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Friday, March 01, 2019

VP Ken Williams: It’s a shame if White Sox are portrayed as cheap | Chicago Sun-Times

Teams can’t just budget based on this year and next. They need to have a long-term plan, which includes an eye on their view of their competitive window.

“People are lost on the fact that on a yearly basis, our offer was more than San Diego’s. The average annual value was $31 [million] and change. So it was about years guaranteed. So there is an argument that could be made that our offer was the better of the two. It certainly had more upside for him. All he had to do was basically stay healthy.’’

All the Sox had to do was dig a little deeper. But Williams said the long-range cost was too much.

“Our fans would have been much more disappointed in our inability to keep this next core together,’’ he said. “We would have overextended ourselves had we gone to an uncomfortable level.’’

The Sox’ potential stars — Eloy Jimenez, Michael Kopech, Tim Anderson, Carlos Rodon and Yoan Moncada — are years away from arbitration and big paydays, and this fact remains: The richest contract ever signed by a Sox player is Jose Abreu’s $68 million deal.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 01, 2019 at 08:56 AM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: bryce harper, free agency, white sox

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   1. SuperGrover Posted: March 01, 2019 at 03:49 PM (#5819548)
#### Kenny Williams and Jerry Reinsdorf
   2. SuperGrover Posted: March 01, 2019 at 03:51 PM (#5819550)
But seriously the Sox have no competitive window as Reinsdorf will not spend to even the MLB average. He also won't sell, so all Sox fans can do is wait for him to die and hope his heirs sell the team right quick. The attempted spin by Williams and Hahn over this debacle is absurd.
   3. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: March 01, 2019 at 03:55 PM (#5819553)
Not a Sox fan, but also waiting for Jerry to die so the Bulls can clean house.
   4. jmurph Posted: March 01, 2019 at 03:57 PM (#5819555)
It remains absolutely wild to me that Kenny Williams is still employed by the White Sox. Flags fly forevvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvver.
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 01, 2019 at 04:01 PM (#5819556)
“Our fans would have been much more disappointed in our inability to keep this next core together,’’ he said. “We would have overextended ourselves had we gone to an uncomfortable level.’’

How do they know they'll even have a "core" 8 years from now?

The idea that we can't afford to pay a star player today b/c then we might not have the money to keep a hypothetical star we might, or might not, develop over the next 8 years, is total BS.

They're just being cheap.
   6. SuperGrover Posted: March 01, 2019 at 04:01 PM (#5819557)
Also I should note the Sox spent $40MM this offseason on a bunch of shiity pieces and a bit of an upgrade in the bullpen. Their entire front office is ####### incompetent.
   7. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: March 01, 2019 at 04:59 PM (#5819579)
So he doesn't care about whether or not they are cheap, just how they are portrayed.
   8. Walt Davis Posted: March 01, 2019 at 05:18 PM (#5819584)
Sure the blather is nonsense but, unless it was insanely back-loaded, 8/$250 was a serious offer. They got out-bid. If Manny told them all they had to do was match 10/$300 and he'd sign with them, then they made a mistake. But, although I think he's got a good shot at being worth it, I can't blame them for blinking at 11/$330. You can't win every auction and MLB only has a few big auctions every year.

As a GM, the slow market would drive me crazy. If I'm not gonna get Machado, I'd at least like to know that early enough that I can make decisions around Moose, LeMahieu, etc. and whether I can/want to add a tier of 3-WAR players (not to mention Harper) at a few positions and still go for it.

And yeah, the competitive window stuff that KW is spewing is mostly nonsense. Yes of course yo have to balance current and future costs and try to line those up as best you can with team quality. But we're talking only about the payroll implications of 2/$60 at the end of Machado's 10-year deal (i.e. 2027-28). So ...

Tim Anderson -- only an average player but more importantly under team control for another 6 years at moderate prices at which point he'll be turning 32 and you're probably not interested in keeping him anyway.

Rodon -- already in arb, nearly 4 years full service time, only control him through 2021. Machado at 10/$300 (or more/longer) makes no difference vs. Machado at 8/$250.

Moncada/Lopez -- both with 5 years of control left so, even if one of them does become a good player, it's not clear how paying Manny for 3 more years rather than 5 has a big impact.

So it's Eloy (7 years control), Kopech (6) and maybe Cease (7) who this decision could have affected. Williams is implying that they might be able to make big offers to (2 of?) these guys down the road if they only owed Manny 1/$32 but would not be able to do so if they owed him 3/$90. It's not difficult to imagine scenarios in which that would be true but most of those scenarios involve the White Sox winning a lot of games over those intervening 7 years and mostly allow for the possibility of trading Machado. But it's mostly nonsense because of course the White Sox can afford to carry 2-3 big contracts.
   9. SuperGrover Posted: March 01, 2019 at 05:38 PM (#5819588)
They got out-bid. If Manny told them all they had to do was match 10/$300 and he'd sign with them, then they made a mistake.


They could have signed him for 10/$300 and an opt out. They chose not to.

I can't blame them for blinking at 11/$330. You can't win every auction and MLB only has a few big auctions every year.


This was a unique situation because 1) Machado was a prime age free agent who had already performed as a sustained all star level 2) he is at a position with absolutely no organizational depth 3) the Sox had a shot at him because all the primary big spenders (Yankees, Nationals, Red Sox, Dodgers, Cubs) were sitting this one out. There is almost no chance that all these factors occur again AND hit almost perfectly in the competitive cycle. It's asinine that the Sox lost out on this opportunity because they were worried about a $50 MM on the books 9-10 years from now. They could have EASILY made that up from increased attendance from Machado during that time. Consider:

Estimates o average price per fan for White Sox is about $40, give or take. Assuming a 50% margin (no idea if valid but overhead would seem low on a per fan basis), that's $20 profit per fan. The Sox would need to average about $5 MM in increased profit per year to pay for Machado's extra two. That is 250,000 annual fans or a little over 3,000 extra per game. This ignores increased apparel sales, higher media rights or, heaven forbid, an actual home playoff game!

The Sox not going to 10/$350 is silly. The Sox not going to 10/$300 is ####### criminal.

Note: Agree with your analysis as to why it is irrelevant regarding future core. Basically the entirety of the Sox front office are either liars, completely incompetent, or more than likely both.
   10. TDF, trained monkey Posted: March 01, 2019 at 05:46 PM (#5819590)
I don't pay any attention to the ChiSox, but holy crap - they haven't been in the top 10 in 40 man payroll since '07, and that year they were 7th which is the highest since at least the turn of the century.

Even if they are the redheaded stepchild of Chicago sports teams, they're still in f'ing Chicago and can have a much higher payroll. There's absolutely no reason they couldn't find an extra 10/$350M for Machado even if they are facing a FA armageddon with their current roster.
   11. Jim Furtado Posted: March 01, 2019 at 05:57 PM (#5819594)
As a GM, the slow market would drive me crazy. If I'm not gonna get Machado, I'd at least like to know that early enough that I can make decisions around Moose, LeMahieu, etc. and whether I can/want to add a tier of 3-WAR players (not to mention Harper) at a few positions and still go for it.

I agree with you 100%.

If a GM feels he needs** one of two players, he should present his best offer early, rather than hanging around hoping to save a few bucks. Otherwise, he'll either end up overpaying or with no good alternatives.

** = Of course, convincing yourself you need any player means you aren't a very good GM.
   12. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 01, 2019 at 06:11 PM (#5819598)
Estimates o average price per fan for White Sox is about $40, give or take. Assuming a 50% margin (no idea if valid but overhead would seem low on a per fan basis), that's $20 profit per fan. The Sox would need to average about $5 MM in increased profit per year to pay for Machado's extra two. That is 250,000 annual fans or a little over 3,000 extra per game.
Huh? Even assuming a 50% margin, which strikes me as wildly high (but I know as little as you do)...you really think the presence of Manny Machado would, by itself, attract (an average of) 3,000 people who otherwise would not have attended the game to every single White Sox home game for 10 years??
   13. Greg Pope Posted: March 01, 2019 at 06:40 PM (#5819603)
You can't win every auction and MLB only has a few big auctions every year.

Walt, I agree with all of your points, but I also agree with SuperGrover that this is a unique situation for the White Sox. The big spending teams can say, "We tried, we'll get someone next year". But the White Sox had a chance to land someone in a year where the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, and Cubs were not spending. Will they get the chance again?

And yeah, the competitive window stuff that KW is spewing is mostly nonsense. Yes of course yo have to balance current and future costs and try to line those up as best you can with team quality. But we're talking only about the payroll implications of 2/$60 at the end of Machado's 10-year deal (i.e. 2027-28).

Agree with this, and I think there's more. I probably believe in the success cycle more than many here, at least for cheap teams*. But if the White Sox aren't on the upside of a cycle, then nobody ever is. They have cheap talent that looks like it might be good. They have a chance to sign a 26-year old superstar. Machado will be good for basically their whole success cycle. He is exactly the kind of guy you stretch for. Break the bank for. Are they looking 2 years out? Machado will be in his prime. Let's say they don't burst onto the scene. The Sox make a slow climb in 2019 and 2020 and look like a playoff team going into 2021. Who are they going to sign that will be better than Machado over the following 4 years? Trout? They'll have a lot of competition.

*The White Sox are in a large market but for various reasons don't act like a large market team.
   14. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: March 01, 2019 at 07:08 PM (#5819611)
There's an almost unsaid implication here Kenny will still be running the team in 8+ years...

every single White Sox home game for 10 years??

On average, considering how poor their attendance is and how theie fans respond to a better team, sure, I can see it.
   15. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: March 01, 2019 at 08:53 PM (#5819630)
Wow, the White Sox went below 20,000 per game last year. That is pretty bad for a 100+ year old franchise splitting the third largest metro area in the US with one other franchise. They drew more fans than that in 1960.
   16. donlock Posted: March 02, 2019 at 06:23 PM (#5819780)
Let's not forget that the Orioles had the last year and a half of Manny Machado's services and they finished 5th in the AL East both years. One great player does not guarantee anything but you might be paying him for ten years.
   17. Howie Menckel Posted: March 02, 2019 at 10:37 PM (#5819803)
when I see this headline I can't help but think of Seinfeld

"that's a shame"
   18. Russ Posted: March 03, 2019 at 07:55 AM (#5819827)
In academics, a player like Machado would not be viewed as a regular hire, he would be an opportunistic hire. Teams should build their team assuming an absence of a player like Machado and then if the opportunity presents itself, you add him in. Williams’ real mistake here is that he didn’t build the rest of the team while wooing Machado due to budget issues. If that is the case (as in academics) you shouldn’t even be pursuing that big name in the first place.
   19. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: March 03, 2019 at 08:22 AM (#5819828)
The White Sox aren't cheap because they got outbid on Machado. There isn't a team that could not find a place for Machado on their roster. There is only one Machado to go around. 28 other teams got outbid as well. Getting outbid on one player is not something any team needs to be ashamed about. There IS a point where it simply makes no sense to push higher.

The White Sox are cheap, because even if they had signed Machado for 30m a year, their payroll would only have gone to about 110m or projected for 20th next season. As is, they are projected for 26th, ahead of only the Rays, Marlins, Pirates, and Orioles. Behind big spenders like the A's, the Padres, and the Royals.

The White Sox are cheap, because last season, they were second last in payroll, ahead of only the Rays.

The White Sox are not one big FA away from not being cheap. That is the real problem.
   20. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: March 03, 2019 at 10:46 AM (#5819845)
They drew more fans than that in 1960.

In 1960, they were the defending AL Champions for the first time since the Black Sox season, and that was their franchise record for season attendance until 1977.
   21. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: March 03, 2019 at 10:56 AM (#5819846)
Not a Sox fan, but also waiting for Jerry to die so the Bulls can clean house.

Isn't Michael Reinsdorf basically running that show? Wouldn't he continue to do so once his dad dies?
   22. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: March 03, 2019 at 07:12 PM (#5819936)
It was widely reported that the Phillies sold 100,000 tickets in the hours following the announcement of the Harper signing.

[12] Huh? Even assuming a 50% margin, which strikes me as wildly high (but I know as little as you do)...you really think the presence of Manny Machado would, by itself, attract (an average of) 3,000 people who otherwise would not have attended the game to every single White Sox home game for 10 years??

Yep. Totally.

As discussed above, this was a potentially era-defining alignment of factors. Signing Machado could have changed not just the direction of the franchise but the image that defines it. In 10 years you can make new fans.

So, yeah. Adding 3000 tickets per game, when starting attendance is below 20k? Absolutely.
   23. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: March 04, 2019 at 10:33 AM (#5819983)
Isn't Michael Reinsdorf basically running that show? Wouldn't he continue to do so once his dad dies?

Maybe, maybe not. They want us to think he's running it, but it's still very much Jerry-fied at the moment. We'll have to see what happens when the old man is gone. I'm not expecting a Rocky Wirtz situation, per se, but I won't rule it out yet.

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