The Chicago White Sox avoided arbitration on Friday with Lucas Giolito by getting a deal done for 2023 worth 10.4 million. After a very tough 2022 season, that is a really good deal for him as he looks to get back to form this year.
Giolito wasn’t the only White Sox player that avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year contract for 2023. The White Sox got it done with four other players.
It is a really important group of players as Dylan Cease, Reynaldo Lopez, Jose Ruiz, and Michael Kopech are set for this year. They are all pitchers that are hoping to guide the team back to having a good season.
Dylan Cease is the biggest name on the list. He was the Cy Young runner-up in 2022. He had a brilliant year wasted by the rest of the team not showing up.
Cease is making 5.7 million now which is incredibly low for a pitcher of his caliber but everyone knows that his payday is coming. The White Sox are very lucky to have him for another year at this number. He is now one of the best bargains in Major League Baseball.
The Chicago White Sox made some significant signings this week.
Reynaldo Lopez had a resurgent season in 2021 and then kept it going in 2022. He has proven to be a weapon that can make starts, be a reliever that goes multiple innings or even be a closer. He will be extra valuable in 2023. His 3.625 million dollar contract for this year helps him avoid arbitration.
Michael Kopech might be the most talented pitcher in the organization. Like Cease going into 2022, he just has to reach that potential. There is a lot of great improvement ahead of him as he harnesses his skill. His contract now is worth 2.05 million.
Jose Ruiz is also avoiding arbitration with his new 925 thousand dollar contract for 2023. He is a relief pitcher with days where he looks amazing and then is straight-up awful other times. Hopefully, he proves worthy of keeping around for another year.
This Chicago White Sox team was a massive disappointment but their cheaper players weren’t much of the problem. It was the big-money contracts like Yasmani Grandal and Yoan Moncada that caused issues for the team.
If Lucas Giolito can bounce back in addition to the rest of these guys playing up to their potential, this White Sox team can be very good. There is a lot of talent in his arm but he has to get back to where he was pre-2022.
In the case of Cease and Kopech, they are hoping to keep their improvement going so that they can make significantly more money than these contracts. If they keep getting better and better as the years go on, these contracts will look extremely cheap one day.
Now that all arbitration-eligible players are taken care of, they can worry about being ready for spring training. A lot of work is needed, but this is a significant step.
With some of the additions made to the team during the off-season, things are expected to get a little bit better. These five guys avoiding arbitration makes it that much easier.