The Last Great Trade Chip of the #WhiteSox Rebuild
Good day friends, it’s your old pal BeefLoaf coming at you with my first offering of 2019. I hope you and yours had a fun / safe NYE and now are ready to tackle 2019 like it’s some prick at a midnight Toys’R’Us sale with the last “Tickle Me Elmo”….that’s right, fuck that guy!
Anywho, enough of that shit, I want to talk some White Sox and who I consider the last great trade chip of the rebuild. Before we get there though, what brought this about was a little excel file I was making just tracking team control for some of our young and talented (hopefully) players that are both in Chicago right now and ones who aren’t quite here yet. I tried to outline who the core of the next great future White Sox team is. If you are with the “be patient with the Rebuild” folks, than this is probably an exercise you know well. Or not. Regardless, the exercise is harder than you might think, the guys who are in Chicago don’t exactly look like a strong core yet, in fact I don’t know if any of them would qualify, as lots of additional improvement is needed. The one thing that did stick out to me was that in 2022, a couple guys you know and love will become free agents. AND SO IT STARTS…..
Yolmer Sanchez reaches Free Agency in 2022, so that leaves him 2019, 2020 and 2021 in Chicago, should the White Sox continue to retain him through arbitration raises and avoiding the urge to trade him. Truth be told, when I saw the A’s trade for Jurickson Profar to play 2b for them this off-season, I immediately thought the White Sox probably could’ve turned Yolmer into the package that Profar was able to return. Profar is clearly the better offensive player, but Yolmer is more durable and is a good defender. To this point, Yolmer is still here and he’ll probably play okay, but other than this comparable situation, I haven’t really been thinking about Yolmer Sanchez nor am I really thinking about him here. NO! My focus is another young player that we’ve been waiting on to reach his massive upside, another player that becomes a free agent before the 2022 season.
It’s no secret that Rodon is the 900 lb Gorilla in the room when it comes to this rebuild.
He hasn’t been good enough to really trade for something substantial and with the rebuild taking a step or half step back, it’s going to be very difficult for his team control to line up well with the rest of the core. In theory you could TRY and extend him, but there is someone out there that probably won’t allow this to occur.
You see, Carlos was a top 3 pick and has a great pedigree, but every time he gets a little momentum going, he either has an injury, control problems or suspect help behind the plate that causes inconsistency. With a career ERA of 4.01, and an ERA+ of 102, he’s smack dab right there as a league average pitcher (his FIP trails slightly at 4.29, but it’s within shouting distance of his ERA to lead you to believe that his performance today is pretty much on par with the underlying peripherals). There is nothing wrong with league average pitchers, its just that they don’t generate that much in trade value, especially when you have to pay closer and closer to fair value for them. Carlos’ first arbitration season is 2019, so he’ll finally earn more than the league minimum by a fair amount (per MLB Trade Rumors he’s expected to net approximately $3.7M).
Chorizy and I talked about his potential trade value right now. I believe the White Sox and the larger trade market would like to see a full, healthy, above-average season out of the southpaw before they are willing to provide adequate value for him. Chorizy on the other hand doesn’t think the White Sox would have to take that much of a discount on the deal that the Seattle Mariners received for James Paxton. In my mind, that is too substantial a haul for Rodon right now, as I sit here sipping some Turley wine at my island in the kitchen. However, I believe a 3.5 fWAR (in laymen’s terms basically a #2 starter or the White Sox defacto ace) or above season by Rodon would land him right smack dab in the middle of the sweet spot for maximizing his trade value. He’d have 2 years of control heading into the 2020 season (just like Paxton did heading into this season), but he’d be 3 years younger (27, instead of Paxton’s 30). Rodon also has a couple of other things going for him, errr, going for the White Sox that will allow them to trade him more easily. This is not a pretty list.
- The White Sox have previously painted him as “lazy”, often blaming his injuries on conditioning or just an utter lack of exercising at all. Leaving it easily interpreted by the common fan that he needs to “get more serious about taking care of his body”. We here at the 108 resemble that remark.
- The White Sox gave him Omar Narvaez as a battery mate last year and will likely give him one of their two current “bad framing, poor mostly everything to do with catching”, catchers, so as not to do him any favors at all when he is battling out there. In other words, they’ve gone out of their way to make his job harder and to help along these inconsistencies that we are pointing out in the text above.
- The construction of the White Sox team means that they’ll likely press him to pitch as many innings as possible, he won’t get the cush treatment that some starters get today, shortening up their outings to be more effective. That’s tough to do when your bullpen is highly unproven and the rest of your starting staff is meh at best. There will be a lot of stretched innings for ole Carlos. No preferential treatment like other squads are doing to tighten up their top starters’ stat lines…no, no, he’ll be forced to stick it out like Clark Griswold’s family on Christmas Eve.
If he somehow overcomes all of this shit to be the blue chip starter we have all dreamed of, maybe, just maybe the White Sox will turn him into the last great trade chip of the rebuild. The last influx of young talent via trade that will create the future core. And because of these obstacles, we won’t have the chubby we had for Chris Sale or Jose Quintana before they left. We won’t have that sad feeling when he’s traded, we’ll have the feeling of a closer, and closers get coffee.