Welcome to the offseason, and welcome to the fourth installment of the South Side Sox White Sox Offseason Plan Project. For the first time, it seems like there isn’t a path to contention. Rick Hahn was fairly adamant about the first couple of years requiring patience, and so the White Sox will likely be hunting the bargain bin and making other low-risk moves that won’t block the next wave of minor-league talent.
You can choose differently in our Offseason Plan Project, which heads into its fourth season growing in popularity.
The contend-or-rebuild question hung over the proceedings, which may have contributed to the jump. This time around, with most of the major players traded, there’s only one direction to go ... unless you trade the best players remaining.
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,” copy and paste the template below into the text editor 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. The payroll will be a little south of $75 million if all arb-eligible players are brought back at their projected costs. I’ll set the payroll limit at $110 million. That’s high for an ostensibly rebuilding season, but I want to build in room should a plan somehow appeal to Jerry Reindorf’s impatient side.
*MLB Trade Rumors has a list of the 2017-18 MLB free agents. Note the players with options and exercise logic in whether the team will exercise those options (for example, the Astros will likely exercise Jose Altuve’s option).
Start here, have fun, and stay safe out there.
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[Insert your name]’s Offseason Plan
Arbitration-eligible (with projected salaries from MLBTR):
Write "tender" or "non-tender" after each of the following names. Note that you can trade before or after tendering a contract, and that players can also be extended.
- Jose Abreu, $17.9M
- Avisail Garcia, $6.7M
- Yolmer Sanchez, $2.1M
- Carlos Rodon, $2.0M
- Danny Farquhar, $1.5M
- Zach Putnam, $1.4M
- Leury Garcia, $1.2M
- Jake Petricka, $1.1M
- Al Alburquerque, $1.1M
Explain the toughest calls if necessary:
Impending free agents (re-sign, let go or qualifying offer)
- Geovany Soto: Made $2 million in 2017
- Mike Pelfrey: Made $8 million in 2017
Elaborate if needed:
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 explanation. A good-bad example:
No. 1: Gordon Beckham (three years, $15M). He spent the entire year in Triple-A before a September call-up, so his batteries should be recharged.
Propose trades that you think sound reasonable for both sides, and the rationale behind them. A good-bad example:
No. 1: Trade Yoan Moncada to the Red Sox for Chris Sale. No need for a second baseman now that Gordon Beckham is back, and the pitching staff is going to need somebody to throw a lot of innings.
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.
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 (center field, pitching staff) 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 2018 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.