Thanksgiving has come and gone and while the MLB hot stove has been relatively cold there are no shortage of big decisions looming for the White Sox. The next phase of the offseason is the December 2nd non-tender deadline. This is the last day for teams to either reach an agreement with players eligible for arbitration or shave their salary and let them become a free agent. Teams need to submit an arbitration figure that will be used during a hearing conducted by a third-party later this winter.
The White Sox have seven players who could be non-tendered this week. These players include Adam Engel, Jace Fry, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Evan Marshall, Nomar Mazara and Carlos Rodon.
Some of these players will not be playing on the Southside of Chicago next summer. Here are the players with a chance of being non tendered.
The White Sox traded for Nomar Mazara last winter despite his limited success with the Texas Rangers. Mazara had hit 20 home runs in his first three season in the league and Rick Hahn was hoping to unlock some “untapped potential”. It did not go according to plan however as Mazara hit an abysmal .228 with only 15 RBIs and a single home run. He did heat up during the postseason but it might have been too little to late.
With outfields such as George Springer, Joc Peterson, Micheal Brantley and Marcella Ozuna available, the White will probably be looking to dump Mazra’s 5.6 million dollar salary and his -0.3 WAR off of the payroll.
Before the start of last season Carlos Rodon said it was time to “shit or get off the pot”. Carlos may have to find another pot to use next season because he did not make a good last impression in 2020. The White Sox drafted Rodon with the third overall pick in the first round of the 2015 draft with the hopes that he would become the next ace. While he showed flashes of potential injuries derailed his career. The past two season Rodon has only pitched in 11 games and the appearances he did make left much to be desired.
He blew two leads out of the bullpen late in the season and had an ERA that ballooned up to 8.22 in 2020. In 2018 he made 20 starts but was wildly inconsistent and then got hurt yet again, and was unable to finish the season. With only a couple of spots available in the starting rotation and lots of younger, healthier arms competing for a job, it is unlikely the White Sox give him another opportunity.
The White Sox were optimistic that Jace Fry could become a weapon in the back end of the bullpen after he logged 4 saves and 12.3 strikeouts per nine innings in 2018. Unfortunately he followed up the campaign with a disappointing 2019 preformance in which he struggled to find the strike zone. He walked 43 batters and had four wild pitches in 2019. He also had an alarming walk rate of 7 batters per nine innings and his ERA increases to 4.75.
Fry bounced back slightly in 2020. However, Alex Colome, Aaron Bummer, and Evan Marshall took over most of the high leverage situations late in games.
Left handed relievers are always valuable and Jace Fry is cheap so there is a chance the White Sox give Fry another opportunity in 2021 but don’t be surprised if they cut the cord.
Reynaldo Lopez was big piece of the Adam Eaton trade so the White Sox have a lot invested in him. He has had flashes of brilliance as well as some head scratching ineptitude displayed on the mound.
Lopez had a promising 3.91 ERA in 2018 but just two years later he was demoted mid season and left off the White Sox playoff roster. He gave up the most earned runs in the majors in 2019 and had a 6.49 ERA in 2020.
The silver lining for Lopez is the White Sox have a new pitching coach Ethan Katz. Lopez does have talent so, Katz will likely be given the opportunity to take one more stab at trying to maximize it. Lopez is projected to only make 1.77 million which also helps his case to return. If he does return, it will likely be in a role in the bullpen as a long reliever or a spot starter.