The Zack Wheeler sweepstakes looked to be coming to a close earlier today, and they did just that this afternoon.
Earlier this week, it was also reported by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal that the Wheeler sweepstakes had hit the five-year/$100M mark, and that number would continue to rise.
As it looked like the White Sox yet again got outbid on a fan-favorite free agent, that actually wasn’t the case.
I thought the addition of Zack Wheeler to the White Sox would have been a nice next step in the rebuild process. Do I think paying him around $24M/year is an overpay? Sure, but above-average pitching is so coveted in Major League Baseball.
At some point, you have to draw a line and I would draw the line at five years/$125M. It looks like that was about where the White Sox were ready to go, but Wheeler chose family over money, which you cannot blame him for doing. It is his choice.
With the addition of Yasmani Grandal, the White Sox have already shown they are ready to improve by spending money, and the contract offer to Wheeler added another layer to that readiness. I still believe the front office is determined to add two quality starting pitchers before the start of the 2020 season. It could be any combination of Dallas Kuechel, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Wade Miley, and Alex Wood. Maybe even Madison Bumgarner.
Adding two of those five guys would be a MAJOR improvement to the pitching staff in 2020. Believe me, I would have loved the combination of age, velocity, and potential that Zack Wheeler possesses. Now, it looks like the White Sox can allocate the remaining money owner Jerry Reinsdorf wants to spend on multiple pieces, and overpaying for Wheeler might have made Jerry stash his checkbook for the rest of the winter.
Wheeler could have undoubtedly improved the White Sox, but so would the additions of some of the other quality pitchers. That’s why I don’t think it’ll be the end of the world like some perceive it to be after not landing Wheeler. As long as the White Sox add a right fielder, a bench piece, and two veterans starters, they will be in business. I wish they got Zack Wheeler, but the future is still bright on the South Side.
Featured Photo: Kathy Willens/AP