Offseason Plans: The Review

So, because the array of plans submitted are so dense that doubtlessly Rick Hahn has hired a fall semester intern simply to sift through them all and purloin the very wisest moves, I took it upon myself to rank them. Not in wild-eyed, what-did-I-get-myself-into e-gus style, all off-the-cuff with clever ledes and shaky rankings. Nope, this is Scientifically Based.

Which is to say, here's the criteria for this Study:

  1. Spell out all 25 players on the roster (I believe it was e-gus, Kittle bless him, who just listed out his 25-man Christmas list and you know, I'm just too lazy to try to decide who's in his rotation or whatever)
  2. Don't feature a trade that was either lambasted (or: "questioned") in comments or judged (by me, the author of this Scientific Based Study) to be too shady.

If I left you out, all apologies, but I wanted to compare Papelbons to Papelbons and not have to figure out who filled out the roster after Chris Sale was dealt for a case of Wiffleballs. Plans that featured statements like "trade Phegley for, like, a power arm with emotional troubles," or, "ship out Semien for a corner outfielder with a mild drinking problem, just pick one," didn't cut it, either. I needed a clear 25-player roster.

So that whittled the proceedings down to 19 Plans, varying in salary from $66.8 million (by the South Side Scrooge, PeteFitz) to Rhubarb's I-used-a-ballpoint-pen-to-fill-out-my-SATs audacious $114.6 million.

(Salary totals are not including the monies owed Keppy, because who cares, it's Comiskey Cash to all of us, dig.)

(And, let's just tip a cap to the crazy-eyes spending of e-gus, because he blew the bank account far, far better than anyone, getting all Major Market and such.)

The WAR from this Study could have come from many sources, but the cleanest, fairest, least biased would be to take Steamer projections for 2015, the only projections by my eye yet out (making them hopelessly outdated by Opening Day 2015, but still).

(And, when left to discretion -- there were a lot of "Noesi till Rodon's ready" out there -- I inserted Carlos Rodon in the rotation, with an educated-guess WAR of 1.0. Rather than the flaccid, lazy, pessimistic Steamer WAR of 0.0.)

I paid exactly zero attention to Steamer when I put my Plan together, for the record, so don't weep in your helmet nachos over it and think of this as some evil genius concoction designed to let you know how much Better I am at Baseball Things than you. Because, I'm not. larry, maybe. Margalus, yeah, he's cuckoo for la balle au baton. KenWo, hellyeah, better at baseball, or Wrasslin', or something.

Anyway, not me. I like Hawk Harrelson, fer crissake, so I KNOW that disqualifies me.

But enough of my yakkin' --

-- The bottom line is wins, so here are the Plan rankings by (2015 Steamer-projected) WAR:

  1. Chet Lemonhead (34.8 WAR)
  2. AJP (34.5)
  3. Gnix (33.2)
  4. pnoles (32.2)
  5. Mad Manx (31.4)
  6. Rubarb (31.1)/JofpGallagher (31.1)
  7. (tie above)
  8. Soulign1 (30.8)
  9. gibby (29.7)
  10. Lil Jimmy (29.1)
  11. larry (29)/Chisox1023 (29)
  12. (tie above)
  13. Striker (28.8)/Arney (28.8)
  14. (tie above)
  15. DutchySox (28.5)/Rick Hahn Doesn't (aka KarkoVICE SQUAD) (28.5)
  16. (tie above)
  17. ms22 (28.4)
  18. TrooperGalactus (28.1)
  19. Chisoxfan83 (26.9)
  20. PeteFitz (26.1)
  21. Rebuild (25.6)
  22. JoseValentin (24.7)

But given that there was such a range of 2015 payrolls, because some of you want to leave money unspent in order to get the manager's bonus and be treated like a king with $600 at Burlington Coat Factory, the TRUE test of wits (not wins, not pennants, but sabermetric, supergeeked, pasty-white wits) would be something I'll call WAR per dollar (more accurately, WAR per million dollars). Here's that list:

  1. PeteFitz (.3910 WAR per million)
  2. AJP (.3520)
  3. Gnix (.3489)
  4. Chet Lemonhead (.3417)
  5. gibby (.3364)
  6. larry (.3359)
  7. Lil Jimmy (.3341)
  8. Rick Hahn Doesn't (aka KarkoVICE SQUAD) (.3326)
  9. DutchySox (.3314)
  10. pnoles (.3297)
  11. Chisox1023 (.3253)
  12. ms22 (.3182)
  13. JofpGallagher (.3041)
  14. Soulign1 (.3036)
  15. Striker (.3033)
  16. MadManx (.3011)
  17. Chisoxfan83 (.3004)
  18. Arney (.2993)
  19. TrooperGalactus (.2872)
  20. JoseValentin (.2787)
  21. Rebuild (.2744)
  22. Rhubarb (.2713)

So you can draw some conclusions, aside from the fact that I've got some time on my hands waiting to close on my new house in Florida. Rhubarb, for example, used a whole crapload of money to get WAR -- not super-efficient, but he got him some WAR all righty. Rebuild's rebuild wasn't too rebuildy, because it used money least efficiently (as opposed to stingy PeteFitz, who made dollars stretch and get on back there).

Keep in mind, we were all on our honor here, so at times players were signed at pretty bargain-basement rates.

If AJP paid our market values for guys (a million less for McCarthy, three million more for Headley) his WAR/$ drops to .342, still stellar. MadManx bid pretty low on Miller ($8 mil), Headley ($13.25), Butler ($6) and high on Aoki ($10).

Headley really got lowballed by our Plans. If you raise him to his likely $17 million per season, Pete Fitz drops his WAR/$ to .364, larry falls to .324, and pnoles to .320.

Because Steamer hasn't evaluated every player, I applied some logical WAR estimates: Jared Burton (0.1), Neal Cotts (0.3), Jumbo Diaz (0.3), Alex Dickerson (0.2), Onelki Garcia (0.2), Luke Gregerson (0.3), Jason Hammel (1.5), Nick Hundley (0.3), Micah Johnson (0.3), Zach Lee (0.2), Nyjer Morgan (0.1), Tyler Saldino (-0.2), Geovany Soto (0.3), Joe Thatcher (0.1), Trayce Thompson (0.1).

If you combine overall WAR and WAR/$ efficiencies, here's the rankings:

  1. AJP (combined ranking: 4)
  2. Chet Lemonhead (5)
  3. Gnix (6)
  4. pnoles (14)/Gibby (14)
  5. (tie above)
  6. larry (17)/Lil Jimmy (17)
  7. (tie above)
  8. JofpGallagher (19)
  9. MadManx (21)/PeteFitz (21)
  10. (tie above)
  11. Chisox 1023 (22)/Soulign1 (22)
  12. (tie above)
  13. Rick Hahn Doesn't (aka KarkoVICE SQUAD) (23)
  14. DutchySox (24)
  15. Striker (28)/Rhubarb (28)
  16. (tie above)
  17. ms22 (29)
  18. Arney (31)
  19. Chisoxfan83 (36)
  20. TrooperGalactus (37)
  21. Rebulid (42)/Jose Valentin (42)

So it appears that AJP wins the day in a squeaker over Gniz and yours truly. But, your mileage may vary, and you might just hate my friggin' guts for overanalyzing your 10-minute stroll through the park in November.

Below, you may commence dissing the Study and plotting murder over my skipping your plans/silently judging one or more of your trades to be a bit too Amanda Bynesian/overuse of caps/murderous employment of parentheses. Dis on, South Side brothers.

(p.s. in case you have not heard, the Miracle Royals just punked all of you who thought you could count on Moises Sierra roaming the pasture at USCF next season.)

(p.p.s. apparently Mark Buehrle is on the block, so the couple of you who submitted plans with Buehrle trades I initially dismissed, feel free to scoff me and raise your hand, so I can include you in the Study.)

(p.p.p.s. the post Winter Meetings Rick Hahn Offseason Plan—a.k.a. the Actual White Sox Plan—puts him at around $99 million in payroll for 29.1 WAR, or .2935 WAR per million. Glancing above, Rick would finish tied for 10th with Lil Jimmy with that 29.1 total WAR. Rick's .2935 WAR per million puts him in 19th place, ahead of only TrooperGalactus, JoseValentin, Rebuild, and Rhubarb.)

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