Reports: White Sox actually try, publicly fail to land Zack Wheeler

Good news: The White Sox broke new ground in a free agent pursuit.

Bad news: It can’t even register as a moral victory.

For the first time in documented history, the White Sox reportedly finished with the highest bid for a free agent who landed a nine-figure contract … only it wasn’t good enough to actually land the player. Zack Wheeler is instead heading to the Phillies on a deal worth $118 million over five years.

Multiple sources had the White Sox offering Wheeler more money than the Phillies. Bob Nightengale and Ken Rosenthal both said so, and Daryl Van Schouwen became the first reporter to say it was guaranteed, and not some incentive-laden structure. Wheeler instead opted for Philadelphia, which is close to where his fiancee’s family lives.

The White Sox are used to rejection, but these circumstances have no precedent. Sure, the Sox had offered a nine-figure contract other times, like when they were outbid for Masahiro Tanaka and Manny Machado, but neither offer could be taken with utmost earnestness.

With Tanaka, the White Sox weren’t going be more appealing than the Yankees either financially or otherwise, and true to form, the Yankees blew away the field. The White Sox were just happy to advertise their first rebuild. With Machado, the White Sox didn’t want to win the bidding. Otherwise, they just would’ve issued the expected 10-year, $300 million contract themselves in December. They used it as an opportunity to advertise their second rebuild, but it rang far hollower.

This time around, the White Sox behaved like a big-boy team start to finish, especially since the winning bid was far higher than the projections. FanGraphs crowdsourced it at four years and $72 million. MLB Trade Rumors suggested five years and $90 million as a decent reference point. Wheeler ended up at $118 million, and that wasn’t even the reason the Sox didn’t receive his services.

My guess is that Wheeler indeed wanted to stay in that particular tri-state area, and his camp bandied about the White Sox’s interest to drive up the Phillies’ number. Could the White Sox have offered $125 million or $130 million? Maybe. Would that have been a good idea? Maybe. But I’m guessing at some point in the negotiations the losing party has to take the hint.

Perhaps the White Sox should have factored in Wheeler’s preferences, but I’m guessing they did. This wasn’t like Machado, where the deal ended up at the nice round numbers that were predicted out of conversational convenience, and the White Sox just chickened out. Perhaps they projected Wheeler for four years and $80 million, thought five and $110 million was a reasonable top end, and then continued pushing until nobody topped them. How much further are they supposed to go before they consider other options? How much more does Wheeler need to seek when he has a preferred landing spot paying him what he’s worth and then some?

When it comes to the things we can know from this distance, I’m fine with how the White Sox conducted themselves, because they appeared to have pursued a top target without cutting corners and calling it shabby chic. If you told me in October that the White Sox were going to land Yasmani Grandal and offer $120 million to Zack Wheeler, I’d be fairly shocked. That the White Sox failed to get a free agent to accept their nine-figure offer is a cold glass of water to the face, but it still seems that the White Sox are trying to do what’s needed this winter. (Sidling up to the Yankees and Angels for Gerrit Cole would go further, y’know.)

The Sox suffered some embarrassment in the process, but they ran the risk of this kind of rejection with by running their postseason drought to 11 years with three seasons of tanking. They have yet to build an intrinsic advantage as a destination, and until they do, competing for desirable free agents requires a lot of money and a little bit of prayer. Perhaps they should have taken advantage of softer markets when they had the chance, but they didn’t, so now they have to figure out another plan.

I’m guessing “$120 million to Zack Wheeler” isn’t the only thing on their big board, so I’m taking this failure as an indicator that the White Sox have the appetite to add. That’s new, and hopefully the Sox will have something to show for it before the novelty wears off.

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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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itaita

I guess the Sox will have to settle for Cole

denman

Seriously, is Gerrit Cole really the best fit for the Sox? A record breaking contract for an ace from a team that hasn’t had a winning season in 7 years. I think $120MM/5 for Wheeler would have been an overpay, but it would not have hamstrung the team from making other moves. Not sure I could say that about $300+MM/8? for Cole.

burning-phoneix

It’s unlikely Cole is gonna get 300 million. Something closer to 230-250 million is more likely as it will be the highest ever paid to a pitcher (beating David Price’s 217 million)

denman

The question is, do you think the Sox should be in on bidding that is likely to get to that level. (Forget rumors that Cole wants to play in L.A.). With Boras as his agent, he’s certain to get a deal topping Price’s record for total value and Grienke’s record for AAV. Of course adding an ace such as Cole improves the team; but spending that amount of money for a single player on a team with multiple pressing needs seems to heighten the risk inherent in giving a long term deal to a pitcher.

HallofFrank

What’s the worry with adding his contract? They could still (rather easily) sign a RF like Castellanos or Ozuna, trade for Joc, and add few more depth arms. What do you want to do with the money that signing Cole prohibits? 

metasox

The issue might be more after this season when guys like Moncada get expensive

HallofFrank

I just don’t think that should be a real deterrent. Let’s just say Cole is at $37m AAV as suggests (although I doubt it’s quite that high) and a RF (Castellanos) is another $15 AAV (per MLBTR predictions) and another $15m for other depth signings on one year contracts. That puts their payroll for 2020 at around $145m (about average for MLB). 

In 2021, they’d have around $43m coming off the books, putting them at just over $100m. As has been pointed out, there’s little reason this team can’t have a payroll of over $160m. If the Sox are too hamstrung to pay guys like Moncada in 2021 and beyond, it shouldn’t be because of $37m paid to Cole. 

35Shields

Good thing the Sox have roughly $100m they’ve saved by running low payrolls in the last three years that will now totally be spent on the team, right?

denman

I seem to be the only one who looks at the Red Sox and the Price contract and wonders about the wisdom of investing so much for so long in this year’s dominant ace. Teams such as the Yankees, Dodgers and even the Angel’s can see their windows closing. Key players are past their prime or near free agency. Adding “the stud” this off-season is worth the risk of under-performance or injury. The Sox window is just opening; any number of things could happen over the course of a Price-like contract that would require greater pay-roll flexibility than several long term, big money contracts allow. That said, of course I’d like to see the Sox acquire Cole.

HallofFrank

The Price contract is probably about the worst case scenario for Cole. Aside from blowing out his elbow, it’s difficult to see how Cole is worse than Price has been in Boston. For reference, Price was worth 6.2 WAR the two years before he signed. Cole has been worth 12.1 WAR the last two years. 

And yet… Price has been worth 10.8 WAR over his four years in Boston and was a big part of the Red Sox winning the AL East three times and winning a World Series. If that’s the floor for Cole, then sign me up. 

Not to mention that there are plenty of counter-examples. Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, and Zack Greinke are good examples of pitchers who have gotten huge paydays and have remained effective even into the middle to late 30s. 

denman

As I said, I don’t really object to pursuing Cole. However, Scherzer, Verlander and Grinke,weren’t acquisitions coming just as the team was transitioning into contention. Neither was Price, for that matter. While I’m extremely optimistic about this team, most of the core young talented players have had only one “breakout” season of major league success. Neither Robert or Madrigal has a single major league at bat. Other than Giolito, none of the young arms in the rotation has enjoyed any consistent success. It isn’t so much that Cole could be Price as it is that so many key pieces have yet to prove their ability to produce season after season. A couple of our core young stars struggle, regress or suffer injury and the equation changes a bit. 

karkovice squad

The Red Sox won 78 games in 2015. Price’s contract was absolutely a turning point signing.

If Rick & Co. hadn’t made such a hash of free agency and delayed promotions for Madrigal and Robert they’d already have cleared that mark. Their 2020 arrivals and Grandal’s addition already puts them in line to clear that threshold in projections.

There really isn’t a reason to wait for the actual results to materialize before putting their foot on the gas.

The Phillies just showed how you deal with injuries and regression.

There’s a lot in common with poker theory here. It’s not a good idea to always wait for the river to make your move on the pot. And if you take a bad beat there’s always the next hand.

andyfaust

Well said Frank. An ace such as Cole is badly needed for this rebuild. Even if Price represents the floor for Cole, sign me up at $30-35M AAV too. They can afford some bad money, and truly must afford some bad money in all likelihood because the window is already beginning to close. Just make a huge offer (7/$250M or even add an eigth year), if he snubs the Sox like Wheeler, so be it.
As I’ve said so many times here, the point of a rebuild to have so very few dollars committed, so that you are able to spend stupid money on FA’s as if money doesn’t matter when you are only a few pieces away from a dynamite roster.

karkovice squad

The Red Sox already had 2 93-win seasons, a 108-win season, and a championship in the first 3 years of Price’s deal so they’re probably satisfied with how signing him worked out. The end of the deal was probably a contributing factor to Dombrowski losing his job but not the decisive 1.

lil jimmy

For me it’s not year dollars or the years. It’s the dollars and years for pitching. They are just too fragile.

karkovice squad

Yet the big contracts to free agent hitters have provided less value for the money over the last 5 years or so.

And the money has to go somewhere if it’s not going to minor leaguers, pre-arb, and arb-eligible players.

tommytwonines

Angel’s can see their windows closing.

To protect the Angels, Maddon should smear them with soap, too. 

MrTopaz

The window doesn’t open unless we add good players. They missed on their preferred target, and the lower tier free agents are useful, but nothing special. That leaves the higher tier guys.

HallofFrank

Is [probably the best pitcher in baseball at only 29] really the best fit for [a team coming out of a rebuild with a huge need for pitching]? 

Yes. There is literally no available player that fits the Sox better than Cole. 

35Shields

FiveThirtyEight looked at this the other day. Not only would the Sox signing Gerrit Cole be the single signing that would have the largest win impact for the Sox, it would have the largest win impact of any signing by any team.

Eagle Bones

Is signing the best available pitcher (maybe the best pitcher in the league) a good fit for a team that needs pitching? Yes, that is a good fit.

iowasox1971

Wheeler’s definitely not worth that much money, particularly with his injury history. Wouldn’t be disappointed at all if we ended up with Bumgarner, Keuchel or Ryu instead. And, heck, if you’re going to offer $24 million per year for Wheeler, you might as well offer a few million more in AAV to get Cole or Strasburg. At least the other guys I’ve mentioned have been a staff ace or led the league in ERA or something. What has Wheeler ever really done?

denman

I think you may be looking at $10MM AAV more for Cole and 2 or 3 more years. I wasn’t that worried about Wheeler’s injury risk; he’s recovered from TJ surgery and compiled 60 starts over the last 2 seasons. Moreover, his velocity hasn’t declined and his assortment of breaking stuff has improved. He has a lot of upside. The Sox offer was a slight overpay, but, that just signals they’ll meet or beat the market on a 4 or 5 year deal. Signing Cole to a record breaking contract, given the other holes the team has, might signal the Sox have misread the strength of their team.

peejsox

I mean I wanted him, but had we actually landed him at that number I’d be feeling pretty uneasy about it.  
Been way too scarred by Navarro, Danks, Peavy, Shields etc.  Middle or back of the rotation starters taking up huge chunks of our payroll.  

MrStealYoBase

I’d imagine that the White Sox never really had a chance if geographic considerations loomed this large. They were likely just a leverage play all along. Still, they didn’t know this and they were willing to go into big-money territory with a starting pitcher.

Still work to be done. Hoping for Ryu. Nervous that it might be Bumgarner. Tepid on Keuchel.

Don’t see any realistic way to Cole or Stras unless the Angels or the Nats change ownership in the next two months.

On an unrelated note: how did the Phillies tank for half a decade and still end up with next to no homegrown talent? It’s Nola, Hoskins and then gets mighty thin.

35Shields

They offered him $2m more. It’s not even clear if their offer was higher after-tax because IL has a higher income tax than PA.

Let’s not act like the White Sox blew Wheeler away and he turned them down. Their offer was marginally better, at best.

MrStealYoBase

That’s not really my point, but go off.

For all we know they might have been the only team in the $110M+ territory until the last minute when the Phillies upper their offer.

Let’s not act as if we know exactly how the bidding went down.

burning-phoneix

I’m not too bummed about this. 120 million+ was overpay for Wheeler. Here’s hoping they can nab Ryu at least.

hackwilson

Trashy White Sox? Rick Hahn’s all felt up like a bleach blonde bridesmaid on a pedal tavern after Wheeler the Dealer.
I love it for all the wrong reasons as a fan.
Debauchery has it’s rewards and Grandal is ours.

tdogg

I guess. Count me in the group as not pleased at missing on Wheeler. I was okay with an overpay (what else are they going to spend the money on?). This is part of the punishment of sucking for so long. The White Sox have operated myopically in these things, so I’m less inclined to believe they will pivot to a plan B (at least adequately.)

At the end of the day, I think part of this is a sales job, and Hahn is missing up to this point. I’ll believe it when I see it.

onedog

Uh-huh boys F.real
FO got chumped by Wheeler.

metasox

Could the White Sox have offered $125 million or $130 million? Maybe. Would that have been a good idea? Maybe. But I’m guessing at some point in the negotiations the losing party has to take the hint.

I’m guessing it happens more than we realize that an agent tells teams to stop bidding because the player has made up his mind. Otherwise, it just puts everyone in an awkward position.

andyfaust

Yes, that might be why we will never learn what the higher offer from Sox actually was. Because an actual number was never formally given.

texag10

Sucks that we couldn’t land him but at least we are actually trying to kinda, sorta play with the big boys (unless we knew he would never come here and this was all some sort of strange conspiracy to make it seem like we are trying when we knew he never wanted to come here).

More importantly, there’s a lot of interest on here for Ryu which I get. He’s a good pitcher. But the man is almost 33, and last year was by far the most innings he’s pitched in a season since his rookie year. Does that not concern everyone else as much as it does me?

mrridgman

Yes, but then the remaining second tier of pitching all have flaws; Bum with mileage and HR potential, Keuchel with regression, etc., otherwise they are all priced similar to Wheeler. Is it my imagination, or are the signings this year more numerous, and for more $ than projected, than the lst few years? TV contract $?

metasox

Guys are getting paid. So much for the collusion talk, I guess.
Grandal’s presence makes Ryu a little more interesting. Same could be said for Wood.

Eagle Bones

Yeah it’s kind of pick your poison now. Depends on what you have the most risk tolerance for (injury, velocity, homers, etc.) I’d probably prefer Keuchel or Ryu to Bumgarner, but honestly any of the three would be fine. I would have preferred Wheeler, but these guys are still significant upgrades.

karkovice squad

More teams have ended their tanking phases.

I think the predictions were also overcorrecting for the market.

metasox

Pomeranz, Moustakas… Like we’re back to the crazy money days.

knoxfire30

This should serve as a massive wakeup call for the front office. When theyve ran things into the ground for this long and usually fail to make realistic bids its not surprising when they make an equal( ok 2 mil more) bid on a higher end free agent that its still not good enough.

On the surface of just the wheeler deal, I am fine not signing him to a 120 mil deal . I think his ERA and peripheral numbers suggest he is above average regardless of how amazing and front line starter his stuff looks at times. You are what you are by age 29 (minus very few exceptions to that rule) and I dont think coming to the AL and pitching in a better hitters park was gonna help him.

Unfortunately not on the surface is the sox current state of affairs. They lack starting pitching, they have eliminated themselves from the top 2 pitchers on the market (which is a joke) the third best option and guy they were putting all their efforts towards is now elsewhere. A couple of more middling options like Hamels and Gibson are off the board. A lot of more aggressive and financially capable teams still desperately need pitching; Angels, Yanks, Dodgers, Twins, Rangers, Reds among others.

So now what…. my preference is to immediately to turn to Keuchel, he has the ground ball rate that plays for a team that has 81 games at guaranteed rate field. Madbums fly ball rate scares me, and the mileage on his arm is pretty hefty. Ryu seems like a long shot as he is someone I feel boras will have negotiating into spring training.

denman

Wheeler chose to stay in the Tri-State area now that he’s about to start a family. I don’t think you can blame that on the Sox management having run “things into the ground for this long.” The Sox aren’t the only team to tank or rebuild for several seasons in order to be in a position to add free-agents to a talented young core.

knoxfire30

Yes I can. They get no benefit of the doubt when they have penny pinched more often then not, havent been to the playoffs in 11 seasons, decided to punt on the entire off season last year when elite talent was there to be had, and now have been eliminated from the top 3 starting pitchers on the market this off season.

HallofFrank

It’s not “benefit of the doubt”—we know the details. There are plenty of things to blame the Sox FO for. Zach Wheeler’s wife wanting to live near Philly is not one of them. 

dwjm3

The issue isn’t whiffing on Wheeler it is not casting a wider net. I would suggest they should have been going after Cole, Wheeler, and Strasburg all along.  If one guy has some weird quirk like Wheeler then the others are still in play.

knoxfire30

That is definitely one of my points. Along with that making just an equal offer to your “top” target isnt some consolation. Wheeler and his wife didnt turn down 140 or 150 mil and take 118… 2 mil all things equal with Philly showing a huge willingness to spend and being a better team then the sox already is not exactly an equal offer.

Again though, this is the position they put themselves in. I have no clue why fans are just ok with an effort that doesnt produce results.

dwjm3

I think offering Wheeler 140 or 150 would stupid. If you are going to overpay by that margin throw that money at Strasburg or Cole…the heck with Wheeler

knoxfire30

I totally agree with you on that.

But the sox made wheeler their top target. They decided to be a small market team and cross strasburg and cole off their list.

With those considerations you cant be at an equal offer, with a worse team, and less logistical advantage and say oh well we tried.

denman

We really don’t know what contact Hahn has had with Boras regarding Strausburg and Cole. Nor do we know why the Sox may not be in on those two. Until recently Strausburg was thought to be more interested in re-signing with the Nats than pursuing other offers and Cole was seen as wanting to pitch in L.A.. As a fan, I really prefer to spend the off-season considering what the Sox are likely to do rather than belittling them for not doing what I think they should.

dwjm3

This is where the Sox don’t get the benefit of the doubt. If they aren’t going to go after Cole or Strasburg it is a hell of a lot more likely Jerry doesn’t want to play in that pool than anything Boras said. Boras isn’t going out of his way to eliminate suitors.

HallofFrank

Fans are not “just ok with an effort.” We are encouraged by the effort, but that’s different. This FO went after a good player with a huge market and were the top bidders. I’m not sure that’s happened this millennium until Grandal. 

If the offseason ended today, fans wouldn’t shrug their shoulders and say “well, we had the highest Wheeler bid.” The expectation is still that the Sox will be aggressive and sign good players. Having the highest bid for Wheeler is an encouraging sign that the FO is serious about doing that for once.

I’m with you though on the unwillingness to go after Strasburg and Cole. It seems, frankly, ridiculous that they would just sit out on those guys. 

denman

Are you serious? Wheeler reportedly turned down 7 million dollars because he wanted to work and live in the Tri-State area. You think the Sox should have ignored Wheeler’s concerns and just kept sweetening the pot until they landed their target. I hope you don’t work in a human resources department.

knoxfire30

huh

denman

If someone you want to hire makes it clear that he’s putting family ahead of money to the tune of leaving 7 million dollars on the table, don’t throw more money at him. If you don’t see why, I can’t explain it.

Eagle Bones

Once again, it seems you’re taking something that was reported and twisting it. MLBTR reported (link: https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2019/12/phillies-sign-zack-wheeler.html):

Geography played a pivotal role in Wheeler’s decision to sign with Philadelphia, it seems. The Athletic’s Marc Carig, who first broke the news, noted in his original report that Wheeler’s fiancee is from nearby New Jersey, and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweets that the White Sox’ bid on Wheeler was actually higher than that of the Phillies. Meanwhile, Darren Wolfson of 1500 SKOR North in Minneapolis tweets that the Twins, too, made a five-year offer to Wheeler and that money wasn’t the ultimate factor in rejecting that bid. Presumably, an offer that blew Philadelphia’s out of the water could’ve swayed Wheeler to stray from the East Coast, but it seems that family considerations won the day when final bids wound up comparable.

Geography playing a part in a decision is different from it being the sole deciding factor. As far as I can tell, no one has reported that he refused to consider teams outside of that tri-state area.

denman

Not sure what your point is? Wheeler obviously negotiated with teams outside of the tri-state area. He also received offers that met or exceeded his expectations. Once the money level reached a point that satisfied him; other concerns became decisive. I’ve twisted nothing. Btw,we now know for certain that the Sox offer exceeded $100MM/5.

Eagle Bones

Location appears to have been decisive at the current offer terms. It may not have been if they improved their offer. I don’t see why it’s some ridiculous thought that they would improve their offer.

anthonyprinceton

What’s being twisted? He turned down more money to play in the Jersey area. This is ridiculous, particularly over a non elite pitcher with extensive arm and shoulder injuries. I went and looked at every month of Wheeler’s career and he has never had a single month that you can call dominant or elite let alone a season. Well, to be fair Aug 2018 he was pretty dominant. The lowest FIP Wheeler has had in any one season was 3.25 in 2018. His career FIP is 3.71.

$120m was an overpay and you people wanted them to go higher? Kiley McDaniel projected 4/$68m, crowd source, 4/$72m at Fangraphs. Yes, he has potential and maybe if they were 1 pitcher away I could understand the hand wringing, but they are not.

Steamer projections for 2020.
Wheeler FIP 4.24, xFIP 4.38, fWAR 3.1, 191 IP
Keuchel FIP 4.30, xFIP 4.24, fWAR 2.7, 191 IP
Gibson FIP 4.11, xFIP 4.05, fWAR 3.0, 174 IP

If you don’t like Steamer, here is Wheeler’s prelim ZiPS projection for 2020. ERA 3.98, ERA+ 109, fWAR 2.9, IP 178.7

Gibson signed for 3/$30. Keuchel might get half the commitment Wheeler received if he is lucky.

karkovice squad

Gibson and Keuchel are players likely in their age-related decline phases who already maxed out their talent.

Wheeler does have the injury history and that’s an anchor on his projections and a risk. His most recent 2 seasons, age, and untapped potential set him apart.

zerobs

So the projection is Gibson will suddenly have the best FIP of his last 5 years and Wheeler will be worse than any of his non-recovery years.

To say nothing of a one-year projection being of little use when considering a multi-year contract.

anthonyprinceton

That’s what they say. ZiPS has projections for the 5 years of the contract. ERA+ between 105 and 112. ERA’s between 3.98 and 4.14 and fWAR total of 12.6 over 779 IP.

We are not talking about a few million dollars here. There is a pretty massive gap in the projections and contract. We are also not talking about wildly different ages. Wheeler turns 30 In May. Keuchel turns 32 on New Years Day and Gibson just turned 32 on Oct 23. For that matter, Bumgarner is less than a year older than Wheeler. You can mention usage, but it’s due to the many arm and shoulder injuries that have prevented Wheeler from taking the mound.

Eagle Bones

I don’t believe ZIPS has been updated to reflect this year’s results yet.

bobsquad

The Phillies seemed like a late bidder, though. At first it was reported as a three-team race between the Sox, Reds, and Twins, with some possibility that the Yankees could swoop in with an offer. I’m sure he was considering all of those in spite of geography, but when the Phillies came they made the most sense for him. I’m happy that Hahn didn’t go crazy with something like 165/6.

karkovice squad

$7m is only a big number in the abstract. It’s a trivial sum in context.

And teams should be willing to incur annual losses anyway given how much profit they realize at sale from appreciation of the business.

Eagle Bones

I agree, my comment was in response to denman.

karkovice squad

So was mine. Comments only nest so much.

karkovice squad

Teams were leveraging Wheeler’s injury history to get a bargain. The Phillies got the bargain for non-cash reasons.

Baseball teams shouldn’t operate like publicly traded businesses. (Publicly traded businesses shouldn’t suppress wages the way they do, either, for that matter.)

phillyd

Any takers on the Sox pursuing Brett Gardner for a year or two?

PauliePaulie

If we didn’t have Robert, sure. Gardner isn’t a RF.

phillyd

True, but he has played more LF than CF the last 4 years and the metrics say he is good at that corner. Not sure if he would be interested in RF anyway but I think he would be fine there.

carbiner

Gardner is a solid player for a short term deal, probably difficult to lure away from the Yankees.

Jason.Wade17

Losing on Wheeler sucks, but I don’t think the Sox could have done anything different.

Bumgarner, Keuchel, and Ryu scare me. I’m not even going to get my hopes up for Strasburg or Cole.

My hope is the Rockies do something stupid like trade Jon Gray.

Jason.Wade17

Or another possibility, who knows what’s the fallout from the new Met’s ownership. Maybe they sell off Stroman or Thor?

asinwreck

Cohen doesn’t become controlling owner until 2025. One presumes he is improving the franchise’s cash flow, allowing the Mets to keep pieces they want.

The interesting discussion out of Flushing is the sense the team will trade bad contracts with valuable players. If the Sox were willing to take on Jeurys Familia’s deal, they may get Dom Smith to slot into DH/RF the next 5 years.

Jason.Wade17

He may not become controlling owner til 2025, but I’m sure a budget/strategy was agreed upon as part of the deal with allowing the Wilpons to keep control. I’m not saying they are selling, but I think the whole transaction could shift their direction.

asinwreck

…and I bet that budget is an increase over what’s been possible the past 2-3 seasons. Related, the Mets just traded a couple of minor leagues to the Astros for Jake Marisnick. Health permitting, it looks like the regular outfield will be Nimmo-Marisnick-Conforto, with Jeff McNeil probably returning to the infield.

NateDPT12

According to the Nightengale article in USA Today their offer was 5/125. It sucks,  but it’s hard to fault the Sox at that point.  

HallofFrank

If the Sox are willing to go 5/125 on Wheeler, why not offer Strasburg 6/180?

Ugh. Having Cole or Strasburg would be so friggin’ fun.  

knoxfire30

agreed

Patrick Nolan

Correct. That’s the way to make this better.

andyfaust

You’ve been right on with every comment today Frank. How elated would the fan base be if either one of those two were signed? There would certainly be bad money in those contracts, much like Wheeler’s, but who cares? It’ll still be a league average payroll in 2020. Show us how bad you want to win!

craigws

Why not both?

lastof12

You!!! It’s fun to dream, indeed. Maybe I was too hyped up on getting Wheeler and now Eeyore is back and driving my train of thoughts. I sincerely HOPE we can have nice things.

zerobs

Strasburg will be getting 33MM AAV minimum, probably more. Cole will be about 37MM minimum, probably close to 40.

andyfaust

Okay, go get them.

vince

Anyone who’d pass up $7 million to live in New Jersey has a screw loose.

karkovice squad

Ashley Rodon tweeted about players increasingly discussing team culture and how that affects their families, particularly elite players with the most leverage. That could’ve been subtweeting the Sox clubhouse spats that went public but she clarified she’s been happy with how the organization treats its players’ families.

Patrick Nolan

Here’s where I’m at with this. If the Sox weren’t willing to offer $130M (or $140M?) for Wheeler, it’s only OK if they can prove that they’ll put that $130M/$140M to equal or better use elsewhere. This team has had no shortage of failures “spreading it around” to lesser players. A $140M offer would have been a $28M AAV….is that really THAT much more of an obstruction to team-building than a $25M AAV?

I see how the above argument could be a slippery slope (e.g, maybe they started by offering $20M AAV and decided OK, is $25M AAV really THAT much more of an obstruction to team-building?). However, the slope ends when you reach the next tier of available player, Strasburg. I think the maximum AAV the Sox should have given Wheeler would be at the point where they could say “no, we’d rather just get Strasburg instead, for that money.”

I know I’m focusing on AAV here and not years (Strasburg could get more years), but honestly I do not give a damn about years. Let the 2025/2026 White Sox worry about the years.

Patrick Nolan

And I should add that this is far less maddening than the half-hearted Machado pursuit so kudos to the Sox for at least being in there swinging. That being said, whether this is OK or not depends greatly on what they do next.

AdamH

Considering how long the Sox have been saving money by tanking and how much revenue is in the game right now, there’s no legitimate excuse for missing out on all three SP’s after they wimped out on Machado last year.

Eagle Bones

Well said. On the year, as my grandfather used to say, “let the next guy worry about it”.

zerobs

If the next guy were me, I’d be moving the franchise to Indianapolis.

HallofFrank

I know I’m focusing on AAV here and not years (Strasburg could get more years), but honestly I do not give a damn about years. Let the 2025/2026 White Sox worry about the years.

Yes and amen. Didn’t Jesus say “Therefore do not worry about [the 2024 payroll], for [the 2024 payroll] will worry about itself. Each [season] has enough trouble of its own.” 

The hand-wringing about the payroll in five years is too much. Keeping with my theme of mis-quoting the Bible, winning in 2020-2022 “covers a multitude of sins.” 

karkovice squad

The Sox seem to treat these signings like auctions for a $1 bill. And they’re not really willing to make other teams even take on the risk of merely breaking even.

Sure, it’s a little different because there are opportunity costs with the contracts that don’t exist when just bidding on a $1 bill. But there are also other benefits, too.

N.B. Most of the time when the Sox have thought they were trying to get the $1 bill it’s turned out they were paying cash for Monopoly money, anyway.

tommytwonines

The Sox seem to treat these signings like auctions for a $1 bill. And they’re not really willing to make other teams even take on the risk of merely breaking even.

Sure, it’s a little different because there are opportunity costs with the contracts that don’t exist when just bidding on a $1 bill. But there are also other benefits, too.

N.B. Most of the time when the Sox have thought they were trying to get the $1 bill it’s turned out they were paying cash for Monopoly money, anyway.

What?

karkovice squad

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dollar_auction

The classic version of the experiment has the second highest bidder losing their bid, too. That’s sometimes left out when used as a demonstration.

tommytwonines

The classic version of the experiment has the second highest bidder losing their bid, too. That’s sometimes left out when used as a demonstration.

Alright. 7-2. 

andyfaust

Hear, hear! (I’m not a “This” kinda guy).

roke1960

Kudos to Rick and Jerry this year. As angry as I was at them for not signing one of two generational talents who were handed to them on a silver platter last year, I am that pleased with how they are handling things this year. They obviously learned their lesson.

The Sox are driving the market this year. First, they identified their number 1 priority- Yasmani Grandal. They sold him on their vision, offered him a slight overpay and he bought in. We didn’t even hear of any other offers, though I’m sure there were others. Then, they identified their number one pitcher priority- Zach Wheeler. They had the highest offer for him, going well past what most people thought he would get. But it was pretty apparent he wanted to stay in the NY-NJ area. Several sources had said he was going to go back to the Mets with his best offer to see what they could do. When they didn’t show interest, he went to Philly and they gave him an offer he was comfortable with. Barring a massive and stupid overpay ($140-$150M?), he was staying near his wife’s home. That’s not management’s fault.

Now, where do they go from here? I don’t think it’s Cole. He’s going to take a few more months before he decides- the Sox can’t wait that long. I think they need to go to Strasburg with an overpay (5-$160M, 6/$180M?). Give him until the end of the Winter Meetings to decide. If he doesn’t, move on to Bumgarner, Keuchel or Ryu. They can’t wait until the end of the winter like last year.

This just emphasizes how stupidly they acted last year. It was pretty widely known that Machado would sign for 10/$300M and Harper just wanted to beat Stanton’s contract in total. There was no big competition for either. And they were too cheap to pull it off. We could have had a power-hitting, left-handed, high-OBP right fielder for $25M per year, but they for some reason didn’t bite. I think they’ve learned their lesson. I’m excited about what their next move is.

Keep driving the market, Jerry and Rick. Don’t stop now, boys!

buckysuncle

What are the chances of trading for Mookie Betts if he is still available.

MrTopaz

My assumption is: not great. I’d LOVE it if they did, but he’s so good and fits on so many teams I have a hard time imagining no other team could top any offer the Sox made for him, even if they included Vaughn. I’m assuming Madrigal is a no go on the grounds that the rest of the league is as ambivalent about his fit as the centerpiece in a deal for premium talent as I am.

texag10

Baseballtradevalues has Vaughn for Betts as a slight overpay on our part, FWIW

lifelongjd

He would have been a nice signing, but not at that price point. Getting a guy like Ryu for significantly less would keep flexibility to sign another SP or RF.  My guess is when you compare the two over the next couple years, the performances won’t be that different. 

I get the Sox are usually cheap, but have shown they are willing to spend, albeit within their means and on their value definitions. Spending money on Abreu and Robert instead of other, older free agents was smart as an example. The Machado pursuit was kind of a joke, but I was fine with their overall offer and feel like we’ll all feel fortunate we don’t have that contract in 4-5 years. 

The window was supposed to open in 2020 and the FO is behaving like that is still the plan. That is a source of major encouragement. 

Eagle Bones

This isn’t meant specifically as a comment to yourself, because there are a lot of people saying something similar. But this thinking that “he would be a nice signing, but not at that price” is music to Jerry and the other owners’ ears. The FO is going to continue feeding us that kind of crap, but we don’t have to eat it. We need to demand better. Let’s stop supporting them lining their pockets.

I know many are thinking of it from the perspective that they want the team to be good, they don’t think the owner will go over a certain level of payroll, and therefore it’s best for the team to keep the payroll clean, but we need to hold them to a higher standard than that. If they end up with a bad contract, reach into your wallet and grab another 50 mil off the pile of billions and keep spending. Let’s not give them the easy out.

TL,DR: Let’s stop worrying about getting a good deal. Worry about getting good players.

karkovice squad

Also, bargain hunting is fraught. Ryu has his own injury history and Hamels just showed that with more teams trying to compete the cash savings might not be as dramatic, anyway.

35Shields

This exactly. Worrying about signing bad contracts only matters if the alternative was the FO taking that same money and spending it efficiently.

Given that the FO hasn’t shown the slightest indication that it would actually spend the money, let alone spend it wisely, we can stop worrying.

lifelongjd

Look, Jerry is a business man. He has partners he answers to and has to worry about the bottom line. I hate that it’s the reality, but that’s what it is. His strategy will never be throwing money around on free agents. They have looked to invest money in top tier international prospects (Alexei, Abreu, Robert) with more of a track record to rely on and investing in young players that look like potential stars (Eaton, Sale, Q, Timmy, Eloy). This is being smart with your money. 

karkovice squad

The owners bought the team for $19m. It’s worth $2.5b now. That’s something like a 12.5% annual growth rate.

There’s no reason to have any thought for their annual bottom line. They could operate at a consistent loss and come out ahead.

lastof12

And this is where I wonder based on past signings, player development, etc. where there is that “need to get a championship,” by Jerry or whether he’s more focused on bringing in profits.

HallofFrank

Also, this is sports. Have some fun with it. Going to a baseball game isn’t good for my bottom line and I’ve got a business partner to answer to (aka my wife), but I do it because its enjoyable. Let Jerry take a page from Wheeler’s book and recognize that there are other things in life than money. Plus let’s not kid ourselves. They are going to make an absolute killing in practically every scenario of spending on free agents. 

Maybe being cheap is a good way to maximize profits, but it’s not a good way to maximize fun.

texag10

Sports franchises should never be treated as businesses though. Like Kark said, its appreciated in value since they bought it. A franchise is like a piece of art. You buy it because you like it and/or you hope that when it comes time to sell it you can make a profit.

karkovice squad

Also, the rules say they’re supposed to try to win.

texag10

This next CBA is going to be interesting. We all “know” that baseball franchises are being owned because they generate revenue now that is independent of team success. Given how much money is theoretically flowing in, it almost feels like the players aren’t getting their fair share or there is some funny accounting going on so that on paper, yeah its happening but in reality there is more money involved than is known. The deal with Fox that was recently announced equates to about $25M per year per team. That’s just the agreement for the games Fox is showing. ESPN is only contributing about $5M per year/team to the pie for their games. But that sets a floor of $30M/year for every team to theoretically spend on players. Add in all the additional forms of revenue outside of just “gameday revenue” and its insane how low some of these teams payrolls are given the money flowing through.

lifelongjd

Of course sports is a business. It’s all about money. Billionaires are never reckless with money. That’s why they’re billionaires. Also, spending money doesn’t necessarily mean winning. Building from drafting & player development is the key to sustained success. Then supplementing with FA’s is the final piece. We can criticize how adept they are at this strategy, but the logic is sound. 

karkovice squad

Spending money is strongly correlated with winning.

lifelongjd

Not necessarily. You can’t just rely on pricey free agents to field a winning team. Not with how baseball structures it’s control over young talent. The modern example of a team spending money on nearly all the top free agent talent is the Yankees. While they did get some returns on spending the money, they don’t win one title without its core developmental players such as Jeter, Pettite, Rivera, et al. The formula for success depends on player development. We shouldn’t get mad that Jerry doesn’t throw his money around in free agency, we should be pissed he entrusts the drafting and development to a FO that has consistently shown it can’t do either. 

karkovice squad

While the relationship between $s and wins isn’t completely linear, teams that are in the top half of league spending consistently win more games than teams in the bottom half. That was still true even in the brief mid-10s period when the correlation weakened somewhat.

lifelongjd

True. They spend on free agents. And better scouts. And facilities. And player health. It’s not just salaries that they’re focusing on. 

lifelongjd

I mean do you think it’s just luck that the Dodgers, Red Sox, and Yankees just keep turning out young  stud players?  

karkovice squad

The data I’m referring to is just MLB player payroll.

35Shields

reg payroll wins

The R^2 isn’t 1. So money doesn’t buy wins.

karkovice squad

A 1:1 correlation isn’t the threshold for determining the existence of a relationship.

35Shields

To be clear, I was making a joke.

Eagle Bones

Sounds penny wise, pound foolish to me. But even if this was them “being smart with their money”, it’s not our job as fans to pat them on the back for that. We spend our money to support the team because we want to see them win. We (at least I think most of us) want wins, not a profitable business. I may have to accept the lack of spending (or choose to stop being a fan), but I don’t have to support it and actively stump for it.

35Shields

And Jerry is perfectly entitled to run his business in a purely rational, profit-maximizing fashion.

But then we shouldn’t be expected to do anything other than act as rational consumers and stop watching this team. It cuts both ways.

And no one here is suggesting that Jerry run this team into the ground. They were the sixth-most profitable franchise in the MLB. They could increase payroll by $53m this year and still get a 9% return in line with the long-run S&P. And that’s without even considering the revenue impact of a better team or the fact that he’s been earning incredible returns on paper-thin payrolls for the last three years.

texag10

Cool, so they get a 9% profit on top of the appreciation of the asset that is the franchise. Hooray for billionaires getting richer!!!!

35Shields

Right, this team could spend so much more and still have Jerry make really good money. They don’t do that because Jerry would much rather make insane money and be terrible than just make good money and be competitive.

Blow my Gload

I say the finance having to be that close to her family is a red flag. There are about 20 flights a day between Chicago/NY-NJ-Philly. The Wheeler’s would presumably only live in Chicago between April-Oct. With $120M, he could buy her family a $2M home that they could visit anytime they like. Or, she could fly back home on every long road trip. You aren’t a teenager, need to spread your wings and get away from your family a bit. Oh well.
Please don’t sign MadBum.

Eagle Bones

Odd take.

Blow my Gload

I find it odd that a 20 something year old woman can’t move 1,000 miles away from her family, 6 months a year for 5 years. And that they apparently based career choices on her inability to live apart from her family.

roke1960

Why would she move if she doesn’t have to? Or do you think they won’t be able to live comfortably for $118M. When the money gets to be that ridiculously high, I, for one, would certainly leave millions of dollars on the table to live where I want. Their job is not to make us White Sox fans happy.

Jason.Wade17

Why is it odd that someone chooses family over a 6% pay increase? This is an incredibly immature take. It’s sad when we ridicule a person for choosing family over money, and only 6% more at that.

Eagle Bones

Different strokes for different folks. My wife and I have discussed moving a couple states over which would put us closer to my family. We’d presumably make less money, but there are other non-monetary benefits that could outweigh that.

Money usually wins out in these FA decisions, but I don’t see why you would begrudge someone for considering/weighing other factors. I don’t think there’s anything juvenile about wanting to be close to your family and being willing to give up a bit of money to do so (especially when you’re already very well off).

lastof12

7 years ago, my wife and I had a serious sit down about moving to CO while vacationing out there. We have friends and family out there, so the move was very feasible. We got home from the vacation in CO and my daughter told us she was pregnant with grandchild #1. We stayed put, even though we LOVE CO very much. Because family.

Right Size Wrong Shape

HOW DARE YOU!!!

AdamH

She’s getting $118M and still gets to be near her home. Why would you care about $2M more (less after taxes) at that point? There’s no improvement in quality of life at $120M vs $118M even if the taxes didn’t make up the difference.

anthonyprinceton

Speaking of taxes, Jersey’s highest state tax bracket is 6.37%. Illinois state income tax is 4.95% while Pennsylvania’s is 3.07%. I can’t be mad at someone that puts family first as I plan my escape from Chicago! hahaha

PauliePaulie

Looks like the Grandal signing, instead of being looked at as a slight overpay for a sorely needed talent, just set higher expectations for right now.

It’s Dec. 5th in year 4 of the rebuild.
And $125mil for Wheeler is stupid $.

35Shields

Grandal is getting paid like 1/3 of his value. You’d have to not only live in the baseball stone age, but be repeatedly bludgeoned by a club-wielding Harold Reynolds to think that Grandal was an overpay.

Grandal raised the expectations because the White Sox FO finally did a smart thing so blindingly obvious that commenters on this site have been yelling about for over a year. It led us to believe that maybe they’ll do other smart things too.

roke1960

So, if Grandal is being paid 1/3 of his value, why did he sign so early? Why didn’t he wait for the $100M offers to come rolling in?

karkovice squad

Because baseball economics aren’t 100% efficient or fair?

roke1960

But they are not that unfair that Grandal is worth $200M, like 35th claimed.

roke1960

…or worth anything remotely close to $200M.

karkovice squad

Jon Lester got $150m. It’s not that outlandish when you account for how teams shorted Grandal on playing time. The Padres because some veterans shook him off too much. The Dodgers because the NL has no DH and they wanted to play Adrian Gonzalez at 1B.

So yeah, baseball’s pretty unfair and irrational.

PauliePaulie

You went a little overboard in that first paragraph, 35th.

PauliePaulie

3 upvotes for a guy who accused me of having a baseball bat applied head wound for sayng that Grandal’s contract, which MLBTR put at $68mil, Kiley-$60mil and was crowdsourced at $56mil, was a “SLIGHT” overpay, but still a good signing?
Nice.

roke1960

You and I disagree on a lot of things on here, Paulie, but on this one, I’m right with you.

35Shields

Grandal’s projected to be the 15th most valuable player in all of baseball by Steamer, right behind Arenado and Stanton and ahead of both Machado and Harper.

The only way to view him as overpaid is to ignore his pitch-framing value (in which he rates as the best catcher in the game) – hence the stone age comment.

Jason.Wade17

I don’t think your statement was unfair. Compared to what experts believed the market would be, it was slightly over that. You were fine with your statement.

However, I do think it says something about the market. So far almost all the signings (Grandal, Wheeler, Moustakas, Will Smith) have been for higher than anticipated. Market corrections, maybe?

Makes you think maybe the Sox were paying relatively market rate for Abreu?

Patrick Nolan

Stupid $ for who?

anthonyprinceton

It appears he said it was stupid money for Wheeler. Which it is based on Steamer and ZiPS projections plus what Kiley McDaniel and crowd sourcing projected on Fangraphs.

tommytwonines

I agree Paulie. 

And with utmost earnesty. 

tommytwonines

It just isn’t, Jim. It might make the dictionary in 5 years, though, like “agreeance”. 

Right Size Wrong Shape

Damn descriptivists.

asinwreck

Turns out the guy in the Colome-Narvarez deal who will spend more time with his acquiring team is Colome.

Per source, Mariners have trade in place that would send C Omar Narvaez to Milwaukee for RH pitcher Adam Hill, a 22-year-old who is Brewers’ No. 24 prospect by MLB Pipeline, as well as a comp draft pick. @Ken_Rosenthal first reported a deal was in the works.

— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) December 5, 2019

MrTopaz

I just cannot find it in myself to miss Narvaez. I liked the guy, and his on base skills would’ve been water in the desert for us, but… meh.

35Shields

Guys, I’m really concerned that if the Sox sign a big contract, then in 2025 Jerry’s publicly-subsidized, legally-approved monopoly will only generate a profit equivalent to the average stock market return.

PauliePaulie

Straw man.

Eagle Bones

It’s probably a bit of hyperbole, but I do think the Sox have sat out the top tier of the FA market for so long than many have forgotten what it feels like to play in the deep end of the pool. You can’t go shopping at the store that sells Gerrit Coles, Stephen Strasburgs, Anthony Rendons and even apparently Zack Wheelers and bring a coupon. Those contracts are going to come with some sticker shock. Maybe there is the occasional confluence of events where someone comes in a little under where many guessed, but for the most part those guys are going to get a contract that’s going to cause some eyeballs to pop out a bit. That’s the cost of doing business on players at that level.

zerobs

While I do agree with you to an extent, it’s not realistic to think a team ranked somewhere 12-14 in revenue is competing on FA’s to the same extent teams ranked 1-8 in revenue do. For every Grandal they target and succeed in signing, they’re going to miss out on six others in the 4+ WAR category because they don’t have the revenue.

Dumb things like the Abreu extension don’t help matters – better to let him play for 17.9MM this year and see where Vaughn/Sheets/Collins are at at the end of 2020 before tying up 30MM of payroll for 2021-2. Better to overpay a 4+ WAR player (Cole, Strasburg) than overpaying a 2-WAR Abreu. And it’s better to lose a draft pick on Cole/Strasburg than it is to lose the same pick on a lesser player (Bumgarner, Keuchel).

Eagle Bones

I think you’re misunderstanding what I’m saying. I’m not dinging them for missing out on Wheeler, I’m saying it sounds like many fans expect to sign this level of player and get him on a team-friendly contract. That doesn’t seem realistic. People are saying stuff like “yeah I would have loved Zack Wheeler at 3/45, but not at these numbers”. Well then you didn’t really want Zack Wheeler because that’s not even close to what he was ever going to get (even to the projections which ended up being on the low side).

spartacusmax

Margalus “a cold glass of water to the face” puts it mildly.

As a corporate manager the first question I always asked potential employees before an interview or any salary discussing/offers was ARE YOU WILLING TO RELOCATE!

AdamH

How do you know he wasn’t willing to relocate? If they had offered him more, maybe he would have.

We offered him the same money.. why wouldn’t he pick the place he prefers to live at that point?

spartacusmax

Well I was under the impression that the offers of the contract we’re equal by the Margalus post except for the additional imput from his vantage point.

In my vast hiring experience the job opening always mandates prerequisite qualifications, foremost being open to relocation.

Amar

Im feeling a bit cynical about how the Sox will rebound after Wheeler. Like spending excess money on players who just contribute on the margins. Like a Teahenesque extension to Colome. 

dwjm3

I think you touch on a key point. The Sox whiff and the fanbase just assumes we won’t go after Cole of Strasburg. If Jerry is smart he will realize this and make a strong play for Strasburg before moving on to tier 2 guys. My expectation is they won’t sense this and then wonder why people are pissed at the organization when the offseason

Amar

I mean Im still psyched that we will have a mid-season lineup with Yoan, Eloy, Grandal, Robert, Abreu, Madrigal and Anderson.

I keep the dour in check.

texag10

Its not the lineup that concerns me. What concerns me is our current #2 starter is Reynaldo Lopez

knoxfire30

and our 5th starter is dylan covey

roke1960

Good thing the Sox don’t have 5 games in the next 5 days.

knoxfire30

They should continue to act like they do, cause available SP on the market is dwindling quickly and this team needs to make about a 20 tp 25 game jump in the win column.

mrridgman

Agree with both of you. Some above have suggested the best solution would be to make Cole the best offer; but with Boros at the head, this would put WS in the same position as last year, waiting into Feb to find out he always wanted to go to LA (or whatever reason), Plan Bs all gone. I’m not sure Boros strategy is good for all his clients.

roke1960

Right- go hard after Strasburg now. Give him an overpay and force Boras to make a move. If he still wants to wait it out, then pivot quickly to Bumgarner, Keuchel or Ryu. They cannot afford to wait for Boras. If they do, they’ll come up empty-handed like last year. At a minimum, they absolutely need one of Bumgarner, Keuchel, Ryu. At best they get Strasburg.

knoxfire30

Totally agree.

Amar

Umm I agree

texag10

Then keeping the dour flowing friend.

lil jimmy

Winter meetings are this week.
I think efforts turn to trading for needs in the short term.

texag10

Maybe so but how do we know what our short term needs are if we haven’t completed our long term needs? Joc Pederson is nice and all but if there is an Adam Eaton-type trade to be made, that would be more beneficial to this team.

lil jimmy

They could trade for pitching.

roke1960

How would you like to be a Brewers fan today? You lose Yasmani Grandal, and replace him with…Omar Narvaez? I’ll bet their pitchers are ecstatic.

dwjm3

Id still take their front office over ours

Amar

I particularly enjoyed reading Jaffe’s overview of Sheff’s career and the HOF, but I was a big fan of Sheff.

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/jaws-and-the-2020-hall-of-fame-ballot-gary-sheffield/

Soxfan2

Allow me to get crazy…

1. Trade for Joc Pederson

2. Trade Gavin Sheets for Jon Gray and Ian Desmond. Rockies save around $30 million in payroll over the next 2 years. White Sox get a really good, young starter for the next 2 years for basically absorbing money. Gray is projected for 3.5 fWar in 2020. Ian Desmond is owed $15 million this year and $8 million next year. Desmond is not good but he is an above average hitter against lefties so he can platoon with Pederson in right.  Desmond is a replacement level player but may provide a little bit of positive player as strictly a corner OF platoon player. Desmond can also play SS and 2B in a pinch if needed. 

texag10

Sheets alone wouldn’t do it. Sheet and Dunning doesn’t get it done I don’t think.

tommytwonines

Go crazy Soxfan2!

Point number#1 Joc Peterson okay yeah I can see it

Point number#2 Gavy Sheets won’t get it done, but points for being outside the box 

zerobs

Even if Sheets/Dunning got it done, carrying deadweight in Desmond for two years is a bad idea. I’d insist on Col throwing in 8MM, and then Sheets/Dunning certainly isn’t going to get it done.

tommytwonines

Wheeler he gone. 

And I think the Yankees sign up either Cole or SS before the end of the year. A bit different from last year. 

Syncro

Has this been posted? 538 has an article up about which free agents would add the most play-off odds and which would add the most wins. The White sox show up a lot in this…

Should Hahn go for Rendon, move Moncada back to 2B and trade for a SP? Who might Madrigal + Jonathan Stiever + Collins fetch? I’d do that for Noah Syndergaard, although I’d want him to sign for a minimum of another 2 years. That right there may be the issue…

I know nothing about how “Out of the Park Developments” calculated it, and there many assumptions obviously… Even so, the daylight between Cole/Rendon/ and Strasburg is interesting. Josh Donaldson adds a lot of value too, but Bumgarner not nearly as much.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/where-would-the-top-mlb-free-agents-make-the-biggest-difference

zerobs

I’m all for signing Rendon and putting Moncada in the outfield. I wouldn’t trade Madrigal or Collins unless multiple teams are inquiring and raising their offers.

tommytwonines

It seems like the prognosticators who aren’t in-the-know want Moncada back at second despite his breakout season at third. Madrigal is playing second. Maybe a move for Moncada or Anderson to the outfield because Rendon is in the fold? Okay. 

roke1960

I agree. Most supposed “experts” say the Sox need to upgrade at 2nd. They will. As soon as Madrigal is up, hopefully at the start of the season, but at least by the end of April. And I would be ok with Moncada in right if they sign Rendon.

Eagle Bones

So you don’t want to move Moncada back to 2nd (a position he has played) because it will mess him up, but you’re ok with moving him to the OF (a position he has never played)?

zerobs

He played second – badly. As a minor leaguer scouts were projecting him as an outfielder. I also don’t want a guy with recurring hamstring problems playing second. With the shaky pitching staff, defense up the middle is of utmost importance. Get him in a corder outfield spot where his arm plays, his bat plays, and his glove isn’t an issue.

Eagle Bones

Teams don’t really seem to be prioritizing 2B (or even SS) defense like this anymore. I’m not neccessarily opposed to moving him to the OF, but let’s not act like he’d automatically be good out there. It made a lot of sense to move Dee Gordon out there and he was horrible. Just seems odd to to be worried about moving a guy back to a position he has played because you think that will screw him up, but be fine moving him to a position he’s never played before (because that will be so easy for him?).

tommytwonines

I think Moncada would rather play outfield than second base, from his comments and conversations. I’ll dig up the quotes or video if you need it, but it’s out there. 

Eagle Bones

The only quote I saw said he’d player where ever.

karkovice squad

I’m fine with signing Rendon and trading Madrigal for Syndergaard and some of the Mets outfield surplus.

Eagle Bones

This. Sign Rendon, move Moncada back to 2nd, trade Madrigal. I toyed with this idea for a while in my OPP.

tommytwonines

You sign Rendon (yeah!) and trade Madrigal (I’d go Vaughn if need be) for Synd and we’re in business. 

MrTopaz

The Mets would have to view Vaughn as a flippable asset in that case. No way he’s moving Alonso off first, and they can’t just depend on the NL getting the DH in time for his debut. The Mets are such an intriguing matchup with the Sox, from our perspective, but outside of Robert, we just don’t have the pieces to get them to part with their guys, trade simulator miracle deals not withstanding.

karkovice squad

Or a 3-team trade in the first place to make the fit work.

A lot of trades with them rely on the LOLMets factor. But maybe even take Cano and some cash considerations to make it all work if you have to.

Amar

I like this

bobsquad

The entirety of the remaining top tier of SPs consists of Boras clients. With Pineda and Gibson off the board at $10MM AAV each, FO should probably make its move on one of the guys in that class before waiting out the big names. I would be more than happy hearing the Sox sign Teheran or Alex Wood in the upcoming week, even if worst case one of them might wind up being the team’s top pitching add.