Now that the business rumours have been reversed and the winter virtual meetings are underway, we have a much better idea of who the White Sox can put on the list this off-season. So in this series it’s time to freshen up the market Rick Khan and enter the company, starting with the most urgent need: to start throwing.
Option A – Trevor Bauer, that doesn’t make sense. There’s no need to list all of his prizes, except that at the age of 29, he’s one of the best baseball pitchers and comes out of Sai Young’s season. Moreover, any team in a large market would rather spend money on a free agent than spend promising capital on a similar player in the trade.
Photos : Dale Zanine / USA Today sports
Of course, an unlimited number of teams may be eligible for Bauer’s services. Will the White Sox be able to outbid people like the Mets, the Angels, the Phyllis or other major competitors in the market? History has shown that there is probably no answer and, as said, hiring Tony La Russ will not help. But hey, it’s 2020, anything can happen, and Rick Hahn just wouldn’t have done his job if he hadn’t done his best. The problem is that, apart from the farmer, the market for free agents for potential launchers is bleak to say the least.
The next free fundraiser consists of veterans such as Masahiro Tanaka and James Paxton, followed by Taijuan Walker, Jake Odorizzi, Jake Arietta, Cory Cluber, John Lester and an old friend of José Quintana. Some of these names may turn out to be reliable third or fourth parties, especially in a good organization, but they all carry serious risks of injury, unsatisfactory performance, or both.
And furthermore..: Is it worth playing for one of these veterans if he takes the sleeves off the organisation’s juniors? For my money, I’d rather fill in the back of the rotation to see if Kopech, Stop or Dunning can take a step in their development than trying to make a career jump to the aforementioned veterans. In fact, none of these names move the needle for a team that needs a reliable starter at the front and no potentially reliable starter at the back. So the next place to look is the retail market.
The names we’ve heard in the trade reports that interest the White Sox are of little importance: Blake Snell, Sonny Gray, you Darwish and Lance Lynn. So let’s take a good look at what each player will bring to the negotiating table and what a realistic trading package is.
Blake Snell seems to be a popular sales target among White Sox fans, mainly because of its dominant but declining performance in the World Series 6 and the 2020 play-offs. If Snell’s right, he’s one of the best pitchers in baseball. He won the AL Cy Young Award in 2018, where he scored only 1.89 points for 180.2 sets with 221 strokes.
In addition, Snell still has three years and $39 million available, which would be advantageous if he remained one of the best pitchers in baseball, a fact that Rick Hahn consistently cites as a factor that influences any decision about the composition of the team.
picture : Michael Wyke
In 2019, however, the injuries began to accumulate and Snell was no longer the same. It all started with a short period of DL (as he was then called) in April, after he broke his toe moving a granite ornamental stall in his bathroom. In July 2019, about five weeks after arthroscopic elbow surgery, he was unable to remove the loose bodies from his elbow. The injuries caused the interruption of the 2019 campaign with an ERA of 4.29 for only 107 innings.
Lack of strength is one of the biggest problems when exchanging blockbusters for Snell. The 2018 season was the highlight with just over 180 runs, the next highest total came in 2017 with just over 129 runs. Moreover, the pace has increased to 150 runs, with 2020 being a full season. Snell certainly looked like a pitcher in the playoffs, but his work throughout his career raises other questions.
What would a package for Snell look like? A comparison has been made with the package that the White Sox received for Chris Sal regarding its future status. The sale was of the same age and had the same price certainty during the negotiations as that of Snell in this low season. Salé, however, was not injured and until that time he had a more rewarding regular seasonal career, missing only post-season experiences. It is therefore not a comparison between the apples and the apples, nor is it a fair starting point.
So where do you want to start? Eno Sarris, from Attica, suggested a business idea, as you can see below:
This package is too big in my head. According to MLB.com, Vaughn and Kopecz are ranked 13th and 18th in the general ranking of baseball, while Stiever is ranked 7th for the White Sox. In the sales tests, Ioan Moncada and Michael Kopec were ranked first and 30th respectively at the time of the sale. Luis Basabe was considered a potential debutant.
It should be noted that Kopecz is an ironic thread here, and although he still holds such a high position, his importance in the competition has been seriously compromised by the fact that he had to undergo an operation on Tommy John and by his perception of secrecy. But the fact is that these packages are too similar to those of the White Sox to pay such a high price for a launcher that has its own question marks.
Which brings me to my second major concern about Snell: Who exactly are the White Sox dealing with? As a team working in a small market, Luci has built a winning organization by running away from other organizations in the sector. Whether it’s their screening service, their management staff or both, they’ve always accepted the position of other teams that they weren’t so high up and made them protagonists in the team’s victory. On the other hand, it always seems that the robbery has sold the player at the absolute peak of his value.
The most obvious examples are the robbery in which Chris Archer was sold to pirates in exchange for a package that included Tyler Glasnow and Austin Meadows, the two main characters in their club, while Archer fought hard during his stay in Pittsburgh.
Another example is the robbery in which left-handed pitcher Matthew Liberator is sold to the cardinals in exchange for José Martínez and a 25-year-old pitcher apparently named Randy Arosarena. The Liberatore spent the season as a miner, so the verdict is still pending, but Arozarena set records after the season of course and became the hero of the World Series. Cardinal John Moseliac has already admitted that it was a mistake to play the Arozarans.
With these examples in mind, it is frightening to imagine what Rays would do with the aforementioned promising White Sox package. Even scarier is the return of the White Sox to Snell after the fall of Archer from Tampa Bay. And what do they say about Snell that the Wings are trying to change him now, while he’s still in charge for three years and coming out of his domination on the biggest stage?
If the price of Snell had fallen significantly compared to the predictions of Eno Sarris, it might have been tempting. A realistic and easier to swallow package would eliminate Vaughn and have Kopec as headliner, along with a combination of probably 2-3 young hands in the White Sox system.
But in any deal with the Rays, we have to live with the idea that whoever leaves the White Sox has a good chance of becoming the main sponsor of the Rays team, which the White Sox could see very well in the post-season season.
Keep looking for the next part, where we will analyze other potential business goals of Sonny Gray, E. Darwish and Lance Lynn.
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