There are some big moves to be made by the Chicago White Sox this winter.
Manager: Keep Tony La Russa. Yes, he’s not the greatest manager in the world anymore but he’s also not the worst. La Russa did a lot better job with the White Sox than either Robin Ventura or Rick Renteria did. National news types who blame Tony for the Sox struggles didn’t pay attention to the White Sox much from 2006-2020 and that’s evidenced in their commentary.
Interestingly, the 1983 White Sox under Tony La Russa also lost their first playoff series 3 games to 1. The solution should be to build a team better than the 2021 or 1983 White Sox and win 100 games. If that still doesn’t get them far in the playoffs, then it’s time to move on from La Russa.
Upcoming Free Agents:
The White Sox should decline the option on Cesar Hernandez and Craig Kimbrel. It should be obvious that Hernandez shouldn’t have his option picked up. Hernandez was bad in a Sox uniform and they should have traded for someone better but that’s in the past now.
Unfortunately, Bob Nightengale reported that the White Sox are likely to pick up Kimbrel’s option and then try to trade him. This isn’t going to work as no one would want him after the way he pitched.
If the White Sox think that teams are going to overvalue Kimbrel just because they did when they traded former #4 overall pick, Nick Madrigal, for him, they’re terribly wrong. Just cut him and admit you made a mistake as the money could be spent better elsewhere.
The Chicago White Sox should resign Carlos Rodon.
- Carlos Rodon’s career resume: 42-38 career record, 3.79 ERA, 11.5 WAR, 1X All-Star, 1 No-hitter
- Lucas Giolito’s career resume: 42-38 career record, 4.19 ERA, 11.1 WAR, 1X All-Star, 1 No-hitter
This isn’t to say that Rodon is as important to the White Sox as Lucas Giolito is but he’s pretty close. Resigning Rodon on a 2 or 3-year contract with a decently high AAV is the right move to make.
One criticism of Rodon is he’s never made more than 28 starts in a season. It would be an interesting idea for the White Sox to try a six-man rotation next year which would give every pitcher about 27 starts.
The White Sox should also resign Leury Garcia. The clutch three-run homer that Garcia hit in game 3 pretty much clinched the need for him to be back with the White Sox next year. He is the longest-tenured White Sox player, going back to win the team traded Alex Rios for him in 2013. That said, he needs to be in a utility role as he isn’t good enough to be a starter at second base or right field on a championship team.