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After a fourth straight losing season, the White Sox have not revealed their organizational strategy. Do they finally commit to a roster tear-down? Or will the team spend another winter attempting to add the right veteran pieces to complement its talented core?
- James Shields, SP: $44MM through 2018. Shields can opt out after 2016 World Series. If Shields does not opt out, White Sox are responsible for $20MM for 2017-18. Contract includes $16MM club option for 2019 with a $2MM buyout; White Sox would be responsible for buyout.
- Melky Cabrera, LF: $15MM through 2017.
- Jose Abreu, 1B: $34MM through 2019. Can opt into arbitration system for 2017.
- David Robertson, RP: $25MM through 2018.
- Chris Sale, SP: $13MM through 2017. Includes $12.5MM club option for 2018 with a $1MM buyout and $15MM club option for 2019 with a $1MM buyout. 2019 option increases to $16MM with Cy Young from 2016-18.
- Jose Quintana, SP: $16.85MM through 2019. Includes $10.5MM club option with a $1MM buyout for 2019 and $10.5MM club option for 2020 with a $1MM buyout. 2020 option can reach $13-14MM based on 2016-19 Cy Young voting.
- Adam Eaton, RF/CF: $19.9MM through 2019. Includes $9.5MM club option with a $1.5MM buyout for 2020 and $10.5MM club option for 2021 with a $1.5MM buyout. 2021 option can reach $13MM based on 2016-20 MVP voting.
- Nate Jones, RP: $5.85MM through 2018. Includes club options for 2019-21, with salaries depending on games finished and on whether Jones requires right elbow surgery by end of 2018 season.
- Matt Albers, RP: $3MM club option with a $250K buyout (declined).
Arbitration Eligible Players (service time in parentheses; link to MLBTR projections)
- Miguel Gonzalez (5.073) – $2.6MM
- Todd Frazier (5.071) – $13.5MM
- Brett Lawrie (5.055) – $5.1MM
- Dan Jennings (3.171) – $1.2MM
- Avisail Garcia (3.167) – $3.4MM
- Zach Putnam (3.135) – $975K
- Jake Petricka (3.044) – $900K
- Jose Abreu (3.000) – $12MM (educated guess, outside of arbitration model)
- Non-tender candidates: Lawrie, Garcia
- Justin Morneau, Austin Jackson, Alex Avila, Jacob Turner (outrighted off 40-man roster)
Chicago White Sox Depth Chart; Chicago White Sox Payroll Information
In early October, Robin Ventura announced he was stepping down as White Sox manager after five seasons. Ventura’s contract was up anyway, and it’s not clear whether the Sox had any intention of offering him a new contract. The team almost immediately promoted bench coach Rick Renteria to manage the club, on a term that has not yet been reported. GM Rick Hahn chose not to interview other candidates, as Renteria was atop the team’s “living document” of potential future managers. Renteria had a difficult experience with the Cubs, managing them in a 2014 rebuilding season, doing well enough to warrant a second year, and then getting fired when Joe Maddon became available.
I don’t know if the hiring of a less experienced manager like Renteria is an indication that he will preside over a 2017 rebuild for the White Sox, as Hahn has chosen not to tip his hand on the team’s offseason direction. Hahn did posit in August that “by the time we make our first or second transaction, publicly it will be fairly clear as to our direction.” As White Sox fans await this odd reveal, I’ll tackle this post from each direction.
In a rebuild scenario, the team could move a host of players that clearly won’t be part of the next good White Sox team: Todd Frazier, Melky Cabrera, Miguel Gonzalez, David Robertson, Brett Lawrie, Avisail Garcia, and James Shields. Frazier, 31 in February, is coming off a career-best 40 home runs and a career-worst .225 batting average. MLBTR projects a $13.5MM salary for 2017, after which he’ll reach free agency. The White Sox could get something useful in return, but only a handful of contenders are seeking third basemen, and the free agent market features Justin Turner and Luis Valbuena. Cabrera is also an above-average hitter, but his value is limited by his poor defense and $15MM salary. Robertson struggled with his control and blew seven saves on the season, but his two year, $25MM commitment would appeal to teams not willing to pay full freight for Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen, or Mark Melancon. Gonzalez bounced back as a solid back-end starter, which is hard to come by in the 2016-17 free agent market. Lawrie, Garcia, and Shields have little to no trade value, but moving Cabrera and Robertson would clear $40MM in commitments, and trading Frazier and Gonzalez would free up $16MM+ that would have been spent on their arbitration salaries. It seems likely that Avisail Garcia’s time with the White Sox will come to an end soon, as the 25-year-old has shown few signs of being a useful Major Leaguer after 409 career games, 356 of which came with the White Sox.
Trading players like Frazier, Cabrera, Robertson, and Gonzalez might return a handful of decent prospects and free up payroll space but would do little to change the long-term trajectory of the White Sox. To truly reboot the franchise and try something different, Hahn and executive vice president Kenny Williams will have to entertain trades for any or all of Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, and Jose Abreu. Sale and Quintana are immensely valuable assets. Sale is among the ten best starters in baseball, and Quintana has to be in the top 20. Both lefties will enter the 2017 season at just 28 years of age, with clean bills of health. Both have extremely team-friendly contracts. On the open market, Sale would be worth over $100MM for 2017-19 alone. Instead, he’ll be paid $40.5MM at most. Quintana will be paid at most $40.35MM over the next four seasons, which would also be valued over $100MM. To top it off, there is no one remotely similar to Sale or Quintana in this year’s free agent market.
Nearly every team in baseball would have interest in Sale and Quintana. Teams with a strong need for starting pitching this winter, like the Marlins, Braves, Astros, and Angels, would obviously be interested. Others, who may add on the “only if it’s an ace” condition, like the Cubs, Dodgers, Red Sox, and Yankees, would be in as well. According to an August report from Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago, the Red Sox were unwilling to part with center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. for one of the White Sox aces at the trade deadline. That gives you an idea of a potential headliner, though – an established, five-win under-30 player who is under control for four more years. Other centerpiece examples could include Starling Marte, George Springer, or Christian Yelich. The White Sox could also try for less-established, but extremely valuable young players like Yoan Moncada, Lucas Giolito, or Andrew Benintendi. The question is whether Hahn would enter the offseason hellbent on trading one or both of his aces to kick off a true rebuild, or if he’d set a price and only make the trade if that price is met. The latter approach makes more sense, since both pitchers will still be very valuable at the July trade deadline as well as next offseason (and beyond).
In the event of a rebuild, the White Sox must also consider trading first baseman Jose Abreu, who might earn $40-45MM through arbitration over the next three seasons. While Abreu’s power has slipped since his rookie season, he’ll turn 30 in January and has a good $20MM of surplus value in comparison to market prices for power hitters. Teams such as the Red Sox, Orioles, Rangers, Rockies, Astros, Yankees, and Blue Jays are a few possible matches. Right fielder Adam Eaton would have immense trade value, with five years of potential control remaining. However, I see Eaton as a potential source of stability, someone who can anchor the roster even if the front office starts shipping out other top players.
We haven’t even mentioned Carlos Rodon, Tim Anderson, and Nate Jones yet. Plainly, the White Sox have too many good or great players to sell most of them off in a rebuild. Owner Jerry Reinsdorf is 80 years old. Shouldn’t this team be going for it? Let’s look at what that might require.
The White Sox have had Opening Day payrolls in the $115-120MM range in three of the past four seasons. They peaked at about $128MM in 2011, so that might be the ceiling. The Sox have about $74MM committed to eight players under contract for 2017. Add another $19MM for Frazier, Gonzalez, Jennings, Petricka, and Putnam, and we’re at $93MM for 13 players.
First and foremost on the agenda should be a catcher. The White Sox pretty much have to go outside the organization for a backstop. They could sign one of Matt Wieters or Jason Castro in free agency, or trade for the Yankees’ Brian McCann. Signing Castro to a two-year deal in the $15MM range would be a measured way to fill the void.
At second base, the White Sox must decide whether they would like to bring the perennially disappointing or injured Lawrie back for $5MM or so through arbitration. I’d vote no, because payroll will be tight and they can plug in Tyler Saladino for a much cheaper solution while possibly getting similar production. It seems likely that Lawrie can bring back some kind of spare part in trade prior to the non-tender deadline. Free agent options at second base include Neil Walker, Chase Utley, and Sean Rodriguez, if the White Sox want to go that route.
Center field is one of the more obvious areas of upgrade for the White Sox. Adam Eaton had an excellent season as the team’s primary right fielder and should probably stay there. Dexter Fowler, a player to whom the Sox made an offer last winter, is a free agent again and remains a strong fit. One big concern is that Fowler will come with a qualifying offer attached, meaning the Sox would have to surrender the #12 pick in the 2017 draft if they sign him. Unless Fowler comes at a serious discount from our projected lucrative four-year contract, he’s not an ideal addition. Ian Desmond comes with a similar concern. Instead, the White Sox could roll the dice on Carlos Gomez, who struggled mightily for parts of the last two seasons but showed promise in about a month’s worth of time with the Rangers at the end of the season. Gomez could sign a one-year deal for around $13MM in an attempt to rebuild value in Chicago, assuming they’re willing to tangle with agent Scott Boras. The relationship between Boras and the White Sox has had contentious moments dating back to the 90s. While it has softened in recent years, I don’t know if they would be able to get together on a free agent deal for players like Gomez, Wieters, or Kendrys Morales.
To balance out the lineup, the White Sox could use a left-handed designated hitter. Call it the Justin Morneau/Adam LaRoche role. This could be filled by a switch-hitter as well, with free agents such as Carlos Beltran and Kendrys Morales fitting the bill. If the goal is more to find a bat that can hit right-handed pitching well, then certainly Edwin Encarnacion is worth considering. However, a contract for Encarnacion would annihilate Abreu’s franchise record of $68MM and bust the payroll. Even the $12-14MM types like Beltran and Morales could be excessive for this bat-only role. Free agents who have been solid against righties over the past three years and would come with palatable price tags include Adam Lind, Luis Valbuena, Pedro Alvarez, Chris Coghlan, and Brandon Moss. None of those acquisitions would excite White Sox fans, but a high-priced designated hitter is a poor allocation of limited payroll space. One could argue that the White Sox are already paying good money for a pair of DH-types who are dragging down the defense, in Melky Cabrera and Jose Abreu. Another possibility would be to pencil Cabrera in for most of the DH at-bats, plugging the hole in left field with a defensively superior addition like trade candidate Brett Gardner.
So far we’ve added three players (or player types) to fill position player holes, and it would require about $27MM in salary for 2017. This conservative offseason approach already requires $120MM for 16 players. Accounting for minimum salary players, it’s difficult to see room for more significant additions. Payroll will be tight, making the $10MM owed to James Shields in 2017 all the more painful. Attempting to dump some of Cabrera’s salary is worth considering. Given his subpar left field defense, he’s not providing good value to the White Sox on a $15MM salary. Still, he was an above average hitter in two of the last three seasons, so the Sox might be able to find a team to take $8MM or so of the commitment. The problem is that the savings might have to be reallocated to a new left fielder. Eric Thames, coming off three huge years in Korea, could be a cheap roll of the dice for a team that would need some things to break their way to reach the playoffs.
I think the White Sox would find a taker for the majority of the $25MM owed to Robertson over the next two years, though his loss would create a hole in the bullpen. Robertson just had minor knee surgery, while Putnam had elbow surgery in August and Petricka had hip surgery in June. A good case can be made for adding to this bullpen rather than subtracting from it. A late-inning lefty would be a good fit, with Brett Cecil, Travis Wood, Boone Logan, Mike Dunn, and Jerry Blevins looking like the better free agents.
The White Sox look very strong in the first four rotation spots, with Sale, Quintana, Rodon, and Gonzalez. Shields, 35 in December, was brutal in 22 starts for the White Sox after being acquired in December, and his contract presents a real problem. If not for the $22MM the Sox owe Shields over the next two years, he’d be a release candidate. The contract might force the club to give him a look as their fifth starter heading into 2017, though cutting Shields now might be better for the team’s record. It seems unlikely that the White Sox could bite the bullet and release Shields and also pour additional money into the rotation opening.
Most of the proposed roster solutions here have come from free agency. In reality, Hahn will certainly look at the trade market. The White Sox remain light on prospects, and would have to consider trading top names like Carson Fulmer, Zack Collins, Spencer Adams, or Zack Burdi to bring in Major League talent. Trading from this group seems like digging a deeper long-term hole.
Whichever path Reinsdorf, Williams, and Hahn choose, I don’t expect a major organizational shift from the White Sox this offseason. I can’t picture a $150MM+ payroll and a free agent megadeal or two, nor do I expect the team to clean house by trading Sale, Quintana, Abreu, and others. This front office has taken the middle road before; perhaps there is enough talent on the roster to try it one last time.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
New Law Era
Does this team even survive in Chicago when Reinsdorf passes? They struggle to hit 25k fans per game (Sox tickets are dirt cheap), their stadium is in a poor area with nothing close to atmosphere of Wrigley, their front office continues to mismanage, and Reinsdorf is too stubborn to adapt and make the changes. Trying to build and compete at the same time just hasn’t worked. Commit to one or the other.
In addition, their marketshare is horrible. The city and most of Chicagoland lean Cubs. And south of I-80, they can’t even compete with the Cardinals or Cubs for viewership in Illinois.
Gotta wonder when they say enough is enough and try this somewhere else.
If the organization would commit to better scouting and development, they can be viable. Without it?
Not so much.
Typical drivel from a Cub fan. The White Sox a historic franchise, and an indelible part of this city. We Sox fans haven’t gone anywhere. We’re just waiting for this owner/front office to get their act together. Either spend the money on elite free agent bats and arms, or tear it down and rebuild with elite prospects.
New Law Era
First of all, I’m a Cardinals fan.
Secondly – rather than get upset, answer the question, which is legitimate. How is this team making money? If they are making money, why are they not doing a better job of reinvesting in their product and their brand? And how hard is it for Reinsdorf to see that it’s time to make a change with the front office?
As I’ve said (and your comments would seem to back me up), the front office is trying to contend and build at the same time and it hasn’t worked. They either need to commit to one or the other.
But back to being a viable franchise. I just don’t see how they are making money. And as they lose more marketshare, attendance is going to dwindle. Even when they won it all in 2005 and shortly after, the Cubs were still beating them in attendance. They’ll never have the support that the Cubs have and after this WS victory, they probably never will for the foreseeable future.
You can be as butt-hurt as you want, but it’s gotten to the point where it is fair to question if the franchise can survive much longer in Chicago. If they keep putting these types of seasons together, they’ll have no choice but to leave town when no one shows up to the games.
The Cubs winning the Wold Series won’t have any effect on the White Sox market share. It’s not going to continue to dwindle like you think. It’s going to be exactly the same as it has been. Fans aren’t jumping ship because the Cubs won.
The only historic part about the white sox is that they had members fix a world series.
They really do struggle to draw attendance, it’s not “stupid cub fan drivel”, it’s just the truth. They were 26th in MLB at drawing fans, in a major market…
Yeah, MLB will let an original franchise in an area with 9,000,000 residents move.
Harvard business school is lacking these days. Kek
The sox should see an increase in the next few years from people who love baseball but can’t afford to get into wrigley field. Those kids will be getting paid in just a few years.
New Law Era
Wouldn’t that have happened already? They’ve been at the bottom of attendance for years.
I personally think it’s bad for baseball if the White Sox leave town. Unfortunately, I just don’t see how they can stick around much longer. Most of Chicago is pro-Cubs and that’s how it’s going to be for at least the next generation to come.
They have to start winning. They have to start investing in that area. They have to do a better job at marketing their brand and get people to WANT to spend money there. They don’t do any of that.
Well they have been investing in the area around the ballpark. They have been working on something similar to what the Cubs are doing around Wrigleyville. I don’t think Manfred and MLB will let a top 3 market team move.
You’re acting like these are new things. Most have Chicago has always been (and most likely will always be) pro-Cubs, and the Sox have managed to get by for this long. The Cubs winning the World Series doesn’t change any of that.
Dude they have one of the coziest deals in MLB where the state pretty much owns the ballpark and they lease it from them. Low attendance doesn’t impact the team’s profitability much since there are contingencies that cover low attendance. There is a reason they operate at an even 100M+ payroll, and they wouldn’t be if profitability and sustainability were that much of an issue.
You seem to be honestly concerned about the team staying in Chicago but have done little research to substantiate those concerns. The Sox will stay in Chicago (the only time they threatened to leave was before getting their cozy stadium deal) and if they move another team will be there right after to take on some of the 10M+ people that live in the area. Even though Chicago may seem like a Cub town, there are still a lot of people on the Southside (neglected of course because they aren’t prosperous and are minorities) many of whom are Sox fans.
You all are wrong about Chicago being all Cub fans. Cubs just get a lot more national fans and they tend to (in a broad sense) be wealthier. Tourists go to Wrigley, not the south side. Going to Wrigley is for fans who want to drink and party and take Facebook selfies, whereas you go to a Sox game to watch baseball. In terms of Chicago natives, its not as lopsided as you think. They do definitely sell more tickets though. That’s a fact. Cubs will likely pick up some more younger fans now, -as the Sox did in 2005 WS. The World Series that seems to be forgotten by the media. The media is also pro Cubs, without a doubt. I’d hate to see them move, but I do think Sox next ballpark will be in a more affluent suburb. But will stay in Chicago.
I’d love to see the White Sox locate to a suburban Chicago location, preferably one in the near western suburbs where access to a new stadium would be enhanced with the convergence of interstate highways. However, this exact scenario was attempted by the White Sox and owner Jerry Reinsdorf in 1986 to Addison, IL. before their new park was ultimately built across the street from the old Comiskey Park. Ironically, it was the “affluent” community in the suburbs surrounding industrial Addison that eventually got the stadium nixed, particularly those residing in Medina.
It’s always been my opinion that if the White Sox move to Addison had become a reality back then they likely would have become Chicago’s dominate baseball team because of location and an ownership at the time that was viewed more favorably than the one on the North Side of town. The White Sox would have had a better chance to secure the local sports fans who were not already committed or “born” into an allegiance.
How many people do you really think are going to take a trip to the ghetto to watch whatever team the sox are playing because they can’t get into to wrigley? That is a serious question.
They might be smart to consider relocating to the suburbs. Better neighborhood and more parking + being able to construct multiple bars/hotels/restaurants etc around the stadium might help.
the stadium is in bridgeport, that area has money.
Bridgeport is a nice neighborhood. I was recently looking at homes in that area and I was surprised at the prices. The south side has a bad reputation because there are some parts of the south side that this south sider would not even go to. In Bridgeport, there are areas for people to eat and drink before and after the game; however, it does not compare to Wrigleyville, which is pretty much surrounded by bars and restaurants, and there are plenty of parking lots around Comisky, or Guarantee Rate Field.
As for the Bridgeport being “ghetto,”heck, it is sad but it seems that most of Chicago is getting ghetto when downtown is no longer safe. Crime has increased in affluent areas like Lincoln Park, Lakeview and Wriggleyville.
They obviously do just fine. They have TV revenue like every other club and merchandising rights, as well as selling the team stadium naming rights AND having a sweetheart stadium deal where I think the club pay no taxes to the state of IL.
JR is what is the heart of the issue. When he goes and a new owner comes in that wants to see the organization do well and not just trying to collect the check and blame fans when KWs master plans fail miserably they will be far better off. It is this reason why the Sox cannot trade Sale or Quintana until they clean up the org. That only occurs with JR selling the club, because KW will not be gone until JR is.
It all starts with the broadcasting booths. Both the tv and radio teams are dull and boring and do not create any excitement with the fan base. White Sox fans are very dedicated but want to see competitive teams or they will not show up in a risky part of the city that has nothing to offer but the ballgame. Except for when Chris Sale pitches there are no stars on this team that would draw you to the park. It’s a team with no personality.
If you’re relying on the broadcasters to create the excitement, your team has MUCH bigger issues that need to be fixed…
Their home tv broadcast is actually pretty good.
I’m a cubs fan, but even I still go to watch sox games for more than just Chris Sale starts.
What?? First of all, Hawk isn’t boring. The dude says whatever is on his mind. Being a Cubs fan, remember Ron Santo? That’s who Hawk is. I’m not saying Hawk is good at all. But he’s been around this organization for over 30 years. Benetti will be very good when Hawk steps down completely which I think could be for the 2018 season.
No offense but Bennetti just doesn’t do it for me. Really nice guy class act but him and Stoney just nerd out too much. Hawk is a legend.
Really? That is your master plan? Not the org is incompetent with KW mismanaging the show, not a horrible coach picked by a horrible exec? Not poor FA choices? but not enough exciting broadcasts? Sorry, but JD and Kasper on the north side are dull as dishwater, but the Cubs seem to be doing fine.
Finally, how does better broadcasts help people go to games?
Bottom line is until JR is gone, nothing changes because KW will be there as long as JR is. Then a new owner, who will likely know what they are doing, will see how incompetent KW is and fire him immediately (he should have been fired last season with Ventura) and start cleaning up the org, and getting competent instructional coaches and managers in the org. The Sox now appear to have a good draft expert as four of their picks look to be doing pretty well, but they Sox need far more than ‘exciting’ broadcasting
Congrats. You just turned the 2017 White Sox into a slightly different (albeit VERY similar) version of the 2009-2016 White Sox. Signing a bunch of mediocre vets on the cheap and hoping they turn in great years is not a way to sustain any sort of success. They either need to open the wallet to sign legitimate players or start the rebuild process. This 2017 plan is just begging for the same mediocre results. At least Robin isn’t there though, so maybe they have a chance at being slightly above average.
Heck, they don’t even need to go into a FULL rebuild yet. They could very easily trade just 1 of their starters and fill at least a couple holes on the roster with young, entertaining players. Then, if they still aren’t winning, they can move everyone else and start a full rebuild. This same garbage “plan” every year CLEARLY doesn’t work.
Nola Di Bari 67
The White Sox need another market. I’m a 52 year old diehard, and it saddens me to have reached this conclusion, but Chicago can no longer support 2 Baseball teams, or more importantly, doesn’t want to support 2 teams any longer. Because of reasons stated by New Law Era,and with the Cubs emergence as the absolute best, young franchise in the game,the Sox will no longer possibly be able to survive in Chicago,and I’m pretty sure they know it.We can talk all we want about what they need to do to contend now or strengthen themselves for the future, but, short of a mega rich ownership group buying the team and getting a stadium built in an uppity part of town, and that’s not going to happen here, any rebuild will come with a new market in mind…see Chicago’s former south side team, the Football Cardinals, as an example.:-(
From another long time Sox fan–I would agree that any full scale rebuild would be a clear indication that they’ve thrown in the towel on Chicago and are cutting their losses here, so that Jerry can fetch a better selling price for the club.
The only chance the Sox have to remain relevant in this town is to trade for/sign top tier talent and go for broke. I doubt Jerry would go this route, thinking that this would be throwing good money after bad. But after the Sox lost 106 games in 1970 and drew less than 500,000 fans, and were rumored to be leaving Chicago, new GM Roland Hemond made several key acquisitions including Dick Allen in 1972. It worked–Allen was MVP that year, the Sox won 90 games, and attendance rebounded to about 1.2,million, which was a respectable number in those days, so there is a precedent for “going for broke”. Here’s hoping for history to repeat itself–I don’t want to become a Cub fan by default!
The Sox aren’t moving, ceasing to exist, or rebuilding. Every winter is about trying to patch holes without enough prospects or money to get the best players. If that was going to change, Hahn and Williams would be gone by now.
Awhile ago I was praising Hamm for his winter moves along with the Padres, both turned out to be busts. This is a good lesson for other GMs, make small moves in free agency and try to make trades to improve your team along with the draft. After all, almost all free agents are over paid and don’t play up to their contract. The Sox are not the only ones, last year the Cards out bid the Cubs for Heyward, how did that turn out.
Great for the Cardinals…
The white sox could have so much influence on how this off season goes.
I just don’t understand why people think they should do this mediocre and hope for career years path.
They have clearly shown that their core, even with as much talent as is there, just isn’t enough. You can’t build an MLB team based on stars and scrubs, this isn’t the NBA. They are a franchise that just does not have the cheap and capable internal options to fill the holes they need to or depth to cover for any injuries or under performance. They have continued to show this for what, at least the last 3 or so years(if not more)?
The argument is that the central isn’t that strong right now, but it’s still (likely) stronger than the WS for at least the next couple of years. This is yet another reason I think they need to just bite the bullet and rebuild. The tigers are old and getting older, the Indians are good, but how much longer are Kluber, Carrasco, Salazar gonna stay dominant? KC is about 1 year away from having to blow it up, The twins can’t seem to develop…well anyone. In a couple years, they should have an easier path to winning the AL Central, and with the way things look around the AL, that might be there best hope to make the playoffs, especially for the next couple years.
Some trade ideas if the Sox do decide to rebuild;.
Frazier to the Dodgers (De Leon OR Verdugo + 2 more guys)
Abreu to the Red Sox (Moncada OR Benintendi + 3 more guys)*
Cabrera to the Giants (Quinn + 1 more guy)
Robertson to the Cubs (Dewees? Caratini? Underwood?)
Shields to the Angels (Fletcher + Barria)
This would clear nearly $100 million dollars off the books, restock the farm, and you still have Sale, Quintana, and Eaton to either build around or move for even more pieces..
You are on crack if you think the Dodgers would give that much up for Frazier
One of De Leon or Verdugo is too much?
Dodgers, sox, cubs, all awful trades.
Pretty much this
Cannot trade Sale or Quintana with clown Kenny in charge, otherwise the Sox are likely to get middling prospects and a handful of magic beans. The Org needs to be overhauled first, but that is not going to happen with KW being JR’s BFF. But I’m not sure how the Sox could trade either guy and get exactly what they would want, or rather, what is best for the org and the best talent out there when the Sox org cannot find the good talent now (last draft aside).
My guess is the Sox make another run with Renteria at the helm and if that does not work then you will see Q or Sale traded. In the interim they will go overpay for a bat here or there and see if Renteria can avoid the Ventura magnitude ineptness
We should find out very shortly just what the White Sox organizational plan is for 2017…and beyond. The front office has had more than a month to evaluate their situation and begin fielding offers from other clubs. Free agency is just beginning and the relatively weak class, especially among starting pitchers plays into the White Sox favor if they decide to sell off Chris Sale and/or Jose Quintana. The G.M. meeting are next week where some trades and the groundwork for many of the December winter meeting deals are formulated.
GM Rick Hahn has already gone on record stating that Sox fans will know shortly into the offseason just what direction the club takes. 80-year old owner Jerry Reinsdorf is the key to deciding which approach to pursue. He sets the budget and can authorize an “all-in” plan by spending big on free agents who can immediately help the franchise win in 2017 and beyond. FA’s Yoenis Cespedes or Jose Bautista could immediately upgrade the lineup and LF defense, Dexter Fowler would add both in CF as might Neil Walker at 2B. All are expected to receive qualifying offers which would negatively impact the White Sox already mediocre farm system should they be signed.
Reinsdorf would also have to sign off on a total rebuild and there’s no guarantee with that approach, especially since he has already decided to retain a front office that has failed to draft and develop top notch talent with the exception of some pitching over the past decade. The White Sox may also decide to continue their “re-tool” approach that had success in 2013 with the signing of long term FA asset Jose Abreu and trade for Adam Eaton who they locked up to an extended team friendly deal a year later. At the time, they became core pieces along with Sale and Quintana. The organization though they had another piece when they acquired Avisail Garcia from the Tigers at the 2013 trade deadline but he has failed to live up to their expectations, which also casts a negative light on Kenny Williams and Rick Hahn when it comes to identifying talent. A similar pursuit of younger long term MLB ready pieces would be my preferred approach, something the Sox went away from the last two offseasons by signing and trading for shorter term veteran pieces. I’d pursue trades for players such as the Dodgers Yasiel Puig or Joc Pederson and the Cubs Javier Baez, Kyle Schwarber, Jorge Soler or Albert Almora. Puig and Soler could probably be acquired without trading off a Sale or Quintana which would be my preference. If the Cubs were actually willing to part with Baez, Schwarber and Almora, I’d be more than OK trading Sale. However, I have serious doubts that Baez and Schwarber will be dealt. I believe that the Cubs now consider both to be part of their new long term core along with Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, Willson Contreras and Kyle Hendricks. I’d also be OK with trading Sale out of the A.L. to a club like the Dodgers who also have a wealth of young MLB ready talent including two top pitchers in Julio Urias and Jose De Leon. If the Sox aren’t overwhelmed with a deal for Sale or Quintana anywhere, I’d rather see them trade some of those veteran pieces who they acquired in the past two years. Imo, a rotation of Sale, Quintana, Carlos Rodon, relievers Nate Jones, Zack Burdi and Dan Jennings, Jose Abreu (1B/DH), Tim Anderson (SS/2B/CF) and Adam Eaton (RF/CF) represent a solid foundation for 2017 and beyond. Carson Fulmer could also become an impacting arm as a starter or reliever as soon as this coming season.
The White Sox situation does not at all resemble the pre-Theo Epstein Cubs which many South Side fans are hoping the organization pursues. The White Sox have better young core pieces and an aging owner while the Cubs were left with older veterans who failed to win beyond the 2007 and 2008 seasons when new/highly leveraged owner Tom Ricketts bough the team from Sam Zell’s Tribune company following the 2009 campaign. Ricketts tried to continue “winning” with GM Jim Hendry and many of those vets for two more years, even adding a couple like Matt Garza and Carlos Pena along the way, until he hired Epstein to undertake a full rebuild following the 2011 season. Before Epstein came on board the Cubs had only one young core piece comparable to what the White Sox have now…Starlin Castro. Javier Baez was a former #1 draft pick by Hendry but was hardly a lock and might be akin to what Tim Anderson was a couple years ago as a potential star SS. Anthony Rizzo was actually “re-acquired” by Epstein from the Padres to become part of the new Cubs core. Rizzo had been an Epstein draft pick earlier in Boston. I don’t consider Travis Wood a core piece. If any other player might have been considered one before the rebuild it probably would have been Jeff Samardzija.
Blow it up! Blow it up!
Trade Sale, Quintana, Abreu, Eaton, Frazier Jones, and Robertson. That should add considerable depth to the system. Add free agents without comp attached. Potential short term lineup could resemble this….whereas I do not expect the team to contend.
C – Castro
1B – Moss
2B – Lawrie
SS – Anderson
3B – Davidson
LF – Crawford
CF – Tilson
RF – Coghlan
DH – Beltran
Rodon, Hammel, Gonzalez, Wood, Shields
Jennings, Putnam, Petricka, Ynoa, Burdi
Some of these acquisitions could represent trade chips near the trade deadline which further adds to the system. Payroll would be significantly reduced allowing a signing of international FA Gurriel.
Preposterous comment, especially considering you have the White Sox trading their most formidable players and not getting one single MLB ready prospect back that they can insert into the 2017 lineup or pitching staff.
I am so tired of Sox fans saying to tear it down. There is way too much high end talent to tear it down. When you have a Sale and Quintana in their primes you DO NOT rebuild. You supplement this solid core with impact players. The main thing holding the Sox back more than anything is Jerry’s unwillingness so spend on high end talent in the free agent market. The White Sox are more of the only MLB teams to not have given out a $100 million contract.
And I am so tired of people saying rebuild like the Cubs. Oh really, I would love to see what the White Sox team with a $175 million payroll would look like. Even when the Cubs were rebuilding their payroll was around $115 million. For the Sox that is basically all in. The Cubs didn’t draft their way into a world series. Basically their entire pitching staff was made up from trades and free agents. Think the Cubs win the world series without Jon Lester?
What team has tanked to a World Series win, or had any really success, without a high payroll supplementing those high draft picks. For sustained success you need a high payroll, otherwise all you are ever looking for is lightning in a bottle( How we won in 2005). Otherwise you only have a couple year window.
I would love for jerry to bump payroll up to at least $145 and truly go for it with this core in its prime.
We have a Winner
if the White Sox were to Trade Melky ….. Robertson …… And Sign Cespedes E.E and 1 or 2 RP they would have a Chance at winning the Division and even if it doesn’t work at the Trade Deadline you could still Trade Sale , Q , Eaton , Abreu , Jones etc and the payroll would be slashed anyway ……. But knowing the Sox they’ll trade Sale for a former football player from LSU and A guy that can do backflips who both are 9 tool players but Strike out 45% of time and Hit 230 ……. Or they’ll sign Tori Hunter and Tim Wakefield and they’ll both be on DL in May
I honestly don’t care which direction the White Sox go; I just want it to be a clear direction. This weak retooling with aging vets and broken pitchers is frustrating. If their scouting and upper management were competent, I’d say trade everyone you can on the ML roster except Anderson, Rodon, Fulmer, and maybe Eaton and try to turn a handful of stars into a roster full of stars or at least solid starters. As it is, though, they’d screw it up and get players that just flame out at the ML level.
As for people saying you don’t rebuild when you have a handful of stars in their primes, but just add pieces, how do you think they’ll do that? There’s hardly anyone to trade, you can’t trade picks in baseball, and they won’t go above a certain payroll limit. That leaves only the same type of aging vets that have helped this club get exactly where it is: mediocrity.
Sox need to decide to truly go for it all, or truly rebuild. Standing pat again is the worst thing they can do for their team and their (growing increasingly frustrated) fan base.
Funny thing, bit the White Sox in many ways used that exact “re-tooling” approach when they won the 2005 World Series and the last time they reached the postseason in 2008, all with the same upper management in place from owner Jerry Reinsdorf, then GM Kenny Williams and his assistant Rick Hahn.
Those teams were primarily built around a strong starting rotation but had far more offensive power than the current group of players. The rosters were also constructed mainly through trades, many of whom were for aging veterans. Admittedly, a stronger farm system helped acquire some of those players and a few remained to help the team on the field.
It can be argued that the present younger and controllable core of Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, Carlos Rodon, Nate Jones, Jose Abreu and Adam Eaton are every bit as talented as a comparable group from 2005 and 2008. Those teams also had an arguably better manager in Ozzie Guillen who lost his “winning touch after 2008 despite some similarly built rosters. Perhaps a continuing “re-tool” approach is still in order with the same front office that seems to have better luck in acquiring other teams talent rather than developing it’s own, along with a new manager in Rick Renteria who can perhaps find that “winning” formula in the dugout once again.
Two points –
One, crime statistics in Lakeview (aka Wrigkeyville) are consistently equal to or higher than Bridgeview. The whole “Sox play in a bad neighborhood” thing is really not true. Plus, you can actually, y’know, park next to the ballpark on the south side, instead of wandering through neighborhoods and alleys and whatnot up north.
Two, yep, Sox finished 26th in attendance. You know who finished 28th? Cleveland, who won an AL pennant. Where, exactly, would you move the Sox? Charlotte? Portland? Vegas? Come on.
I would move the White Sox to a western Chicago suburb like Addison, Il., the same area they tried to relocate to back in 1986 before having to settle on the new stadium across the street from old Comiskey Park. A move to the suburbs then would probably have made the White Sox “Chicago’s” team. A move there now would at least make them “Suburbia’s” team. LOL
The White Sox have one of the sweetest stadium leases in the majors, they’re going nowhere until the lease is up.
Besides, the fan base has proven that they’ll support a winner, all we need is a proactive owner like Arte Moreno and they’d fill the park.
Hope our next owner is all business, hands the reins to baseball people and funds a competitive roster.
FIRE KENNY WILLIAMS