What is the White Sox core, and is it too early to be building around it?

I titled this blog post because that’s what pseudo-writers do, they title things.  It’s like gift wrapping or a table spoon of sugar in your coffee rather than a teaspoon.  It’s somehow superfluous and necessary at the same time. 

The reason I prefaced this article with a rambling explanation for the title is because I have no idea where this writing is going.  Why?  Lack of organizational skills and attention deficit disorder?  Maybe.  More likely though, this article will be scatological and non-linear because that’s where the White Sox are now in my opinion.  They are poised at the foot of a road that is splitting in two different directions (I believe Rick Hahn is driving, Kenny Williams is riding shotgun, and Mr. Reinsdorf has his seat in the back, like Miss Daisy), and they are trying to determine which road to take. 

Contend in 2019 Avenue? Be Cautious and Wait for 2020/2021 Lane? Good God, who knows?

All things White Sox in no particular order as the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas loom:

If Omar Narvaez’s .275/.366/.429 with 9 HR and 30 RBI yielded a very solid relief pitcher in Alex Colome, what could 2017’s Avi Garcia season-.330/.380/.506 with 18 HR and 80 RBI-brought to the Sox in terms of prospects?  We’ll never know.  He was dumped last month for literally nothing in return.

If Paul Goldschmidt’s one year of team control yielded two former Top 100 prospects (P Luke Weaver and C Carson Kelly), an unranked prospect with pretty good numbers (IF Andy Young), and a relatively high draft pick (high draft picks in MLB don’t carry the same weight as they do in the NFL or the NBA, but still, not bad) in a trade with the Cardinals, what would Jose Abreu bring to the Sox in terms of prospects if he were moved?

Goldschmidt the last three years:  .295/.402/.529 with 93 HR and 298 RBI.  He has one year of team control.

Abreu the last three years: .288/.344/.498 with 80 HR and 280 RBI.  He has one year of team control.

Is it reasonable to assume Abreu could bring back one very good prospect and one good prospect from a first base needy team like the Yankees, Astros, or Dodgers?  What could the Sox have received for Abreu had they traded him prior to 2018, his worst statistical year to date in the major leagues?

Yoan Moncada has stone hands, and the rumor is he may be headed to third base from second base.  He has speed and athleticism, and the Sox just dumped their right fielder. Oh, by the way, the Sox don’t have a center fielder either.  Couldn’t Moncada take one of those spots instead?  Doesn’t that make more sense?  Wouldn’t the outfield highlight his natural gifts more than a move to third base?

The Seattle Mariners are dumping anyone making more than $7.50 an hour.  If they are willing to eat some money, aren’t 3B Kyle Seager and P Mike Leake worth taking chances on?  The prices are steep, $72 million for Seager over the next four years and $32 million for Leake over the next two.  Yes, they are coming off bad years, but let’s consider recent history.

In 2016, Seager (28 years old at that time) hit .278/.359/.499 with 30 HR and 99 RBI.  In 2015, Leake (27 at that time) went 11-10 with the Giants and Reds, with a 3.70 ERA and only 174 hits allowed in 192 innings pitched/30 starts.  Conceivably, the Mariners would eat a significant portion of their salaries to get rid of them considering their purge/rebuild, and the fact that there would be no ‘sweetener’ like Edwin Diaz in the deal. 

Let’s say the Mariners picked up $30 million of the $104 million owed to Seager and Leake.  That puts the Sox on the hook for $74 million. I’d rather do that than spend $300 million on a misanthrope like Manny Machado, and $80 million on a declining Dallas Keuchel. 

Still with the Bryce Harper talk?  Why?!  Hypothetical: Let’s say I’m a 25 year old teacher, and I just signed a lease for my first apartment.  I’m excited, yes, but I’m also on a budget because most teachers are paid on par with manicurists and White Castle drive thru team members. So I have to space out my money-a little on a bed, a little on plates and glasses, a little on towels, a little for an end table, you get the point.  Instead, I spend $8000 on a couch.  No bed, no dishware, no towels, hell, no toilet paper.  But I have a nice couch.

Confused?  Harper is the fancy couch!  The Sox don’t need the fancy couch.  They need to budget to fill HOLES, plural, not splurge on a luxury item that doesn’t meet their time line or fit.  What core would Harper be supplementing?  Tim Anderson, Moncada, Eloy JimenezDylan Cease, Reynaldo Lopez, Carlos Rodon, and Lucas Giolito?  Lopez notwithstanding, when have the other current major league Sox on this list performed with anything in the stratosphere of consistency?  And Jimenez and Cease may be the next Dave Winfield and Greg Maddux, but they have not seen inning one of a major league game yet. 

Harper would be premature and ill fitting.  I hear Nolan Arenado and Madison Bumgarner are free agents next year.  Imagine them in the black jerseys with the white S-O-X letters on the chest during meaningful games in September.

Let Harper go to Philly. I can hear the home fans booing him like Santa Claus already.

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