With the off-season upon us and the natives getting restless, I figured it might be time to put proverbial pen to paper and excreting my thoughts on various things. While I disagree with folks that this is Rick Hahn’s most important off-season as GM (that was last off-season imo when they had a chance to grab a generational talent, they didn’t) I am interested as hell to see how he’ll negotiate it. Signing free agents has been a significant weak spot in the GM’s portfolio of skills. He’s stunk at it. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the excellent analysis put forth by Jim Margalus from SoxMachine HERE.
Now, let’s say your glass is half full and you think, well yea, Rick’s been shaky as fuck in the past, but he’s probably learned some from his past mistakes, he also made a change this off-season to have his boy Nick Hostetler heading up the pro-scouting side to hopefully improve his chances in converting on successful free agent signings. Let’s say that you think, well, his mid-market signings haven’t been too terrible and he’s mostly missed at the low end signings, but those can be volatile and maybe he’ll get a little bit of, as we say in gambling, “run good”. Maybe you hazard a guess that he’s gotta be at least 50/50 to get each of his free agent signings right (by right, I mean, just getting the median outcome from each signing).
It’s possible that’s a tenable position, I don’t know. What I do know is that the White Sox need to make roughly 5 acquisitions of consequence this off-season, some are obvious like RF, some are less obvious, like the catcher situation or even just adding a competent bench bat. However you pull your 5 acquisitions out of the proverbial bag, he’s still gotta make 5 and he’s gotta get them all right. This is what we call a parlay, a 5 way parlay. A parlay is a bet with multiple events which all must come true in order for you to win. That’s where Rick Hahn is at with this off-season. Assuming even 50/50 chances of each coming in would put the probability of getting all 5 correct at ~3%, or in betting odds approximately +3200.
Yea, them’s long odds. Now, not all is lost if he doesn’t get them all right, but that’s basically the way the 2020 White Sox make the playoffs.