Chicago White Sox: 3 free agent targets to replace Nick Madrigal
In the winter of 2019, free agency became the harbinger in which the front office ushered in a new era of Chicago White Sox baseball. As fans witnessed, Jerry Reinsdorf further opened the checkbook after the Eloy Jimenez contract extension and Rick Hahn went to work, signing Yasmani Grandal, Dallas Keuchel, and Gio Gonzalez in what was thought to be a good omen of what was to come down the road. The team showed signs that they were setting up to go for it.
Since that point, they further used free agency in 2020 to become even more aggressive in bigger name signings. First, In January of 2020, though not a free agent, the White sox made the smart decision to extend Luis Robert to a 6-year deal. In February, they signed Carlos Rodon to a one-year deal while also trading for Lance Lynn.
Lynn paired with Lucas Giolito and Dallas Keuchel, after Keuchel’s superb 2020 season, was thought to give the White Sox one of the best starting rotations in baseball. If that wasn’t enough, the front office then went out and signed all-star closer Liam Hendriks as well, further benefitting the team and fortifying their already exemplary bullpen.
With the recent departure of Nick Madrigal at the trade deadline which brought in Craig Kimbrel, questions have been left regarding second base and who will man up the middle with Tim Anderson during the 2022 season.
The Chicago White Sox has options with their 2022 second base situation.
For one, Cesar Hernandez was acquired at the deadline and does have a club option for $6,000,000 next season. Whether or not the Sox utilizes that option will remain to be seen. Your best intuition would obviously tell you it all depends on how he plays the rest of the season.
Currently, he is only slashing .215/.303/.299 with 3 HR and 5 RBI in a White Sox uniform. If he cannot perform well in the postseason, it will be hard to make a case to keep him. As it sits, there are a plethora of players at the position available this winter that could bolster the Sox line up even more so than it already is.
On the flip side, keeping Hernandez and not having to spend up at the position for an all-star caliber player could open up other avenues in free agency, such as acquiring another starting pitcher. It’s not like this lineup needs much help as it is but acquiring a top name at the position could seriously stack the Sox 1-9.
It’s also not like the rotation needs a lot of help right now either with the exception of Dallas Keuchel, who hopefully can get it together come playoff time if he wants a spot in the postseason rotation.
Therefore, the dollars the White Sox have via free agency could actually be used in a multitude of signings should they go the quantity over the quality route. They also need to make a decision regarding Carlos Rodon, who is set to hit free agency again as well.
Currently, 32M under the luxury tax threshold as it is with another 11.9M set to come off the books this winter with certain players set to depart, the White Sox has the luxury of being able to sign multiple marquee names if they choose to do so. With that being said, let’s that a look at 3 players that will be within the price range of the Sox, should they look to make a big splash in the infield.