White Sox Non-Tender Four Players

The White Sox have been eliminated from the Shohei Ohtani Sweepstakes, and unless something truly bizarre happens, are not in the conversation for Giancarlo Stanton either.  But unlike some clubs, even once the dust settles for those two, the White Sox aren’t going to start chasing Yu Darvish or J.D. Martinez either.  For all that I could make a case that the White Sox should try for Stanton, it makes sense that they are not from a risk management and timing perspective.  So, other than the Welington Castillo surprise signing, the South Siders continue to float along, impervious to the rending of garments and anxiety that seems to be gripping other fanbases.

Thus, the non-tendering of four players–Al Alburquerque, Jake Petricka, Zach Putnam, and Alen Hanson–weighs in as the update of the moment.  Taking each of these in turn, my thoughts are as follows:

  • Alburquerque has been good in the past, but this caliber of pitcher is basically always floating around.  He was picked up for free and you don’t necessarily need to cling to those guys;
  • Petricka threw 144 solid innings from 2013-2015 after the White Sox selected him in the second round of the 2010 draft.  2016 and 2017 were riddled with injuries and ineffectiveness. Even for someone with plus velocity, the Pitch To Contact profile can often leave you with a very thin margin for error, and Petricka may not be able to stay above that line anymore;
  • Putnam is coming back from Tommy John surgery and may miss most of 2018, but unlike Petricka he has at least been extremely effective in between his stints on the disabled list; and
  • In a universe where the White Sox aren’t protecting Jake Peter and have a crowded depth chart of utility players, Hanson got squeezed out.

Some, all, or none of these guys could return on minor league deals and even make the 25-man roster out of camp next year depending on what other moves the team makes over the course of the winter.  Hahn & Co. may have identified more than one target they like in the Rule V draft, which could suddenly make things quite crowded, and with these moves, the 40-man roster sits at 36. To my mind, Putnam was the only close call, and that depends on how his rehab is going, when he looks like he’d be able to pitch again, and whether or not they can work something else out such that he’s back in the organization at such time as he is healthy.  Or, it could be that Tommy John took enough out of him that he’s not the same pitcher anymore, which would be a shame, as he was a fairly unique guy.

And so the calm before the storm continues, but with Tyler Chatwood getting plucked up by the Cubs and the Winter Meetings rapidly approaching, some activity is due sooner or later.  And, even if you don’t see the move coming, as the Castillo acquisition shows, you never know when you might get surprised.

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