I look at the White Sox 2015 payroll and I have the same reaction as any fan: why can't my job find more for me in the budget, man? I work hard.
But the secondary reaction, after curses whispered through tears, is figuring there's still some room for some deals.
--John Danks ($15.75 million: Still the highest-paid player on the team, still the champ)
--Adam LaRoche ($12 million)
--David Robertson ($10 million: Gee, this isn't going to make the new guys very popular)
--Alexei Ramirez ($10 million: Great contract remains great)
--Jose Abreu ($8.67 million: He should just sue for more money. What court would deny him?)
--Chris Sale ($6 million: He's very underpaid!)
--Zach Duke ($4.5 million: The jarring part is who is below him)
--Jose Quintana ($3.4 million: ...yeah)
--Jeff Keppinger ($4.5 million: A little uncomfortable here)
That's a shade under $75 million before all the arbitration eligibles. But the Sox have several arbitration eligibles, and a notably expensive one. Let's slap their MLB Trade Rumors estimations up there.
--Jeff Samardzija ($9.5 million: Cheaper than free agency, still)
--Dayan Viciedo ($4.4 million: Hmmm...)
--Tyler Flowers ($2.1 million: Cheap for a veteran starting catcher, which is nice since he might not be any good)
--Hector Noesi ($1.9 million: Somewhat amazing that the league has allowed someone as troubled as Noesi to earn three years of service time)
--Javy Guerra ($1.3 million: Sure, ok)
--Nate Jones ($600K: Get well soon, buddy)
Now we're a shade under $95 million, and filling out the rest of the roster with league minimum guys (which includes Adam Eaton, Avisail Garcia and Conor Gillaspie) would push the 25-man toward $100 million, a mark the Sox have been under in three of the last six years.
Well, cry me a river on that. $100 million isn't cool anymore. The 16th-highest payroll in 2014 was over $100 million. The entry for top-10 payrolls in the league started at $130 million or above, and if the Sox want to compete, they should probably think about entering that top tier and not trying to just sneak in through the AL Central doggy door. Go ahead and kick out all the other strategies that haven't even barely worked since 2008 while they're at it. There should be $20-$30 million left in the budget at a minimum.
Buuuuuuut, if we're to lend a sympathetic ear, they certainly could clear some room with a Dayan Viciedo trade.
It's the tiny bud of hope that just won't die; that Jack Zduriencik could be the one GM who still believe in Viciedo's bat speed. The Sox don't need much--just a Brandon Mauerer type to bolster the bullpen--to make it worth it, but it's hard to believe Jack Z could even get the paperwork in before the populace stormed his office and set fire to his car. Trades that elicit this reaction don't get done much these days.
I have no reason to include that tweet other than it kills me with laughter.
There doesn't seem to be any money being reserved for upgrading second base, because Rick Hahn told the press Carlos Sanchez and Micah Johnson will be duking it out. This is no surprise, since where would the Sox let some of their depth play if not second base, but it's nice to hear they're not panicking and jamming some burnt-out veteran there for "stability."
The White Sox rotation currently sits as Sale-Samardzija-Quintana-Noesi-Danks, with Carlos Rodon looming as a possible mid-season promotion. This rotation is not getting upgraded with Brandon McCarthy, it would seem, who got way more years than anticipated from Los Angeles.
The late night reports placed McCarthy's contract at four years, $48 million, which means he basically has an identical contract to Proven Closer David Robertson. I don't know how I feel about this. "Unconflicted" is not the term I would use.
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