So you didn’t sign Zack Wheeler …

Close: But, nope. (@OTHeroics1)


There’s plenty of analytical reasons that laid out the case for the White Sox to have no qualms offering top dollar to Zack Wheeler. Now that Zack (and to-be Mrs. Wheeler) has decided Philadelphia was he and his family’s preferred destination to be multi-millionaires, I need to speak to the contingent on Sox Twitter that is unhappy about another failed FA pursuit.

Zack Wheeler: HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU.

If the reports leaking out are true and the White Sox really did offer more money than the Phillies, then tell me: How far were you willing to go? Because, and be honest, you were going to be royally pissed if it took $150 million (call it the Mrs. Wheeler Tax) to get Zack to sign here. But again, not diving into hypotheticals, how can we blame the organization for actually doing what they should have done with Manny Machado — this time, offer the most money?!

The only person to “blame” is Zack Wheeler and whatever forces of chance/fate led to his fiancé’s family settling in the Garden State which evidently meant more to the Wheelers than any of us had an inkling of. But $118 million, a lower state income tax, and a literal Uber ride’s distance from home seems to be enough for Zack. And, once more for those in the back, THAT’S OK.

Jesus Montero Christ, there are multiple pitchers still available (Hi Madison! Hi Hyun-Jin! Hi Dallas!), a Goose Island-sized hole in right field to fill, and a whole metric ton of time to figure it out.

If Grandal is the only signing (other than Bennett Karrol’s premonitions coming true and Felix Hernandez gets fitted for a Sox uniform) and Dylan Covey is getting thousand-word think pieces on his final chance at the fifth starter spot in March, then I’m all for pitchforks and toilet papering Rick Hahn’s house. But for now, grow … the … hell … up … and move on.

Anyway, thanks for letting me rant a bit. Keep an eye out for South Side Hit Pen’s brand-new podcast dropping soon! Clinton Cole and Brett Ballantini are hosting and here to calm your troubled souls, Sox fans! (Don’t worry, they only talk about Zack Wheeler as the No. 1 White Sox FA target for, like, 33% of the podcast!)

Author profile

Leonard “Not Al” Gore, 35 year old Black White Sox fan/husband/father. 2006 University of Illinois-Champaign graduate, shared a class with the starting 5 of the Finals squad. Told my girlfriend in February 2005 we’d get married when the White Sox won the World Series. Improbably had to do the deed 3 years later. Capricorn. Christmas Eve baby (don’t get me started). I love baseball, Stephen King and Douglas Adams novels, and the entire filmography of the greatest living actor Nicolas Cage. Best job: Working for the Cubs (sorry) in 2007-2008 as an original operator of the first electronic ribbon boards at Wrigley, met Uecker, Santo, Ernie, and celebs like Keith Olbermann and I peed next to Tim Robbins. First time blogging in any official capacity and long time reader of SSS. Tim Anderson has blocked me on Twitter but you can still follow me @Leonard42 and l.j.gore_83 on Insta.

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BonbboMark LiptakBrett BallantiniTimothy HarborLenny G Recent comment authors

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Mark Liptak
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Mark Liptak
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Lenny: With all due respect, as has been published, the White Sox offer wasn’t substantially better than the Phillies factoring in the state income taxes and such. To a certain extent it’s more of the same. There’s always a reason the Sox can’t sign a game changing free agent. Often times it is there own fault, either they try to lowball a guy or offering just… a little bit more then saying the same line, “well…we tried.” Given the White Sox record since the start of the 2007 season, given the low payroll for the past few years there is… Read more »

Brett Ballantini
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We may never know the truth, but if Wheeler got $118 million from the Phillies and the White Sox were at $125 million, that’s not made up by state income tax. And if you already have the top offer, are we really expecting the White Sox to top the top offer?

But no matter, if this sort of coming up short fuels the White Sox getting two FA starters into the rotation and patching the hole in RF, then this Wheeler thing is just a speed bump.

Mark Liptak
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Brett: The only figures I’ve seen were at 120 million, two million dollar difference. As far as “top offer” what the Sox apparently fail to realize is that when you’ve been as bad as they have been basically since 2007, the offer you make must be along the lines of the philosophy in the “Godfather.” In short you have to “make them an offer they can’t refuse…” A couple million over the next best offer may cut it with successful winning franchises. Right now the Sox are neither of those. That means overpaying which is something the Sox can easily… Read more »

Timothy Harbor
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I would imagine players have a dimmer view of CWS than the fans. They have a shorter shelf life as a player and if you want to win, you have to look at the history of a team and of course, that isn’t good news for us. If they want a good team, then they have to change their image. That means overpaying for the next one or two, tier one players. Most of it would be to pay the player’s salary and consider the overpayment an investment in rebranding. Or they can keep offering about the same as other… Read more »

Bonbbo
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I’m not sure he’s all that good. Wouldn’t be surprised if he had a 4.30 era in the AL over the length of the contract. I’d rather pay up for Cole or Strassy or go short term on Dallas or similar.