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The South Side Sox 2016-17 White Sox Offseason Plan Project

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Rebuild or reload? The decision is yours to make

Detroit Tigers v Chicago White Sox Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images

Now that we thoroughly came to terms with the White Sox’ 10 worst losses of the 2016 season, renewal can begin.

Welcome to the third installment of the South Side Sox White Sox Offseason Plan Project.

Two years ago, I put together a template that covered the necessary decisions that lay ahead for the White Sox with a Choose Your Own Offseason option afterward, and was surprised to see more than 40 plans constructed in response. So I did it again last year, and the SSS community combined to post 91(!) of them, which was incredible. I think it now qualifies as “back by popular demand,” and with buying and selling looking equally tempting this time around, the plans could be more varied than ever.

If you’re new to this, welcome. The template below starts by tying up loose ends on the White Sox roster. After that, the floor is open for trades and signings, and you have the entire league and free agent market at your disposal.

Here are some instructions and guidelines for your rosterbating pleasure.

*Copy and paste the template into a FanPost. If you’ve never written a FanPost, you’ll have the option if you’re a registered member of SSS. Once logged in, CTRL-F "Write a FanPost" or "Post your own" and go to town. Here’s a good example of a finished product from last year.

*Cot’s Baseball Contracts has the White Sox’ payroll obligations. I’ll set the payroll limit at $130 million. That’s a little lower than the $135 million limit I set last year, but the Sox didn’t come close to it. And while that’s higher than they’ve ever gone, they’d at least have to breach the $120 million threshold to field a credible contender. Thank James Shields for that one.

*MLB Trade Rumors has a list of the 2016-17 MLB free agents. Note the players with options and exercise logic in whether the team will exercise those options (for example, Jonathan Lucroy will not actually reach free agency this time around).

Start here and have fun.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ✂️ [cut along the perforated line] ✂️ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

[Insert your name]’s Offseason Plan

Arbitration-eligible (with projected salaries from MLBTR):

Write "tender" or "non-tender" after each of the following names. Two notes: 1) You can trade before or after tendering a contract, and 2) we’ll just assume Jose Abreu is in the fold for roughly $11 million regardless of whether he chooses the arb route.

  • Todd Frazier, $13.5M
  • Brett Lawrie, $5.1M
  • Avisail Garcia, $3.5M
  • Miguel Gonzalez, $2.6M
  • Dan Jennings, $1.2M
  • J.B. Shuck, $1M
  • Jake Petricka, $900K
  • Zach Putnam, $900K
  • Daniel Webb, $600K

Explain the toughest calls if necessary:

Contract options (pick up or buy out)

  • Matt Albers: $3M for 2017 or a $250,000 buyout

Impending free agents (re-sign, let go or qualifying offer)

  • Austin Jackson: Made $5 million in 2016.
  • Alex Avila: Made $2.5 million in 2016.
  • Justin Morneau: Made $1 million in 2016, although he signed during the season.

Elaborate if needed:

Free agents

Peruse the list of potential free agents and name two (or more) you would pursue, the max offer you would extend to them, and a brief explainer. A good-bad example:

No. 1: Gordon Beckham (three years, $15M). He wasn’t any better in Atlanta than he was with the White Sox, but 30 is the new 20. He can play second base after trading Lawrie.

Trades

Propose two (or more) trades that you think sound reasonable for both sides, and the rationale behind them. A good-bad example:

No. 1: Trade Chris Sale to the Braves for Tyler Flowers. White Sox solve their catcher problems, Braves get a starter for their new stadium, and it evokes an image of ships passing in the night.

It may be hard to completely filter out the homer or fantasy baseball player in you, but try your best to keep the suggestions sane.

Summary

If you end up with a concrete 25-man roster, feel free to list it with as much detail as you have. The more detail, the better. What's more important, though, is describing how you resolved key positions, whether they're ones we know (catcher, outfield, bullpen) or previously stable areas you altered on your own with a shocking trade, capped by a sense of the payroll required.

For some, part of the game might be trying to guess as much of the 2017 roster as possible. But really, you don't need to be a comprehensive roster architect to participate, because you might have one idea that gets people talking, and that's just as worth it. You can also borrow ideas if you like them to fill out your plan, because I’m also interested in which players are the most popular for potential solutions.

The point of this project is to survey the community and consider as many realistic players and angles as possible before the Sox start making the moves that count.