Like last year, the guys at Royals Review started up a simulation for the Hot Stove. One person from each site takes over their club for a week and craziness ensues. Last year, I did pretty well. I brought in the likely NL MVP in Andrew McCutchen and one of the games best rookie pitchers in Tony Cingrani.
This year, I wasted no time getting started again.
The first moves were to pick up or decline the options. Matt Lindstrom was the only White Sox player that had one, but unlike Rick Hahn, I politely declined his option.
Then we had to decide if we were going to offer arbitration to our eligible players. I offered it to Gordon Beckham, Alejandro De Aza and Dayan Viciedo. Tyler Flowers and David Purcey were not offered arbitration and became free agents.
Then the trading frenzy started. I was immediately offered Dom Brown for Chris Sale, which I immediately declined. Realizing that the White Sox need an exciting every day player with monster tools, I offered Sale to the Dodgers for Yasiel Puig. The Dodger GM accepted and I was thrilled.
The next move was to find a catcher. I didn't like the way things were going when Brian McCann signed a 6/$110 MM deal with the Rangers. I offered A.J. Pierzynski a one-year deal worth $9 MM with an option for next year, but he declined and signed with the Twins for 2/$16. I then offered Dioner Navarro a 2/$10 deal which he accepted. He will now be the main backstop with Josh Phegley taking on back up duties.
After that, I focused on making sure Jose Abreu came aboard. Things got a little dicey as the Marlins GM ran up the price, but ultimately a 6/$80MM deal got the job done. Abreu now joins fellow Cubans Puig, Viciedo and Ramirez in the White Sox lineup.
Conor Gillaspie was probably an odd man out here in Chicago. Marcus Semien is in line to take over the third base job and Gillaspie was out of options, so he needed to be moved. There is a hole in the White Sox bullpen, so GM KenWo filled it a little bit by acquiring Ryan Pressly from the Twins for Gillaspie.
But that left a problem. I still had Jeff Keppinger on my roster and seeing as how I really don't care for him, when the Royals GM came calling I had another move in me. Good Ol Keppy was sent with RP Kevin Vance to the Royals in exchange for Big Train Guthrie and Sam Selman. Guthrie will join the back end of the Sox rotation.
We were willing to eat a little bit of cash on Guthrie in order to acquire Selman, who immediately becomes a top pitching prospect for the White Sox.
There are still some moves to be made. I will keep those interested informed on this thread.