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So you didn’t sign Zack Wheeler …

There's still a lotta offseason to gather free agents, White Sox fans.

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!)

7 comments

  1. 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 NO reason in the world not to substantially overpay if that’s what it is going to take to get what you desperately need.

    I’d have no issues giving Wheeler 150 million, not the way the Sox have been raking in money (as has every other MLB team).

    Bottom line they STILL haven’t signed a game changer since Albert Belle, they still desperately need starting pitching. They now need to sign two of these four guys in my opinion, Ryu, Keuchel, Gonzales or Baumgarner.

    My fear is like in the early 90’s when they needed another big stick to bat behind Frank and Robin (they almost had Mark McGwire from what Jack McDowell told me) and like the early 2000’s when good Sox teams were crippled by horrific 4th and 5th starters, they are going to come up empty. Then use the same BS lines they’ve been using for years (or somehow blaming the fan base).

    The simplest and easiest way to shut the doubters up (including myself) is to ACTUALLY GET THE JOB DONE. And it better not be wasting millions of dollars (a la last year) on “Dumpster Dives” hoping to get lucky.

    That crap has got to stop.

    Just my opinion.

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    1. Fair point Mark, I’m not denying there isn’t a lot of me that’s disappointed they didn’t sign Wheeler.

      Last year’s failed Machado experiment was the time to strike. To break the piggy bank open and pay Powerball jackpots worth of money. And there’s still a non-zero chance they could sign Cole or Strasburg.

      Just… damn, I think we are conditioned to expected the expected and we get proven right when another target rejects the Sox. I’m just saying, I’m not going to let Zack Wheeler ruin the rest of my winter and I’m giving the org until Spring Training to prove they can lock down some decent Starters.

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      1. Lenny: I hope you are right…time will tell. But history shows what has transpired with this organization. If past is prologue we are all going to be very upset when all is said and done.

        But there’s always a chance something could change.

        It says a lot though when fans of this franchise have to “hope” something changes instead of knowing it will and if it doesn’t people are going to be held responsible and accountable.

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    2. 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.

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      1. 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 afford to do given their low payroll the last several seasons while MLB monies keep pouring in from various sources and outlets.

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  2. 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 teams and keep telling everyone, “We tried”.

    Now is the time to fill some holes whatever the cost or the last 4 years has been a waste.

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  3. 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.

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