3 players the White Sox should sign if luxury tax increases

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(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /
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Chicago White Sox, Michael Conforto
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Micheal Conforto

Michael Conforto would be a great fit for the Chicago White Sox in 2022.

One of the White Sox biggest holes is arguable in right field. They have tried cheap band-aid solutions in the past such as Jon Jay, Nomar Mazara, and Adam Eaton in the past but none of them have panned out. Micheal Conforto is a player on the market who could solve this problem and has an estimated value is about $19 million.

Conforto is 28 years old and rejected the Mets $18.4 million. It looks like he is on his way out of New York. Conforto struggled in 2021 but has a good track record. From 2019-2020 he slashed .274/.376/.499.

Those numbers were 35 percentage points above the league average by the measure of wRC+, which calculates weighted runs created. That was also good enough to rank in the top 20 of qualified MLB hitters. In 2017 he made the National League All-Star team after posting a .279 average to go along with 28 home runs. In 2019 he hit a career-best 33 home runs.

However, Conforto only hit 14 home runs in 479 plate appearances and his batting average dropped to .232, the worst of his career since 2016. Because of Conforto’s struggles, he could come at a reasonable price.

If the White Sox want him they will need to do some juggling with the current roster. By trading Craig Kimbrel they can free up the extra money needed to sign Conforto and still be under the luxury tax.

They probably won’t get that much in return for Kimbrel if they expect the other team to eat most of his contract. To have a shot at Conforto, who is a Scott Boras client, the other team would have to take on about $10 million of his $14.3 salary.

For the White Sox, he could be worth the risk because of some promising signs that suggest a bounceback year in 2022. He had a career-low 21.7% strikeout rate. With the White Sox, he would be surrounded with lineup protection and play in a hitter-friendly ballpark that should help his power numbers.

The White Sox could also backload the contract to stay under the luxury tax in 2022 pay the majority of it in the future when they don’t have so much money on the books.

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