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beautox

The relative value of the sox assets and the value or prospects

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When looking at this team and the rebuilding effort by the front office I feel like this past offseason really set us back and honestly I don't know if what is in the system combined with the major league roster in addition to what is going to be available on the free agent market in coming years is good enough for anything more than the second wild card spot during the prime years or Sale, Quintana and Abreu. So having said that would a full on rebuild be the worst thing for this franchise? and if a full rebuild, how quickly can we turn it around and look to get back to the top of the Central.

 

Below are Fangraphs 2015 top 50 Trade Value of which Sale, Quintana and Abreu make the cut here is the link and excerpts centered around them.

 

#6: Chris Sale, SP, Chicago

Controlled Through: 2019

Guaranteed Dollars: $21.15 million

2016 ZIPS WAR: +6.2

Five year ZIPS WAR: +29.2

Last Year: #11

Because Clayton Kershaw exists, we can’t quite call Chris Sale the best pitcher in baseball. But we can point out that he’s almost the best pitcher in baseball, as the differences between them at this point are barely noticeable. Here are their respective lines over the last year:

 

Name BB% K% GB% HR/FB LOB% BABIP ERA- FIP- xFIP-

Chris Sale 6% 33% 40% 9% 79% 0.302 64 61 66

Clayton Kershaw 5% 31% 50% 10% 77% 0.292 66 60 60

 

Kershaw’s been doing this longer, so we can have more confidence in his ability to keep this up, but for the last year or so, Sale has basically been his equal. And while Kershaw is making $33 million per year from the Dodgers, Sale will make $33 million over the next three seasons combined, and that’s only if the White Sox pick up the first of their two remaining team options. Assuming both options are picked up, Sale will make $48 million over the next four years, while providing the White Sox with something like +24 WAR in the process.

 

$2 million per win for the best pitcher in the American League; it’s no wonder the White Sox are so reticent to take offers for their ace, even if other teams would be pounding down their door the moment Sale hit the market. This kind of value is just really difficult to replace.

 

And he still can’t crack the top five. This whole group is ridiculous.

 

#29: Jose Abreu, 1B, Chicago

Controlled Through: 2019

Guaranteed Dollars: $44 million

2016 ZIPS WAR: +3.1

Five year ZIPS WAR: +13.1

Last Year: #10

I caught a decent amount of flak for putting Abreu in the top ten a year ago, and in retrospect, that skepticism was well deserved. Abreu is a very good hitter, but he’s about as one dimensional as a player can get, and when he’s not slugging .600, he’s more of a good player than a true star. Abreu’s better than his first half numbers would indicate, but that five year ZIPS projection is harsh — Abreu has the lowest projected WAR over the next five years of anyone on the list, in fact — and a reminder that this is a big-bodied 28 year old who might not age particularly well. There’s no question that teams will pay a premium for power in this day and age, and Abreu is still one of the game’s most impactful hitters, but he’s not quite at the level of the other franchise players who actually belong in the top 10.

 

A complicating factor is his ability to opt into arbitration after next season, though with a $10 million guaranteed salary for 2017, it seems highly unlikely that he’ll do so the first time. But perhaps in 2018 and definitely by 2019, Abreu should be able to argue for higher salaries than his original contract calls for, so the $44 million in remaining commitments is a floor, not a ceiling. With a few more good seasons racking up homers and RBIs, those last couple of arbitration years could cost an extra $15 million or so, pushing the total closer to $60 million over the final four years of Abreu’s deal. That’s still a huge bargain relative to what he’d get as a free agent, but he fits better in this range than in last year’s aggressive placement.

 

#41: Jose Quintana, SP, Chicago

Controlled Through: 2020

Guaranteed Dollars: $23.25 million

2016 ZIPS WAR: +4.0

Five year ZIPS WAR: +19.2

Last Year: #37

Quintana remains one of the more remarkable stories in baseball, as the White Sox signed him as a minor league free agent after the 2011 season, and then helped him develop into the game’s most consistent starters. Like Keuchel, this is performance-over-stuff, and he’ll never blow anyone away with what he throws, but we’re on year four of Major League hitters not being able to figure him out, so at this point, it’s pretty clear that he’s doing a lot of things right.

 

Unlike Keuchel, Quintana isn’t a frontline guy, and probably never will be; he’s maybe more akin to someone like Doug Fister. But there’s nothing wrong with steady, solid, above-average performances, and the extension Quintana signed last year means that he’s going to make heavily reduced salaries the next three years, plus the White Sox get team options on what would have been his first two free agent years. There isn’t necessarily star potential here, but he’s a very good pitcher at very good prices, and every team in baseball would love to have Quintana in their rotation.

 

So based off that we have a primitive idea of what their perceived trade value would be. If the sox are going to enter a full on rebuild they would want young major leaguers and top prospects, thats the obvious part but what isn't always obvious is what is the value of said prospects. Previously Kevin Creagh and Steve DiMiceli over at the point of pittsburgh wrote a great piece about that here I encourage everyone on this fourm to read that article when discussing potential prospects the sox should consider if they plan on going in that direction. Below are two tables from that article and comment section that are pretty telling. These tables are in regards to baseball america's top 100 list.

 

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With all that out on the table I think when weighing prospects and their value the team sending the proven major leaguer should have consideration of the obvious bust rates of said prospects and the fact that the majority usually 66% of their value comes during their arbitration years.

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