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Grade Offseason Acquisitions at ASB


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Time to take a look at the offseason acquisitions as we approach the All Star Break. Despite popular belief, they haven’t been bad and overall I’d give Hahn a B- on these acquisitions.

Joe Kelly (-0.8 bWAR): F

No way to sugarcoat it. He’s been either hurt or bad for most of the season. The stuff is there but the control isn’t. Hopefully he finds his control in the second half.

AJ Pollock (0.0 bWAR) C-

He’s been surprisingly healthy but the power is lacking this season. Hard to grade much lower considering they were able to dump Kimbrel in this deal.

Vince Velasquez (0.0 bWAR): C

He was a cheap signing and been about what you’d expect. Ate some valuable innings early in the season when it was desperately needed.

Josh Harrison (1.1 bWAR): B-

Started the season slow at the plate but coming on of late. Has been great defensively all season and provided much needed versatility when everyone was hurt. Has solidified 2b position for this team.

Reese McGuire (0.6 bWAR): B

Has been the perfect backup catcher. Plays solid defense and calls a good game behind the plate. An ideal postseason catcher due to his plus D.

Kendall Graveman (1.0 bWAR) A-

Has been exactly what the Sox needed from a setup guy. He’s even closed games in a pinch. Basically, he’s been everything that Kimbrel should have been.

Johnny Cueto (2.3 bWAR): A+

Most fans here disliked this signing at the time but he’s been terrific. Perhaps the best signing of ANY team last offseason. He’s filled in for Rodon’s starting slot at a fraction of the cost. The guy is an absolute bulldog and winner.
 

 

 

Edited by JUSTgottaBELIEVE
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19 minutes ago, JUSTgottaBELIEVE said:

Vince Velasquez (0.0 bWAR): C

He was a cheap signing and been about what you’d expect. Ate some valuable innings early in the season when it was desperately needed.

I feel like there are two grades to give out, because the decision for a contender to sign Velasquez as the only SP depth add is an F. 
 

But I agree that he’s been more or less what was expected. It’s just that the expectations very low to begin with.

 

19 minutes ago, JUSTgottaBELIEVE said:

Johnny Cueto (2.3 bWAR): A+

Most fans here disliked this signing at the time but he’s been terrific. Perhaps the best signing of ANY team last offseason. He’s filled in for Rodon’s starting slot at a fraction of the cost. The guy is an absolute bulldog and winner.

I don’t recall most disliking this signing. I thought many saw it as a no brainer to help fill Lynn’s innings. But yeah, A+++

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9 minutes ago, Tnetennba said:

Cueto - A+

Graveman - B+

Harrison - C

VV - C

McGuire - D

Pollock - D

Kelly - F- 

If you look at where Pollock and Harrison were last year…it definitely changes one’s perspective in grading.  Pollock scares one even more being “stuck” on the roster for next season.  On the plus side, Harrison being much much better the last 4-6 weeks than merely “terrible” or worst in the majors like Leury.  At least for bWAR, he’s looking like at least a solid regular in this hitting depressed environment.  Certainly a better fit than Madrigal or Cesar Hernandez for this particular team.

Graveman and McGuire probably are at A- and C/C-.

Then there’s the Leury Garcia extension (F/F-) and not offering a QO at least to Rodon.

VV perhaps a C-, arguably Lambert and Martin weren’t ready to fill those spots the first 6-8 weeks as Keuchel transitioned off the roster.

 

Edited by caulfield12
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Here’s how I’d rate them with the benefit of hindsight.

 

  • Cueto = A+
  • Graveman = B
  • McGuire = B-
  • Harrison = C-
  • Velesquez = D-
  • Pollock = F
  • Leury = F
  • Kelly = F

Overall, I’d give the off-season an F though.  Not only did Hahn ignore multiple important needs, the vast majority of the moves he made were either dumb at the time or have simply not worked out.  It’s an impressively bad off-season and we are super fortunate to play in the worst division in all of baseball.

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7 minutes ago, Snopek said:

I feel like there are two grades to give out, because the decision for a contender to sign Velasquez as the only SP depth add is an F. 
 

But I agree that he’s been more or less what was expected. It’s just that the expectations very low to begin with.

 

I don’t recall most disliking this signing. I thought many saw it as a no brainer to help fill Lynn’s innings. But yeah, A+++

Based on performance, yeah VV has been decent.  The decision to sign him definitely remains an F. 

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2 minutes ago, Chicago White Sox said:

Overall, I’d give the off-season an F though.  Not only did Hahn ignore multiple important needs, the vast majority of the moves he made were either dumb at the time or have simply not worked out.  It’s an impressively bad off-season and we are super fortunate to play in the worst division in all of baseball.

This remains 100% true and accurate.  The off-season was and is still a massive failure.  And the worst part is he gave multiple years to a few awful signings so the ramifications won’t be fully realized for a while yet. 

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You left out Vince Velasquez.

https://ontapsportsnet.com/2022/04/04/chicago-white-sox-offseason-moves-2022-roster-needs-rick-hahn-trades-signings/

That was back in April before getting Cueto.

Hahn deserves no love for his off season. It's more about who wasn't acquired and poor allocation of resources.

Out of desperation 2 days after Lynn was hurt he picked up Cueto.

2 days after Martin Perez signed with the Rangers for $4M , the Sox got Velasquez for $3M. Maybe the Sox offered Perez , who is now an All-star, $3M and he turned it down.

I'll not carry any water for Hahn.

No starting pitching depth, no added quality LHH, giving Leury 3 years. Signing an injured Kelly for 2 yrs. $17M. No QO to Rodon . Picking up KImbrel's option and then running out of options trades him for Pollock. None of the many DH's are traded. Was a great opportunity to trade Sheets knowing you still have Vaughn and Abreu. Just to bring in some more youth even a minor league pitcher since Charlotte has nothing.

Ages of key acquisitions: Cueto 37, Pollock 34, Harrsion 34/35, Kelly 33/34, Graveman 31. He continues to work on the fringes taking chances with old players wasting multiple millions.

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16 minutes ago, Chicago White Sox said:

Here’s how I’d rate them with the benefit of hindsight.

 

  • Cueto = A+
  • Graveman = B
  • McGuire = B-
  • Harrison = C-
  • Velesquez = D-
  • Pollock = F
  • Leury = F
  • Kelly = F

Overall, I’d give the off-season an F though.  Not only did Hahn ignore multiple important needs, the vast majority of the moves he made were either dumb at the time or have simply not worked out.  It’s an impressively bad off-season and we are super fortunate to play in the worst division in all of baseball.

They improved 2b and RF. Filled Rodon’s departure with Cueto. What other glaring needs were there? This season has been far more about the failure of the veterans that were already on the roster than the failure of the offseason. If Moncada, Grandal, Lynn, and Giolito were anywhere close to last season’s performances, this would be a 50-55 win team today.

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15 minutes ago, CaliSoxFanViaSWside said:

You left out Vince Velasquez.

https://ontapsportsnet.com/2022/04/04/chicago-white-sox-offseason-moves-2022-roster-needs-rick-hahn-trades-signings/

That was back in April before getting Cueto.

Hahn deserves no love for his off season. It's more about who wasn't acquired and poor allocation of resources.

Out of desperation 2 days after Lynn was hurt he picked up Cueto.

2 days after Martin Perez signed with the Rangers for $4M , the Sox got Velasquez for $3M. Maybe the Sox offered Perez , who is now an All-star, $3M and he turned it down.

I'll not carry any water for Hahn.

No starting pitching depth, no added quality LHH, giving Leury 3 years. Signing an injured Kelly for 2 yrs. $17M. No QO to Rodon . Picking up KImbrel's option and then running out of options trades him for Pollock. None of the many DH's are traded. Was a great opportunity to trade Sheets knowing you still have Vaughn and Abreu. Just to bring in some more youth even a minor league pitcher since Charlotte has nothing.

Ages of key acquisitions: Cueto 37, Pollock 34, Harrsion 34/35, Kelly 33/34, Graveman 31. He continues to work on the fringes taking chances with old players wasting multiple millions.

How have old guys like Cueto, Hendriks, Graveman, and Abreu been a waste of money? They’ve been the best players on the team this season.

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6 minutes ago, JUSTgottaBELIEVE said:

They improved 2b and RF. Filled Rodon’s departure with Cueto. What other glaring needs were there? This season has been far more about the failure of the veterans that were already on the roster than the failure of the offseason. If Moncada, Grandal, Lynn, and Giolito were anywhere close to last season’s performances, this would be a 50-55 win team today.

Did they improve RF? Did they improve 2B? What was Goodwin/Hamilton producing at this point last year? What was Leury/Madrigal?

They also didn’t use those positions to balance the big weaknesses of RHP and too groundball heavy.

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8 minutes ago, CaliSoxFanViaSWside said:

I'll not waste any more of my time discussing it with you.

But how have those guys disappointed? It’s not just about age. Some of the younger guys like Eloy, Moncada, and Giolito have been some of the biggest disappointments this season. They should all be “in their prime” based on their age.

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12 minutes ago, SoxBlanco said:

Impossible to disagree with Kelly being an F right now, but I do think that grade will go up by the end of the year. Can you imagine if Kelly and Bummer return to from?  The bullpen would be insane. 

Clearly, Kelly has the stuff to be a plus setup guy and I’m sure that’s why they signed him. He just has had little to no command. Hopefully his last couple outings are a step in the right direction. If he figures it out, a backend of Kelly, Lopez , Graveman, and Hendriks is elite regardless of what Bummer does.

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9 minutes ago, SoxBlanco said:

Impossible to disagree with Kelly being an F right now, but I do think that grade will go up by the end of the year. Can you imagine if Kelly and Bummer return to from?  The bullpen would be insane. 

I agree with this take on Kelly.  RH wanted to build the pen and Kelly was added to be a helpful piece for the stretch drive.  RH knew up front that Kelly would need to knock the rust off in the early going.  Recent games have shown the importance of those 6 thru 9 BP pieces, much like the key BP guys of the 2005 team.  Harrison has really turned my mind around this last month...and we have been very fortunate that the McGuire/Zavala catching combo has been a nice surprise given Grandal's ineffectiveness.

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26 minutes ago, JUSTgottaBELIEVE said:

They improved 2b and RF. Filled Rodon’s departure with Cueto. What other glaring needs were there? This season has been far more about the failure of the veterans that were already on the roster than the failure of the offseason. If Moncada, Grandal, Lynn, and Giolito were anywhere close to last season’s performances, this would be a 50-55 win team today.

To be fair, Cueto wasn’t an off-season signing and a was a reactive move to Lynn getting hurt.  The only SP depth Hahn added during the off-season was VV, which is incredible when you realize how bad Keuchel was over the 2H of last year, the innings limit Kopech faced, and the fact we had almost zero pitching depth in the upper minors.  Cueto magically working doesn’t change the bad process before it.

On the bullpen side, Graveman has been a good addition, but loses some points when he can’t routinely pitch back to back and your other big bullpen addition is going to be out or heavily restricted for the first half of the season.  And don’t get me started on giving Joe Kelly the massive deal we did when we actually knew about those restrictions up front and included them in his contact.  I’m still hopefully Kelly can be valuable come October, but that doesn’t change the fact he’s been completely useless for 25% of his contract.

Please elaborate on how we improved RF and 2B.  I don’t blame Hahn for not foreseeing a rapid decline in Pollock’s bat, but his inability to play RF should not have been a major surprise.  The reality is we still do not have a major league caliber RF and continue rotate 1B types through there way too often.  As for 2B, Josh Harrison isn’t really an upgrade over what we got out of the position last year and is more or less neutral.  Settling for a 1.5 win ceiling 2B while trying to win a World Series is pathetic and ignoring the need for more power and better lineup balance should be considered a fireable offense.

And then you have the Leury deal which is so ridiculously bad that it becomes clear that 78 year old, braindead La Russa has legit influence over roster decisions.  But whether Rick or Tony made the call there, it was an insanely stupid contact (three fucking years!?!) and made even less sense when paired with Harrison and once you realize our farm system has multiple guys who could quickly replace him in the next couple years.

Finally, humanity’s need to constantly assign blame to only one specific driver is immensely frustrating.  Hahn completely botching this off-season and the core underperforming can both be true!  So can the core underperforming and Tony La Russa being a total disaster both be true!  There are many reasons for this shit show of a season, but Hahn’s mind-boggling off-season is no doubt one of them.

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29 minutes ago, JUSTgottaBELIEVE said:

They improved 2b and RF. Filled Rodon’s departure with Cueto. What other glaring needs were there? This season has been far more about the failure of the veterans that were already on the roster than the failure of the offseason. If Moncada, Grandal, Lynn, and Giolito were anywhere close to last season’s performances, this would be a 50-55 win team today.

Except we didn’t fill that Rodon/Lynn/Keuchel hole for at least six weeks with Cueto.

RF?  That was unaddressed, as Pollock inherited LF thankfully when Jimenez went out.

RF has been a hodge podge of Engel, AV, Sheets, Pollock and Leury.

LF has been bad because of Vaughn’s defense, Jimenez’s injury/defense and Pollock being barely above a replacement level player for way too much money for that rate of production.

 

Josh Harrison has been much better recently but borderline terrible the first two months…to the point he was a mere week or two away from DFA status.

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4 minutes ago, Chicago White Sox said:

To be fair, Cueto wasn’t an off-season signing and a was a reactive move to Lynn getting hurt.  The only SP depth Hahn added during the off-season was VV, which is incredible when you realize how bad Keuchel was over the 2H of last year, the innings limit Kopech faced, and the fact we had almost zero pitching depth in the upper minors.  Cueto magically working doesn’t change the bad process before it.

On the bullpen side, Graveman has been a good addition, but loses some points when he can’t routinely pitch back to back and your other big bullpen addition is going to be out or heavily restricted for the first half of the season.  And don’t get me started on giving Joe Kelly the massive deal we did when we actually knew about those restrictions up front and included them in his contact.  I’m still hopefully Kelly can be valuable come October, but that doesn’t change the fact he’s been completely useless for 25% of his contract.

Please elaborate on how we improved RF and 2B.  I don’t blame Hahn for not foreseeing a rapid decline in Pollock’s bat, but his inability to play RF should not have been a major surprise.  The reality is we still do not have a major league caliber RF and continue rotate 1B types through there way too often.  As for 2B, Josh Harrison isn’t really an upgrade over what we got out of the position last year and is more or less neutral.  Settling for a 1.5 win ceiling 2B while trying to win a World Series is pathetic and ignoring the need for more power and better lineup balance should be considered a fireable offense.

And then you have the Leury deal which is so ridiculously bad that it becomes clear that 78 year old, braindead La Russa has legit influence over roster decisions.  But whether Rick or Tony made the call there, it was an insanely stupid contact (three fucking years!?!) and made even less sense when paired with Harrison and once you realize our farm system has multiple guys who could quickly replace him in the next couple years.

Finally, humanity’s need to constantly assign blame to only one specific driver is immensely frustrating.  Hahn completely botching this off-season and the core underperforming can both be true!  So can the core underperforming and Tony La Russa being a total disaster both be true!  There are many reasons for this shit show of a season, but Hahn’s mind-boggling off-season is no doubt one of them.

And that’s on the farm system again.

Either you add Escobar and play a Sosa/Rodriguez type for essentially the same amount of money…but Hahn spent even more money on getting even less production, and took valuable playing time away from a younger player who could have benefited, fit into the long(er) term plans and MORE likely produced better than Leury even in 2022.

But Sosa and Rodriguez weren’t quite ready to replace even Mendick in the eyes of Hahn, KW and TLR.

 

If we don’t go after Josh Bell, hopefully it’s a much better version of Leury in Ian Happ..although he obviously can’t play SS.  Or Drury.  But Leury’s continued presence on the roster continues to block even those moves.

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This is a fun thread at this close to halfway point. I still think two biggest errors which have been said often is picking up Kimbrel option and not at minimum giving Rodon qualifying offer. I think Rodon even stays with a decent offer. Not giving QO will look even worse tomorrow night at draft. 

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While I don’t want to make excuses for Hahn as I do think he has done a poor job post rebuild…but can someone point to the available free agents they would have signed that are looking good right now? You can point to a maybe 2/3 I think, but there are also more than a few guys this board (myself included) were clamoring for that would look like awful signings we’d be killing Hahn for. 
 

 

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Just now, TheFutureIsNear said:

While I don’t want to make excuses for Hahn as I do think he has done a poor job post rebuild…but can someone point to the available free agents they would have signed that are looking good right now? You can point to a maybe 2/3 I think, but there are also more than a few guys this board (myself included) were clamoring for that would look like awful signings we’d be killing Hahn for. 
 

 

Schwarber 

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10 minutes ago, Backwash07 said:

This is a fun thread at this close to halfway point. I still think two biggest errors which have been said often is picking up Kimbrel option and not at minimum giving Rodon qualifying offer. I think Rodon even stays with a decent offer. Not giving QO will look even worse tomorrow night at draft. 

It’s a but crazy we couldn’t keep Rodon because we overinvested in Lynn and Keuchel, two pitchers on the decline phases of their careers.

If you could pick any starter to go against the Twins on Sunday to keep the spread at just 3 games back, Rodon would be the choice of at least 60-75% of the board.  The other votes would go to Cease and Cueto.

And he’s really other than Cease the best choice for shutting down opposing offenses like the Yankees or Astros in the postseason as well.

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