I am speaking for me because I am the only person I can speak for. I am a devout Sox fan, and I do not want Manny Machado sitting next to me at Sox Park eating a hot dog, much less playing shortstop or third base for my favorite team. Any guy that says he doesn’t need to hustle all the time is a cancer cell that will only grow.
$400 million for Bryce Harper? We need a third baseman, a center fielder, a number one starter, a number two starter, and a veteran 8th inning guy or closer before we need to invest in the neighborhood of half a billion dollars for one, everybody-look-at-me guy.
How about third baseman Jake Lamb in a trade with the Diamondbacks for Luis Alexander Basabe, Gavin Sheets, and Spencer Adams? Yes, that’s three, Top 30 prospects for a guy that was hurt for the majority of the season last year, but he did hit 30 home runs, with 105 rbi, and a line of .248/.357/.487 in 2017. He’ll be 28 years old next year with two years of control left before he’s a free agent. Sign center fielder A.J. Pollock to a 2 year, $22 million free agent deal, pitcher Patrick Corbin to a 4 year, $90 million free agent deal, pitcher Charlie Morton to a 1 year, $18 million free agent deal, and old friend, reliever David Robertson to a 1 year, $12 million free agent deal.
With arbitration and a successful 2019 season, let’s figure Lamb’s two years with the Sox at a total of approximately $14 million. So, we have a starting third baseman, a starting center fielder, a legitimate number one starter, a legitimate number two starter, and a guy that can pitch in the 8th or 9th inning for a total of $156 million. That’s $244 million for a rainy day. Maybe that goes to Madison Bumgarner or Nolan Arenado if Lamb doesn’t work out (they’ll need more than that for Arenado, but $244 million is a nice start) prior to the 2020 season.
Somebody named Tim Anderson and/or Yoan Moncada needs to step up for the White Sox this season if the Sox are going to sniff .500, much less contend for a wild card spot. Here are two guys that might offer hope.
Javy Baez had 450 plate appearances as a 23 year old in 2016. He had 14 home runs, 59 rbi, and a line of .273/.314/.423. Pretty ordinary.
Two years later, in his age 25 season, Baez hit 34 home runs, had 111 rbi, and his line was .290/.326/.554 in 645 plate appearances. That’s significant improvement.
Alex Bregman had 626 plate appearances as a 23 year old in 2017. He had 19 home runs, 71 rbi, and a line of .284/.352/.475. Very solid.
One year later, in his age 24 season, Bregman hit 31 home runs, had 103 rbi, and his line was .286/.394/.532 in 705 plate appearances. Those are MVP type numbers.
I have heard so much about the talent, potential, and athleticism of Anderson and Moncada. One of them, preferably both of them, has to break out this year for optimism to be realistic. If neither breaks out, you could get two Bryce Harpers and it wouldn’t matter.
Remember, no Machado here. Sox fans appreciate hustle, grit, toughness, and aggressively smart baseball. We don’t need Mr. Too Cool infecting the young players on this team.
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