SouthSideSox runs a great off-season project every year, providing a nice template to the off-season and crowdsourcing suggestions. I already gave a look at the 2017 Chicago White Sox Outlook, but that was more of me giving a realistic look at there I think the 2017 White Sox might stand. This project allows you to be the Rick Hahn and oversee the entire off-season. Due to the sox middle of the road situation, I think you can really go a number of ways with this project, and so I will do just that. This post, part 1, will be my plan. Part 2 will a piece of satire, the “Drunk Jerry and Kenny Williams plan” where we are 100% ending up with Carlos Beltran. And Part 3 will be a re-build.

Charlie’s Offseason Plan

Arbitration-eligible (with projected salaries from MLBTR):

Write “tender” or “non-tender” after each of the following names.

  • 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- Non-Tender

Explain the toughest calls if necessary:

         Not any real tough calls. Bye Avi.

Contract options (pick up or buy out)

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

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

Elaborate if needed:

         I would take any of them on minor league deals for depth.

Free agents

No. 1: Jason Castro, 3 years $27 million.

Carlos Rodon and Chris Sale need catchers who can frame. I am counting on Rodon making a big jump this year into a bonafide #2 starter so I need to give him a catcher he deserves. Castro is that guy. Castro can be our catcher even in a rebuild so I don’t mind throwing some cash at him. I see 3 years $27 million as his absolute salary ceiling so I am using that contract because he is that important to me. Carlos Rodon can be a superstar with Castro.

No. 2: Rajai Davis, 1 year $6 million.

         Davis offers some much needed speed for this sox team. He can play all over the outfield which helps and I doubt the Indians bring him back with Brantley returning and Naquin emerging. I don’t want to start the year relying on Charlie Tilson to be a starting CF, that’s classic White Sox.

No. 3: Brett Anderson, 2 years $20 million.

         This is a risk as Anderson is coming off injury, but it’s a risk worth taking. Entering the year with James Shields as the 5th starter is unacceptable. Lets hope Herm can keep Anderson healthy and he returns to form. With a healthy Anderson as the #4 starter the Sox would have a terrific rotation. Also I don’t fully trust Miggy to not regress this year so Anderson is insurance against Miggy needing to be replaced mid season (see Mat Latos, John Danks). We are giving him 2 years because we have to convince him to play for the Chicago White Sox.

No. 4: Boone Logan, 2 years, $11 million.

         Bullpen needs a LOOGY. Logan is a LOOGY. Sometimes its that easy.

No. 5: Logan Morrison, 1 year, $5 million.

         I want depth and a bench with real major leaguers.

Trades

No. 1: Trade (RP) David Robertson to the Los Angeles Dodgers for (OF) Andrew Toles and (C) Austin Barnes.

         This is part salary dump part youth movement. Barnes battles Narvaez for the right to be the backup catcher and the other gets work in at Charlotte. Toles adds some speed and can compete with Charlie Tilson for playing time in the OF. I don’t need Robertson on the books with Jones and Burdi. I would rather spend that $ on bats (see trade #3)

No. 2: Trade (SP) Spencer Adams and (SP) Jordan Geurrero to the Miami Marlins for (2B) Derek Dietrich.

         I have a feeling Miami sells off Dietrich this summer, as he doesn’t fit in their infield and they might have to be sellers after their tragic loss of their franchise cornerstone. Dietrich would be the perfect fit for the White Sox, as he can crush righties (.852 OPS) and slid in at 2B. I have to give up a fringe top 100 prospect and an interesting lefty in Guerrero but the Sox develop pitching I’m not that worried. Dietrich has tons of arb years left so he can factor in to the Sox long term plans.

No. 3: Trade (2B) Brett Lawrie and (3B) Trey Michalczewski to the New York Mets for (OF) Curtis Granderson.

         Granderson slides to LF and Melky DH’s. Somebody has to go for the Mets between Bruce, Granderson and Conforto, so I while guess it’s the highest salary of the three, which is Granderson. We bring Granderson home and he hits 30 HR’s in the AL Central. The Mets need someone who can replace Neil Walker at 2B or David Wright at 3B so we give them Lawrie for 2017 and Trey for the future. And they get salary relief.

Summary

  1. Tim Anderson (SS) min
  2. Adam Eaton (RF) $4 million
  3. Jose Abreu (1B) $11 million
  4. Curtis Granderson (LF) $15 million
  5. Todd Frazier (3B) $13 million
  6. Melky Cabrera (DH) $15 million
  7. Derek Deitrich (2B) $1 million
  8. Jason Castro (C) $10 million
  9. Rajai Davis (CF) $6 million

Bench:

Andrew Toles, (OF) min

Austin Barnes/Omar Narvaez (C) min

Tyler Saladino (IF) min

Charlie Tilson (OF) or Carlos Sanchez (IF) min

Logan Morrison (1B) $5 million

Pitchers
1. Chris Sale $12 million

2 Jose Quintana $7 million

3. Carlos Rodon min

4. Miguel Gonzalez $1 million

5. Brett Anderson $10 million

RP- Zach Putnam $1 million

RP- Jake Petricka $1 million

RP- Dan Jennings (L) $1 million

RP- Zach Burdi min

RP- Boone Logan (L) $5 million

RP- Nate Jones $1.9 million

Payroll~ $125 million

I set out to improve this White Sox team for one last 2017 push without disregarding the future and I think I did that. I held onto Fulmer and Collins, our two best prospects, along with the #12 pick. All the players we acquired either have marginal long term commitment or will be useful during a rebuild such as Jason Castro and Derek Dietrich. In turn, the only part of our team that got worse was the bullpen, but that can easily be upgraded at the deadline if we are in it. Anyways, I see Fulmer as a mid-season move of its own, as I think he ultimately ends up being a dominant late innings guy with Burdi long term. Our own Miller and Allen late game. My White Sox team is way deeper than years past, with actual bench players like Saladino, Toles and Morrison rather than Shuck, Avila and Garcia. I also added left handed hitters in Granderson and Deitrich that should thrive on the righty-heavy AL central. And last but not least I fired James Shields into the moon and replaced him with Brett Anderson who could become a massive upgrade. Overall I think this team can contend for an AL central title and if not has the flexibility to blow up at the deadline, which is what I wanted. Instead of dropping $ on a long term deal on Fowler I get 1 year of Granderson which allows a total tear down at the deadline to still play.  And if we are in contention we can easily dangle Fulmer for a lockdown bullpen arm and enter October with Sale, Q, Rodon and a solid bullpen. That is a formula for October success.

Upgrades:

 

C: Castro over Navarro

2B: Deitrich over Lawrie

LF: Granderson over Melky

CF: Davis/Tilson over Shuck/Jackson

SP: Rodon improves

SP: Anderson over Shields

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