The Chicago White Sox have plenty of pitching questions this off-season.
The decision on Mike Clevinger’s option.
Clevinger pitched well this season despite his questionable character. He posted a 3.77 ERA in 24 starts with a 2.2 fWAR.
He is still injury-prone as he spent time on the IL. Also, did I mention his questionable character?
The problem is if the Sox let him walk, they will need to replace up to four starters in their rotation.
They could bring him back on a $12 million mutual option. Considering the team waived him in August and no other club wanted him, he might want to take that deal.
The Chicago White Sox could also work out an extension with him. Considering the hole that would be left if the franchise does not exercise the option, it is probably best for business that Clevinger returns.
Michael Kopech getting tendered a contract and his role in the rotation next season.
Kopech was awful in the rotation this season. He posted a 5.43 ERA in 27 starts with a -0.9 fWAR. He was demoted to the bullpen at the end of the season and pitched even worse. He seems lost out there with no hope of being found.
The talk at the end of the season was that Kopech will be given another shot to be a part of the rotation in 2024. The front office is hopeful Kopech can turn things around.
Maybe the front office should realize Kopech is a lost cause. Well, at least on the Southside.
Sometimes a pitcher as talented as Kopech is just unable to put it together. Ask the Milwaukee Brewers how Manny Parra’s and Willy Peralta’s chance to rebound worked out.
The shrewd move would be to try to trade Kopech or just cut their losses and non-tender him.
If they do that and let Clevinger leave, then the club has to replace four arms in the starting rotation. That would be counter-intuitive in turning around the franchise’s fortunes quickly.
Who else do they bring in to round out the rotation?
Dylan Cease is the only certainty for the 2024 rotation. It is highly unlikely he will be traded this offseason, especially if Getz’s mandate is to improve the club’s win total quickly.
Getz does have to replace at least two starters after former general manager Rick Hahn traded Lucas Giolito and Lance Lynn before the trade deadline.
The Sox could go with some of their top-10 prospects in Jake Elder, Nick Nastrini, Ky Bush, or Cristian Mena. The problem is rookie pitchers are not likely to help a team have a 27-win turnaround.
If the club was serious about getting better fast, they would sign Blake Snell and Aaron Nola in the offseason. They are going to command big dollars and lots of years. Those are deals that Jerry Reinsdorf refuses to give out to pitchers.
Sonny Gray, Jack Flaherty, and Michael Lorenzen seem more up the Chicago White Sox spending alley. Bringing back Jesse Scholtens should not be ruled out either.