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Sox in on Marcell Ozuna? I mean, maybe. Or not.

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So with the addition of Grandal, our long-term lineup is close to completion.  Assuming Vaughn is the real deal, that leaves RF as our one long-term hole remaining as you can see below.

  • 1B: Andrew Vaughn (controllable through 2027)
  • 2B: Nick Madrigal (2026)
  • SS: Tim Anderson (2024)
  • 3B: Yoan Moncada# (2023)
  • LF: Eloy Jimenez (2026)
  • CF: Luis Robert (2026)
  • RH: ??
  • DH: Jose Abreu (2022)
  • CA: Yasmani Grandal# (2023)

So what does everyone think we should do with this spot?  What can we actually afford when you consider the financial outlook for the rest of the core?  Is a legit superstar even a possibility now?  What is the ideal skillset / profile you are looking for?  Do we still have faith in any of our OF prospects?

There are a lot of paths we could go down here, but ultimately this may be the last spot we have to upgrade the lineup over the next three years or so.

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I'm in the sign Castellanos camp. Make him work his butt off on defense in spring training. The Sox have serious potential to have a ridiculous offense. Castellanos will help us get there.

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Ideal: Mookie Betts signs next year with Puig as a short term stop gap this year

Good: N. Castellanos signs this year and rakes for us, although defense be dammed. 

Good: We trade some prospects for Starlin Marte and rock it out.

Mediocre: Puig as a short term gap and try the market again in the next year or two

The bad: Anything like Garcia/Engel etc. 

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1 minute ago, Sarava said:

I'm in the sign Castellanos camp. Make him work his butt off on defense in spring training. The Sox have serious potential to have a ridiculous offense. Castellanos will help us get there.

My fear with him is two-fold.  First, if his defense doesn’t get better, we are likely stuck with him in RF regardless.  Second, Castellanos has never been that great against RHP and this is our last shot to address that.  I don’t think we automatically need a LH hitter, but we need a guy who can do damage against righties.  I’m not certain Nick is that guy.

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7 minutes ago, Sarava said:

I'm in the sign Castellanos camp. Make him work his butt off on defense in spring training. The Sox have serious potential to have a ridiculous offense. Castellanos will help us get there.

He's been in the league what... 6-7 years? Over 2,500 innings in RF? Safe to say he is what he is at this point with the glove. As long as he continues to look like a late bloomer with the bat, I'm good with him.

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I think it's Micker Adolfo.  Klaw loves him still...he's got big power and a huge arm and would be great in our time line.  That said...the Sox had terrible luck this year with their second string of prospects.  I suspect this year by All Star game two or three of Dane Dunning, Stiever, Basabe, Adolfo, Rutherford, Lugo, Hansen Flores, Burger, Lambert, Walker will step forward and look exciting.  So sign Puig or Avi for a year and if none of the step-forward candidates are RF's...use them to trade for someone like Marte.  

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Let’s say each of our five outfield prospects (Micker, Gonzalez, Basabe, Walker, Rutherford) has only a 15% chance to be a solid regular. That means there is a 56% chance that at least one of of them will be a solid regular. 

If you think each one has a 20% chance of panning out, that means there’s a 74% chance at least one makes it. 

Point being, I think it’s likely that at least one of them could be our long term solution. 

I would go after a one year stop gap option and then reevaluate the prospects. We’ll have a better idea next offseason, and if it seems like all five will flop, then we can sign somebody next year. 

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8 minutes ago, SoxAce said:

He's been in the league what... 6-7 years? Over 2,500 innings in RF? Safe to say he is what he is at this point with the glove. As long as he continues to look like a late bloomer with the bat, I'm good with him.

7 years, he's only been playing RF for 2 years and did get better this year.  He was 3B before.

Castellanos most likely is going to be a bad RF but his bat has upside and has been improving every year for the last 4 years.  He is the best bat available and this team was awful offensively in the power department.

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15 minutes ago, SoxBlanco said:

Let’s say each of our five outfield prospects (Micker, Gonzalez, Basabe, Walker, Rutherford) has only a 15% chance to be a solid regular. That means there is a 56% chance that at least one of of them will be a solid regular. 

If you think each one has a 20% chance of panning out, that means there’s a 74% chance at least one makes it. 

Point being, I think it’s likely that at least one of them could be our long term solution. 

I would go after a one year stop gap option and then reevaluate the prospects. We’ll have a better idea next offseason, and if it seems like all five will flop, then we can sign somebody next year. 

I see what you’re saying, but all of those prospects looked pretty bad last year, except Walker. And he’s got an ETA of late 2021, tops. We don’t need to give up on any of them (if they work out and we sign a big fish, then they’re trade bait), but I don’t want to sign a stop gap if we can land a Castellanos or Betts and be serious contenders this year.

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13 minutes ago, The Sir said:

I see what you’re saying, but all of those prospects looked pretty bad last year, except Walker. And he’s got an ETA of late 2021, tops. We don’t need to give up on any of them (if they work out and we sign a big fish, then they’re trade bait), but I don’t want to sign a stop gap if we can land a Castellanos or Betts and be serious contenders this year.

I certainly wouldn’t mind Castellanos. I liked him more when I thought he could move to DH after a year, but Abreu’s deal makes that difficult. And I actually don’t hate his defense as much as others. He’s only played RF for two years, and he showed improvement in the second year. He just seems like a guy who will continue to improve defensively. 

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Unless you’re willing to extend Betts right away for some crazy number like $400 million...then you pretty much have to find a one year fill-in.  Simply because none of the other options are true difference makers, Castellanos will also be overpaid and the Abreu signing forces him out into the field or 1B, which would block Vaughn.

That calculus could change with a quick Wheeler signing, but that still leaves you in need of/with:

1) Second veteran pitcher for backend

2) Insurance for Colome/Bummer/Herrera in high leverage, basically, RH relief help

3) Uncertainty about how well McCann and Collins will hit...DH could work out well or be another issue

4) Not sure you can play Garcia and Mendick as starters and hope to get out of the gate well...maybe a Gennett gets added that has the versatility to play RF and 2B.  This assumes Yolmer is gone, of course.

 

Arguably, with a Betts 6-8 fWAR season...they could still compete, but the biggest problems will obviously arise on the pitching side.  With that being the case, relieving the pressure by having (at least) an above-average RF defender might be worth sacrificing some offense for.  It would also relieve some of the defensive pressure Robert will be under.

It’s almost to the point where you at least consider adding a CFer and moving Robert over to RF.

Edited by caulfield12

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I’ve said it many times now, but the one guy who makes a ton of sense to me for RF is Brandon Nimmo.  Now to get him, what if instead of dealing with the Mets directly, we do a three way trade that gets them the CF they desire.  The most obvious partner for this scenario would be the Pirates with Starling Marte.  He seems like a guy that is almost certain to be moved this offseason and there are already rumors of the Mets’ interest:

Given the Pirates appear to be on the cusp of a rebuild they would likely be willing to take some prospects that aren’t major league ready.  Would a package built around Collins, Stiever, & Walker potentially work?  I know there’s no top 100 prospect in there (cue Balta stating the package is worthless), but that’s three guys in the 100 to 200 range and the Pirates might be willing to take a more quantity over quality approach if they’ve got a long rebuild ahead of them.

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Take a chance and sign CF Billy Hamilton.  If he doesn't work out at least we will have good speed off the bench.  

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5 minutes ago, Chicago White Sox said:

I’ve said it many times now, but the one guy who makes a ton of sense to me for RF is Brandon Nimmo.  Now to get him, what if instead of dealing with the Mets directly, we do a three way trade that gets them the CF they desire.  The most obvious partner for this scenario would be the Pirates with Starling Marte.  He seems like a guy that is almost certain to be moved this offseason and there are already rumors of the Mets’ interest:

Given the Pirates appear to be on the cusp of a rebuild they would likely be willing to take some prospects that aren’t major league ready.  Would a package built around Collins, Stiever, & Walker potentially work?  I know there’s no top 100 prospect in there (cue Balta stating the package is worthless), but that’s three guys in the 100 to 200 range and the Pirates might be willing to take a more quantity over quality approach if they’ve got a long rebuild ahead of them.

I like Nimmo too, but not for Collins, then we would need another DH.

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Padres are sitting on a boatload of prospect capital...and they will need a CFer if Taylor Trammell busts.

Manuel Margot is their version of Yolmer Sanchez.

 

The problem here is that the Cole trade gave them Musgrove/Martin (not enough from Feliz/Moran) so they’re going to need to go for more high-end, premium talent if they are to deal Marte, who caught fire again in the second half.  It won’t be a numbers game of 4-5 guys who might be 1.5-2.5 fWAR guys but MUCH more likely replacement level.

 

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34 minutes ago, Chisox378 said:

I like Nimmo too, but not for Collins, then we would need another DH.

Then go sign Encarnacion for a year and have Vaughn replace him in 2021.  This lineup would be insanely good next year:

  1. Anderson, SS
  2. Moncada, 3B#
  3. Abreu, 1B
  4. Grandal, C#
  5. Jimenez, LF
  6. Nimmo, RF*
  7. Encarnacion, DH
  8. Robert, CF
  9. Madrigal, 2B

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1 hour ago, Chicago White Sox said:

I’ve said it many times now, but the one guy who makes a ton of sense to me for RF is Brandon Nimmo.  Now to get him, what if instead of dealing with the Mets directly, we do a three way trade that gets them the CF they desire.  The most obvious partner for this scenario would be the Pirates with Starling Marte.  He seems like a guy that is almost certain to be moved this offseason and there are already rumors of the Mets’ interest:

Given the Pirates appear to be on the cusp of a rebuild they would likely be willing to take some prospects that aren’t major league ready.  Would a package built around Collins, Stiever, & Walker potentially work?  I know there’s no top 100 prospect in there (cue Balta stating the package is worthless), but that’s three guys in the 100 to 200 range and the Pirates might be willing to take a more quantity over quality approach if they’ve got a long rebuild ahead of them.

I think it would have to be more for Marte...3 war 2 consecutive seasons and has essentially a 2/23M contract. That’s a lot of excess value for a very good player. 
 

Hard to come up with a deal that another team couldn’t easily beat without involving 1 of Vaughn, Madrigal, Kopech, Robert or Cease...which obviously we don’t want to do. Maybe Lopez + Collins is a good enough starter to draw them in? Add in a Steiver or Walker as the 3rd piece and I think we would have a shot. Steiver + Walker as the 2nd and 3rd pieces for an all-star level player would be way too much of question marks for me if I was a pirates fan. Not like Collins is a can’t  miss A level prospect. 

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I would just like the long term RF fix (doesn’t have to be this year) to be a plus defender.

One thing with the Mets, I do think the most attractive deal to them included “today” assets.

One would be bummer -> so you’d need to anticipate spending on maybe a Pomeranz.

An interesting one could be Rodon. Gives them 1.5 years of a cheap starter, possible elite bullpen.

I don’t really buy the latter but VW seems to have a different feel than other Gms as he is in addition mode so who knows.

Id rather give more for Conforto though if possible.

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13 hours ago, iWiN4PreP said:

Ideal: Mookie Betts signs next year with Puig as a short term stop gap this year

Good: N. Castellanos signs this year and rakes for us, although defense be dammed. 

Good: We trade some prospects for Starlin Marte and rock it out.

Mediocre: Puig as a short term gap and try the market again in the next year or two

The bad: Anything like Garcia/Engel etc. 

Betts is the dream for 2021

Castellanos wouldn't be awful, his age fits in nicely AND he can hit, BUT I feel he likely gets overpaid a ton

Still not comfortable trading prospects yet, I'll only become comfortable once this team starts competing...so maybe Deadline?

Puig is interesting, not sure what his relationship is with Abreu, but if he can be had for fair value, I love it...Big time name for marketing FWIW

Don't forget about the plethora of OF prospects in the system however, why I'm more comfortable on short term guys like if Puig can be had short term or, yes, even Avi for cheap

13 hours ago, michelangelosmonkey said:

I think it's Micker Adolfo.  Klaw loves him still...he's got big power and a huge arm and would be great in our time line.  That said...the Sox had terrible luck this year with their second string of prospects.  I suspect this year by All Star game two or three of Dane Dunning, Stiever, Basabe, Adolfo, Rutherford, Lugo, Hansen Flores, Burger, Lambert, Walker will step forward and look exciting.  So sign Puig or Avi for a year and if none of the step-forward candidates are RF's...use them to trade for someone like Marte.  

Yup, if Adolfo isn't the answer (who knows), there's still Rutherford, Basabe, Walker, Gonzalez to try out...all of these guys should be ready at some point in 2020 or early 2021 latest

1 hour ago, Chicago White Sox said:

Then go sign Encarnacion for a year and have Vaughn replace him in 2021.  This lineup would be insanely good next year:

  1. Anderson, SS
  2. Moncada, 3B#
  3. Abreu, 1B
  4. Grandal, C#
  5. Jimenez, LF
  6. Nimmo, RF*
  7. Encarnacion, DH
  8. Robert, CF
  9. Madrigal, 2B

Not the worst idea, EE should be had for cheap and obviously short term

2020:

C- Grandal, McCann, Collins
1B- Abreu
DH- EE

Obviously I expect Grandal to DH some and Abreu to get rest at 1B in which Collins steps in...While I appreciate what McCann did last year, it screams fluke...oh, and he didn't hit too well post ASG...like night and day

2021:
C- Grandal, Collins
1B- Vaughn
DH- Abreu

McCann leaves as a FA and the logjam becomes clearer and younger and more long term

Collins finally gets a fair shake of ABs (there's really no such thing as a starting C anymore)

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1 hour ago, Chicago White Sox said:

Then go sign Encarnacion for a year and have Vaughn replace him in 2021.  This lineup would be insanely good next year:

  1. Anderson, SS
  2. Moncada, 3B#
  3. Abreu, 1B
  4. Grandal, C#
  5. Jimenez, LF
  6. Nimmo, RF*
  7. Encarnacion, DH
  8. Robert, CF
  9. Madrigal, 2B

Even if you swap out Nimmo for a FA, this team should be really fun to watch next year...I don't people realize the super-stardom that Robert is going to bring

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1 minute ago, TheFutureIsNear said:

I think it would have to be more for Marte...3 war 2 consecutive seasons and has essentially a 2/23M contract. That’s a lot of excess value for a very good player. 
 

Hard to come up with a deal that another team couldn’t easily beat without involving 1 of Vaughn, Madrigal, Kopech, Robert or Cease...which obviously we don’t want to do. Maybe Lopez + Collins is a good enough starter to draw them in? Add in a Steiver or Walker as the 3rd piece and I think we would have a shot. Steiver + Walker as the 2nd and 3rd pieces for an all-star level player would be way too much of question marks for me if I was a pirates fan. Not like Collins is a can’t  miss A level prospect. 

All fair points, but you’re also taking a backwards looking approach in terms of valuation.  Let’s say teams project Marte to be worth ~5.0 fWAR over the next two years (using Steamer as a proxy here).  At $9M per win, his surplus value would be ~$21M.  If you view Collins & Stiever as 45+ FV type prospects and Walker as a 45 FV type prospect then combined they are worth ~$20M in value (using FG’s prospect value charts).  Seems to be a pretty fair trade depending on their view of those three prospects, which admittedly could swing wildly from organization to organization.

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20 minutes ago, ChiSoxJon said:

Even if you swap out Nimmo for a FA, this team should be really fun to watch next year...I don't people realize the super-stardom that Robert is going to bring

Him and Eloy alone are going to be a ton of fun. Then you got Kopech as well and possibly Madrigal 0_0. 

Selfishly, this is partly the reason why I want a RF so badly. I don't want any more corpses in the line up... enough of the Engel/Garcia/Yolmer type players that IMO are unwatchable. 

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Depending on how cheap he is, Tsutsugo could be a RF/DH option as well. Reports out of Japan have him as a quality OBP guy. Idk how his power will translate, but I'd think given that he's been a 35-45 HR guy in Japan, that he'd be a 20-30 HR guy in the states. 

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Find a relatively cheap to acquire but solid one year stop gap for 2020 and go for the gold next year in FA. Plenty of great options headlines by Mookie, Springer, Joc and Brantley in 21 FA class. 
 

If Adolfo blows up in meantime, great. Frankly not expecting much from the Rutherford, Gonzalez and Basabe trio at this point, and Walker is still at least 2 years away. I do think Micker can still be that guy if he can stay healthy. 

Edited by ChiSox59

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I feel like Joc would fit so well to balance our lineup against RHP.  However, the Dodgers had the luxury of esstentially only playing him against RHP (~50AB against LHP each of the last three seasons). So acquiring Joc this year or targeting for 2021 would require us to build out some ML depth or acquire his lefty-bashing platoon partner. 

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