I have no clue if Mark Twain actually said this, nor do I care, but it seems to effectively sum up one of the reasons that people like to hear from the 108ers. We feed it to you straight and it might not be what you are reading from the waves of other White Sox blogs or fan pages. Now, this isn’t an edict to strictly be contrarian, that’s not the point. The point is that you can think through something, come to a conclusion that does not line up with the consensus, and it can still be a reasonable conclusion. In fact, it might be a MORE reasonable conclusion than the consensus, particularly if you haven’t allowed the consensus to inhibit your thinking.
This is just an ethos or a way of looking at the world. If you sit in the 108 and we discuss ANYTHING, you will have a dissenting viewpoint among the group members. Whether it be, MLB rules, or Van Halen vs Van Hagar, or Best Seinfeld character, you aren’t likely to get a consensus from the group…….that’s just the way we roll.
You are probably reading and saying “BeefLoaf, when the fugg you gonna talk about Evan Longoria“….don’t worry, it’s coming, I’ll land this plane sooner or later.
During a recent Sunday Soak, which you should be watching each time we do it, because what’s better than three half naked 108ers talking baseball and bullshit in a hot tub moderately sauced (read, incredibly hammered)……so anyway, during a recent Sunday Soak, yours truly wanted to talk a little 2018 White Sox and in doing so, I really wanted to tackle the problem that is 3rd base….not these guys….
But these guys…..
There are essentially three camps for the future White Sox 3rd base job….
Jake Burger truthers – The folks that have Jake Burger penciled in as an all star who is jumping in the crowd to catch pop ups and coming out with a hot dog in his mouth like Rosie O’Donnell’s character in A League of Their Own, Doris Murphy. That would be PEAK Jake Burger, but I can’t say I feel this is a realistic outcome.
Jerry Reinsdorf will spend copious amounts of greenbacks when the time is right! – The folks in this crowd always point out the Albert Belle signing as an example of a time when Jerry and crew went out and spent. While this is true, it was coming off of a time when the owners colluded to keep free agent player salaries down, so that was a significantly depressed market. It was a very advantageous time to be a big spender. When the 2018 class of free agents hits the market, it’s not going to be a great time to be a big spender. The Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Cubs will all have tons of $$ to spend, and so will other non-YUGE market teams that tend to outspend the White Sox. Could the White Sox land a big free agent like Josh Donaldson? Possibly, but they’ll need some additional flaws in his player profile to pop up between now and then that will make him less palatable to the other teams. Oh and he’ll still cost a lot and the Sox will make a BIG DEAL about the signing, even if he’s the 7th highest paid FA of that market. This take seems reasonable, but I fear its not likely to occur.
Next is the group that I am in and which lead me to Evan Longoria (despite what people on www.twitter.com would tell you, I don’t haz a man-crush on him)……Realists who are going to pick from everything that is left – This isn’t a fun group to be in. As I go through the choices below, you may laugh, you may cry, you may even barf….but you won’t be delighted with the choice, that’s for sure….
Believe it or not, someone was telling me to toss my man crush on Evan Longoria and that Matt Davidson was a much better choice for the White Sox 3b job. The people in that first group (“Deplorables” $1 POTUS Donald J. Trump) in general are pretty lousy. The people in the next group are folks you just won’t be able to acquire, you either can’t afford them in FA or you can’t afford them in trade. The 3rd group, (“What’s left”) is where I picked ole boy Evan. You’ll see that the 3 lists aren’t 100% exhaustive, the White Sox might unearth some twice failed prospect that is off the radar and put them at 3rd and score, who knows. I’m not in player personnel and this article is for entertainment purposes only so we won’t be going down that road. I’ll go through this list individually and quickly so you get my thought process:
Yunel Escobar – He’s old af, but he can still kinda hit if not play 3b that well anymore. I think he might be the most likely outside of the org person to man the position in 2018. He’ll be cheap, but he’s old already and likely won’t be worth a shit in 18 months.
Todd Frazier – The previous White Sox corner man…..he should also be cheap (not Yunel Escobar cheap, but then again who is?), but in 18 months he might not be worth a shit either. I always liked Todd, but his walk rate flying up as it has, might be a guy who is aging and losing bat speed, which would mean he could be done soon….I dunno. What I do know, is he really hasn’t hit the last couple of years and his defense is also declining. Maybe if we get him another t-shirt he’d perk up and make signing him reasonable.
Yolmer Sanchez – The incumbent. I wouldn’t hate Yolmer at 3b for 2018, but no playoff contender is going to have Yolmer manning 3b for a whole season. I still think his highest and best value is in trade. He is a fan favorite and a BeefLoaf favorite, because I caught his HR ball on August 26th.
Mike Moustakas – I actually like Moose. He’s okay at 3b on defense and he hits bombs. He’s fairly young, but I just feel he might cost a lot and fam, he don’t walk either. If he would turn out to be as cheap as Longoria, I could be talked into this as a reasonable option, but I suspect he’ll get moar.
Evan Longoria – Have you ever seen the movie “Let It Ride”? In the final stanza, the lead character Jay Trotter, played by Richard Dreyfuss, goes around asking people who they liked in the final race of the day (this is horse racing, not NASCAR). He compiles a list of everyone’s touts and then bets the money he’s been winning all day on the one horse that nobody chose. That’s kind of what Evan Longoria is here. Other than our big homey Aloha Mr. Hand, I can’t think of anyone else touting Longoria. Everyone is picking every other unrealistic and / or terrible choice, but here we are. Longoria is owed $81M over 5 years and the Rays would love to dump that money. He’s 32, he’s averaged ~3.5 WAR the last several years…….he still plays defense……he still hits (he doesn’t hit like young Evan that was an MP3 threat, but he still hits fine). With his contract running through 2022, he’s the type of player that could still be very good then….or he could be okay and still holding down 3b, or he could be a veteran bench bat on a team that suddenly has a good young 3b. I’m sure he could pick up some reps at 1b when needed. He checks the boxes, which is why I sort of like this idea.
Oh BeefyLoaf, how do thee assume we procure Evan Longoria? I would think that a cost controlled player with one good tool would be enough to interest the Rays. Me thinks, Adam Engel and eating the entire contract would do it.
Got some ideas for the 2018 and going forward White Sox, hit us up on the Twitters and we’ll have some conversation about it. We’ll even force MySoxSummer to have an opinion.
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2019 Opening Day #SoxMath WINNAR