Before we get started, I keep reading about how much talent the White Sox have in their farm system.
Please remember fellow Sox fans, these are the same talent evaluation principals that traded Fernando Tatis, Jr., the #2 ranked minor league prospect in all of baseball, for James Shields. I don't want to hear that Tatis was a mere teenager when the Sox moved him, as if that's a valid excuse. Part of the process of talent evaluation is projection, in other words, how good can this player eventually be. MLB Pipeline's current scouting report on Tatis reports, "Tatis Jr.'s bat gives him the ceiling of a perennial All-Star, possibly even an MVP candidate in his prime." This could end up being the most lopsided trade of the decade.
Also, before I move on, this is the brain trust that decided John Danks was more deserving of a long term contract than a left handed pitcher by the name of Mark Buehrle. These aren't ad hominem attacks ladies and gentlemen, these are cold, acutely depressing facts.
Rick Hahn and Kenny Williams are your talent evaluators. So don't be too excited for the future, at least until you start to see proof where it counts, at the major league level.
Now, back to the show. If we're to believe the internet rumblings, those that include Manny's mom's favorite dessert and how often Bryce's dog scratches the back door to relieve himself at night, Bryce Harper is going to sign with a team other than the White Sox. That leaves Manny Machado, the guy who thinks running out a ground ball is reserved for guys coming off the bench. Machado probably wanted a contract in the neighborhood of $300 million based on myriad reports, but he isn't going to reach that number. So, let's say it's $220 million over seven years. That's a gross overpay in my opinion for a guy who believes hustling is strictly for lesser players, but I know I'm in the minority here. A majority of Sox fans would most likely love to see Machado sign with the Sox. Unfortunately, I'm 48 years old, and if Machado were to don my team's jersey, it's not going to change the person inside it as far as I'm concerned. I'm not 12 years old. Regardless whether or not it says S-O-X across his chest, I don't like him. But who cares about me, on with the post Machado Plan B.
Machado signs with the Phillies. Do the Sox give up on free agency for the winter, or do they get to work? What do you think about this team?
Dallas Kuechel, 3 years, $68 million
Gio Gonzalez, 2 years, $26 million
Craig Kimbrel, 4 years, $76 million
1B Jose Abreu
2B Yoan Moncada
SS Tim Anderson
3B Mike Moustakas, 3 years, $35 million
LF Eloy Jimenez (3 weeks into the season)
CF Jon Jay/Adam Engel, platoon
RF Adam Jones, 1 year, $6 million
C Wellington Castillo
DH Yonder Alonso
OF Jay or Engel
IF Yolmer Sanchez
IF/OF Leury Garcia (sorry Palka)
C James McCann
Jay, Anderson, Abreu, Jimenez, Moustakas, Alonso, Castillo, Jones, Moncada
With Kuechel and Gonzalez, pitching prospects Dylan Cease, Dane Dunning, and Alec Hansen have more time to mature in the minors and/or can be eased into the big leagues through the bullpen, kind of like how a guy named Chris Sale got to the majors. On one year deals, Jay and Jones aren't in the way long term of big time outfield prospects like Blake Rutherford, Luis Robert, Luis Basabe, and Luis Gonzalez. There is no one in the Sox system ready for third base in the near term, hence the Moustakas fit for a team that wants to contend by 2020, if not this year. As for Kimbrel, he is the big name, the guy that takes a little bit of the sting out of not getting Machado or Harper (for some folks at least, hopefully).
The fictitious deals for Kuechel, Gonzalez, Kimbrel, Moustakas, and Jones come to $211 million. Do the Sox compete with this team? Debatable. However, juxtapose this team with a Sox team that adds Machado and then stands pat. Which team wins more games?
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