With the MLB offseason finally starting to show signs of life, the White Sox have had a busy week. Liam Hendrix’s signing made headlines, and rightfully so, but there were a number of other White Sox-influenced news and notes worth dissecting. Here we summarize all the events of the past week for the South Siders.

Liam Hendricks Signature

Late Monday night, Liam Hendricks would sign a four-year, $54 million contract with the White Sox. The 31-year-old White Sox player was the best free agent of the offseason. Over the past two seasons, he has proven that he is the best baseball player, as evidenced by the fact that the MLB Network ranked him #1 in baseball this season (Aaron Bummer came in 8th).

Many fans wanted the team to keep Alex Colome, who was as reliable as he was in his two seasons with the White Sox. But apparently the front office felt that Colome’s lack of elimination was a concern as the team moves toward more serious competition. Giving Tony La Russa an intimidating presence in the back of the paddock was clearly a priority, and Rick Hahn kept his word.

in 2019 and 2020…

Colome Hendriks
2.27 ERA 1.78
3.78 FIP 1.70
1.032 WHIP 0.897
3.3 BB/9 2.0
7.7 K/9 13,
201 ERA+ 237
2.1 bWAR 4.9
1.2 fWAR 5.3

I like Colum, but Hendricks is better. A lot.

– Mike (@ChiSoxFanMike) January 13, 2021

As mentioned above, there are significant risks in paying at the top of the market on a tax-free basis. The structure of this deal is therefore important, and the White Sox added their own plot. According to reports, it appears that teams would prefer to limit Hendricks’ term to three years, but as the pursuit of the Astros and Blue Jays intensified, the White Sox were forced to include a fourth year if they were serious about Hendricks.

Rick Hahn has been creative and added a $15 million team option for the fourth year, but if the White Sox do not exercise this option, Hendricks will receive a $15 million buyout in equal installments over the next 10 years. The organization has used a similar payment structure in the past (Paul Konerko received $1 million from the White Sox in 2020), and it makes sense to ease the burden in a given year while guaranteeing the player the same amount.

The arrival of Liam Hendricks in the paddock, which already includes Evan Marshall, Aaron Bummer, Garrett Hook, Matt Foster and Cody Hoyer, represents on paper the best relief corps in the American League and perhaps the entire MLB. The White Sox currently have four of Cy Young’s top ten vote list for the 2020 season.

Yoan Moncada fully restored

In an article that didn’t get the attention it deserved, James Fegan of The Athletic published an article Wednesday talking to Yoan Moncada about his 2020 season and how he feels today. After testing positive for VIDOC-19 before the season, Moncada reported mild symptoms while carrying the virus. As the season progressed, he was clearly out of shape.

Moncada said he felt tired and generally out of shape throughout the season. The most obvious illustration was toward the end of the Cleveland season, when Moncada sprinted from the first goal and was unable to catch his breath in the dugout. The team was worried about whether he would make it to the end of the round.

These symptoms are consistent with the long-term effects of VIDOC-19, which have also been reported by people who have contracted the virus. No one knows exactly how long these effects will last or what can be done to fix them. But according to Moncada’s interview, he’s finally regained his strength and feels like himself again.

Photo : Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

According to Moncada, the effects persisted for several weeks after the end of the season, but good old-fashioned rest and relaxation eventually relieved him of the fatigue that had haunted him in 2020. Moncada has resumed normal training and is preparing for the 2021 season.

In 2019, Moncada placed ninth in the WWE in 132 American League matches. In the above interview, Mr. Moncada stated that he wants to be even better than he was in 2019. While one of his first goals for 2020 was to stay healthy during the 162-game season, his current goal is to stay healthy during the playoffs, which begin in October. That’s an exciting thought for White Sox fans.

This news is a huge relief for the team. Of all the moves the White Sox have made during this off-season, the return of a healthy Yoan Moncada could be the most important to the team’s success.

International signature becomes official

Friday was the White Sox’ busiest day ever, as the autographs we already knew about finally became official. The team made a deal with Hendricks and officially announced it. If it wasn’t already obvious, Hendricks has a fan favorite if his performance is up to par. His fiery personality in the field, combined with his Australian media charm, makes him easy to spot.

In addition, the international contracts for Cespedes Yoelka ($2.05 million) and Norge Vera ($1.5 million) were officially signed on Friday. These signs reinforce the already strong Cuban pipeline the organization has built.

Cespedes, the half-brother of Yoenis, is a 23-year-old fielder who was ranked No. 1 in the world during the contract period. The White Sox likely see the Cespedes as a potential fielder who can move quickly through the system. His stats on Cuba certainly don’t jump out at you, but he has shown good speed and an extra arm. Cespedes will likely start the 2021 season in Advanced-A with the Winston-Salem Dash.

Photo : Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images

He hasn’t played competitively since 2019 and has spent the last year alongside training at Yoenis in Florida, from where he seems visibly stronger in social media images. The game’s recent lack of action has led to a great divergence of public opinion on Cespedes, as James Fox of FutureSox ranks it sixth in the White Sox organization, while Fangraphs ranks it twenty-fifth. The $2.05 million financial investment shows that the White Sox are optimistic about the future.

Although this drawing period focuses primarily on the Céspedes, Vera is also an intriguing perspective. Marco Paddy, special assistant to the White Sox grandmaster in charge of international scouting, lost a 95-97 MPH fastball, two break shots and a better warm-up to Vera.

Vera is only 20 years old and still growing, but the team believes he has great potential. James Fox ranked Vera tenth in the system and FanGraphs ranked her fourteenth.

Duration of the arbitration procedure

Friday was also the deadline for MLB arbitration. The White Sox avoided a contentious arbitration hearing with one of their players by agreeing to pay Reynaldo Lopez $2.1 million and Lucas Giolito $4.15 million for the 2021 season.

The #WhiteSox entered into one-year contracts with right-handed pitchers Lucas Giolito ($4.150 million) and Reynaldo Lopez ($2.1 million), avoiding arbitration for both players.

– Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) January 15, 2021

In the case of Lopez, the team wants to see if Ethan Katz can cover him with fairy dust and get his career back on track. After being very gripped by the prospect, he headed to the paddock at the beginning of the season. It should also be noted that he still has a minor league option left, so the White Sox can stash him a little longer. But if Lopez doesn’t show positive trends this season, his stay in Chicago could come to an end.

As for Giolito, his 2021 salary shows the unfairness of the refereeing system for young players. Giolito’s market value is much higher than the $4.15 million salary he will receive next season, but that’s the system. The White Sox now have a well-documented history of signing lucrative extensions by key players during their arbitration years. Jolito’s blocking for the next four to five years seems to be the next item on that list.

The off-season is always long and daunting, but spring training is just around the corner. Later in the week you will find an article about the next steps in the White Sox program and how to get there. For more analysis and commentary on the White Sox, check out the Sox On Tap podcast.


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