At least we’re cost effective!
It’s not the best marketing slogan, but it’s honest and direct.
The White Sox might not compete in 2018, but it doesn’t seem they have any grossly overpaid players outside of James Shields (who we traded Fernando Tatis, Jr. for if you were not aware). We are in the ‘let’s see what we have stage’ of the rebuild, so we don’t have to be too upset about disgustingly overpaid players not producing if an expected subpar team performance comes to pass.
Nothing makes a hard working, working class Sox fan more upset than a guy getting paid like a God and performing like he’d rather be sailing or nibbling croissants in Europe somewhere (is it easy to tell I don’t know what people with lots of money actually do?).
Let’s take a look at our sensibly priced White Sox (compared to some bad contracts)!
1B Jose Abreu, White Sox, $13 million a year.
1B Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers, $30 million a year.
Abreu is good for .290/.350/.550, 25 HR, 100 RBI every single year, and his defense improved slightly last year from years prior. Cabrera hit .249/.329/.399 last year, with 16 HR and 60 RBI. For you Harvard educated sabermetricians, his WAR was an unattractive negative .8. Detroit has to pay him this sickening amount of money for 5 more years at least. At this point, Cabrera is essentially committing a felony robbery every time he cashes a check.
2B Yoan Moncada, White Sox, $507,000 a year.
2B Starlin Castro, Florida Marlins, $10 million a year.
Moncada is going to be a superstar if everything goes according to plan. Castro’s numbers in recent years have been respectable, but far from stellar. It appears Castro has plateaued, while Moncada is only going to get better.
SS Tim Anderson, White Sox, $1 million a year.
SS Troy Tulowitzki, Toronto Blue Jays, $20 million a year.
If Anderson’s talent takes shape this season, the 6 year, $25 million contract the Sox signed him to will look shrewd. Tulowitzki’s decline seemed to start in 2016, when he produced a .254/.318/.443 line, with 24 HR and 79 RBI. He only played 66 games last year due to injury as a 32 year old. He batted .249 with 7 HR and 26 RBI. The Blue Jays owe him at least $34 million more over the next two years. Ouch.
3B Yolmer Sanchez, White Sox, $2.35 million a year.
3B Pablo Sandoval, San Francisco Giants $545,000 a year (Boston released him and is paying him $18,455,000 this season).
Yolmer could produce at a .130/.200/.240 rate with no home runs and 5 runs batted in and the Sox would take that over having to pay Sandoval to produce a negative 1.4 WAR while batting .220 with 32 runs batted in in 79 games. Brutal.
LF Nicky Delmonico, White Sox, approximately $535,000 (last year’s salary) a year.
LF Hunter Pence, San Francisco Giants, $18 million a year.
I put Pence in left field, although he has played the majority of his career in right field. The trade for Andrew McCutcheon probably bumps Pence to left.
Pence is a shell of the player he once was. His .260/.315/.385 line with .2 WAR indicates he isn’t a starting outfielder on a competitive team, despite what the Giants might think of their playoff chances in 2018. Meanwhile, a healthy Delmonico is an intriguing 25 year old player that came up from Triple A Charlotte last year guns blazing.
CF Adam Engel, White Sox, approximately $535,000 (last year’s salary) a year.
CF Lorenzo Cain, Milwaukee Brewers, $13 million a year.
Now, let me be clear. Cain produced last year; .300/.363/.440, with 15 HR, 49 RBI, 26 stolen bases, and a 5.3 WAR. Despite this, big contracts for guys on the wrong side of 30 (he’ll be 32 a couple weeks after Opening Day) are dying for a reason-they are ALWAYS regrettable. Cain is going to be paid $80 million over 5 years from the Brewers, even though in this market they could have signed both Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb with that money. The Brewers didn’t need Cain, and they will regret the deal. Engel plays great defense, and, well, you can’t expect offense too for less than a million bucks, right?
RF Avi Garcia, White Sox, $6.7 million a year.
RF Jason Heyward (hahahahahahaha), Chicago Cubs, $21.5 million a year (this is not a misprint).
Avi is getting better, and Heyward is getting worse, it’s as simple as that. Heyward is the owner of one of the most reprehensible contracts in professional sports; 8 years and $184 million. Cubs defenders say, “He plays great defense!” Ok, so does Engel in center, and he makes a fraction of what Heyward does.
C Wellington Castillo, White Sox, $7.5 million a year.
C Matt Wieters, Washington Nationals, $10.5 million a year.
Castillo performed well last year and could either be a mentor to young Sox pitchers or a mid-season trade chip to acquire more prospect depth (perhaps at 3B and SS where there is precious little depth aside from 2017 first round pick Jake Burger, who is out for the year with an injury). Wieters .225/.288/.344 line and negative .6 WAR in 2017 would be cause to waive him if he wasn’t making in excess of $10 million.
DH Matt Davidson, White Sox, approximately $537,000 (last year’s salary) a year.
DH Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels, $27 million a year.
The Sox would accept any level of production from Davidson rather than be saddled with a player who is owed $87 million beyond 2018 into his age 41 season. While Pujols is still relatively productive, the Angels would do anything to rid themselves of his contract so they could have that money to sign a starting pitcher or two, which is what they need to compete in the 2018 American League West.
P Lucas Giolito, White Sox, approximately $535,000 (last year’s salary) a year.
P Reynaldo Lopez, White Sox, approximately $535,000 (last year’s salary) a year.
P Jeff Samardzija, San Francisco Giants, $18 million a year.
P Jordan Zimmermann, Detroit Tigers, $24 million a year.
Giolito and Lopez, health permitting, are going to be #2 and #3 rocks in the Sox rotation for years to come. The Cubs and White Sox saw enough of Samardzija to realize they didn’t want to sign him to a long term contract. His ERA typically hovers around a 5-spot, and watching him challenge guys, predictably over and over again with an ordinary, flat fastball was all Sox fans could take for one long year. The Giants gave him $90 million and regret it. Zimmermann was 8-13 with a 6.08 ERA last year. Al Avila would sell his soul to the devil to rid himself of that $110 million contract, one of the ugliest and most undeserved in professional sports.
P Nate Jones, White Sox, $3.95 million a year.
P Joakim Soria, White Sox, $9 million a year.
P Mark Melancon, San Francisco Giants, $10 million a year.
P Wade Davis, Colorado Rockies, $16 million a year.
Jones is healthy and pitching well in spring training. He is most likely the Sox closer for the beginning of the 2018 season. If/When the Sox are in trading mode at mid-season, Soria and his salary will be dangled for a mid-level, B prospect. Melancon had a 4.50 ERA in 32 games with only 11 saves last season. He is the poster boy for the dangers of giving post 30 relievers long term deals. Davis, like Cain, escaped the fiscally responsible/sensible offseason with what I’ll call an ‘old GM’ deal. He is being paid for past performance, instead of what he’ll likely accomplish going forward. Davis will be 33 years old in September, and Colorado will regret this deal (3 years, $52 million).
*Salaries compiled from Spotrac and Baseball Reference
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