The White Sox will not go to arbitration this year, avoiding the process by agreeing to terms on one-year contracts with their five remaining arbitration-eligible players Friday.
Closer Alex Colome got the biggest payday, $10,532,500 for the 2020 season. In his first season with the White Sox in 2019, he saved 30 games, bringing his total since the start of the 2016 campaign to 126. His first- and second-half splits were noticeable: a 2.02 first-half ERA followed up by a 3.91 ERA after the All-Star break. But he remains an accomplished ninth-inning man and a valuable piece of the South Side relief corps as the team looks to make a run at a playoff spot in 2020.
Newly acquired right fielder Nomar Mazara will make $5.56 million this season. At the moment, he figures to be the White Sox everyday right fielder, an upgrade from a group of players who struggled to make much of an impact in 2019. Mazara is just 24 years old though has four big league seasons under his belt already, with an average of nearly 20 homers and exactly 77 RBIs in that span. Rick Hahn's front office traded for Mazara during the Winter Meetings, and the general manager has repeatedly discussed what the team believes to be untapped potential in the left-handed hitter. Mazara has struggled against left-handed pitching in his career, with a .231/.272/.361 slash line versus southpaws, leading to the possibility of the White Sox seeking a platoon partner. But as of this writing, Mazara is slated to get the bulk of the at-bats in right.
Starting pitcher Carlos Rodon will make $4.45 million in 2020, though he likely won't pitch during much of the season. He's on the mend from Tommy John surgery, which the No. 3 pick in the 2014 draft underwent last May. That leaves a total mystery as to what kind of impact he'll be able to make this season, though he could conceivably provide, at the very least, starting depth later in the season, if not more. Rodon is only under team control for two more seasons, so he'll have a limited window to prove he belongs in the White Sox long-term plans once he returns to full strength.
Utility man Leury Garcia will make $3.25 million in 2020. He played a ton during the 2019 season, finishing with a .279/.310/.378 slash line in 140 games, primarily as a starter in the outfield. He can play all three outfield positions and at three of the four spots on the infield, as well. He could see a lot of time at second base until the White Sox deem highly ranked prospect Nick Madrigal ready for the big leagues. Garcia figures to be a versatile and valuable piece for Rick Renteria, and Garcia's ability to play outfield — plus a mighty affordable price tag — keeps the White Sox bench in good shape despite the decision to non-tender Gold Glove winner Yolmer Sanchez earlier this offseason.
Relief pitcher Evan Marshall will make $1.1 million a year after joining the White Sox as a minor league free agent. He came up to the big league club in May and turned in some stellar numbers out of the 'pen: a 2.49 ERA in 50.2 innings over 55 appearances. While the volatility of relief pitching makes it difficult to bank on that kind of production again in 2020, he remains part of the back-end group of that bullpen, along with Colome, Aaron Bummer, Jimmy Cordero and Steve Cishek, who is reportedly signing with the team, though his deal has not yet been announced.
Catcher James McCann also entered the offseason as arbitration eligible, but he and the White Sox agreed on a one-year, $5.4 million deal to avoid arbitration more than a month ago.
RosterResource.com estimates the White Sox payroll for the 2020 season to be nearly $128 million, an increase of more than $30 million — or more than 33 percent — from the 2019 payroll. Spending doesn't always equal wins, but the White Sox have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that they're willing to spend to improve the roster and attempt to make the transition from rebuilding mode to contending mode. They've handed out big free-agent contracts to Yasmani Grandal, Dallas Keuchel and Edwin Encarnacion, as well as rich extensions to Jose Abreu and Luis Robert.
The White Sox highest Opening Day payroll ever came in 2011, when it stood at $129,285,539. That's less than $2 million more than the estimated Opening Day payroll for 2020, meaning one more addition could make this the most expensive White Sox squad in franchise history.
Possibilities for another addition include one more arm for the bullpen or the aforementioned platoon partner for Mazara in right field. But even if Hahn's work is done for the winter, it will still have been a massive offseason for the South Siders. A massive offseason breeding big, new expectations.Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.