Baseball

So here we are, at the end of the position players who had the majority of the impact on the 2019 White Sox team. What’s left is the detritus, the flotsam, the garbage in the Death Star trash chute. Some of these guys will have a job with the Sox next year, but a good chunk of them will not. This is going to be an abbreviated stats write up, as I don’t think 2,000 words on AJ Reed will do anything for anyone. So without further ado, here is…

 

The Rest

 

ADAM ENGEL

2019 Stats

.242/.304/.383

6 HR 26 RBI 26 R

0.8 WAR +2 DRS 

Tell Me A Story: With the miserable off-season Rick Hahn had in 2018 the Sox were left with no real plan for the outfield other than Eloy Jimenez in left. They let Avisail Garcia walk down to Tampa Bay to have a career year, but made up for it by signing Friend of Manny and Human Stick Figure Jon Jay to a one year deal. This left center field pretty much Adam Engel’s by default. At this point, Engel is a known quantity. He plays plus defense at a premium defensive position, and swings what appears to be a soggy pool noodle when he’s at the plate. He’s a prototypical 4th outfielder at best, but that’s very good to have on a team that has deigns on postseason play. The Sox did not, and thus Engel started 90 games this year. To his credit, he finished the season very strong at the plate, and bumped his average above the Mendoza Line.

Contract: $516,000 under team control until 2021, then 3 years arbitration eligible.

Welcome Back Or Boot In The Ass: Unless something really wacky happens, Engel will be back in a Sox uniform in 2020. He’s great as your 4th OF, or a late inning defensive replacement and won’t actively kill you at the plate.

 

RYAN GOINS

2019 Stats

.250/.333/.347

2 HR 10 RBI 13 R

0.2 WAR +1 DRS

Tell Me A Story: Ryan Goins was picked up off the prospect trash heap by the Sox in 2019 and intially sent to AAA as an extra body to fill out the Charlotte roster. He responded to the move by hitting .322 down there and playing above average D for the Knights. The Sox rewarded him with a callup in July when injuries began to hurt both the infield and outfield. He actually started out pretty hot, hitting .300 in his first month before falling back to earth and ending at .250 for the season. All in all not too shabby for a guy with the ability to play anywhere in the infield or outfield.

Contract: $975,000 in 2019, 3rd year of arbitration in 2020 estimated at $900,000 by MLBTR.

Welcome Back Or Boot In The Ass: A tough one here. At $900K the price is right for a utility infielder/outfielder. Most of it depends on what the Sox do with Leury Garcia. If they think the $4 million is too much for him and he walks, Goins most likely stays. If Garcia stays, Goins probably starts the season back in AAA while he waits for another opportunity.

 

DANIEL PALKA

2019 Stats (Don’t Look)

.107/.194/.179

2 HR 4 RBI 4 R

-1.3 WAR -4 DRS

Tell Me A Story: In 2018 it seemed like the Sox had found a diamond in the rough when he hit 27 home runs and slashed .240/.294/.778. Granted his splits were terrible against lefties and his defense was hilariously bad (-13 DRS in LF) but he was one of the few feel good stories the Sox had in 2018 and was probably the main reason the Sox didn’t actively pursue someone like Michael Brantley in the off-season. The shine came off almost immediately in 2019, as Palka went 12 games to start the season without a hit and was summarily demoted to AAA. He reappeared a few more times during the season, but whatever fix he had down in Charlotte (where he hit .263 with 26 HRs) never came back with him. Ohhh man. I like DP, I really do. He seems like a funny guy online and very approachable. This season, however, is one for the record books and one he and the Sox want to forget as soon as possible.

Contract: $567,000 in 2019 and 2020, arbitration eligible in 2021

Welcome Back Or Boot In The Ass: This is tough, as we have all seen what Palka can do when his mechanics are working at the big league level. Most likely Palka starts down in Charlotte again next season and only comes up if the need arises. The Sox will (hopefully) address the left handed power shortage through free agency.

RYAN CORDELL

2019 Stats

.221/.290/.355

7 HR 24 RBI 22 R

-2.2 WAR -2 DRS

Tell Me A Story: Ryan Cordell is the definition of “a guy” who “plays baseball” for the “major league Chicago White Sox” in 2019. Honestly, he’s a career minor league player who has ground his way through the lower levels and finally got a break with the Sox in 2019. He played decent, looks handsome and had an awesome pinch hit home run against the Tigers in July. That’s about it.

Contract: $555,000 in 2019, under team control for the next 3 years.

Welcome Back Or Boot In The Ass: Unless Cordell plays his way onto this roster by having an unbelievable spring training he’s most likely destined to be back in AAA next season. The Sox have better options up and down their lineup.

DANNY MENDICK

2019 Stats

.308/.325/.462

2 HR 4 RBI 6 R

0.2 WAR 0 DRS

Tell Me A Story: Danny Mendick was drafted by the White Sox in the 22nd round of the 2015 draft. He moved steadily up through the lower levels of the minors hitting around .260 during his journey but always with consistent power. The Sox decided to give him a shot in September and purchased his contract during call ups. He responded pretty well, hitting for power consistently again during his time at the big league level. He played decent D in the infield and is an intriguing piece for the Sox going forward.

Contract: $550,000 in 2019, under team control for the next 3 years before arbitration

Welcome Back Or Boot In The Ass: This will be an interesting story line in spring training. Mendick has shown pretty significant power at every level of the minors, and may turn out to be more than just “a guy” for the Sox in the infield. A lot depends on what the Sox do with Leury Garcia, but Mendick has a decent chance to be on the opening day roster in some capacity. We shall see.

MATT SKOLE

2019 Stats

.208/.275/.236

0 HR 6 RBI 7 R

-0.5 WAR 0 DRS

Tell Me A Story: Honestly, I’d rather not. Skole is the latest in a loooooong line of failures by the White Sox to properly staff the DH position. He played in 9 games and was utterly unremarkable in all of them.

Contract: 55,500,000 pennies were put in Skole’s bank account. Which is good work if you can get it.

Welcome Back Or Boot In The Ass: If Matt Skole comes back in any capacity next season things have gone horribly wrong and I’m probably not watching it.

 

GONE AND HOPEFULLY FORGOTTEN

Jon “MIA” Jay

Charlie “I’m Not The Coldplay Guy” Tilson

Nicky “Nicky” Delmonico

Yonder “Fuck” Alonso

AJ “Fat Sami Zayn” Reed

Everything Else

Before we get started, we didn’t do one of these yesterday because talking about hockey didn’t feel right yesterday. When you’re in this morass, do you really want to even think about next season right now? But anyway, this is our charge now so let’s resume.

Ok, Nazem Kadri is a complete penis. He’s more likely to do something horribly damaging to your team when it matters most than help it. In fact, had he kept his head on straight for once the Leafs might have actually beaten the Bruins. Any future infraction from this dickhead is going to result in a long suspension, and seeing as how you can’t trust him to learn or trust your substitute teacher of a coach to straighten him out, the risks are quite clear.

But here’s the thing. When he’s not trying reenact the Battle Of Saxony by himself, Nazem Kadri is a hell of a player. He has four 50+ point seasons on his resume (one was at that pace in 2013), and he’s done that mostly taking the dungeon shifts as a checking center either as the #3 center behind Matthews and Bozak or Tavares this year. He won 55% of his draws this year, which you know will still make some people in the Hawks’ front office tumescent. He put up 44 points this year mostly playing with a corpse in Marleau and something called Connor Brown. He’ll produce with just about anyone.

And the Hawks have a need, whether they want to admit it or not. As it stands right now, you don’t really want Jonathan Toews taking a massive amount of draws and shift-starts in his own end. But the Hawks only have one other player who can do that in David Kampf. Strome needs to be completely sheltered, and really so does Anisimov until you finally get him off this roster. Swapping in Kadri and punting Arty to wherever will take him for an Edible Arrangement gives you two centers you can leash to the d-zone, allowing Toews to really focus on the offensive end. At this point in his career, it’s one or the other for the most part.

Second, Kadri is cheap. His cap-hit is essentially the same as Anisimov’s, but you get a ton more. You get more skill, more speed, and a far better defensive player. Sure, he’s signed for three more years but at 28 he’s not likely to fall off a cliff before it’s up. And even if the offense starts to dry up you still have a pretty hellacious checking center on your hands. And there’s really nothing in the system at center unless the Hawks take Turcotte (which they’re going to), but you can worry about that shuffle whenever Turcotte is ready. Or you could just not take Turcotte if you swing for Kadri here.

Where this all falls apart is that the Hawks don’t really have anything the Leafs want. The Leafs need NHL-ready d-men. If they were run by a complete jackass, as they were in the past, you could probably really sell them on the offensive production and the cheapness of Gustafsson, which would still allow them to make moves considering he makes nothing. But Kyle Dubas probably isn’t a complete moron. Prospects don’t do the Leafs a whole lot of good as they are all about NOW NOW NOW, unless you could involved a third team for them to swing those prospects to. If you were looking for an actual landing spot for Keith, you might be able to sell him on this given Babcock and their chances but I don’t know that you could sell the Leafs on it. But there’s been no whisper that Keith has asked out or that the Hawks have asked him if he wants out.

Yes, Kadri wouldn’t solve your top six winger deficiency. But if you’re going 19-17-43-64 down the middle you can probably live with some third-line winger moonlighting on the top six. No, he doesn’t help the defense but his cap number is low enough, especially with any jettisoning of Anisimov, that you would retain all the flexibility to do something about that as well.

Yes, the gray matter is a concern. The hope would be that even with an overmatched coach, a leadership stable of Toews, Keith, Seabrook would keep him in a line a ton better than whatever it was in Toronto. The Hawks have made that bet before.

It hinges on just how sick the Leafs are of his bullshit. You get the sense if you could have made this trade in April they would have given him to you for a song. But now that time has let everything cool, it’ll be harder. But it makes sense, if the Hawks want to get creative.