Don’t let the Door hit you on your way out

Good Afternoon all, as you can assume by the title, you’re probably right. Today we’re talking about Avisail Garcia and the report that broke through yesterday about his possible (non)future with the White Sox.

The news broke yesterday from MLB insider Mark Feinsand via twitter that the White Sox are actively trying to trade disappointing 28 year-old outfielder, Avisail Garcia. The big man has one year of team control left, in which he is projected to make somewhere between $7-8 million in arbitration. Feinsand also states in the tweet that if Rick Hahn can’t find a taker for Garcia, the belief around the league is that Hahn will just non-tender his contract and send Avi out onto the free agent market. All of this is coming on the heels of Ken Rosenthal reporting that the team had a deal in place to send Garcia to Houston at the deadline last year for Frances Martes, but ultimately fell through. The Sox shouldn’t expect to get much if anything in a deal that sends Avisail out of Chicago. Between the inconsistency, only one year of control left, low accumulated Wins Above Replacement, and a mid-September arthroscopic knee surgery, there are many questions for any team courting the Sox for Garcia’s services. I would expect Avisail to be more or less included in a salary dump type of trade where the Sox take on a rather bad contract in an effort to either get a young player to add to the major league team along with the bad contract, or add more prospects to their system a la a speculated Matt Kemp deal that was theorized last offseason.

feinsandtweet

A speculative deal I personally thought of was taking on half to 2/3 of the Zack Greinke deal in order to get Jake Lamb along with him, and send Avisail along with Luis Gonzalez, Blake Rutherford, and Jordan Stephens. Only speculative, but kind of nice to think about. Sox get a third baseman and a veteran starter that can continue to pitch quality innings in the rotation. Oh well.

The report raises an even bigger question though:

If the White Sox were content with doing some one year deals this winter and due to injuries, letting these prospects have another season to grow and mature, why wouldn’t you just hold onto Garcia for the last season of his deal? On the flip side, if the White Sox are actively trying to rid their lineup of the right fielder, who is going to take his place next season? This report along with others, continue to validate that Rick Hahn will be aggressive this offseason. With only Eloy Jimenez being written in pen for next season in the outfield (after the team gains the extra year of control) and with Avi seemingly on his way out, the White Sox would have to fill 2 outfield spots if they intend to contend. I have a hard time envisioning next years opening day outfield being Delmonico, Engel, and Leury Garcia (who also could be in danger of a non-tender) with Ryan Cordell on the bench. It’s tough to see any scenario making that particular arrangement a reality. All signs so far have pointed to Rick Hahn being active and aggressive this offseason too, which only reinforces my point. We’ll know by November 30, the non-tender deadline on whether or not Avisail will be plugging up right field for the Sox next year.

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Rumors swirl as GM Meetings Conclude

credit for featured picture: @SoxOn35th, @b_son4

As the General Managers meetings conclude in Carlsbad, California, rumors are swirling around the Windy City that the Cubs may not be the only team with an increased payroll come spring training. Jon Paul Morosi, Ken Rosenthal, and Jon Heyman all have linked the White Sox to various free agents including Manny Machado, Bryce Harper, J.A. Happ, Patrick Corbin, and Nelson Cruz, along with many smaller reports linking the White Sox to closer Jeurys Familia.

Now it is very early in the offseason, let me remind you. But quotes from Kenny Williams and Rick Hahn captured by the Athletic’s James Fegan have said that having all of this payroll flexibility was no coincidence, and that they have all of this available money for a reason. I’m not saying that we’ll sign these players, but it’s encouraging when both of your head front office executives are speaking about being aggressive with a wide open payroll. I’m not saying, I’m just saying. Now of course, these guys have to want to sign with the White Sox. and we’ll have to see just how effective Jerry Reinsdorf, Kenny Williams, and Rick Hahn’s advertising to free agents really is.

The big thing that got White Sox twitter buzzing this morning was a picture of an electronic banner at the United Center (venue for the Jerry Reinsdorf owned Chicago Bulls) featuring Bryce Harper’s name next to the White Sox logo and the number 34, which happens to be Bryce’s jersey number. The tweet has since been deleted, but was screenshotted and still captured on the social media, and has been a talking point for White Sox fans all morning, and is pictured below. You interpret the message.
White Sox fan-page “Sox on 35th” has a graphic designer who features great work for many Chicago teams named Brandon Anderson. (I feature his work in the cover picture) And to ensure this pictures validity, he stated that he ran this picture through photoshop filters and confirmed that this tweet is 100% genuine. (You can follow him @b_son4 on twitter)

This may be a product of the new sports network that the Bulls, White Sox and Blackhawks will be a part of in the near future and could be put into the pitch for Bryce and his representatives. It seems that the White Sox are actually putting together a real and bonafide sales pitch to not just Bryce Harper and his brand, but maybe other free agents as well. I personally am still not going to get my hopes up too high, because so much can happen with star free agents, especially one that is represented by super-agent Scott Boras, which Harper is. I will say however, that the White Sox do have a young, talented core of players, play in a major city in the nation, a great farm system, payroll space enough for all of King Midas’s silver, and will soon have a brand new platform to launch Harper and his brand that he maybe didn’t have before and that other organizations won’t have in the near future. Along with promoting his brand, he could now have cross promotional opportunities across the hockey and basketball markets for his brand with the Bulls and Blackhawks in this hopeful new and shiny sports network compromised of the three major sports teams in a major city.

Not to make this more and more promising, but major spenders like the Yankees, Cubs, Dodgers, and Red Sox are all seemingly staying out of the Bryce Harper market due to various reasons ranging from having other positions of need to having a restricted payroll situation. This leaves the Phillies, White Sox, Giants, and Nationals as the four biggest possible players for Bryce’s services. I have to say, Chicago is the most attractive of all 4 cities but hey, I’m biased.

Bryce Harper would just be the start of the solution, we need more than just Mr. Harper. Time will tell, we must be patient. Pray to whatever deity you believe in that Rick Hahn has a good pitch, and Jerry Reinsdorf is ready to spend some serious cash.

Above all else always remember, Go White Sox.

GM Meetings Open

Featured Image from: southsideshowdown.com

Good evening folks, tonight we welcome the unofficial “official” start to the offseason as the GM Meetings open in Carlsbad, California this week. Most of the time during these meetings, it is more about getting the foundation of deals and getting the feel for new General Managers around the league. Or even talking about changes around the game, with this years theme revolving around a change in the trade deadline, it is much more dormant than it’s brother, the Winter Meetings which will be appropriately held in Las Vegas this year due to the high stakes free agents in this years class. But for those very reasons, this years GM Meetings could be the most active of those in recent memory. Let’s take a look at the massive rumors that came from day one of the meetings as it pertains to our Sox.

Jon Paul Morosi, Ken Rosenthal, and Jon Heyman all mentioned the White Sox being “in” on mega-star Manny Machado, including Jon Paul Morosi having them not just in on Machado, but in on both Manny and fellow 26 year-old franchise star Bryce Harper. You read that right, both of them.

The articles raise a huge question that wonders if it is possible for the White Sox to sign one of or both stars to their own mega-deals, and as it’s incredibly improbable, the White Sox are one of two teams in the Majors that have the available payroll to offer both stars their own respective lucrative contracts, with the other residing in the city of brotherly love, the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies have available payroll, a good young core, and needs at both positions. The big obstacle for the Phillies is with Bryce Harper, who would replace the talented Nick Williams or the stable Odubel Herrera which are not particularly attractive options when Rhys Hoskins was one of the worst defensive outfielders in the Majors last year. Hoskins had to move to left field for Carlos Santana’s $60 million contract last winter. Other than that, they’re a great fit for both Machado and Harper.

The White Sox have no obstacles for signing either, they would have to non-tender Avisail Garcia for Bryce Harper, but that’s not an issue for me at least. And as far as Machado, I think he would have to start at third base and maybe end back up at shortstop later. The point is that Jerry Reinsdorf could turn into Mike Illitch and start spending money like he never has before at a later age, realizing that his time may be running low to get another winner. Both men (Harper and Machado) are going to command $30+ million dollars per year, and with the Sox’s payroll topping out at $140 million (estimation) and only having around $40 million after projected arbitration salaries and pre-arb salaries, signing both would only bring them up to $100-110 million per year. Now I’m not advocating that we buckle ourselves financially for the future, look how the Cubs are having to operate this offseason, and how terrible the Tigers rebuild will be due to the Miguel Cabrera and Jordan Zimmerman contracts, and I don’t want to end up like either situation. But then again, we can’t control when either men  will become free agents again or what kind of capacity their talent will be once they are. So maybe it is time to capitalize on this financial opportunity the White Sox have given themselves.

Let’s just hope the rumors and aggressive outlook that Rick Hahn is giving is for real and isn’t just smoke in the room waiting to clear out to reveal Lonnie Chisenhall, Bartolo Colon, and Chase Headley hiding behind it.

On a side note, I want to point out how weird and awkward that both the Giants and Orioles went to the meetings without General Managers and are still doing their hiring processes. The Giants have been aiming for higher-up candidates such as the Brewers’ David Stearns, The D-Backs’ Mike Hazen, and the Cubs’ Jason McCloud, but recently have put the Dodgers’ GM Farhan Zaidi on the top of their wish list, so we’re waiting on an answer from the Giants. The Orioles on the other hand, are a complete mess. There is absolutely no other way to put it. Nobody has any idea about what’s gone on since they’ve dismissed their Manager-GM duo of Buck Showalter and Dan Duquette. The Orioles are easily the most messed-up organization in baseball, and I personally hope that they find either a manager or general manager soon since they have neither, baseball needs a historical franchise like Orioles.

A Dream Scenario

Today’s post has been in the works for a couple days now, and it of course has to deal with the offseason. The Offseason plan project I recently did limits moves to maybe a more realistic realm of opportunity when it comes to offseason moves and planning, where as mine that I discuss today is still possible, but it’s highly unlikely. For all the moves in this post to happen, two things have to happen. 1, Rick Hahn has to be aggressive. If he’s not willing to bend, then unfortunately this won’t happen at all. 2, Jerry Reinsdorf has to open up the check book. This team is in Chicago, not Baltimore, not Oakland, not Tampa. We’re in Chicago, we need to start acting like we play in a Major market and take advantage of that. Without those two things, this plan isn’t even feasible. If trader Rick isn’t ready to make moves then we can’t get established players, and the payroll to field a proven team is expensive nowadays, so Jerry’s payroll has to eclipse $130 million, it’s the price of doing business folks.

First things first, non-tender Avi Garcia and Leury Garcia to open spots in the outfield.

Then, make your best offer for Bryce Harper. Give it some gas and try a 10 year, $335 million offer with opt-outs after years 4, 5, and 8. Let a franchise superstar take over right field for a hopeful decade and be the face of the franchise. There has seldom been questions about Harper’s heart of hustle and may gel better with the clubhouse given that. This also makes a statement saying that the White Sox are committed to winning for a prolonged period of time, signaling to other players and teams that we mean business.

Extend Jose Abreu to a 3 year, $50 million extension, keeping one of the most consistent bats in the league in your lineup, also signifying to players from the outside that the organization will take care of their players if they do their job. Abreu is a clubhouse leader and consistent voice of wisdom for the young players and feel this would be a great veteran to anchor the lineup for the next 3 years. Not to mention that there is no heir to the first base throne, and no real solution in Free Agency in the next two off-seasons’ other than Paul Goldschmidt who will be a hot commodity in the market.

Trade Welington Castillo, Luis Robert, Dane Dunning, Zack Collins, and Jordan Stephens to the Marlins for JT Realmuto, given that we can get a 48 hour window to discuss an extension. JT doesn’t want to stay on a rebuilding club, so doing the 2 previous moves and pitching the rest of this plan should get him to stay with the Sox. 4 years, $84 million to solve the turning table of catchers behind the dish for the Sox. Steep price to pay, but you have to give up something to get something, and you’re getting the best all-around catcher in baseball for the next 4 years in the prime if his career. If you can’t get the extension, then that price would go way down for me. I’m not going to pay all of that for just 2 years of control, especially if Collins is going over to Miami in the deal.

Sign both Dallas Keuchel and Nathan Eovaldi to 4 year deals. Keuchels for $78 million (don’t think the price will go up higher because of age) and Eovaldi for $72.5 million (Extra year may get him here, injury concerns) and let them anchor the rotation while Kopech recovers and Cease continues to develop, who we consider to be the eventual real aces anyway.

Trade Jose Rondon and Luis Mieses to the Yankees for Sonny Gray. Give the Yankees a possible stand-in for Gregorious if they don’t get Manny, also a young outfielder with possible upside to sweeten the deal for the Yankees who have flat-out said that Gray will be traded this offseason. This is a low-risk, high reward situation with Sonny Gray coming off a bad year and only one year left, so it’s worth risking it against Mieses’ upside and Rondon’s possible everyday player ceiling. Gray can fill in some innings for the Sox in the last year of his contract and possibly be flipped at the trade deadline.

This folks, is the most interesting deal in this plan:

Trade Carlos Rodon to the Reds for Nick Senzel and James Marinan. Rodon is represented by Scott Boras, so you know an extension is out of the question. With only 3 years of control left for Rodon, he is set to become a free agent right when we hope to be getting to peak form, so why keep him if you can set yourself at another huge hole in the team? The Reds need pitching very desperately to even think about competing and they’ve recently extended current third basemen Eugenio Suarez to a 5 year deal, making the games 6th best prospect blocked for the foreseeable future. The Reds get 3 years of Rodon, which can anchor their staff for the meantime, and the Sox get their third baseman of the future along with a righty pitcher to even out the major league proven Rodon. This makes not getting Machado the right move and also opens the rotation enough for Kopech and Cease for when they’re both ready. The 23 year old Senzel is in AAA and is very much ready for the Majors, so gaining the 7th year of control is an easy choice along with Eloy for this season.

Sign Adam Ottavino to a 3 year, $33 million deal, sign David Phelps to a 2 year, $14 million deal. Let both guys be the veteran options in the bullpen, let the younger guys develop and get major league innings under them. Eventually they’ll be replaced, which is why you can’t get too ridiculous with these contracts.

Trade Nate Jones and Juan Minaya to the Dodgers for Andrew Toles. Toles can be a left handed portion of a new centerfield platoon with Adam Engel for the Sox, and they don’t have to give up too much to get him. On the flipside, the Dodgers receive two able-armed bullpen options that at their best can bridge the gap to closer Kenley Jansen, who is undergoing heart surgery to correct an irregular heartbeat. You have to give up both Jones and Minaya due to both of their inconsistencies or arm issues, paired with Toles still being extremely controlled. Toles won’t be a star, but can help hold down the position until Luis Basabe, or Blake Rutherford are ready to take that mantle.

If you did the math, the team looks like this 2 weeks into the season:

2B Yoan Moncada

C JT Realmuto

RF Bryce Harper

1B Jose Abreu

LF Eloy Jimenez

DH Daniel Palka

3B Nick Senzel

SS Tim Anderson

CF Engel/Toles

Bench: Narvaez, Engel/Toles, Sanchez, and Matt Davidson

Rotation: Keuchel, Eovaldi, Lopez, Gray, Giolito (Waiting on Cease and Kopech)

Bullpen: Ottavino, Phelps, Fry, Frare, Hamilton, Burr, Covey (Covey can get replaced by Ruiz or Fulmer or whoever)

The lineup is deep, has a good mixture of vets and young talent, and the farm is still strong enough to maintain success. The payroll is the issue here, if my math is correct, an average payroll year is somewhere in the neighborhood of $140-145 million dollars after pre-arbitration salaries. Success is not cheap. Like I said, we have to spend the money to be good. This is a pipe dream scenario for me, and I feel like it puts this team into a full contention mode in 2020 and beyond.

Don’t like a signing/trade? Let me know on twitter at @SchinsTalksSox1 or on Facebook at Schindel Talks Sox.

Prove it, Rick Hahn

I have one thing to emphasize in this post tonight and one thing only. We need proof, and we need it now. The next 60 days are going to tell us where this franchise is heading in the future. I can not stress enough how important the next 60 days are not just for the team but the identity of this franchise. I am not saying that they have to sign Manny Machado or Bryce Harper, but they do need to make an aggressive move this offseason in general. Make a move that continues to procure young talent and move on from the veteran holdovers, or go out and bring in some well respected major-league veterans that can help bring in future players by starting to build that credibility as a franchise for free agents to look at signing with. This fan base needs this offseason to be one filled with excitement and good news. It should be go time for Jerry Reinsdorf’s check book.

General Manager Rick Hahn continues not to show his hand as his earliest moves don’t quite paint a picture. The team cleared 40-man room by outrighting Ryan LaMarre, Danny Farquhar, and Rob Scahill, making them all free agents. They also lost Kevan Smith to the Angels due to the waiver wire. Clearing 40-man room could show a readiness to add to the 40-man roster with free agents, or either simply getting ready to protect prospects from the Rule 5 draft in December. Announced today was the news that James Shields’ $16 million option was decline and bought out, making him a free agent (this was expected), and lastly that the White Sox are picking up Nate Jones’ $4.65 million option and yet again, Jones will be apart of a Sox bullpen. I’m hoping Jones will end up being a part of a trade later in the offseason, but I don’t think I’m that lucky. Coming up will be the tender deadline, which will tell us which of the Arbitration eligible players will be declined a contract and allowed to become free agents. (Please let Avi go, God, I don’t ask for much, but let Avi Garcia not start next year in a White Sox uniform.) This needs to be a part of moving on from players that need a change of scenery for fans sake, i.e Avisail Garcia, Matt Davidson, or Leury Garcia. All 3 are the only in real danger of being let go, seeing that Carlos Rodon, Jose Abreu, and Yolmer Sanchez all have good job security.

Like I said, the next 60 days will tell us a lot about how this organization is going to be run and looked at going forward. They have a real opportunity to bring in high-quality, talented, and proven major league players to a team with virtually no payroll and as much room on the books as Jerry Reinsdorf will allow. This team and franchise has close to no credibility with free agents and is in dire need of some. Make a run for Machado, bring in Dallas Keuchel, overpay a little bit for Andrew McCutchen, I don’t care. Be aggressive and get some credibility. Trade for Verdugo, trade for Colton Welker. Continue to bring in high quality talent that will prolong this window. My point is this; give this fanbase an actual reason to root at the major-league level that isn’t named Eloy Jimenez. It’s nut up or shut up time, prove to the fans and more importantly, the league that you mean business. If watching the Cubs win the World Series two years ago didn’t light an eternal inner fire under their ass to be consistently relevant, then I sure as hell hope watching Chris Sale strike out the side to give the Red Sox a championship did. Rick Hahn, if you read this by the Winter Meetings, just know this fan base is ready. It’s go time, give this rebuild some gas and let’s show the league were for real.

Offseason Notes & Possibilities

Hello all! A few things to get through tonight:

A recent update from the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo suggests that the White Sox are one of  few teams interested in Boston Centerfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. The Sox have had interest in him before, but at this point in our rebuild I’m not quite sure I see the fit. He has four years of control, so that’s a positive, but if the White Sox were to get him, it would almost certainly mean Jose Abreu would be the main piece going back to Boston in the deal. Rick Hahn and Dave Dombrowski have history doing deals together now with the Chris Sale deal, but a straight swap, JBJ for Abreu would warrant a ton of explaining to do from Hahn’s part. Abreu is the face of the franchise and now mentor to Yoan Moncada and eventually Luis Robert. Not to mention, he has stated numerous times that he’d like to see this rebuild through and win the title in a White Sox uniform, so a package for Abreu would need to also net one of either top prospects Jay Groome or Michael Chavis as well, and probably at least another piece or two depending on the players. Abreu means more to this franchise then Sale did at the same time, so the asking price needs to be that ridiculous to make it justifiable to the fan base.

Another recent article posted suggests that the White Sox should at least consider looking at old crosstown rival John Lackey, and/or taking a chance to bring back old friend Jake Peavy, since he has come public about making a come back. Lackey was far less than stellar in his last year with the Cubs, going 12-12 with a 4.59 ERA in just short of 171 innings. Lackey would eat innings, but hopefully it won’t be too painful to watch if he’s here. He also gave up 36 homers in 31 games last year, which really is discouraging. Peavy on the other hand, represents a good veteran with a very low-risk, high-reward situation attached to him. Jake sat out the 2017 season, and went 5-9 with San Francisco in 2016 with an ERA north of 5 and a half, but he could hold a bit more of a coaches role, while still trying to show he can get big leaguers out. Both moves aren’t sexy, but maybe could be the kind of savvy move that brings back a guy or two at the deadline.

The White Sox have recently signed a couple minor league free agents to contracts according to MLBTradeRumors.com, including RHP Dustin Antolin, who spent the past year in the Independent Atlantic League with the Somerset Patriots. He has only pitched two major league innings, in one appearance for the Nationals back in 2016. They have also signed Patrick Leonard, a corner infielder/outfielder that has had a great deal of struggle passing the Triple-A level, so maybe a change of scenery will help. Leonard is said to have good pop and has a ceiling of 20 homers if he can reach the majors.

The time will shortly be coming on whether or not contracts will be non-tendered or tendered and the following should all be non-tendered (in my opinion):

RHP Al Albuquerque, RHP Jake Petricka (please don’t let him pitch in our uniform this season), Zack Putnam (Resign to a minors contract), and RHP Danny Farquhar could fall into that position as well, all 4 are bullpen arms, and all have had their extreme ups and downs thus far.