Back in the day, I used to belong to Stanford Wong‘s Green Chip Forums. These are forums that you pay a quarterly fee to get access to and it had people talking more freely than in public about Advantage Play. I used to be one of those guys, although I rarely actually contributed on the forum, as the main posters were very strong and I was just a mediocre advantage player…sometime soon, I’ll share some stories from that portion of my life and what it’s like to arb football for 14 hours on a Saturday.
Anywho, back when I used to do that, there was this poster at the forums Green Baize Vampire or GBV for short who was a bit of a controversial poster. He would take shots at the other big names on the forum on occasion and call people out on things, but he was also extremely insightful in a way that most helpful to someone like me. He wasn’t using the “traditional” methods of advantage play and often got me to think way outside the box on things. One time he wrote something to the effect of (I’m paraphrasing), You should read EVERYTHING, because some of the most valuable stuff you can find in Advantage Play is based on bullshit or pure nonsense. You have to read through a lot of garbage to mine the gold.
I’m not sure I’d categorize the post above as pure nonsense, but it absolutely got trashed by the fine folks of White Sox twitter like it was. Deservedly so on some level, but there is also the basic level of primal fandom that is buried in most of you that might feel that post a bit, that you are tired, frustrated of waiting on potential and future promise. For me, my mind just went wild thinking…..what if the White Sox did something we aren’t expecting, what if they trade Michael Kopech?
Here are his overall prospect rankings in baseball across the major prospect evaluators coming into the 2020 season…..
MLB Pipeline #20
Keith Law #16
Those rankings look tasty, especially to an opposing organization….And 2020 is a very abnormal year, PLUS, much like Chicks (and myself) dig the long-ball, Ivy League GM proto-types dig major league ready arms with velocity. Dats Kopech. Memories can also be short, especially when you have a strong asset, that may or may not be at his full powers until sometime in the Lord’s Year of 2022. Lastly, since prospect hoarding is so fucking fashionable these days, you should have plenty o’ suitors lining up to take on this handsome young man with a ROCKET FOR AN ARM.
BUT BEEFLOAF…..Aren’t you selling Michael Kopech at the bottom of his value?
No clue, but the confluence of having a substantial informational advantage on his situation, married with the fact that teams just don’t get a stab at high end prospects in trade like they used to, should effectively cloud the judgment of the straight-line thinking Ivy League GM, who can sell this to their ownership group as a DISTRESSED ASSET ACQUISITION, when they are actually paying FULL PRICE.
So who is best suited to take on Michael Kopech and make the White Sox better in 2020-2022, 3 prime years of contention??? There aren’t many GREAT fits, but here are a couple….
Brian Anderson was a 3 WAR (whether you like to use the “f” or the “b”) for the Marlins last year, he’s a high walk rate, slightly above average bat that plays both 3B and RF. This covers Moncada slipping on a fucking banana peel risk and Nomar Mazara being his traditional form of un-good (don’t read this wrong, if you trade for Anderson, he starts and Mazara is your 4th outfielder). Anderson is under control through the 2023 season and since the Marlins ain’t close to being ready to winning, they might as well trade this chip in and get the upside instead.
Gray is only controlled through 2021, but he’s immediately making the White Sox rotation better than the Twins and at least on par with the Indians. He’s been really good as a Rockies pitcher, imagine him NOT at altitude.
I don’t really mean to pick on Nomar Mazara, but he is a weak link in this lineup and I sure would love to upgrade it. Gallo is a high power, high walk, high strikeout player. He’s team controlled through 2022, which lines up nicely with this timeline.
Someone from this rebuild is going to get traded for a piece that makes it happen and you just never know who it will be….