FanPost

Trooper Galactus’s Offseason Plan

Like the team, I went the rebuild route last year, and while my trade ideas were a bit zany, we nevertheless wound up with several of the prospects I had targeted, including Yoan Moncada. Much as I'd like to get cute with this and start building up to contention, I think it's best to stay the course for 2018, grab prospects wherever possible, and dumpster dive in an attempt to strike gold. Didn't put a ton of effort into this one, but I think it at least passes the test for being reasonable and a logical step forward for the organization.

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.

Explain the toughest calls if necessary:

Abreu, Avi, Yolmer,Leury, and Rodon are pretty much no-brainers; they all have more than earned the money due them. I'm amenable to extending a contract to Abreu for big money; if anybody deserves to be our first nine figure signing, it's him. He's emerged as a leader, mentor, and one of the best all around hitters in the league. Even if he can't keep hacking it at first, he'll be a solid DH. Farquhar strikes me as a good gamble as his numbers were not horrific and he had an excellent track record of being a high strikeout pitcher before his control went south in 2017. I'd sign him to trade him, but wouldn't be upset if they kept him. I tender Alburquerque with the intent to flip him as well, though he was effective in his comeback and I'm not averse to keeping him in the bullpen if a trade can't be pulled off. Putnam and Petricka are non-tenders, but I'm still offering them contracts reflective of their injury and performance histories. They're worthwhile gambles, but neither has earned what they're due in arbitration with all the time they've spent on the DL. If they can get away with that with Farquhar and Alburquerque also, great.

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

Elaborate if needed:

Soto is superfluous on the roster and the team is just as well off seeing if Narvaez and Smith can develop further. Pelfrey has posted one good season in the last five and showed us absolutely nothing in 2017; he isn't worth a roster spot and is a minor league signing at best.

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 explanation.

No. 1: Anthony Swarzak (two years, $7M, vesting option for third year at 100 IP in 2018-19 for $6 million with $500k buyout). Don Cooper worked some excellent magic on Swarzak, and I wouldn't mind seeing him back on the South Side given he sustained his success in Milwaukee. He hasn't established the track record to get huge money, but if he can maintain this level of production he'll be more than worth it and could be a big trade chip if the White Sox want to keep loading up in the minors. At worst, he can be a high leverage arm in a bullpen that is sorely lacking them.

No. 2: Colby Rasmus (two years, $15M).

Rasmus is coming off an injured season and was not very good in 2016, so his price should be pretty low and this should be more than sufficient to attract him. At his best he's a 20-homer threat who can man all three outfield positions pretty competently, and if he can return to even close to what he was a couple years ago this will be a really good buy and a potential flip candidate. While I'm not the biggest fan of Rasmus, he seems like a good low risk/high reward signing who can at least prevent the team from tossing more career infielders into the outfield in 2018.

No. 3: Alex Cobb (two years, $18 million, team option for third year at $12 million).

I'm throwing this contract number at the wall as I'm not sure exactly what the market will be for Cobb, but he posted a pretty healthy season (29 starts, 179 innings) for the first time since 2014. Once an ace in the offing, he's probably not going to reach the heights he once seemed capable of, but I think what remains is still a potentially solid pitcher who's worth taking a gamble on. The money won't be crippling, and if healthy, again, he can be a very good flip candidate if things swing our way. If there's competition, I'd be willing to add a couple million each year of the deal.

No. 4: Jake Petricka and Zack Putnam ($900k and $1.1 million, respectively).

Neither guy has earned a big raise in arbitration, but both are worth offering another chance in my book. Of course, the White Sox are privy to medical info on them I'm not, so if there are red flags I'm not aware of, I wouldn't blame them for non-tendering either or only offering minor league contracts.

No. 5: Adam Lind (4 years, $60 million).

Because signing lefty-hitting, thirty-something, free agent first basemen named Adam from the Nationals has worked out so well for us. No, I am not serious, disregard this signing.

Trades

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

No. 1: Trade Avisail Garcia, Al Alburquerque, and Danny Farquhar to the Colorado Rockies for Ryan McMahon, Colton Welker, Daniel Montano, and Breiling Eusebio. Now that Avi has finally established some value, I'm gonna try to sell him as best I can. He provides a direct replacement for the departing CarGo in right field and his power numbers could spike drastically in Coors. Yes, they have a couple of young outfielders who could step up, but I think if they're going to go for broke they don't want to lean too much on them yet. The best part is that Avi's remaining control lines up perfectly with Arenado's, so they'll be all in for 2018-19 and can sell off at the 2019 deadline if things don't fall their way. This is also appealing for the Rockies because they keep their top two prospects and don't have to give up any of their oh-so-precious pitching prospects. I tossed in Alburquerque and Farquhar since the Rockies are probably going to want to load up on pitching depth, and while neither is going to wow anybody, look to be steady performers. If I can talk them into taking Matt Purke instead of either one of them, great, but not sure they'd go for that unless they were trying to save the money.

In return, we get McMahon, a top-50 prospect, as the centerpiece. I think the Rockies would be willing to part with him as they have a pretty crowded infield situation and McMahon is likely only able to play first on a regular basis, and with Ian Desmond it's unlikely that position will be open for him to take over any time soon. McMahon is MLB ready, a good lefty bat with solid power production and on-base skills, and he can at least back up second and third while bouncing between 1B and DH with Abreu (if he's forced to play third every day, I think we will get very angry with him very quickly). Welker is ranked near Jake Burger in the pantheon of third base prospects (MLB has him at #6 vs. Burger at #8). Less power production, but ostensibly a better bat, and at worst he doesn't have questions about being able to stick at the hot corner. He's probably two or three years away, but a good depth piece. Montano is a long-term project who will turn 19 before the 2018 season kicks off. Nothing stands out about him at the moment, but I think he's worth taking a chance on to see if he matures physically into better tools. As for Eusebio, he's a lefty ground ball pitcher with average to solid offerings all around, the kind of guy the White Sox just love to develop. His ceiling is limited, but I think he has a good chance to develop into a LAIM with our organization.

Summary

ROTATION

RHP - James Shields

RHP - Lucas Giolito

RHP - Alex Cobb

RHP - Reynaldo Lopez

RHP - Carson Fulmer

Yes, I know they're all right handed, and no, I don't care. If Giolito, Lopez, and Fulmer can all take a step forward and Cobb can continue returning to his old form, this could be a halfway decent unit (Shields seems competent at best, and a candidate for the scrap heap at worst). As it stands, I expect there to be plenty of growing pains and a lot of patience required. At worst, reinforcements of varying quality will be available in the minors (Kopech, Danish, Hansen, Adams, Stephens, Guerrero).

BULLPEN

CL - Juan Minaya

RHP - Anthony Swarzak

RHP - Gregory Infante

RHP - Jake Petricka

RHP - Zack Putnam

LHP - Aaron Bummer

LHP - David Holmberg

I'm not sure if Jones will be available by Opening Day, so I didn't include him here. Meanwhile, I keep Holmberg around just because he was able to make the occasional spot start and should be able to fill in some innings. If Petricka or Putnam isn't ready to go, I guess Chris Beck (ugh) or Michael Ynoa (also, ugh) can be tossed in as well. Crud, maybe I should have signed another reliever. At least Zack Burdi should be ready for a call up in the summer....hopefully....maybe....this is depressing.

LINEUP

2B - Yoan Moncada

1B - Jose Abreu

RF - Colby Rasmus

DH - Ryan McMahon

CF - Leury Garcia

LF - Nicky Delmonico

C - Omar Narvaez / Kevan Smith

SS - Tim Anderson

3B - Yolmer Sanchez

Aside from Delmonico in left, the defense in the field (particularly the infield) should be pretty good, and could be excellent if Timmay and Yoyo can keep developing their glovework. I don't expect the offense to be highly productive (I have my doubts about Nicky), but the top half of the order should be pretty darn good.

BENCH

OF - Adam Engel

C - Omar Narvaez / Kevan Smith

UT - Alen Hanson

OF - Willy Garcia

Man, I wish Engel could hit, because that glove is incredible. Ah well, fourth outfielder and defensive replacement at worst, I guess. I felt bad letting Salad go, and it's not like I'm a big fan of Hanson, but he's younger, healthier, and has tools which could yet bear greater fruit. Best of luck to Salad in finding a good landing spot, though. Willy Garcia doesn't seem a good bet for big production, but he at least seems a good bet for competence, and his time is probably short once Jimenez starts knocking down the door.

With the free agent additions, I expect this roster to come in at around $90 million, give or take. We're really just hoping for this first wave of prospects (Anderson, Giolito, Lopez, Moncada, Fulmer) to keep developing and approaching their full potential while maybe getting a surprise breakout from somebody else (Delmonico? Smith? Minaya?). We're really biding our time until late May/early June when I expect Jimenez and Kopech to begin the next wave of talent from the system. It might not be a winning year, but it should be every big as interesting as the last.

EDIT: I didn't make any mention of several players coming off injury. To be sure, Cordell and Tilson are both in the outfield mix, but I think they could use some time to re-establish themselves in AAA before getting a call-up (gives Willy Garcia and Engel a chance to maybe build on their rookie years as well). I have no idea when Jones or Rodon will be available, but I worked on the assumption that Putnam would be ready on Opening Day. If his health is still completely up in the air, I'm all for cutting bait with him (and Petricka as well) and trying to get another free agent reliever or two (Norris? Cishek?).

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