed way to solve a position for a team that didn’t want to solve a position, hoping instead that the solution was already around.

calcetinesblancos

I’d definitely rather see what Romy could do rather than play Harrison, but that’s not saying much.

Augusto Barojas

I don’t think there is any need for analysis. Many people ignore their problems and weaknesses. The Sox front office does that too. They do not have any “plan” in mind. Everything the Sox have done this winter is half-ass. Except Kimbrel, which was just utter stupidity.

metasox

Plan A for the Sox was evidently Cesar Hernandez. That did not work out and the Sox put essentially the same amount of money into Harrison. Like the Sox had a budget for 2B and they stuck to it. That seems simplistic, but I could believe that was part of the analysis.

Trooper Galactus

People flipped out about possibly handing $6m to Cesar after he sucked post trade but $7m for Harrison after he sucked post trade is all cool because we didn’t have to watch him every day, I guess.

jorgefabregas

Not sure how much Romy specifically had to do with it, but I do think that Romy + Rodriguez + Yolbert made the Sox think they didn’t need to prioritize this position.

And that’s probably true–IF they prioritized solid players in RF, backup C, and SP. But there just seems to be more wishing there.

Qubort

I don’t hate any of the moves this off season in a vacuum. But it feels like they’ve all been done independently of each other and without regard for holes on the roster.

I can’t grasp why Rick refuses to just get a freakin right fielder. It has been YEARS. Eloy nor Robert have ever survived a full season. You’d think that give him extra incentive to have outfield depth.

dwjm3

They could save face by signing Conforto in the finals hours of free agency. Unfortunately, I don’t think they are smart enough to realize it.

Last edited 3 months ago by dwjm3
calcetinesblancos

Sigh. Being a Sox fan is f**king exhausting.

dwjm3

Honestly, if Jerry wasn’t in his 80s I’d seriously consider moving on. At this point I might as well stick it out and hope for lightning in a bottle.

calcetinesblancos

I had the pleasure of watching the Brewers kick our ass up in Milwaukee last season. I usually go to a game or two up there even when we aren’t playing them. Fun team.

jhomeslice

I am very close to moving on. I have not bought a ticket to a game since Konerko’s last, and have no plans to this year.

Let me guess how the season’s gonna go. They’ll do pretty well and have a lead in the Central from start to finish. They’ll have an injury or two, which they have very little depth to overcome, and we’ll hear “this team would be really good if healthy…we have such terrible luck”. They will “mysteriously” play sub par against teams with winning records, again. And that will include the playoffs, where it will be obvious that they have the same needs we saw last year, and that they did nothing to address them.

I’m not sure watching all of that is going to be a great way to spend time.

dwjm3

The other thing that keeps me going is our fanbase. I enjoy being part of this fanbase as there are a lot of straight shooters in this fanbase that call it like it is. We seem to be devoid of delusional fanboys which is something I appreciate.

LamarHoyt_oncrack

Sometimes moving on is best.

WHITESOX_RIGHT_SOX

Truth!

soxygen

I’ve never considered moving on. I have considered not subscribing to MLB, only
listening to radio broadcasts, just following the minors…But, I mean, what else am I going to do? I think about baseball 12 months out of each year. I am 48 and this obsession started in 1983. I mean, I have been sticking with these guys and haven’t lived in the Midwest since 2000z

And while it is true that I love baseball, to really enjoy it I have to have a team – I need to know all the players and their tendencies, strengths, and weaknesses. First and foremost, I am a Sox fan. F-ing hate Jerry. But yeah, they kind of have me locked up…

Last edited 3 months ago by soxygen
shaggy65

A Garcia/Harrison platoon at 2B should be a little below average but with a safe floor and a ton of versatility. Putting that at the bottom of the lineup is well worth $10M.

MrStealYoBase

That’s only true if you aren’t also doing that with two other lineup spots.

soxygen

The 26 and 40 man rosters are a thing, though. How many roster spots can you tie up with redundant groups of generally subpar or flawed players?

Augusto Barojas

Jays just got better, adding Chapman. Bad year last year for him but he is a gold glove fielder, and should thrive in that lineup. Their lineup has to be close to best in MLB.

jhomeslice

That’s huge. He is one of best defenders in MLB, and usually a pretty good hitter.

Their lineup is absolutely stacked. They are another team the Sox don’t match up well against. Sox pitchers are good, but they are not going to shut down the Jays. No team is going to do that very well, their lineup is probably better than Astros now.

MrStealYoBase

The Sox signed Eaton early in the off-season while other viable options to solve RF were plentiful. They signed Harrison when the 2B market had all but dried up. I guess you could call that improvement.

On the current RF situation: why is it that the Sox seem to always take the wrong lesson from every situation they put themselves in? After they made it though last season with a patchwork outfield I think most fans said “thank god that somehow wasn’t a complete disaster!” The White Sox seem to be saying “let’s do it again.” It’s one part gamblers fallacy, one part inertia, one part hubris.

LamarHoyt_oncrack

Gamblers fallacy, inertia, hubris… cowardice, and greed. A pretty good explanation of why this team will never achieve their stated goal.

ForsterFTOG

Just remember, without Eaton the Nationals don’t win a World Series.

As Cirensica

And this is based on what exactly?

joewho112

Common sense and functioning eyeballs

As Cirensica

Really? You are absolutely sure that having another player instead of Eaton wouldn’t have worked as well as with Eaton?

I get the comment. Saying something like “Eaton significantly helped the Nationals to win the WS” is one reasonable statement, but saying that without Eaton the Nationals wouldn’t have won the WS that is just prattle.

ForsterFTOG

FWIW, my comment was pure snark.

Greg Nix

Seems like Rick really wants some young guys from the farm to emerge. I’ll give him credit in that there are some interesting options down the line (Romy, Rodriguez, Yolbert at 2B; Colas, Cespedes in RF). But what a half-ass way to approach a contending season. Gavin Lux is probably better than any of those guys ever will be and he’s like 4th on the Dodgers 2B depth chart.

HallofFrank

Yes, this is the exact point I was making in my comment above. There is some logic to it, but this is not the year to rely on unknowns. It’s a great time to give Conforto a 1-year, $25m contract, then see where you stand next year.

Augusto Barojas

I am sure the Sox are going to give 25M to someone on a 1 year deal. Very realistic possibility after what we’ve seen the past two offseasons. An announcement coming any minute now.

Last edited 3 months ago by Augusto Barojas
HallofFrank

True, that is a bit low compared to the big contracts they’ve handed out the last two offseasons. Maybe we should expect a bigger deal.

Trooper Galactus

I don’t know how much advantage Conforto gets by waiting until he’s over 30 to sign a multi-year deal. If he can get some decent four or five year offers right now, he’ll take one.

Marty34

It’s like they picked up the Kimbrel option as an excuse not to get in a bidding war for a free agent in an area of need.

JR’s rationale seems to be the organization will take less heat if they don’t get in a bidding war than if they get in one and lose which is a certainty with his track record

BenwithVen

I simply do not get this FO. Just continually misreading the market and not adapting at all.
All the while doubling down on players they seem to value more highly than seemingly every other team (RP, Utility players).

Augusto Barojas

Their window of opportunity for a title is closing. They are no closer to that goal now than they were after they lost to the Astros.

HallofFrank

It’s time for the rebuild, right? If they aren’t going to add and the window is closing, pack it in.

Augusto Barojas

That their window won’t last forever is a fact. It’s a pretty strong consensus that their offseason did not do much to close the gap with the Astros, since they did not address any of their positional needs including even backup catcher. Nobody is saying to pack it in, other than you. I’m just honestly assessing their chances, which are not all that improved over 2021, which ended in a pretty pitiful playoff showing. Cheerleading about pinning their hopes on Conforto does not make it any more likely that there is even a small chance of them signing him. If they do, I will get happy drunk and send you a voucher for your favorite alcohol of choice.

HallofFrank

I’m pointing out that if you really believe what you type here, you should want to rebuild. If the Sox are really the 7th best AL team, aren’t going to make the necessary signings to be a real playoff team, and the window is closing, why not rebuild?

The reason, of course, is that the things you’re saying aren’t true. I *definitely* want the Sox to get better and *absolutely* think they should add. But this is a championship-caliber team right now.

Augusto Barojas

I watched the playoffs and 2nd half last year. They were obviously not a championship caliber team. This season will likely prove that out again since their lineup will be the same. Believe what you will. I will not reply to you directly in the future, I think it best, I don’t want to argue. Cheers.

HallofFrank

Because of a 3 game sample? And if you watched the games, you’ll know why we lost: Giolito and Lynn got shelled, the middle of the order couldn’t hit. You know who did come up big? Leury Garcia, the guy everyone is annoyed will play more than he should.

The White Sox are a better team than the 2021, sans-Acuna Braves, and they won. This team is absolutely good enough to win. Are there holes? Absolutely. Are there better teams? Probably, yeah. But this team is still good enough to win. And everyone except White Sox fans can see that.

calcetinesblancos

There’s also the other elephant in the room: TLR is an awful manager. His “managing” in the playoffs was so bad that I think we’d need to overbuild the team just to overcome it this year. I especially don’t understand the obsession with adding to the bullpen this offseason given that it’s clear that TLR will only go to the pen once the game is of reach. What’s the point?

Does anyone in that FO actually watch the games? I don’t see how someone that watches the games would think that building up the pen is more important than plugging the holes in RF/2B.

Joliet Orange Sox

More importantly, does TLR watch the games?

BTW, I like what you did with the elephant reference to the A’s mascot.

HallofFrank

It is truly, extremely annoying that the TLR cloud is hanging over what should be among the best years in franchise history.

jhomeslice

You are right that their window wont last. Consider their contracts. Abreu will be a free agent after this year. Grandal after next year. TA7 and Giolito after 2024. Do they resign Abreu? After next year, how do they replace Grandal? After 2024, will they have either TA7 or Giolito?

Their window may be just 3 years. Could be just two. This may be their best year of the 3, with Abreu. But after 2024 their window could be closed because we all know the type of owner we have. If they want to get something of value rather than lose TA7 and Giolito for nothing, they could wind up trading either or both of them before the end of the 3rd year.

So yeah, it is understandable why people are a little peeved, when this year may be the best shot they may have, and they did nothing this winter that made F-ing sense to anybody. Very easy to see how this team might not come anywhere close to a title during the whole window.

Last edited 3 months ago by jhomeslice
HallofFrank

It’ll be understandable why people are peeved if the Sox don’t get Conforto, but the Sox are remarkably well set up to contend in 2024 and beyond. From the beginning of this rebuild, creating a sustainable winner—as opposed to a short, 2-3 window of success—has been the goal. That’s why the extensions have been prioritized and they haven’t just unloaded prospects in win-now moves.

Robert, Eloy, Moncada, Cease, Kopech—that’s a helluva base to start from in 2024 and beyond. And that’s before considering the prospects, or guys like Vaughn, who should be around then.

I will be peeved if the Sox don’t do anything else. They should sign Conforto, at least. But I’m generally okay with them not trading their best prospects for one of the pitchers. I like the idea of sustainability instead of maximizing a short window.

jhomeslice

When so far this offseason, the Sox are paying none of the 5 free agents they signed even 10M for 2022, do you really think they are going to sign Conforto for what would have to be close to 20M? Really? There is no rumor anywhere tying the Sox to any outfielder this whole winter. None. Come on.

And your notion of sustainability is close to nonsense once they lose Abreu, Grandal, Giolito, TA7, when they are already at a disadvantage compared to the Astros and at least 2 or 3 other teams, and their farm system is ranked dead last. There are many great free agents the past two years that would have put the Sox close to the top team in the AL, and they all have found other homes including Sox rivals. If you want to waste your time with this team and believing this is ever going to change, good luck.

roke1960

I think both of your above points are valid. The problem with having a core of Robert, Eloy, Moncada, Cease and Kopech for 2024 and beyond is that’s not enough. We have to look at what this FO has done the last two years. After signing Grandal, they have not signed another offensive player of note. Yes they added Keuchel, Hendriks and Lynn. But the hole in RF has been gaping for 5 years and they have literally done nothing to fill, even though there have been countless players they could have added. And as these guys continue to get more expensive every year, the odds on Jerry spending big to supplement those 5 grows slimmer. It’s just so frustrating.

Root Cause

My grandpa said that, “Something that is good for everything is generally good for nothing.”

Could we get a mug or shirt that reads,” Chicago Swiss Army Knives”?

As Cirensica

My assessment of this signing depends on how frequently TLR puts BOTH in the daily lineup which brings me to my main concern because too much of only one was too much. They both need a lot of PAs so the sum of many tiny parts adds to something that looks decent on paper.

Last year, an excessive exposure of Garcia trended downward. I remember when TLR, for XYZ reason appeared to be unable to bench Leury who probably ended up starting more games than coming off the bench participations. For an utility infielder, that’s not optimal. Now TLR has two Garcias! And their usage might lead to suboptimal results.

Last edited 3 months ago by As Cirensica
texag10

With all of the recent OF signings, word is that Austin Meadows is available for trade. I’ve wanted him here for a while now. I doubt we have the ammunition to do it but I’d much rather throw our good prospects at him over Manaea/Montas.

dongutteridge

My mind is still blown by how much they paid Joe Kelly. I wanted Collin Mchugh all winter long and then he signs for 2 years at $10 mil but the Sox give Kelly $17 mil.?

So many good relievers signing for much less and some still out there.

I’ve been harping on the lack of depth for a long time and I’m glad to see the Sox addressing it but the way Hahn is going about the pitching depth doesn’t seem very smart.

jhomeslice

I thought the same on McHugh, better value. Kelly coming off an injury too. Would anybody be surprised if he is suddenly mediocre? Bullpen help is not what this team needed, and they idiotically overpaid for both Kelly and Kimbrel. 24M for those two guys. Unbelievable.

tommytwonines

They didn’t have the starting pitching to compete last October. And second base was a problem, and right field (as always).

What’s really changed?

Last edited 3 months ago by tommytwonines
Foulkelore

Starting pitching is tricky, because, yeah, that was one of the main reasons they lost against Houston. However, Lynn, Giolito, and Cease were all excellent in the regular season, so it’s not like they are going to replace them. With health, those 3 are going to start 3 of the first 4 playoff games again, and they should. Right now, that 4th guy is Kopech, instead of Rodon, and Rodon started great, but couldn’t get through 3 innings. Houston bashed all 4 starters, whose 2021 regular season performances I’d be happy to take any year.

tommytwonines

So the starting pitching and second base and right field will be better this year? And let’s not forget defense and holding runners on base or throwing them out.

Not seeing it.

Foulkelore

I’m with you on 2B and RF. However, about the only thing they can do for starting pitching is add one more good starter into the rotation (which they are rumored to be attempting). That will potentially change things for 1 out of 4 playoff games, but they will already have a change in 1 out of 4 playoff games. The other three are going to be the same, but that doesn’t mean they will pitch as poorly next time. What did you want them to do with their starting pitching? Get rid of Lynn, Giolito, and Cease?

LamarHoyt_oncrack

Their starting pitching is good, but they don’t have anybody who is lights out and going to shut down the Astros or Jays. It’s good enough if they have the hitting and defense to support it. Their defense was close to league worst. And their hitting quite vulnerable to being shut down by RHP’s as we’ve seen since the start of 2020.

So what to do? I dunno, maybe add a solid outfielder, or at least a strong lefty DH like Schwarber, rather than a bunch of relievers and two utility guys who are not particularly good hitters?

Foulkelore

Yep, I completely agree. There were/are lots of ways to help the team overall. I just didn’t see the starting pitching as the best target for that.

LamarHoyt_oncrack

Nor do I. Of course getting one of the A’s guys if the price tag is right would help them overall, but still leave them with the same matchup weaknesses in playoff series. The hitting vs RHP thing is a killer, just so, so stupid that they did nothing to address.

It’s a shame their defense is not better, there really isn’t a lot they can do to fix that.

jhomeslice

Nothing. Nothing has really changed. This offseason is probably the most disappointing I can ever recall as a Sox fan, although last winter was pretty pathetic as well with hiring La Russa and Eaton being their opening day RF. This ownership is just total shit.

If you were to tell me before this winter that other than Kimbrel, they would not add even ONE player with even a 10M salary, as cynical as I usually am, I wouldn’t have believed it. Just a pitiful, pussy, half ass effort, along with blatant stupidity (i.e. Kimbrel).

a-t

Buried here is the move that the White Sox are actually making to boost their corner outfield depth: Yermin Mercedes is playing some left field now! I wish I was kidding, although I also badly want to watch that comedy.

The thing is, I can see why they feel okay about right field. Vaughn/Sheets/Engel are far from slam dunks there, but they’ve all got a chance to be solid. Sheets and Vaughn are likely to rake and equally likely to be among the worst defensive outfielders in the league. Engel’s defense is great and he seems to have really improved with the bat but he can’t stay on the field very well. It’s basically the same plan as last year, but betting that Vaughn and/or Sheets will improve with experience.

2B is another matter. There aren’t any credible prospects/young players near the bigs there, with apologies to Romy Gonzalez. That said, there weren’t many options in FA— I absolutely did not want Semein at age 31 on that contract, sorry. The two targets I thought made the most sense were Escobar, who signed for 2/$20M, and Frazier, who was traded to Seattle for a 27-year-old relief prospect and a 12th round OF who performed great on paper in half a season of A-ball. The Sox easily could have made either (or even both!) of those moves. Harrison is maybe the best of the current options, but that’s because they let better ones pass them by.

As Cirensica

I’m surprised Yermin is still on this team

GrinnellSteve

Yogi Berra played left late in his career. Yermin is a lot younger. It was Yogi in left when Mazeroski sailed a homer over his head.

texag10

I will say, there is a certain logic that says “Why give a ton of money to Schwarber to play OF when we basically have him at league minimum in Sheets/Vaughn?”

tommytwonines

Looks like they have all their position players now, no? Mendick’s out and Vaughn, Sheets, Garcia, Engel platooning in right and DH.

Not happy about it, just saying.

Last edited 3 months ago by tommytwonines
Ben

This offseason is giving me flashbacks to 2015. The core pieces are in place, it’s just time to plug some holes.

There seem to be less holes now than turn, which just makes the trajectory of this off-season more disappointing.

jhomeslice

I just can’t get my head around the fact that of the 5 free agents they signed, not one is a position player who will make even 10M in a single season. They have a great core and should be into the next phase of their rebuild where they add some major piece like Springer, Castellanos, etc, and instead they just stopped. They are a promising young team, but have an owner that seems intent on preventing them from ever being more than that.

As one of my favorite movie lines of all time goes, the saddest thing in life is wasted talent.

Last edited 3 months ago by jhomeslice
WHITESOX_RIGHT_SOX

I hear you and I’m sorry. Makes me think of that scene in national lampoons Christmas vacation where Clark Griswold gets the ‘xmas bonus’ of the one year membership to the jelly of the month club. I feel like Chevy when he goes on the rant after opening the letter! If anyone knows how to insert that gif or short clip of the rant, that’d be just…I’d love you in this moment

Last edited 3 months ago by WHITESOX_RIGHT_SOX
Joliet Orange Sox

100 comments again! Let’s keep kvetching!