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  • Building the 2022 White Sox

    Sure, the 2021 season hasn't ended yet and the 2021 playoffs have yet to even begin. But even if the 2021 White Sox go deep, deep into the postseason, the remaining games of 2021 will be a teeny-tiny sample size compared to the vast majority of the 2021 season already in the books. With meaningful games still weeks away, now might be a good time to think about the 2022 team: especially before playoff moments take an outsize spot in our heads!

    Catcher
    Yasmani Grandal had a great season and is not one of the problems. The White Sox can - and likely will - upgrade at backup catcher, but I doubt it will move the needle very much.

    First Base
    If it an't broke, don't fix it. Absent an injury, Jose Abreu will play 1B for the White Sox until he decides he no longer wants to, and fans BTW will be fine with that.

    Second Base
    Cesar Hernandez stopped hitting as soon as he came to the White Sox. I still think the best option is to keep him at 2B one year longer and hope he recaptures his first half 2021 numbers. His defense seems to be solid, especially his range.

    Third Base
    I was one of the earliest and most vocal Yoan Moncada skeptics on WSI. I am no longer a Yoan Moncada skeptic. Between his multiple hot streaks (including a stretch of 2021 when he carried the team on his back) and his always solid defense, I believe he is a solid MLB third baseman. He is also perhaps the most musically gifted player in the AL since Jose Lima.

    Shortstop
    Tim Anderson is one of the faces of the franchise and not going anywhere, even if the White Sox traded away two shortstops even better than him in the recent past.

    Left Field
    Eloy Jimenez can't hit his way out of a wet paper bag right now, but long term he is going to be just fine if he can avoid injuring himself in the field. I think if he stays healthy he will own the White Sox single season HR record before his time here is done.

    Center Field
    Luis Robert is still going to get better. This should terrify AL hitters and pitchers alike.

    Right Field
    OK, the first position where I'm not just going to say "things are fine". The White Sox have a number of young players who MIGHT be able to hit well while playing an acceptable defensive RF. Andrew Vaughn, Gavin Sheets, Micker Adolfo, all of these guys have the potential to be cheaply add value as a full time right fielder. All of them also have the potential to stink it up at the plate and allow lots of doubles. As tempting as it would be (especially to, say, a risk averse owner who feels that most other MLB teams greatly overvalue FAs) to roll the dice and hope that somebody steps up at the league minimum in RF, given that the 2022 White Sox are a team that will be trying to win a World Series and make the playoffs for the third year in a row, I don't think they can accept potential here. They need certainty. I hope the team goes out and signs a big stick to put in RF. Should be target #1 in the offseason.

    Designated Hitter
    I'm fine with sticking Andrew Vaughn, Gavin Sheets, Micker Adolfo, Jake Burger, etc. here and seeing if one of them can mash the ball and own this position for 2022. If not, somebody will be available at the trade deadline for not that much.

    Starting Pitching
    #1 Lance Lynn: probably won't be as good as in 2021, but probably a good signing
    #2 Lucas Giolito: reinvented himself again, things are looking much better for him
    #3 Dylan Cease: still gets into long counts and walks too many people, but the progress is there
    #4 Michael Kopech: he deserves a chance to show what he can do in the starting rotation
    #5 Dallas Keuchel: can be bounce back despite being another year older?

    Yeah I'd definitely want the White Sox to sign another SP. Ideally another TOR starter, but that could be out of their price range. They need SOMEBODY to at the very least mitigate the risk of either Kopech or Keuchel flopping in 2022.

    Bullpen
    You can't just look at what a relief pitcher is doing this year and predict what a relief pitcher will do next year. Who knows. Hendriks is here to stay. Unless Craig Kimbrel blows MULTIPLE playoff games, I think his option will be exercised. Kopech ideally gets promoted into the rotation which opens up a spot for the Sox to sign a mid-inning reliever, which can probably be found on the FA market and won't break the bank. As with RF and DH, lots of guys currently in AAA or bouncing back and forth between MLB and AAA could potentially fill a bullpen role, but could also potentially flop.
    "Hope...may be indulged in by those who have abundant resources...but those who stake their all upon the venture see it in its true colors only after they are ruined."
    -- Thucydides

  • #2
    Great thread.

    Sheets has shown he hits best when he is the DH, which stands in sharp contrast to almost every other internal candidate. So he should DH, at least against RHP.

    I think we need to find a LH hitter who hits for average and gets on base to play either RF or 2B. That, then, determines whether we pick up Hernandez’s option or what to do with Engel. If we really want to upgrade both positions I would sign Michael Conforto as a FA for RF, and build a package to acquire Ketel Marte for 2B.

    For 2022, I would like to see Vaughn developed as a corner super-sub. Against LHP he can play 1B, while Abreu is the DH. Vaughn can also spend some time in LF and RF. Vaughn is clearly not good at DHing.

    I would give Rodon the Qualifying Offer and hope he takes it. If that means Keuchel has to go to the bullpen to make room for Kopech in the rotation, so be it.

    Comment


    • #3
      I wouldn't offer Rodon a long-term deal because of his past injuries. However, I would make a 1 or 2 year offer and see what happens. RF and 2B are good positions to see if we can improve. Hernandez has played good "D" but what happens to the power? Cesar hit 20 HRs before joining us and now has 21. I agree that we need more punch in RF and 2B. But before we run out and sign a FA or execute a trade, I would like to know what we do with Vaughn, Sheets, Burger, and Engel. I like Sheets sharing DH and 1B with Abreu. I'm not crazy about Gavin in RF. Also, Vaughn needs to play. He and Engel could share RF plus share LF with Eloy. I don't know what we do with Burger. One problem we have is we have too many players at DH. I think it will be an interesting off-season.


      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Frater Perdurabo View Post
        Great thread.

        Sheets has shown he hits best when he is the DH, which stands in sharp contrast to almost every other internal candidate. So he should DH, at least against RHP.

        I think we need to find a LH hitter who hits for average and gets on base to play either RF or 2B. That, then, determines whether we pick up Hernandez’s option or what to do with Engel. If we really want to upgrade both positions I would sign Michael Conforto as a FA for RF, and build a package to acquire Ketel Marte for 2B.

        For 2022, I would like to see Vaughn developed as a corner super-sub. Against LHP he can play 1B, while Abreu is the DH. Vaughn can also spend some time in LF and RF. Vaughn is clearly not good at DHing.

        I would give Rodon the Qualifying Offer and hope he takes it. If that means Keuchel has to go to the bullpen to make room for Kopech in the rotation, so be it.
        I agree with most of this, especially how RF/2B are in some ways linked because those are the opportunities to get a LH hitter into the lineup. I do think that if the Sox doctors/trainers think that Engel's injuries are a fluke think that aren't likely to reoccur, I'd be okay with him as the primary RF.

        There's a chance that Rodon accepts the QO - teams already will likely be worried by the injury history, so attaching a draft pick to the contract could scare teams off. Of course Rodon/Boras will have to make that evaluation before they get to see what the offers will be, but they might think a 1-year, high AAV "prove-it" deal with the team he's spent his whole career with is pretty attractive. If Rodon does accept it, I can't imagine Keuchel moving to the bullpen though. The Sox would look to move him, even if they have to pay most of his contract.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by ChiTownTrojan View Post

          I agree with most of this, especially how RF/2B are in some ways linked because those are the opportunities to get a LH hitter into the lineup. I do think that if the Sox doctors/trainers think that Engel's injuries are a fluke think that aren't likely to reoccur, I'd be okay with him as the primary RF.

          There's a chance that Rodon accepts the QO - teams already will likely be worried by the injury history, so attaching a draft pick to the contract could scare teams off. Of course Rodon/Boras will have to make that evaluation before they get to see what the offers will be, but they might think a 1-year, high AAV "prove-it" deal with the team he's spent his whole career with is pretty attractive. If Rodon does accept it, I can't imagine Keuchel moving to the bullpen though. The Sox would look to move him, even if they have to pay most of his contract.
          I think Rodin will be looking at as big a multi-year deal as he can get. If that’s 3/60. He’ll take it. I assume someone will go 4/100;minimum figuring it’s worth the risk and not a budget buster if he goes bust…
          Riding Shotgun on the Sox Bandwagon since before there was an Internet...



          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by voodoochile View Post

            I think Rodin will be looking at as big a multi-year deal as he can get. If that’s 3/60. He’ll take it. I assume someone will go 4/100;minimum figuring it’s worth the risk and not a budget buster if he goes bust…
            Zack Wheeler deal is my guess.

            Comment


            • #7
              If Rodon accepts a QO, I will eat my hat. He's a Boras client with a long history of injury: he'll be looking for the longest and richest contract he can get. This may be his only chance to cash in on his talent.
              "Hope...may be indulged in by those who have abundant resources...but those who stake their all upon the venture see it in its true colors only after they are ruined."
              -- Thucydides

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by HomeFish View Post
                If Rodon accepts a QO, I will eat my hat. He's a Boras client with a long history of injury: he'll be looking for the longest and richest contract he can get. This may be his only chance to cash in on his talent.
                Oh, I agree he’s unlikely to accept a QO from us. But the Sox would also be foolish NOT to offer it to him.

                I’m OK negotiating with Boras to sign a longer-term contract with Rodon, but I don’t think I’m willing to break the bank completely. So, for instance, if the Yankees offer 7 years/$175M, I’m not willing to match.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yes, they should offer him the QO, then thank him for his service, politely say that they don't have the budget to pay him what he's made himself worth on the FA market, and tell him that they'll be rooting for him to break the bank with some other team.
                  "Hope...may be indulged in by those who have abundant resources...but those who stake their all upon the venture see it in its true colors only after they are ruined."
                  -- Thucydides

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by voodoochile View Post

                    I think Rodin will be looking at as big a multi-year deal as he can get. If that’s 3/60. He’ll take it. I assume someone will go 4/100;minimum figuring it’s worth the risk and not a budget buster if he goes bust…
                    If someone offers him 4/100, then you wish him well. I'm just very doubtful that any team will offer that, and probably not even 3/60 either. He has 124.2 innings this year, and that's the most he's had since 2016. I don't think a single team is going to be willing to break the bank for a guy whose last healthy season was 5 years ago and who has been on the IL more often than not since then.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ChiTownTrojan View Post

                      If someone offers him 4/100, then you wish him well. I'm just very doubtful that any team will offer that, and probably not even 3/60 either. He has 124.2 innings this year, and that's the most he's had since 2016. I don't think a single team is going to be willing to break the bank for a guy whose last healthy season was 5 years ago and who has been on the IL more often than not since then.
                      I agree. Any multi-year deal seems foolhardy. I think the best way for Rodon to get paid is to do a 1-year “prove it” deal with maybe a player option in case it take more than one more full season to prove it.
                      (Formerly asindc.)

                      "I have the ultimate respect for White Sox fans. They were as miserable as the Cubs and Red Sox fans ever were but always had the good decency to keep it to themselves. And when they finally won the World Series, they celebrated without annoying every other fan in the country." Jim Caple, ESPN (January 12, 2011)

                      "We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the (bleeding) obvious is the first duty of intelligent men." — George Orwell

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JazzyCyclist View Post

                        I agree. Any multi-year deal seems foolhardy. I think the best way for Rodon to get paid is to do a 1-year “prove it” deal with maybe a player option in case it take more than one more full season to prove it.
                        Sox should offer up to 3 years and obviously the QO is a given for the draft pick minimum, but everyone needs pitching and I’m assuming someone will break open a smaller portion of their bank and take a risk.
                        Riding Shotgun on the Sox Bandwagon since before there was an Internet...



                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Krs1 View Post

                          Zack Wheeler deal is my guess.
                          Speaking of good ole' Zack, I wonder if he has any regrets in taking the Philly offer over our WS in 2019 (I think).

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JazzyCyclist View Post

                            I agree. Any multi-year deal seems foolhardy. I think the best way for Rodon to get paid is to do a 1-year “prove it” deal with maybe a player option in case it take more than one more full season to prove it.
                            Just adding to this... I think the Sox are in better position than any other team to trust that the 2021 version of Rodon really is a better and even more durable pitcher than the guy from the previous 5 years. They understand exactly how he has remade his delivery, they have followed his recovery every step of the way and have the most contact with the doctors, etc. But to someone outside the organization, it's a much tougher sell for them to just trust that he is going to be durable going forward when nothing in his history says that will be the case. That's why I really don't see any $100M offers coming his way this offseason. If he accepts a QO for $19M or whatever it is, then he (a) more than doubles his career earnings, and (b) if he proves he can hold up for 160+ innings, he could see some of those multi-year offers come his way.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by voodoochile View Post

                              Sox should offer up to 3 years and obviously the QO is a given for the draft pick minimum, but everyone needs pitching and I’m assuming someone will break open a smaller portion of their bank and take a risk.
                              Another thing is that Rodon won't even be the top LH starter on the market - Robbie Ray has been just as good (if not better) than Rodon over more innings this year, and doesn't have the injury history to worry about.

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