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Dominikk85

What to do with the abreu/vaughn/sheets/burger logjam in 2022?

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The Sox have basically a logjam of those 4 bat first guys who probably should only play DH or first.

Out of those Vaughn was clearly the worst (94 wrc+), however he also is the highest regarded guy of those other than Jose plus he has actually shown in spurts what he is capable of (134 wrc+ in July). He also was struggling with some stuff like pitches on the outer half and righties in general but in spurts he showed that he could do better against them so he probably was still learning the game as skipping the high minors probably did show with him. 

Vaughn was basically learning on the job what he should have learned in AA and AAA and considering that he did OK. 

Thus I think Vaughn does have the most upside and Should be given a run from the start next season. 

That leaves us with 3.

Jose had some inconsistencies but overall a solid season at a 126 wrc+. He also kept his k rate and posted a career high 9% walk rate and his statcast metrics were solid too. On the flip side he is getting older and could fall of a cliff but I don't see the Sox not giving him another run. After 2022 it could be over though for him. 

Sheets and burger both did really well in majors and minors (both each like a 120-130 wrc+ at both levels). 

Obviously in the majors they were put in favorable spots and a full time run could have exposed weaknesses but still their overall work was solid. 

What should the Sox do with them? Both are in their mid 20s and shouldn't be in the minors any longer. 

I think they should keep sheets as he is a lefty and the roster is very right handed and trade burger. I wonder what his value is though, he did very well and teams might not want a 26 yo corner bat with two Achilles tears. So if it comes to getting something back maybe trading someone else might make more sense. 

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I'd add Eloy to the list, and Grandal would be best used with significant playing time at 1B and DH to keep his bat and legs fresh.

The problem is Eloy and Vaughn have not hit well in the DH hole, Eloy is adamant he isn't a DH, and makes poor decisions in LF (both strategic and in terms of health). If they could get a significant return on Eloy with a potential NL DH spot next season, I'd consider it. 

Sheets can hit in the DH role. The problem is Jerry/Tony will keep Abreu around for however many years possible, and he could be taking at bats away from more productive players 2023 and beyond, similar to Konerko's final contract with the Sox (4 seasons, 0.7 bWAR per season, just under $10M per season).

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Nobody seems to mention that Eloy was bad offensively the last month of the season. I don't know what happened. He seemed to have lost his power. Was he hurt? I hope he regains his power in 2022. If not, he's not going to help the team much.

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1 hour ago, South Side Hit Men said:

I'd add Eloy to the list, and Grandal would be best used with significant playing time at 1B and DH to keep his bat and legs fresh.

The problem is Eloy and Vaughn have not hit well in the DH hole, Eloy is adamant he isn't a DH, and makes poor decisions in LF (both strategic and in terms of health). If they could get a significant return on Eloy with a potential NL DH spot next season, I'd consider it. 

Sheets can hit in the DH role. The problem is Jerry/Tony will keep Abreu around for however many years possible, and he could be taking at bats away from more productive players 2023 and beyond, similar to Konerko's final contract with the Sox (4 seasons, 0.7 bWAR per season, just under $10M per season).

I hope we don't solve the logjam by trading the young guys while we keep the old guys.  

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3 minutes ago, poppysox said:

I hope we don't solve the logjam by trading the young guys while we keep the old guys.  

I agree on that front, not necessarily looking for older guys in return. Dave Dunning, Codi Heuer and Nick Madrigal  have been traded, and not looking for continued prospects for mid 30s players. Eloy is still young (25 next season), will hopefully bounce back after his latest injury.

Also not looking to "sell low". Just saying if you are considering trading one of the core, and can get a great offer, Eloy is the only one I'd consider over the other three position players. Longer term, I'm not sure if he has it in him to embrace the DH role he is best suited to play. Also, Robert (3.6), Anderson (4.6), and the much maligned (by SoxTalk and SteveStone) Yoan Moncada (4.0) have left Eloy in the dust (3.4 bWAR over three seasons) in terms of development. Eloy needs to return committed to making significant improvements with his offensive approach.

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5 minutes ago, South Side Hit Men said:

I agree on that front, not necessarily looking for older guys in return. Dave Dunning, Codi Heuer and Nick Madrigal  have been traded, and not looking for continued prospects for mid 30s players. Eloy is still young (25 next season), will hopefully bounce back after his latest injury.

Also not looking to "sell low". Just saying if you are considering trading one of the core, and can get a great offer, Eloy is the only one I'd consider over the other three position players. Longer term, I'm not sure if he has it in him to embrace the DH role he is best suited to play. Also, Robert (3.6), Anderson (4.6), and the much maligned (by SoxTalk and SteveStone) Yoan Moncada (4.0) have left Eloy in the dust (3.4 bWAR over three seasons) in terms of development. Eloy needs to return committed to making significant improvements with his offensive approach.

When I suggest a platoon of Vaughn and Sheets `I am sure to hear about them not having the necessary speed.  While it's obvious that we would like a Robert at each position...that is not financially feasible.  When I consider a Leury in RF vs a Vaughn/Sheets I can't see very many runs saved by Leury.  These guys need to be utilized until Jose's retirement happens IMO.  Spend the money we have on 2nd base and pitching.

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Burger is a nothing burger. Trade him for a new golf cart for Toney. Vaughn can play backup dh and whatnot. Not sure if we get a healthy Engel back. Maybe surgery in the cards? 

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19 minutes ago, poppysox said:

When I suggest a platoon of Vaughn and Sheets `I am sure to hear about them not having the necessary speed.  While it's obvious that we would like a Robert at each position...that is not financially feasible.  When I consider a Leury in RF vs a Vaughn/Sheets I can't see very many runs saved by Leury.  These guys need to be utilized until Jose's retirement happens IMO.  Spend the money we have on 2nd base and pitching.

Saying that Leury vs. Vaughn/Sheets isn’t a downgrade is also not saying much. Leury in RF was a key part of the game 2 loss. For a bad defensive team the goal should not be to tread water, it should be to improve.

I don’t see an easy way out of this with a trade though. Maybe someone who has need of a bat and young pitching to move is willing to go after Vaughn, but it’s tough to figure out who would do that. Sheets and Burger won’t have much trade value, and the White Sox could really use a guy like Sheets at DH - cheap and powerful, able to Homer from that 6 or 7 spot in the lineup.

Maybe a full offseason of work on defense will be enough to turn Vaughn into an upgraded RF? I will say I significantly underestimated his ability to handle LF last year.

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1 hour ago, WBWSF said:

Nobody seems to mention that Eloy was bad offensively the last month of the season. I don't know what happened. He seemed to have lost his power. Was he hurt? I hope he regains his power in 2022. If not, he's not going to help the team much.

Many people have mentioned this 

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8 minutes ago, Balta1701 said:

Saying that Leury vs. Vaughn/Sheets isn’t a downgrade is also not saying much. Leury in RF was a key part of the game 2 loss. For a bad defensive team the goal should not be to tread water, it should be to improve.

I don’t see an easy way out of this with a trade though. Maybe someone who has need of a bat and young pitching to move is willing to go after Vaughn, but it’s tough to figure out who would do that. Sheets and Burger won’t have much trade value, and the White Sox could really use a guy like Sheets at DH - cheap and powerful, able to Homer from that 6 or 7 spot in the lineup.

Maybe a full offseason of work on defense will be enough to turn Vaughn into an upgraded RF? I will say I significantly underestimated his ability to handle LF last year.

Eloy, Vaughn, and Sheets all play a solid if not spectacular defense.  They handle the basic play very dependably IMO.  Over the years I have seen many big bats with bad gloves hidden in the outfield as they need to play somewhere.  These guys are considerably better than that.

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The more I think about it, the more I dislike the idea of rocking both Eloy & Vaughn in the OF corners.  As such, the Sox need to prioritize adding a left-handed, power hitting RF who can at least be averagely defensively.  And the more and more I think about it, Michael Conforto is 100% the guy we should be targeting.  One way or the other, the front office needs to find a way to get this done, because I don’t see a trade option that fits all three criteria (not optimistic that Austin Meadows can meet the defensive criteria).

For the sake of this exercise, let’s assume we sign Conforto to a multi-year deal that locks down RF for the near future.  This would leave the following corner guys under control:

Player | 2022 Age | Handedness | Control Left | AAV | 2021 wRC+

  • Jose Abreu (1B/DH) | 35 | RH | 1 | $18.0M | 126
  • Eloy Jimenez (LF/DH) | 25 | RH | 5 | $12.8M | 101
  • Andrew Vaughn (1B/OF/DH) | 24 | RH | 5 | NA | 94
  • Gavin Sheets (1B/OF/DH) | 26 | LH | 6 | NA | 125
  • Jake Burger (3B/1B/DH) | 26 | RH | 6 | NA | 120

That’s a ton of talent for a handful of spots and it’s clear at least one or two guys would need to be moved (primarily to fill other needs).  Just to get this off the table, but zero chance they trade Abreu, so let’s consider him a lock for 1B next year.  That leaves the remaining four guys to cover LF and DH and possibly provide some depth at 1B & RF.

To me, I have zero interest in moving Eloy.  He has by far the highest offensive ceiling on the entire team and put up a 139 wRC+ season as recently as 2020.  He’s also the second youngest of the group and is under control for the next five years at a very reasonable rate.  I get the defensive / health concerns, but for a team looking to improve against RHP he is simply not a guy we can afford to move IMO.

When it comes to the remaining three, I think Burger is all but a certainty to be moved this offseason.  His ability to play an ok 3B makes him the unicorn of the group and expands the pool of teams that might have interest.  I’m 100% convinced he gets traded and likely for a controllable reliever.  I truly believe in Burger’s offensive talent, but there are just too many guys ahead him in the pecking order and we have too many holes on the roster to keep him around as as depth piece.

That leaves Vaughn & Sheets, neither guy I would like to move.  And in a perfect world we’d keep both of them around and simply try to rotate them in at DH, 1B, LF, & RF.  As we’ve in recent years, depth is incredibly important and this would be a possible to accomplish that.   The challenge I see is twofold.  First, it just seems like Andrew would get the short end of the stick and end up a platoon bat.  Second, as alluded to many times, we have too many holes and not enough financial flexibility to fill them all in free agency.  If a trade needs to be made to fill an important hole, it’s very clear IMO that Vaughn is the guy who will be able to bring back such a piece.  I don’t want to see him go, but I’d rather move for him at full value then trade Sheets for 50 cents on the dollar, as the more I watched Gavin the more I became I believer of his ability to hit RHP incredibly well.  Hopefully Uncle Jerry will push the payroll beyond the $170M figure I’ve got cemented in my head, but if not, I’d be willing to dangle Andrew out there if that’s what it took to strength the team.

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2 hours ago, WBWSF said:

Nobody seems to mention that Eloy was bad offensively the last month of the season. I don't know what happened. He seemed to have lost his power. Was he hurt? I hope he regains his power in 2022. If not, he's not going to help the team much.

He was recovering from an injury that I believe was likely to sap into his power.  At least until he can rebuild it in the offseason.  Zero reason to doubt Eloy isn’t the guy we always though he was.

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22 minutes ago, poppysox said:

Eloy, Vaughn, and Sheets all play a solid if not spectacular defense.  They handle the basic play very dependably IMO.  Over the years I have seen many big bats with bad gloves hidden in the outfield as they need to play somewhere.  These guys are considerably better than that.

Did you just use the word “spectacular” to describe the OF defense that Eloy, Vaughn, and Sheets provide?

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It would depend on what was offered in return. These logjams usually have a way of working themselves out either by injury or performance. I do expect Eloy and Vaughn to be more productive next year. Sheets really surprised me. There was a point where it seemed the league had figured him out, but apparently he adjusted. Abreu doesn’t have a lot of years left. Burger is a great story and looks to me like he is going to hit, but is probably on misstep from being done. 

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40 minutes ago, poppysox said:

Eloy, Vaughn, and Sheets all play a solid if not spectacular defense.  They handle the basic play very dependably IMO.  Over the years I have seen many big bats with bad gloves hidden in the outfield as they need to play somewhere.  These guys are considerably better than that.

Dude, you need to quit hitting the poppy.

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26 minutes ago, poppysox said:

Eloy, Vaughn, and Sheets all play a solid if not spectacular defense.  They handle the basic play very dependably IMO.  Over the years I have seen many big bats with bad gloves hidden in the outfield as they need to play somewhere.  These guys are considerably better than that.

Vaughn was very bad in the OF. The first half he was about average but he also got very lucky that he basically didn't get any 3 and 4 star catch opportunities, he mostly got 1 and 2s which admittedly he did do well. 

However in the second half his lack of speed was exposed. Overall he was at - 4 in statcast outs above average in the OF (98th out of 125). In lf he was 28th out of 41.

Don't get me wrong, he is playable there but he is a distinctly below average defender and probably better suited for first or DH. 

I'd like him to keep playing some OF but if he is playing full time in left the Sox need a plus defender in right especially since the Sox pitching staff is a fly ball pitcher staff (6th highest FB rate in a 2021). With that many FB pitchers (which isn't bad, fly balls cause homers but are also caused by the high 4 seamers and big breakers which are creating Ks) you simply need a better OF and leury certainly isn't the answer either (albeit despite a few blunders leury still is a way better OF than Vaughn - +1 oaa for leury vs - 4 for Vaughn, but you don't want his bat there) 

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9 minutes ago, southsider2k5 said:

If we learned anything in 2020, its that depth is an asset.

Depth is an asset, but it’s hard to maintain depth at one spot if you have holes elsewhere and minimal means to address them.  Hahn is going to have some really hard choices to make this offseason and keeping all these corner guys is likely not an option.

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26 minutes ago, Chicago White Sox said:

Did you just use the word “spectacular” to describe the OF defense that Eloy, Vaughn, and Sheets provide?

"Spectacular" was used to describe what they don't provide.

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2 hours ago, WBWSF said:

Nobody seems to mention that Eloy was bad offensively the last month of the season. I don't know what happened. He seemed to have lost his power. Was he hurt? I hope he regains his power in 2022. If not, he's not going to help the team much.

I think the injury and recovery were such that his swing and power would have been effected. Also bearing in mind that 2020 was only 60 games and this season he only played 60 games, it was almost the equivalent of him having a second season slump, it is easy to forget he is only 24 with only 232 games and 894 abs. That said I think next season will be an important one for Eloy.

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12 minutes ago, Dominikk85 said:

Vaughn was very bad in the OF. The first half he was about average but he also got very lucky that he basically didn't get any 3 and 4 star catch opportunities, he mostly got 1 and 2s which admittedly he did do well. 

However in the second half his lack of speed was exposed. Overall he was at - 4 in statcast outs above average in the OF (98th out of 125). In lf he was 28th out of 41.

Don't get me wrong, he is playable there but he is a distinctly below average defender and probably better suited for first or DH. 

I'd like him to keep playing some OF but if he is playing full time in left the Sox need a plus defender in right especially since the Sox pitching staff is a fly ball pitcher staff (6th highest FB rate in a 2021). With that many FB pitchers (which isn't bad, fly balls cause homers but are also caused by the high 4 seamers and big breakers which are creating Ks) you simply need a better OF and leury certainly isn't the answer either (albeit despite a few blunders leury still is a way better OF than Vaughn - +1 oaa for leury vs - 4 for Vaughn, but you don't want his bat there) 

Sheets and Vaughn are both playable and you need to play these high draft pieces somewhere.  If all they are is trade chips they shouldn't have been drafted in the first place.

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Which of those players would bring the greatest return if traded?

And which realistically could be traded/ would generate interest?

 

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Here are your FA corner lists:

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2021/10/previewing-the-2021-22-free-agent-class-corner-outfield.html

Pretty underwhelming tbh. 

I also think the dugout hit to Eloy lingered far more than we imagined. Up until that point he was a destroyer of baseballs and cratered immediately. Imo if you trade him, he will reach his star potential somewhere else. 

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There is no good answer but I would have to say trade either Abreu or Sheets. Anyone else would be trading low. Sheets is attractive but its based on a small tenure. Abreu is a known quantity and inarguably valuable. He would bring a great return and the time to take advantage is now where he is about to start the downside of his career, and with his GIDP already an issue. He of course will be back as a coach in 10 years anyways.

Edited by SpringfieldFan

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It is funny how many complaints about lack of depth the Sox supposedly had throughout the season when there was a tough stretch with guys banged up. But immediately after the season ends its time to rid the team of any depth it has.

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