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South Side Sox Value Survey: Late July

Carlos Rodón has a stranglehold on the SV title for the team, while Yoán and TA duke it out among the hitters

Houston Astros v Chicago White Sox
Carlos Rodón is strolling his way to a 2021 SV title for the White Sox.
Ron Vesely/Getty Images

We have reached nearly the two-thirds point of the season, so it’s time to kick out another edition of our value survey for 2021.

Last year, GM Rick Hahn basically didn’t help the White Sox, nor hurt them, with his moves. These value surveys, which in theory come every 18-19 days this season (heh), attempt to identify where Hahn is getting bargains this season — as well as where he may not have spent wisely.

Through Friday, we’re at the 62.5% calendar mark on the season. The White Sox are now up to 24 players providing positive surplus value (SV), with another 19 posting negative value (including some very brief appearances, in addition to Jimmy Cordero, and Eloy Jiménez, who have yet to play this season).

[Based on a league payroll of $3,889,710,330, 1.0 WAR is valued at $3,889,710.33. By prorating salary, we can subtract salary paid from each player’s dollar war value to generate SV. FanGraphs uses player values that are based on open-market, free-agency WAR value, which is roughly double our “real-life” SV. While FG’s measure suits their stat-board needs, ours is more real-world.]

The continued excellence of Carlos Rodón has allowed him to pad his team lead, to the extent where he has nearly double the SV of anyone else on the team. Hard Karl has reached nearly $13.5 million SV (almost paying off next year’s extension money, Rick!). Meanwhile, Yoán Moncada is holding steady in first place among position players, with the highest average WAR (aWAR) and pushing $8 million SV. Tim Anderson is right on Yoán’s heels, proving there’s at least a race on the position player side.

Dallas Keuchel, passing $8 million in negative SV as of this report, is the lone holdout on the club who is providing truly bad value.

  • Andrew Vaughn is now the fourth-best value on the club and is on pace to move into third before year’s end. All at a brand-new position, and never having played above High-A. Wow.
  • How lucky have the White Sox been with their position players? There are only three bad values on the books, two (José Abreu and Yasmani Grandal) the product of high salary, the other (Adam Eaton) is now released.
  • With Nick Madrigal out for the season, we can pretty accurately estimate his end-of-year SV at about $5 million, extremely impressive.
  • For both Moncada and Tim Anderson to continue providing positive value, even as their yearly salaries move upward, is also very impressive. TERRIFIC gambles on the part of White Sox management in extending them.
  • Gavin Sheets and Jake Burger, with scant time on the team, have both provided more than $1.1 SV. It’s a magical season.
  • Dylan Cease’s 0.2 offensive WAR, fueled by his 3-for-3 performance in Cincinnati, still places equal to or ahead of six hitters who have played at least a game on the active roster this season.
  • Last survey, four-fifths of the starting rotation — Carlos Rodón, Lance Lynn, Lucas Giolito and Cease — added $11.5 million SV in this second fifth of the season. This last month or so, all five rotation members added plus-SV, totaling $14.75 million. These starters have been a godsend this season.

White Sox vs. average team breakdown

To offer perspective on how the White Sox are doing relative to the league, we compare Chicago to a generic “average” MLB team (average payroll, average WAR production). The White Sox are doing a little better than than that club when it comes to overall value this season:

The average MLB team has 19.3 WAR, which is $75,120,031 in value. Subtracting average team salary of $81,035,632, average team SV is -$5,915,601.

The White Sox have 32.3 WAR, which is $125,443,158 in value. Subtracting White Sox salary of $86,611,785, White Sox SV is $38,831,373.

So, the White Sox are 12.9 WAR better than an average team, which is $50,323,127 more in value. Despite spending just $5,576,153 more so far than an average team, the White Sox are getting $44,746,975 more in SV than an average team.

That is, simply, BRILLIANT.

Another way to look at it, on a per-day basis the White Sox are getting $389,104.13 more SV from its roster than the average major league team.


Quick Peeks

Top Hitter SV Yoán Moncada, $7,613,617
Top Pitcher SV Carlos Rodón, $13,489,356
Lowest Hitter SV José Abreu, -$4,623,853
Lowest Pitcher SV Dallas Keuchel, -$8,527,203
Biggest Hitter SV Gain Tim Anderson, $3,768,978
Biggest Pitcher SV Gain Carlos Rodón, $5,704,131
Biggest Hitter SV Fall Danny Mendick, -$1,631,146
Biggest Pitcher SV Fall Matt Foster, -$997,862