The dangers of coming up empty in the 2018-19 offseason

The dangers of coming up empty in the 2018-19 offseason

At the start of the White Sox rebuild, many optimistically looked at the 2019 season as the start of the next run of contention, citing the fact that the Sox were able to jump-start the process by trading three premium assets for near MLB-ready talent. It wasn’t a completely unreasonable hope, but things certainly have not shaken out that way. 2020 quickly became the more realistic target, and it’s where most people have set their sights.

The 2019-2020 offseason has been spoken about by fans and the front office alike as the time when the White Sox would begin to add talent to begin to make that dream look like a reality. Thus far this offseason, the Sox have made relatively inconsequential transactions while witnessing a flurry of activity around baseball. Many players that appeared to be fits with the White Sox have signed elsewhere. A big reason that the White Sox have likely sat still is their desire to put all of their effort and resources toward a top-level star in Manny Machado or Bryce Harper.

While it’s admirable for the White Sox to be in the running for both, they will likely need to bring in more help than just one of them, and should they land neither, they’ll need to find another way to build a competitive team. Below is the current depth chart for the 2020 roster, assuming prospects are promoted on schedule without injuries or performance-related setbacks. For the purposes of this post, I’m ignoring the bullpen, because I think there’s enough options on hand for it to be an asset by 2020.

2020 Roster, Internal Options

We’ll talk about that rotation in a bit, but that lineup doesn’t seem like it’s on solid ground. There aren’t many players in that group that one would consider favorites to be average-or-better regulars in 2020 (which I’m defining as a median projection of 2.0 WAR or better). Let’s write this again, but omit everyone that doesn’t look like they fit that description.

2020 Lineup, Projected Average-or-Better Options

  • C: ???
  • 1B: ???
  • 2B: Yoan Moncada
  • SS: Tim Anderson
  • 3B: ???
  • LF: Eloy Jimenez
  • CF: ???
  • RF: ???
  • DH: ???

Madrigal is probably the most debatable omission from the above list, but in my estimation, I think the chances are less than 50% that Madrigal produces 2.0 WAR for the major league team in 2020. It’s a possibility, but I think it’s more likely that he’ll first be a contributor in the second half of that season. Others such as Collins and Basabe give the White Sox possible upside, but nothing worth penciling in at this point. Still, I wouldn’t argue if one wanted to displace one of the “???” with one of these prospects to account for the possibility of positive internal development. Going any further is likely overly optimistic.

The rotation is a little different for this exercise because five guys play the same position. I’d argue Kopech, Cease, and Lopez could be expected to be average-or-better starting pitchers in 2020. However, I would also argue that in the median scenario, they comprise a below-average “top-three”. There’s enough upside in that trio that it could wind up being stellar, but there’s not enough stability to hang our hats on. It’s a high-ceiling, low-floor situation, and probably one that would benefit greatly from a proven, above-average external addition.

Steamer projects 17 pitchers for at least 3.5 WAR in 2019. Kopech and Cease in particular stand some chance at moving into that “ace” category and being 3.5-or-better WAR pitchers in 2020. However, the median projection for each is likely well south of that benchmark. For some comparison, Noah Syndergaard is projected for 3.6 WAR (16th) next year, meaning that about half the time he’ll be better than that and half the time he’ll be worse. If that were the median expectation for one of Kopech or Cease, they’d unquestionably be the best pitching prospect in baseball and probably in the top-five overall. Kopech’s injury, Cease’s past propensity for injury, the fact that Cease has a little more time before he’s ready for the big leagues, and the fact that prospects often don’t wind up as great as we imagine them to be, all introduce enough risk that we should not treat their immediate ascent to the top of the rotation as a given, or even the most likely outcome. Either pitcher could be Thor in two years, but it’s going too far to suggest either (individually) will probably be Thor in two years.

***

A good amount of work is therefore needed to make the 2020 White Sox into an average team, let alone one that looks like a postseason favorite. For that reason, there’s a lot of risk with a “Machado/Harper or Bust” offseason strategy. If you ink one, you’re on a palatable track. If not, you’re leaving yourself a single offseason (and July trade deadline) to fix all of the issues with the depth chart above. Should the Sox sit this winter out, they’ll find that it’s harder to optimally allocate financial flexibility over one winter (2019-2020) than over two. That’s in part due to the nature of competing with other teams for a limited pool of free agents and partly because the 2019 roster (as currently constructed) looks like a 71-ish win team that won’t make the south side of Chicago look much sexier to free agents than the 2018 roster did.

There were and still are players on the market that could help the White Sox. A couple of this year’s free agents below the Big Two look like great bets to be above-average players in 2020 (Patrick Corbin, Yasmani Grandal). Many others (Wilson Ramos, Michael Brantley, Dallas Keuchel, Charlie Morton, J.A. Happ, Andrew McCutchen, etc.) stand some chance to be strong assets if they maintain their current level, but even if not, there’s a high chance they will be at least average contributors that don’t need to be balanced out by a better player somewhere else on the roster. It’s true that the White Sox need to bring in a star, but they need guys like these, too. They’ve missed the boat on many of them already.

In that light, it’s truly puzzling where the White Sox stand early in the new year. They’ve added $27 million to the 2019 payroll without bringing in a single player that looks like an average-or-better contributor for 2020 and beyond. Yonder Alonso is a square peg that blocks Daniel Palka, which would be less problematic if Alonso were a plus regular. Ivan Nova‘s purpose is to eat innings for a young rotation, but he’s off the books after 2019 and doesn’t do anything to help build a competitor. Alex Colome is certainly a good reliever and looks like the most useful addition, but he’s a reliever nonetheless and is limited in his ability to help move the needle. James McCann is horrible.

The offseason is by no means over and the White Sox still have time to come through, but the clock is ticking. There’s a real chance they ink Machado or Harper, though history suggests it’s not the most likely outcome and if they continue to let the remainder of the market pass them by, they’re taking on a lot of risk that they won’t be able to improve themselves enough to make the 2020 plan happen. Any shift in focus to 2021 will be done with the idea that the rebuild can’t fail if one keeps moving the goalposts. However, a process kick-started with the luxury of trading Chris Sale, Adam Eaton, and Jose Quintana shouldn’t lead to punting four seasons; that’d be a failure in of itself.

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roke1960
Member

If they lose out on Harper/Machado, the only player left who would likely be a solid contributor on a future Sox contender would be Grandal. Pollock could be, but with his injury history and the depth of our outfield talent in the system, it’s not likely he would be. So what do they do if they miss out? I really don’t think it would be feasible to not add anyone and settle again for a 90 loss team this far into the rebuild. The other option would be to use the Reds approach and add one-year guys who will make us more palatable to watch and would not block future free agents/prospects. Adding from the group of Markakis/Moustakas/Dozier/Lowrie/Harrison/Marwin Gonzalez would make us a slightly better team, and none except Gonzalez would likely block anyone past 2 years. But is that the approach anyone wants to see? Any other ideas?

35Shields
Member

I wouldn’t mind seeing them take on bad contracts/bounceback players. In particular, I’d like to see the Sox take on Dexter Fowler’s contract with the Cardinals sending over Andrew Knizer and Nolan Gorman.

Fowler’s owed $43.5m for the next three years. Steamer projects him to be 0.6 WAR this year. With a standard aging curve, you’d expect him to have about -$37m in surplus value. Knizer and Gorman are both 50 FV players so they’d be worth around $20m in surplus value each. So the deal would be in the realm of possibility for a Cardinals team that projects close to the Cubs, has a crowded outfield and could really use the savings to upgrade their rotation (by signing Keuchel).

The Sox would get:
– a potential bounceback candidate in RF
– a good catching prospect (with decent receiving) who should be ready by 2020
– a good 3B prospect

roke1960
Member

The Cardinals will not include 2 of their top 5 prospects just to unload Fowler’s contract. They are not cash-strapped.

35Shields
Member

Eh, them being 2 of the cardinals top 5 is more of a statement about the strength of the Cards farm than about those two – they’re both probably in the last 20 of the top 100.

Even one would be fine to be honest

roke1960
Member

I wouldn’t mind either one, but the Cardinals aren’t desperate to move Fowler, unless they want to get in on Harper.

ImmortalTimeTravelMan
Member

If the Cardinals did that trade I would question what meds their Gm was taking. That being said, I would love to see Gorman in a Sox uniform one day.

moncada5ever
Member

I don’t think Gonzalez would even qualify as blocking anyone if you give him a 4 year deal. He can play a bunch of positions so you can use him as a super utility player or plug him in a spot where one the prospects doesn’t pan out.

roke1960
Member

That’s why I included him. He can just slide into whatever position is not filled at the time.

zerobs
Member

My only beef with acquiring Marwin would be not counting on him for CF. Otherwise he makes some sense as a replacement for Leury who is uncontrolled after 2020.

35Shields
Member

At the beginning of the offseason there were 21 free agents that Steamer projected to be 2 WAR or better. Now there are only 11.

5 of those are 2B or 3B that would be only minor improvements over Moncada or Yolmer. Another is Kimbrel, who would be a strange addition for a team planning for 2020 given that relievers age worse than starters.

Which means, excepting Harper and Machado, the only major sources of upgrade for 2020 on the market now are Grandal, Keuchel and Pollock. Who knows how long they’ll be available for.

dongutteridge
Member

Bingo

zerobs
Member

I assume Grandal and Keuchel already have solid offers but from lesser teams so they want to wait around to see if a contender jumps in late like the Red Sox did with JD Martinez and the Cubs did with Darvish.

Lurker Laura
Member

Lovely Catch-22 the sport has itself in: you can’t land FAs unless you’re a contender, but you can’t become a contender without FAs.

karkovice squad
Member

It’s more like the also-rans don’t want to pay enough to overcome the objections. Similar to companies in other industries saying they can’t find qualified job applicants. That’s not actually a training problem with the labor pool, it’s a compensation problem with the demand pool.

It’s not like those teams can’t afford the premium now, let alone if it makes them contenders and they bring in more bucks.

35Shields
Member

Grandal reportedly turned down $60/4 from the Mets, who have since gotten Ramos.

roke1960
Member

In hindsight, that looks like a bad move. He won’t get near that offer again.

35Shields
Member

I would be beyond thrilled if the Sox signed him for the much

roke1960
Member

Since most teams already have their catcher, they can almost certainly get him for less.

Lurker Laura
Member

I’m not sure why Grandal is even in Sox fan’s conversations at this point. The Sox aren’t going to have 3 catchers going into spring training, then release either Castillo or McCann and eat the salary. Just not realistic.

melidoperez
Member

I don’t think we can factor in McCann in any type of actual decision making (at least I hope not). I mean, if they whiff on the big guys and could sign Grandal for 4/64, is somebody really going to stand up and ask about McCann and his 2 million bucks?

Lurker Laura
Member

They signed McCann for a reason. I think they think they have their catchers. Maybe they’re more pissed at Castillo than they let on and are willing to jettison him if they sign Grandal. But of all of the time Sox fans are spending on various scenarios (and that’s what fans do), Grandal seems the most far-fetched.

karkovice squad
Member

Eating either salary–or coming up with a trade–isn’t out of the question. But agree that it’s even more unlike their SOP than the Sox pursuing and landing players who command double digit years and 9 figure salaries.

35Shields
Member

I agree, it’s just unfortunate that the reason they signed McCann is because they’re bad at their jobs.

MrTopaz
Member

Wasn’t Castillo also supposed to be one of Machado’s boys? It’d be funny, in a sad and petty sort of way, if the Sox ended up dumping like, half of Machado’s closest friends if they aren’t able to sign him.

Trooper Galactus
Member

Yeah, if anybody is of the opinion that James McCann’s presence precludes signing a talent like Grandal, that’s insane. McCann isn’t even good enough to block Zavala or Collins if they’re even remotely ready.

ParisSox
Member

This reminds me of when the Sox  signed Fisk. They had signed Jim Essian from the A’s who was a starter iirc.  So in theory they already had their catcher when they signed Fisk. 

35Shields
Member

It’s because we’re foolish enough to hope that a group of men who evaluate baseball players for a living wouldn’t let a worse-than-replacement-level catcher stop them from signing one of the best catchers in the game at a bargain.

adamlarochesghost
Member

Typical PNoles type post. Is there anything the White Sox could do that would make you happy?

While to contend in 2019 would require more pieces than a Machado or Harper, it would be unwise for the Sox to fill up their roster this offseason just so they could meet PNoles’ expectations. Their ability to address roster needs over the 2019-2020 offseason and trade deadlines is even more valuable then addressing needs this year as it allows them to spend on positions of need AFTER seeing how prospects perform in those roles. I have zero issues with the $27M spent on contacts this year, as they simply provide major leaguers to fill in the gaps in the short term. I’d be just as happy spending money on a single big fish this year rather than locking up all these other players that would demand multi year deals. 

As a fan I’m reassured that Rick Hahn has a plan to spend on long term assets by not shelling out a 3 year deal to Andrew McCutchen for $50M, or something of that ilk. The reality is those types of deals have plagued the White Sox for the past decade and left us with middle of the road results. These next 2 years will define the next decade, and the flexibility of being able to swing for the fences is what will make the Sox attractive to free agent talent.

craigws
Member

Man, I wish they’d spent money on somebody as cromulent as McCutchen over the last decade. It’s the half-assing it that’s been the problem.
In fairness to them though, if they don’t get Machado or Harper they have already got all their half-assing out of the way for the off-season.
I agree that it is important to let the prospects play to see what they have, but I also think it’s important to surround those prospects with actual decent players as opposed to the Avi Garcias of the world.
Conversely, I’m not too worried about a prospect being position-blocked; if they are good enough, the team will find a spot for them (and, more to the point, I can’t recall the last time the White Sox consistently ran into the problem of *too many* good players).

adamlarochesghost
Member

The reality is the Sox very much are a team that stays within the confines of their payroll budget. I’ve seen the results of a roster of middle of the road players with “TWTW”. Like the NBA, the new normal is having a few superstars getting superstar money, and having those rookie sized contracts performing well above what they get paid. Fill in the gaps with Yolmer type $4M players who can come close to average, and you have a competitive team within the Sox payroll limitations. 

knoxfire30
Member

The sox have self imposed those limitations

karkovice squad
Member

And this.

ImmortalTimeTravelMan
Member

Are the Cubs, Red Sox, Yankees, and Dodgers all following that “new normal”? The average league payroll was over 140 million last year and we’ve never spent anything close to that.

knoxfire30
Member

Well then its time for new freaking ownership cause 1 world series in 100 years and ZERO back to back seasons with post season appearances just isnt doing it for me. 140 is nothing, sox almost dont have to sell 1 ticket to be viable at that payroll level. The amount of money pouring into the game via shared revenue streams and tv/radio deals is thru the roof.

The redsox yanks dodgers these teams arent going anywhere, expect them to be at 200-240 mil in payroll every year

But dont worry I am sure the sox on some imaginary fixed budget can out scout them, and be better at player development

stevev
Member

Understand the sentiment. But I took off on a tangent: what’s the AL record among ‘repeated seasons’ of playoff appearances? (As usual, ignore the Yankees). It’s an odd stat because it’s biased towards recent seasons, but FYI Oak 15
Bos 8Det 6Cle 6

35Shields
Member

The whole point of this post was that the Sox need to address 2020’s concerns. This isn’t about addressing this year’s roster.

There are four avenues for the Sox to fill their 2020 roster:
– internally
– trades
– 2019 FAs
– 2020 FAs

As Pnoles explained above, the first option isn’t enough. This team doesn’t have enough in the pipeline to field a competitive team next year. That leaves trades, which neutralize the Sox biggest advantage (abundance of payroll flexibility), and the next two free agent classes.

If the Sox miss out on Machado/Harper and don’t make any other major additions, that leaves free agency next year and at that point, why would you believe in the Sox ability to convert on major free agents next year if they fail to this year?

roke1960
Member

And the one that can have the most impact without costing them some of their prospects is the 2019 FAs. We can’t count on Arenado, Rendon or any of the other free agents to be there next year. Which is why they are going hard after these two- and I think they’ll get one. With either 3rd base or right field taken care of, they can then start to make decisions on Moncada’s future position and which of their propects they can think about trading when the time is right.

ImmortalTimeTravelMan
Member

If Harper and Machado weren’t psyched about coming to a rebuilding team I can’t imagine that Rendon and Arenado will be, and that’s what concerns me the most.

adamlarochesghost
Member

Why is 2020 the year everything has to be final? The Sox are in a position we are not used to seeing. Our core of young players are all under control past 2023 and into 2026. It would be prudent to use that entire window to compete and not push all our chips in on the first year of turning the corner. A true rebuild takes time. Adding a superstar now might appear to signal that they are ready to compete now, but the reality is they are investing in years 4-7 of Machado/Harper. All the while they maintain payroll flexibility to account for the inevitable cost of arbitration to keep the core in place, and add single year deals.

roke1960
Member

Moncada, Lopez, Rodon and Anderson are all free agents by 2024. I think the real window for contention lies in 2021-2024, if you’re going to take a 4-year window.

GreatjonHumber
Member

Our core of young players consists of guys who so far have been league average-type guys. Not saying they can’t or won’t improve but so far they are just guys.

35Shields
Member

It’s not the year everything has to be final.

The post was “The dangers of coming up empty this offseason”. The point was that the danger isn’t just punting on 2019, it’s punting on 2020 too.

Of course rebuilds take time, but look at the Astros and Cubs. Both started with effectively no assets and after 4 years of losing, they were in the playoffs. For the Sox rebuild to follow a similar timeline would be a significant failure, considering that they started their rebuild with incredibly valuable assets.

Maybe punting on 2020 isn’t a significant concern to you. Maybe the rebuild taking longer than it should doesn’t bother you, but none of it bodes well for the FO’s ability to field a competitive team and complete this rebuild.

zerobs
Member

You’re exaggerating that the Cubs and Astros started with no assets. The 2011 Astros had Altuve, Pence, Melancon, and Bourn (not to mention JA Happ). The 2011 Cubs had Samardzija, Baez, LeMahieu, and Willson Contreras. The Sox actually started their rebuild with a weaker farm system than the “new” front offices the Cubs and Astros started with.

35Shields
Member

Aside from the White Sox dogged commitment to prove TANSTAAPP due to injuries, the lack of a single surprise breakout last year was probably the biggest failure of 2018.

The Sox committed ~3-5 roster spots to fringe players and the best they could show for it was an average Yolmer Sanchez.

zerobs
Member

the lack of a single surprise breakout last year was probably the biggest failure of 2018.

Agreed. But signing under 3 WAR declining players can’t make up for it. The lack of pleasant farm system surprises is typical of the Kenny Williams front office. That’s why some of us agreed with the rebuild but not with the same front office.

oljeto
Member

Amen. Who wants to entrust their careers to Ricky’s guys?

ImmortalTimeTravelMan
Member

How about just drafting ONE all star, can Rick work on that?

Trooper Galactus
Member

I now fully expect Jace Fry to be our All-Star representative in 2019, and Hahn will be all, “There, ya happy now?!?”

35Shields
Member

In 2011, Baez and Contreras weren’t considered top Cubs prospects let alone top prospects in general and Samardzija had a career -0.4 WAR.

Here’s Baseball America’s and Baseball Prospectus’ 2011 farm system rankings. Neither the Cubs (#16 and #23) nor the Astros (#26 and #28) had above average farms. Nor were they much different than the Sox at the time (#27 and #25).

I’ll grant that the Astros had better major league assets than I remember.

adamlarochesghost
Member

Given the fact that the Sox have a payroll between 30-60M less than the Astros and Cubs, I don’t think it’s fair to expect to rebuild faster than them.

As Cirensica
Member

If a team is still in “rebuild” mode after 5 years, then it is a failure in my opinion because the players dealt in year 1 are already 5 years into development, high drafted players are 5, 4, 3 years into development already.

See Rodon, 2 more years of control left. Moncada? 4 years…if Hahn does not hurry up, he will have to replace those players with new players

roke1960
Member

Moncada was the centerpiece of the rebuild (a #1 prospect). Eloy may have surpassed him in expectations, but if Moncada fails, that does not bode well for success. And we only have him for 5 more years. It’s time to kick this into high gear and not wait to do all the heavy lifting next year.

ImmortalTimeTravelMan
Member

If Moncada fails than Hahn should be out of a job: he had at least 2 other serious offers for Sale and screwing up a trade like that can set us back years.

zerobs
Member

I’ll say it again, if this rebuild doesn’t work then the mistake wasn’t doing the rebuild in the first place, it was with who was in charge of it.

ImmortalTimeTravelMan
Member

Exactly: most of us can’t be bad at our jobs for 4 years and then tell our boss we need to be even worse for a while before things are going to get better, we just get fired.

ImmortalTimeTravelMan
Member

I think the point is when you kick-off a rebuild by trading a HoF pitcher and two other all stars for prospects you shouldn’t have to endure a Cubs-length rebuild of 4-6 years. Whether that’s a reality now or not may be pointless.

Trooper Galactus
Member

Well, Eaton wasn’t an All-Star, he just produced like one. That trade was a good job of extracting proper value out of an asset the market typically overlooks.

karkovice squad
Member

+1 doesn’t do this justice.

ImmortalTimeTravelMan
Member

Addressing needs over the 2019-2020 off season isn’t more valuable than this off season if there are more teams in play for FA’s next year. As has been pointed out numerous times, one reason Harper/Machado stood out was that the Sox were pretty much competing against the Phillies and a combo Yankees/Dodgers group. Teams payrolls don’t stay static and there’s a good bet that teams that couldn’t dump payroll this off season will try again next year.

Also, a team that jumps from 62 to 67 wins doesn’t scream “Perfect FA Destination”. If it is true we aren’t even offering the ballpark of what it would take to get a younger Machado/Harper, what makes you think we won’t lowball an Arenado who is going to be a few years older anyway? There’s a lot of conflicting reports of what the Sox have offered Machado, but a lowball offer combined with a team that loses 95 games doesn’t make it sound we are competing for anything.

And I don’t trust Rick Hahn anymore than I would any other GM who hasn’t done anything to deserve it. He’s been GM for 6 years,his teams have never posted a winning record, and he’s failed to draft a single all star. Why are people anointing him the savior of this team?

MrStealYoBase
Member

I agree with adamlarochesghost.

The big advantage that the White Sox have over other teams going after Harper or Machado is that they have no urgency. Philly had to jump on McCutchen or risk being left with two massive holes at the outfield corners again. This is actually the perfect storm. The Sox can slow-play negotiations and when can they count on teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, Dodgers EVER showing this kind of restraint in free agency again?

I swear PNoles, you just like to complain. If they went ahead and bogged down their roster with a bunch of middle of the road free agents you’d be saying this is just a repeat of 2015 and they were jumping the gun.

Also I’d contend with the idea that it is necessary to show dramatic improvement in 2019 to be a contender in 2020. I agree that this is a 70 win team as presently constructed. But in the last decade there are several examples of young teams making 20+ game improvements year to year.

craigws
Member

They’ve added $27 million to the 2019 payroll without bringing in a single player that looks like an average-or-better contributor for 2020 and beyond

This is a good reason to complain, because it stinks of every other White Sox off-season from recent memory.

ImmortalTimeTravelMan
Member

We can’t count on teams those teams to be out of negotiations again and that is a HUGE problem. If the Dodgers and Yankees had offered those two a 10/350 million contract they’d be signed by now and the Sox would have a better understanding of how little FA’s think of this team. One of the advantages of this off season was some of the big spenders (Red Sox, Dodgers, Yankees, Cubs) couldn’t just back the dump truck of money up to those guys right away.

Soxfan2
Member

Great post Pnoles. For those saying this is a “negative” post, it’s really not. It’s pretty realistic. The Sox are not good now and have very little reason to believe they’ll be significantly better if they don’t acquire above average big leaguers. Every team that goes from rebuilding to contending adds good, proven MLB players to supplement the young players/prospects. As Pnoles stated, they really haven’t done that and with their expected timeline for contention, time is running out. I gave Rick Hahn and co the chance to redeem themselves before…but my confidence in this front office is shrinking. 

Jason.Wade17
Member

If this 2020 lineup were the case and also the White Sox don’t trade any prospects, the Charlotte Knights 2020 lineup is:

C – Who cares
1B – Sheets
2B – Madrigal
SS – Rivera
3B – Burger
LF – Robert
CF – Gonzalez
RF – Rutherford
DH – Adolfo

Pitchers – Hansen, Clarkin, Flores, Lambert, McClure

This with guys like Bush, Nunez, Curbelo, Walker, Zangari, Pilkington, Stiever, Henzman, Sosa, #3 pick sitting in AA.

Either 1, holy crap. or 2, maybe they won’t be so patient with everyone calling them all up at the same time. Meaning 2020 will probably look very different than your projection.

Josh Nelson
Editor

One nit pick: Jake Burger would have to go on an Eloy Jimenez-like tear in 2019 to make it AAA in 2020.

andyfaust
Member

and i agree w/ Josh. I wouldn’t include include Burger even in MiLB rosterbation until he’s played a full season without injury, which I’ve accepted may never happen.

GreatjonHumber
Member

Really tough to succeed at one of these teardowns when you are whiffing on single digit draft picks.

ImmortalTimeTravelMan
Member

Bingo

Trooper Galactus
Member

Burger wasn’t a single digit draft pick.

Fulmer, however, yeah, bingo.

Jason.Wade17
Member

I would still put him in AAA at some point in 2020. Obviously the injuries change things, but prior to injury he was offensively ready for AA this year in my mind. He can really hit, or at least could. We will see what tearing an Achilles twice will do, but fair if you think he’s a year behind the rest.

Josh Nelson
Editor

I think he’s 1.5 to 2 years behind everyone. Wouldn’t be surprised if Burger started in Kannapolis in 2019.

roke1960
Member

I don’t think we can count on Burger for anything. Anything he gives us is just a bonus as far as I’m concerned. I wouldn’t really consider him a big part of the future.

ImmortalTimeTravelMan
Member

He hit .270 at Low A, how does that make him ready for AA?

ImmortalTimeTravelMan
Member

Lots of injured players jump 3 leagues in half a year….

Jason.Wade17
Member

Also, questions regarding what WAR you are using to evaluate what 2.0 projections?
I assume you are using WARP for catchers and fWAR for everyone else, which gets to be a little “pick and choosy” to make a point. For instance, no way BPro will project Moncada above Replacement level as their system hates him. Otherwise FG projects even this crappy catcher tandem as 2.8 WAR for 2019 and good for 10th best in the pro’s.

andyfaust
Member

You forgot Eloy. He should almost be done checking boxes by then I think.

ImmortalTimeTravelMan
Member

Burger tore his ACL twice, won’t be playing baseball again until July, has never played above Low A, and he’s going to jump three minor league systems in half a season? Get the HOF plaque ready!!!

NDSox12
Member

Achilles, not ACL…. not that that makes it any better.

Trooper Galactus
Member

Uh, I’m not sure Rutherford works in RF, especially if you have Adolfo available.

knoxfire30
Member

So much of this post I agree with I figure I could just copy and paste.

Sox main window is 2020-2023 if I had to choose, the strategy of spend huge on top tier free agents only works when good young players are making the minimum or near it. If Moncada, Anderson, Rodon, Lopez etc start to creep up in salary the ability to have the payroll flexibility to sign top tier talent disappears with the penny pinching sox.

The pen and starters can project to be above league average to borderline great. I think most of us think that. Sox also have a good track record with developing young arms. However, the possible 2020 lineup looks like dogshit. If that sounds harsh please refer to the lineups the redsox yanks astros, cubs, dodgers etc etc. Add in the fact the sox ability to develop young hitters is at best, bad.

The entire idea of the rebuild was to strike on big bat free agents in 2019 and 2020. Sure a trade could present itself but why use up high end prospects and cash… when right now top tier bats are available for just cash.

If the sox dont walk out of this off season with at least 1 really good position player its panic time. I still firmly believe its a real bad idea not to add 2.

roke1960
Member

I agree completely. I think they need to add Harper or Machado and then Grandal (or maybe Pollock). Of course I would be happy with Harper AND Machado.

knoxfire30
Member

Im really nervous. Truly thought this off season they would come out firing.

roke1960
Member

I think their main goal in this offseason was to acquire Harper and/or Machado. Their agents are going to take their time to get the absolute biggest contract they can get, even if it takes to spring training. The Sox have the advantage in that they can wait them out til the end, since unlike every other team in the mix, they aren’t expected to contend this year. They are not going to fill holes that might be filled by Machado or Harper. That is probably a big reason they lost out on McCutchen or Brantley. I think you will see some corresponding moves after the Harper/Machado sweepstakes are over.
That being said, I’m really nervous, too.

ImmortalTimeTravelMan
Member

I’m worried that if one of those more competitive teams makes the right offer we aren’t even going to get a chance to match, they just take it….

Lurker Laura
Member

I have no problem with their strategy of waiting until the Harpchado situation is sorted out. If Andrew McCutcheon was their Plan B, and somebody got to him first, oh well. That doesn’t upset me. It’s the McCann and Alonso signings that perplex me.

roke1960
Member

Yeah, those are kind of puzzling. But if they strike out on Machado and Harper, the offseason will be a failure. If they hit on one, it’s a rousing success. No one will be upset about the McCann/Alonso acquisitions then.

Trooper Galactus
Member

I, for one, would still be upset about the McCann acquisition, solely because even $2 million is a total waste on a guy like him.

Trooper Galactus
Member

Given what McCutchen cost, I doubt the White Sox would have even pursued him as a Plan B. He far exceeded his projected offers.

ParisSox
Member

+1 for Harpchado

ImmortalTimeTravelMan
Member

If Anderson and Moncada get to the point where they can demand big bucks i’d be happy. Even that seems like a reach at this point….

dongutteridge
Member

Great post. I think you’re right on with where the Sox are at right now. It’s very puzzling. 

Lurker Laura
Member

Just to add to everybody’s good mood: even if the 2020-2023 window works out, there’s a legitimate likelihood of a work stoppage in there.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Josh Nelson
Editor

Maybe a strike shorten 2021 season will give the White Sox better odds in winning the AL Central!

Gutteridge70
Member

and Elroy winning an mvp award !

Gutteridge70
Member

Sigh … Eloy

As Cirensica
Member

I think you just like STYX

yuck

dongutteridge
Member

Let’s table this discussion for after Machado signs with the Yanks, Harper goes back to Washington and the Sox add Adam Jones and Jason Hammel. 

Then, we can talk about all of the top tier free agents that will be chomping at the bit to sign with the Sox after several horrific seasons and a disappointing crop of prospects. I’ll bet they get Trout, Rendon and 4 or 5 other superstars as their payroll straddles the luxury tax line. 

It’s the same old Sox. 

roke1960
Member

Yes, that will be a very interesting (and R-rated) discussion os that scenario plays out. But I just get a feeling this isn’t the same old Sox. I sure hope I’m right.

dongutteridge
Member

According to Nightengale and Heyman the Sox offer to Manny was closer to $200 mil than $300 and they’re a long shot for Harper. 

So, we can expect a similar season to last year with a last place finish and very few prospects getting mlb experience because they’re not ready. Hopefully, Eloy won’t pull a Moncada once he gets on the Sox. 

roke1960
Member

This shows they are not the same old Sox. When have the Sox ever come close to offering anyone over $200 million? Or over $100 million? If that’s their initial offer, they will certainly go higher.

karkovice squad
Member

White Sox Baseball ’19: finding new ways to be incompetent

Trooper Galactus
Member

They’ve supposedly made 9-figure offers before, but never in a way that beats the known market. If they’ve offered less than $250 million to a player who reportedly already turned down $300 million, I’m not exactly inspired by the news unless the terms of the contract are utterly ridiculous.

MrStealYoBase
Member

Harper turned down $284M, not Machado.

Trooper Galactus
Member

I could be wrong, but I don’t see Machado settling for $35+ million less than Harper given he’s been a superior player.

Smclean09
Member

But but what about the playoffs? All the loafing??

dongutteridge
Member

I’m sure the Sox would offer $400 mil once they knew there was a $500 mil offer out there. 

Same old Sox. 

karkovice squad
Member

This thread’s tl;dr: people still misuse the teardown/rebuild processes used by the Astros, Cubs, and Royals while forgetting there’s more than one way to skin the cat.

GreatjonHumber
Member

It seems like there’s really just the one way.*

*I don’t know a lot about cats or knives.

craigws
Member

Meanwhile, Rick Hahn is working his way over Ol’ Yeller with a vegetable peeler.

karkovice squad
Member

A big implication for the post itself is that if this is how the rebuild looks at this point, Reinsdorf might as well have kept throwing good money after bad rather than let this front office obliterate its birds in hand only to struggle to get back to that point.

They could’ve stumbled onto this much value from trading fewer years of Eaton, Quintana, and Sale while not being as much of a Dumpster fire to watch. And apart from Madrigal, their draft results probably wouldn’t have been appreciably worse.

MrStealYoBase
Member

Even among the teams you list there is variation, of course. But I don’t think anyone would argue that money and prospect based trades would be best used targetinga few high impact acquisitions over several middling ones.  

oljeto
Member

Given this owner, forget the Cubs  and Astros as models. Brewers more realistic. First, hire a great manager 

dongutteridge
Member

That would cost money. 

Trooper Galactus
Member

While managers only have so much of an effect on the course of a season, I can’t help but feel the likes of Ventura and Renteria would have turned the 2018 Brewers into a nice 85-win team.

roke1960
Member

Hayman reporting all offers for Machado in the $200-250 million range. If the Sox would go 8/$280M, I think they get him. It’s time for Jerry to step up.

Trooper Galactus
Member

$35 million a year for eight? That’d be pretty sweet. Heck, front load an extra $10 million in the first two years for some relief on the back end.

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