(Don't hate on me if this sounds off-the-wall stupid. This is is my first time doing one of these so I may have some crazy things on here)
Arbitration-eligible (with projected salaries from MLBTR):
* Todd Frazier, $13.5M - Tender
* Brett Lawrie, $5.1M - Tender
* Avisail Garcia, $3.5M - Non-tender
* Miguel Gonzalez, $2.6M - Tender
* Dan Jennings, $1.2M - Tender
* J.B. Shuck, $1M - Non-tender
* Jake Petricka, $900K - Tender
* Zach Putnam, $900K - Tender
* Daniel Webb, $600K - Tender
Honestly I think these are all no-brainers. We need the bullpen help and both Shuck Garcia have been disappointing. 'Nuff said.
Contract options (pick up or buy out)
* Matt Albers: $3M for 2017 or a $250,000 buyout - Buyout. Sorry, Matt. I'll always remember that beautiful game in New York.
Impending free agents (re-sign, let go or qualifying offer)
* Austin Jackson: Made $5 million in 2016. - Let go
* Alex Avila: Made $2.5 million in 2016. - Let go
* Justin Morneau: Made $1 million in 2016, although he signed during the season. - Let go
Morneau did good for us, but he doesn't fit in my plan. Avila was underwhelming and Austin Jackson is too expensive for what he's worth.
1. Edwin Encarnacion (3 years, $75 million)
I once caught a home run ball from Encarnacion at a Royals game. The following season I watched a few of his postseason games and realized that he is in fact a very good baseball player. Sure, he's 33 and by the end of my proposed contract 36, but having both Frazier and Encarnacion in the same lineup makes me feel good inside.
2. Dexter Fowler (2 years, $20 million)
We need some serious help in OF. Fowler is a pretty solid option and it would be great to win the Crosstown Cup for the 4th straight year with the current Cub.
3. A.J. Pierzynski (1 year, $1.5 million)
Don't stop believing. A.J. can still catch and could serve as a back up to Derek Norris. Plus, A.J. has about a year left in the tank, can help Reneteria with the clubhouse, and is a fan favorite. I guarantee that no one on the South Side wants to see A.J. retire as a backup to Tyler Flowers.
4. Daniel Hudson (1 year, $2 million)
We need depth in the bullpen and Hudson has had an acceptable time in Arizona. We know who he is, he knows who we are, and I recently got into a short Twitter conversation with him over the Washington Redskins vs. Cincinnati Bengals game. Why not?
5. Brett Cecil (2 year, $6.5 million)
2016 was not a good year for Cecil. He earned a 3.93 ERA in 54 for a 1-7 record, but you should never underestimate the power of Don Cooper. If Coop were to lead both Shields and Cecil to bounceback years, no doubt he would be getting a lifelong extension from Jerry.
1. David Robertson to the San Diego Padres for Derek Norris and Brad Hand
Sure, David Robertson racked up 37 saves in 2016, but he also blew a lot too. God, did he blow some saves. In this trade we get a pretty good catcher and another young arm for the bullpen. The Padres have too many catchers so there's a good chance they'll deal one this offseason. Hand, however, has a role in San Diego. He pitched 82 games and 89.1 innings in 2016 earning a 2.92 ERA and a 4-4 record. Robertson would be an upgrade to the bullpen in San Diego, so this could probably happen. But again, I'm new to this type of thing so maybe this trade is total trash.
Eaton - RF
Fowler - CF
Abreu - 1B
Encarnación - DH
Frazier - 3B
Cabrera - LF
Anderson - SS
Lawrie - 2B
Norris - C
Bench: Saladino, Pierzynski, Sanchez, Tilson
There you have it. My very first offseason plan. I'm guessing that absolutely none of this actually happens and I get absolutely trashed in the comments. Unfortunately for Jerry Reinsdorf, he would have to open his pockets for Fowler and Encarnacion, but if he did it with the Bulls (Wade, Rondo) than why shouldn't he with the White Sox? Our division is not easy. The Indians are in the World Series, and the Royals and Tigers are still contending. But basically I tried filling in some holes instead of tearing everything down to start rebuilding. I'm not sure how much money I spent, and I imagine it's over the budget, but hopefully Jerry learns that if you want to compete you need to open your wallet. God forbid he watches Moneyball with Brad Pitt.
Follow me on Twitter to tell me how bad you think this plan is: @GrandPaGames