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The White Sox Need To Stop Fucking Around And Sign Michael Conforto

The offseason is kinda over already, but with the lockout and spring training ending/starting within just a few days of each other, front offices across the league have been working over time trying to get their rosters set as much as possible before opening day on 4/7. The White Sox are no different, but we sit here at 11am on 3/14 with two gaping holes that still need to be filled. 

Right field (Preferably one that pounds RHP)
Starting pitcher

There are other smaller needs, like a glove first backup catcher, but the two holes above are what the White Sox should be and hopefully are working to fill as we speak.

Everyone on planet earth knows this. That's why when I sent out this AMA bat signal to the Twittersphere, I was inundated with people asking me how they plan on addressing those two needs:

I briefly touched on this in a blog this morning, but the White Sox have not had a solid RF since Jermaine Dye. Literally. Like... get the fuck out of my face with these guys

2012: Alex Rios (hot and cold)
2013: Alex Rios
2014: Dayan Viciedo (huge bust)
2015: Avisail Garcia (one good year on sox)
2016: Adam Eaton (awesome then traded)
2017: Avisail Garcia
2018: Avisail Garcia
2019: Ryan Cordell (out of baseball)
2020: Nomar Mazara (bust)
2021: Eaton again, then Leury and Engel

That's a whoooooooole lot of bad. 

Now, Adam Engel has improved leaps and bounds from when he first broke into the show. That said, he's a perfect, perfect 4th OF that plays 120 games and gets around 350-400 cherry picked plate appearances and is a defensive sub. If he's your 4th OF, your team is cooking with gas. Like I said though, he's best deployed as a guy who faces LHP and comes in in the 7th or later when he's not starting. That's not a bad thing, and if there are injuries to an OF and Engel needs to step in for any extended amount of time, the White Sox will still be in a fine spot.

But please. No patchwork signings like Adam Eaton from 2021. That's just wasting money on an eventual DFA in hopes of catching lightning in a bottle. Go and get Conforto - he won't be some mega deal and he fits the roster construction of this team to a T. Good defensive OF and POUNDS RHP:

These numbers are EXACTLY what the White Sox need from their RF. Then you can spell him against tough LHP with Engel, have him DH, whatever. But a 136 career wRC+ against RHP makes me drool and should make Rick Hahn and the front office want to push their chips all in.

Will they do that? I don't know. I do know the White Sox are incredibly risk adverse, so perhaps paying someone a big $$$ isn't something they want to do, but then again… the inexpensive or in house options just do not suffice. Aside from the year they went after Harper, there hasn't been a more natural fit for RF than there is with Conforto right now. Make it happen!!!

UPDATE: Here's Hahn on Vaughn + Sheets:

Obviously Sheets doesn't have a great path to consistent playing time here. He definitely has a stick that plays at the big league level though, soooo…. trade bait??? He makes the most sense to trade IMO. Package him to Oakland please

The White Sox are the clear cut favorite to win the ALC, everyone knows that. The Tigers will be bastards for sure, but I see them winning more like 80ish games. 2023 and beyond is when they'll be true threats. The Twins stink, the Royals are a year out and the Indians are dying a slow, painful death. 

That leave the AL West and East. The Mariners were a fun story but won with a lot of smoke and mirrors last year. The White Sox are better than them right now. Oakland is in fire sale mode and the Rangers don't scare me even with their big offseason. The Astros? Yeah, they're the Astros. They beat the White Sox asses last year and until the White Sox prove otherwise, the Astros are better. That leaves the Rays, , Jays, Yankees and Red Sox. 

The Rays will have a slide year, but they're still the Rays. Even if they were hypothetically projected to win 75 games by all the math nerds and "experts", nobody is shocked when they pull 95 win seasons out of their asses. They're an incredible organization. The yankees, even with the addition of a former MVP to man their hot corner still have a TON of needs. 4 SP, a catcher, a 1B, a CF, and depth. Maybe even a 2B if Gleyber shits the bed. I will say this loud and clear: as it sits right now, the Yankees do NOT scare me. I think they're the 3rd or 4th best team in the division.

The Jays have a dirty lineup, yes, and have a pretty solid starting staff. Their bullpen is trash and I think they have a few gaping holes as well. The Red Sox? Ehhh… We'll see. I think the AL East will be a gutter war, but I think the White Sox are better on paper than all of those teams and I don't give a flying fuck what their record was against the Yankees last year in a 6 game sample. 

Gun to head? 2nd best team as it sits right now. If the White Sox trade for a SP of the Manaea/Montas ilk and sign Conforto, I'll move them to the 1st spot. 

Hopefully ASAP! and if not Manaea, then Montas! and if not Montas, then Zach Gallen! Or someone that's a dependable, quality arm you wouldn't want to puke giving the ball to in a playoff game. 

I don't know, but I do know the White Sox REALLY need a quality 4. Kopech could/will be a star, but will be on a strict pitch count this year. A high quality innings eater would be welcome with open arms. Aside from Conforto, SP is their biggest area of concern right now. I am more than okay with Josh Harrison manning 2B for the time being. Can pick up help there if needed by the deadline. 

You shouldn't bet the house because that's irresponsible gambling and you should only gamble for entertainment purposes and within your financial means. But this will be the year we see 135+ games out of Eloy and if we do, NOBODY ON EARTH should be shocked if he wins the HR title. He's got that much raw power. If he wins the HR title, he'll have a puncher's chance at MVP. 

It ain't every day you elicit these sorta reactions from big leaguers during a BP sesh:

50-1 is VERY good value when you break it down like that. Also +3500 on the Barstool Sportsbook to win the HR title. Those are basically long shot odds for someone who has 80 grade power paired with a 60 grade hit tool. He just needs to stop being a fucking doofus in the OF and hurting himself.

There aren't bigger Andrew Vaughn Stans than me. I think he could be a SUPER STAR hitter. Better than Eloy, better than Abreu, better than Moncada… the only hitter I think is head and shoulders better than him is Robert, but Robert has perennial MVP talent. If it were up to me, Andrew Vaughn would be in the lineup every single day - preferably LF with Eloy DHing, but it'll be the other way around. Considering he was drafted, missed a full year of games due to COVID, never played above A ball and held his own + flashed his awesome hit tool is really impressive. I think he has a giant jump this year as an offensive player and people will have to walk back a lot of the "he's a platoon bat" takes they had this year. He's gonna be a stud.

I don't think TA ever plays in another uniform. At least I don't think for the foreseeable future. The White Sox are incredibly loyal and TA perfectly embodies what it means to be a member of this organization. He's not a free agent until the 2024-25 offseason and at that point he'll be 32 years old, and when that time comes I see the White Sox giving him the Abreu treatment. Hopefully by then Colson Montgomery is ready to take the reigns though as at worst an insurance policy in case there's a significant drop off in TA's production.

Two people:

1. Andrew Vaughn. I really think he takes off this year for reasons I listed above.
2. Vince Velasquez. He has the pure "shit" to be a solid middle or back end of the rotation pitcher. I mean, the dude had a 16 punch out, 3 hit shut out just a few years ago. That's an impossible task if you don't have big time swing and miss shit. His deal was announced today and it's a simple 1 year, $3MM deal. People think this deal signifies they're done looking for a back end piece. I hope to god that's not the case. If it is, we should direct our anger at that asshole Jerry Reinsdorf for making his GM piece together has beens on a team with a World Series core. 

If it's not and he's just a depth add, Katz might tap into his natural arm talent and we might have a little diamond in the rough that is A. cheap and B. has a high ceiling. Worst case is he stinks while soaking up innings that Kopech can't throw and you cut bait with him for next to nothing mid season.

Just got and get an ACTUALLY STARTING PITCHER. Ya know, someone who's established and not really a lottery ticket.

Could they win a World Series right now? Probably not. Maybe, but probably not. Their core is awesome, but they're also a piece or two away. Conforto and a middle rotation piece and I change my tune. I haven't talked about the bullpen much, but it's awesome. They have a championship caliber pen and a rotation that is almost there. A lineup that is almost there. Depth that is almost there. But they need to push their chips before reassessing at the deadline. Hedge their bets with the best combo of free agent signings and trade acquisitions possible. 

They're #TeamUkraine and if Russia so much as sneezes at a NATO country, Lance Lynn will smack Putin in the face with his massive hog 

No. I'm not scared of the Twins. The Twins are TRASH. Look at this rotation and tell me it's not hilariously awful:

Sure they added Sonny Gray to the mix which has yet to be announced, but even then it's horrific. Sonny Gray is a solid 3 on a team with actual World Series aspirations. Not a clear cut 1. 

The Twins are dog shit and their fans are morons for thinking otherwise, which is the majority of them based on my Twitter feed.

Absolutely not. That said… it's starting to get into YIKES territory for that record setting contract Tatis just signed, as it was announced he's hurt AGAIN:

I was perusing Tatis, Jr.'s projections this year and a lot of math nerds were predicting him to have basically the best season of all time. Take a look at these:

Now these projections are obviously far from exact science but they're obviously not happening now because he's gonna be on the shelf for a long time. Again. It sucks as he's incredibly fun to watch but over the course of his short career he's been shelved quite frequently. Hopefully this stops because the game is better when he's on the field. I'm officially not holding my breath on that happening, though. 

IF HEALTHY: 

150 games | .296 batting average | .364 OBP | .597 slugging | .961 OPS | 38 HRs | 102 RBIs | 24 stolen bases

And no White Sox fan would be surprised if he surpassed these numbers even. Once he came back from his hip injury last year he was a "drop everything you're doing and watch him bat" guy. 

This blog is the end all, be all of the current state of the White Sox and what they have to do to better themselves before opening day arrives in a few short weeks. 

Let's ride