That’s it, it’s all over. No more. Of course, as far as the White Sox are concerned, it’s been all over for some time now. As fans, we have a few choices for how to move on. We can do other, non-baseball things. This seems a strange choice and I’m not really sure what kind of individual chooses this route. We can invest our time into Arizona Fall League, World Baseball Classic qualifying rounds, or dive headlong into winter ball (might I suggest following Licey in the Dominican League). Another option, which many of us will do without any ability to stop ourselves from doing it, is become couch General Managers. Rick Hahn is brand new to the role, but that doesn’t mean it’s too soon to second guess! He may have been officially named last week, but now, as the World Series has ended, his job truly begins.
James hit on some immediate decisions that Hahn has to make, the first part of which are the fun year-options that will have to be addressed. The next step after that is making qualifying offers. Under the new CBA, in order for teams to receive a compensation pick for a departing free agent, the organization must first offer the player a 1-year “qualifying offer”. This time around, the qualifying offer is $13.3M, which is the average of the top 125 salaries from the 2012 season. Once declined, the team and player can still negotiate, but should the player move on to greener pastures, a nice shiny compensatory draft pick will be coming back at the expense of the team that eventually signs him.
The only departure that makes any sense for the White Sox to put forth a qualifying offer on is Jake Peavy, whose $22M option is certain to be declined. In the off chance that Peavy is looking to further prove his durability before trying to land a multi-year deal in free agency, he could even accept this offer. With the $4M buy-out on his option, he will be pulling in over $17M for the year, which is nothing to sneeze at. Unless there is an understanding that Peavy will eventually sign with the White Sox for a multi-year deal or lesser amount on a one year, it’s hard to imagine that the team would allow Peavy to walk away with nothing to show for it.
The remaining player options are under the qualifying offer amount, and without a pre-agreed decline, of which I’m not sure the ethicality of, making such an offer would be unwise. Even to DeWayne Wise. Sorry.