Good day friends, it’s your pal BeefLoaf. I was initially thrilled reading Jon Heyman’s take on the teams best positioned for the 2018 Free Agent Class, with the White Sox being among the top 5 teams well positioned for that class. Then I started pawing through the class and reality set in……..like a giant anvil crushing Wily E Coyote whilst he tries to catch the Road Runner, REALITY. SET. IN.
My thought is that although Rick Hahn has done a great job so far with the rebuild (save for the whole Q situation), this could be a part of the rebuild that might not go so great. He’s not alone, almost all good GM’s fuck up the free agent process.
The Target – Manny Machado
Machado will only be 26 years old when he hits free agency and he’s gonna fetch many hundreds of millions of dollars. From my subjective view of the twitters, MOST, White Sox fans want Machado as the big free agent signing of the 2018/19 market. Guess what, so do dozens of other fan bases. Third base has a handful of elite players and a bunch of “meh” and even a pocket of “blech” manning the position these days, so Machado marks a large upgrade for whoever lands him. Truthfully, he could even play shortstop……if the team needed him to, so that’s why the White Sox won’t get him..
The Signing – Josh Donaldson
Donaldson will also cost a pretty penny, except he’ll be 33 years old and he already has the nagging injuries piling up. I don’t doubt that he’ll hit when he’s healthy. He might even have a great year with the White Sox, but then the money will sit there on the books precluding them from signing more needed players as the competitive window opens. The contract will sit there bubbling, like the Maxwell Street Depot that you threw down after crushing a 12 pack with the 108ers. You’ll eventually be rid of it, but it won’t be enjoyable.
The Target – Bryce Harper
The Signing – Yasmany Tomas
He’s Cuban and he hits for power, that’s about all there is to like. The rest is pretty abysmal, he has contact issues, he’s a poor defender and a poor base runner. Regardless, due to our recent infusion of Cuban talent, I expect the White Sox to make a play for him, he’ll be cheaper than the rest of the big ticket outfielders…..for a reason.
First Base/Designated Hitter
The Target – Nobody, they all suck
The Signing – Justin Smoak
Three times is a charm, I can just see Rick Hahn trying to make up for the Adam Dunn and Adam LaRoche signings, by adding that left handed power/on-base threat that the White Sox always need, but always fail to sign (at least one that works out). Smoak will quickly turn back into the pre-2016 Smoak, the one that doesn’t hit at all, barely walks and doesn’t belong in MLB. He’s a better glove man than Abreu, but that isn’t saying much.
Maybe we’ll get lucky, maybe Hahn will stand pat in this market and be patient, because beyond Kershaw, Harper and Machado, there are a lot of potentially dangerous deals for the White Sox.