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White Sox Future Payrolls or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Rebuild
January 20, 2018
Yo! It’s the ‘Loaf…..let’s talk about America’s favorite commodity…outside of BitCoin…..Money! More specifically the White Sox Future Payrolls and why I now sleep like a baby thinking about the financial part of the next competitive window.
There is a sect of White Sox twitter (which did include yours truly) that isn’t sure our favorite team will spend enough money during the next competitive window (tenatively starting in 2020) to, you know, COMPETE! We have recent evidence of this, where the White Sox always seemed hamstrung to be just short of signing, Dexter Fowler, or whoever would’ve been the reasonable final piece to a contender in the Chris Sale era. I had been saddened to see the money spent by both the Cubs and Astros, the two most recent World Series champions, who went the REbuild (with a capital “RE”) route and were successful in winning a title. They signed free agents, BIG and small and were also able to add payroll at the trading deadline to beef up their eventual championship teams. I was miserable thinking about the likelihood that our White Sox spend $175M in a year on payroll………then, much like Sean in Good Will Hunting, I relaxed and fell into a deep coma like sleep.
WHY??? When all my brethren are out there fighting the good fight about the White Sox payroll never being able to compete with the big boys and my brethren basically being right.
The White Sox only have 1 divisional opponent that has been willing to spend like a drunken sailor and that team is the Detroit Tigers. That era may be over in Detroit (RIPInPeace the Pizza Money) as they chose to bag it last year and tear the thing down. We could be down to 0 teams in the division that will outspend our White Sox, even if that payroll is only of a mid-market team. Effectively, spending is relative to your direct challengers for playoff positions.
The White Sox also aren’t trying to build a juggernaut like the current Astros (that’s a crazy good team!!!), but are trying to build for “sustained success”. What does that mean? That means shooting for being the St. Louis Cardinals or being the Tampa Rays with twice the payroll. They have already shifted a great deal of focus internally on player development. I envision a team that bounces between 83-96 wins for about a decade. When “the deck runs them over” (which is poker parlance for GOOD LUCK), they’ll stroke some high 90’s win season, when they “run bad” you are looking at the 1984 White Sox. You get the picture. In the two wild card team era (small sample size, I know, gfy), the average playoff team wins 93 games. The average division winner wins 95 games and the average wild card entrant wins 90 games. Those are your targets and I think this next era of White Sox baseball will be more aggressive in trading off talent that is no longer going to be cheap. When they are having their BAD seasons, you’ll see guys at the end of their controlled period being shipped off for younger pieces that can continue to fit in down the line.
I PREDICT (You gotta say it like you mean it!), using the strategy I outline above, that the White Sox score 4 playoff births in the next decade starting with the 2020 season. That sounds fine to me.
IS THAT GOING TO BE ENOUGH FOR YOU WHITE SOX FANS?