2020 White Sox Free Agency: Happiness or Doom and Gloom?
Hi guys, it’s your favorite person of questionable character. After you read this, I may have a new nickname, Dr. Doom. I am a fan and I take no joy in writing this, contrary to the opinion of some, but it is something people need to understand. I do not see this beyond the realm of possibility.
As I started to put together my 2020 plan for the Sox Machine website, I cannot escape this conclusion. The White Sox will fail in free agency. I know this is a maddening statement and I will lay out the reasons why I believe this is a distinct possibility.
There are three distinct reasons why I think this is the case. Two of the reasons are using simply identifiable evidence while the third is my opinion based in part on the first two items. Let’s begin:
The Scott Boras Relationship
A large majority of the top tier talent who are potential free agents re Scott Boras clients. This includes the one player, J.D. Martinez who everyone believes the Sox will pursue. The other Boras clients include Cole, Rendon, and possibly Strasburg. As we know the White Sox history of dealings with Scott Boras is atrocious. I believe this all stems from the failed Alex Rodriguez negotiations back in 2000. I will also use last year. The White Sox Unicorn, or White Whale, was available to the White Sox. Bryce Harper was a LH hitting RF, isn’t that what they claim are huge needs? Harper, as everyone knows, is a Boras client so it was a given that they would fail.
The Sox Suck Tax
I am using quotes from two people on this, Rick Hahn and Ivan Nova.
Rick Hahn talked about how it takes two to tango in a negotiation. This is absolutely true. The team can offer a contract but if the player does not want to come to the team it doesn’t matter. Now one would say that the Sox need to pay the “Sox Suck” tax in order to get the top tier players. This means that they will need to be the top bidder for this caliber of player. The problem is that the organization went on record last year saying that they do not want to set the market. Guess what, if you don’t set the market you won’t get the player. The team needs to understand that they are not a destination for players, after all the last winning season was in 2012 and there have been well known clubhouse issues in the last few years.
The second part, which coincides with the last part of point a, is that Ivan Nova is on record saying that players told him NOT to come to the White Sox. If you don’t believe me look for the White Sox Talk podcast interview with Chuck Garfien. If you want to erase this stigma it starts with signing ONE top tier player, which will require the team to be the highest bidder.
The Clown Show
Understanding point 1 & 2 is key to this. Do you feel comfortable that the team in place has the stomach to be the top bidder on a free agent? I certainly do not. I know some people will say that they should be given the benefit of the doubt. I’m sorry to say that went out the window last offseason. To be clear. I was not angry at the fact that the Sox did not sign Machado. I was furious at the absolute clown show that ensued after. Remember; they couldn’t go to that number, they offered more, they didn’t want him because he would be a clubhouse cancer or didn’t want to be a winning player. All of this also does not give a good appearance for the organization, and just another example of why players stay away. Remember coffee is for closers, and frankly I don’t see any coffee being served in the FO in the foreseeable future.
If that hasn’t scared you enough, now comes the truly scary part. After this failure the White Sox will WILDLY overpay in a trade to get a “name”. I could see the Sox trading a combination of Cease, Vaughn, and Madrigal to the Red Sox for a year of Mookie Betts, in the hopes of convincing him to sign an extension. I could also see them trading for someone like David Price so they can say the money is being used. This move would be a death spiral because it would destroy some of the accomplishments that have been made at the expense of fans watching shit baseball.
I sincerely hope the White Sox prove me wrong. I know the fans keep saying that the White Sox need to make that Jon Lester type of move. There is one thing that needs to be understood about the Lester deal. Jon Lester had a relationship with Theo Epstein from their days in Boston. Who does Kenny Williams or Rick Hahn have that type of relationship with?
Feel free to comment. I can take it. I have been bitched out by many, but stand by my fears.
-Aloha Mr. Hand